Calculations of Planetary Strengths in Vedic astrology By Acharya V Shastri

Indian Vedic astrology is a scientific study of the heavenly bodies, the positions which are mapped in the form of an Indian horoscope. Vedic astrology based on planetary system. Modern astronomy and Vedic astrology have been able to calculate the movement and direction of planets very precisely and accurately. There are number of books available dealing with Indian Vedic astrology and horoscopes. 

One important factor which normally is not taken into account at the time of delineation of horoscope is the strength of the planets and the houses.Shadbala is the system of calculating the strength of the planets in Vedic astrology. The nine planets are constantly in motion. At any given time, they occupy a certain place in the heavens i.e. being placed in a particular sign, in a particular house and also forming angles with other planets. This gives them a certain amount of strength or weakness. These are six different kinds of strength that a planet can obtain. These are:

1. Sthana Bala or positional strength

2. Dig Bala or Directional strength

3. Kaala Bala or Temporal strength

4. Cheshta Bala or Motional strength

5. Naisargik Bala or Natural strength

6. Drik Bala or Aspectual strength

A compilation of these six different sources of planetary strength is called Shada bala in Indian Vedic astrology. It is the Shada Bala of a planet which tells us whether a planet is strong enough to fulfill its role in a given horoscope. A planet strong in a Shada Bala has the propensity to give good or bad results depending on its nature. On the other hand, a weak planet will give diseases and difficulties and will not be able to give results.Shada Bala measured in Rupabala or Rupas.Rupa=60 shashtiamsha or 60 virupas.

The Shada Bala of the two shadowy planets-Rahu and Ketu is not calculated. To evaluate the strength of Rahu and Ketu, there are two schools of thought. As per the classical dictum, the strength of Rahu is the same as that of Saturn and the strength of Ketu is like that of Mars.Rahu and ketu represent the lord of the sign in which they are placed. Thus if Rahu is present in Taurus and Ketu in Scorpio, the strengths of venus and mars, the lords of Taurus and Scorpio respectively, will present the strengths of Rahu and Ketu.

Sthana Bala (positional strength)-This is the strength that a planet acquires due to its placements in a particular sign. A planet may be exalted or debilitated; in its own sign or that of a friend, enemy or neutral; it may be in its Moola trikona (positive) sign or its own Vargas (signs in divisional charts).It may be in a quadrant or succedent or cadent house. All these positions give it some strength which is collectively called Sthana bala.It is made of five sub-parts.

1. Uchcha Bala(exaltation strength)

2. Sapta vargiya bala (Strength due to Sapta Varga)

3. Ojayugma bala(odd even strength)

4. Kendra bala(quadrant strength)

5. Drekkana bala(Decante strength)

Dig bala-Dig or Drik means direction in Indian astrology. The four Kendras in a horoscope represent the four cardinal directions. In Vedic astrology each planet is powerful in one of these four directions and powerless in a opposite direction. Dig bala is thus the strength acquired by a planet due to its placement in a particular direction.

A planet gets full strength of 60 shashtiamansha when placed in the house where it is powerful and 0 shashtiamansha when placed in the horoscope where it is powerless. The mid point of a horoscope house is always its most powerful point. if the planet is placed in between(as is generally the case),the dig bala has to be calculated proportionately at the rate of one shashtiamansha for every 3 degree of longitude.

Kala Bala- Kaal means time and time is measured in hours, days, months and years in Vedic astrology. Thus Kaala bala is the temporal strength of a planet based upon the time of birth.

Cheshta bala (Motional strength)-Cheshta means retrogression. All these five planets from Mars to Saturn become retrograde when placed at a certain distance from the sun. The strength obtained by them due to retrogression called Cheshta bala.

The earth revolves around the sun. The longitude of the sun is geocentric, it is always increasing and it does not appear to be retrograde at any time. The moon revolves around the earth and since it also moves in one direction, its longitude also seem to be increasing always. When the longitudinal distance of a planet is more than a certain limit, as viewed from the earth, the planets seems to start moving backwards and is said to become retrograde. This is not applicable to the luminaries (as has been explained in many Indian Vedic astrology books) and also to the nodes Rahu and Ketu,(as they are always moving in the reverse direction).A planet generally becomes retrograde when they are near the earth. There are eight different kinds of motions (speeds) which a planet can have (the planets included are Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

Drik bala or dig bala (aspectual strength)-Drik or dig means Drishti or aspect. Indian astrology explains that a planet in the horoscope, or a house (Bhava), an upgraha,a, a node, a saham or any other sensitive points like beeja or kshetra sphuta or Bhrigu bindu.

The planet which is being aspected is called the Drushya graha in Vedic astrology. The planet which is aspecting is called the Drishti graha in Vedic astrology.

The aspects of the nature of the astrological planets are as follows:

The 3rd/10th/5th /9th /4th /8th and 7th houses as aspected by the planets with an increase in the aspects by (one quarter each, respectively).

The planets fully aspect a point 180 degrees away from them (opposite or 7th house).This is 100% aspect. A planet starts aspecting another placed 30 degree ahead of it. Between the planet and 30 degrees, the aspect is nil. At 60 degrees the aspect is one fourth or 25 degrees. At 90 degrees, three fourth or 75%.At 120 degrees it is half or 50%.At 180 degrees, the aspect is full or 100% as mentioned earlier. It then decreases gradually; at 210 degrees it is three fourths or 75%;at 240degrees it is half or 50%;at 270 degrees it is one fourth or 25 degrees and at 300 degrees it becomes nil or 0%.The aspect remains nil upto 360 degrees and also from 0 degree to 30 degrees as mentioned above.

Vedic astrology explains that all the planets fully aspect the 7th house in a particular horoscope. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn fully aspect the 4th /8th /5th /9th and 3rd /10th houses respectively.Ishta bala and Kashta bala-The Ishta bala and kashta bala show the benefic and malefic tendencies of the planets, according to which their periods give good or bad results. If the Ishta bala of the planet is more, it will give good effects and will be helpful to the native in its period. If the kashta bala is more, the planet is likely to give adverse results.

To calculate the Ishta bala and Kashta bala, astrologers need to know two kinds of rays for each planet-the exaltation rays or Uchcha Rashmi and the Cheshta Rashmi.

Bhava Bala-Bhava bala is the strength of a horoscope house. There are twelve houses in the horoscope which represent specific things and have special functions. If a horoscope house is reasonably strong, the native will feel the results promised by the Bhava, otherwise not.

Shad bala pinda-The Shadbala pinda is the total strength of each planet. It is obtained by adding together the SthanaBala, Digbala, Kaalabala, chestabala and Naisargikbala.The driga bala is added or subtracted depending upon whether it is a positive or negative figure. The result gives astrologers the net strength in shashtiamansha.Each planet requires a certain amount of minimum strength to provide results. The strengths taken into account here are Sthana Bala, Dig bala, Kaala bala (without Ayan bala).chesta bala and ayanabala.If these planets have obtained the required amount of strength, they will be able to give their full results in their respective periods.

Vimshopaka bala-The Vimshopaka strength is the twenty point strength obtained by a planet due to its placement in various Vargas in Shadvarga, Sapta Varga, Dasha Varga and shodas varga.The Vimshopaka bala in the shodas Varga is as follows; The Hora, Drekkana and trishamsha.

There are number of views expressed by astrologers in Vedic astrology. Shad Varga, being a part of the Vedic astrology, is bound to have its share too.Shada bala was not given much importance in the olden days because of the tedious calculations involved. These days also, many astrologers choose not to see the strength of the planets either due to ignorance or lack of time. There are lot of different opinions on certain aspects of shadbala.It is left to the research minded students of Vedic astrology to come to a definite conclusions. Computers are an integral part of our life now and the seemingly never ending calculations of Shadbala can be obtained within a few minutes.Shadvarga plays pivotal role to reckon planetary strength while horoscope readings are done by astrologers. 

Vedic astrologers while make predictions about horoscope charts, they have to keenly observe the all subsidiary sixteenth models (Shodas Varga) charts to assess their Predictions accurately. If astrologers are perfect in astrology chart readings through assessing Shadvarga methods, they make predictions accurately.

You can avail our astrology Readings services being in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany or any part of the world. 

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