Ashtottari dasa is perhaps the most popular dasa system in India after Vimsottari dasa. Sage Parasara listed it as a conditional dasa applicable only in some charts. The conditions for its applicability are highly controversial.
In this system, the sum of all dasas is 108 years. Ashtottari means “ashtottara sata”, i.e. one hundred and eight. Because poornaayush (full life) of a man is 108 years, some scholars have suggested that ashtottari dasa is best used as an ayur dasa, i.e. a dasa that shows longevity.
There are three different views on the applicability of Ashtottari dasa:
(1) Ashtottari dasa is applicable in all charts.
(1) Ashtottari dasa is applicable if Rahu, who is not in lagna, is in a quadrant or a trine from lagna lord.
(1) Ashtottari dasa is applicable for daytime births in Krishna paksha (darker fortnight) and night time births in Sukla paksha (brighter fortnight).
Some people use Ashtottari dasa as an ayur dasa and see longevity in it. Some other people use Ashtottari dasa as a phalita dasa. Because only chara karakas, i.e. Rahu and the seven planets, have dasas under the Ashtottari dasa scheme, it may also be suggested that it shows events related to sustenance, achievements, raja yogas and moksha (just like chara karakas do). Some people, however, prefer to see all matters in Ashtottari dasa.