Dignity of Planets (Part Dos)

(III) Avasthas

These are of many kinds. The pertinent one to know early on in learning is ‘Baaladi’ Avastha.

In Odd signs – Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagi, and Aquarius – a planet as per degrees in the sign is in the following avastha-

0-6 degrees (Infancy) Will give minimal results

6-12 degrees (Adolescence) Will give 1/2 its full potential effects

12-18 degrees (Mature) Will give full effects as per its potential

18-24 degrees (Old) Will give limited effects

24-30 degrees (Near Death) Will give minimal effects if any

For Even signs – Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn & Pisces

0-6 (Near Death)

6-12 (Old)

12-18 (Mature)

18-24 (Adolescent)

24-30 (Near Dead)

These are not to be taken too literally but liberally.

What it implies is that planets 12-18 degrees or more towards the center of a sign is deeply colored as per the indications of that sign and hence will give those results strongly. A planet more towards the corner of a sign (Rashi) will tend to blend into the previous or next sign and hence not deeply colored as per that sign. Mathematically a planet at 15 degrees is right at the center of the sign and hence most ‘colored’ with the characteristics of that particular sign.


(IV) Residential Strength

Slightly more advanced of a concept but still easy enough to mention here.

When a horoscope is made, there is a Rising sign which is called the Ascendant or ‘Lagna’. This will be one of the 12 signs of course but the lagna as per the birth time will have an exact degree in that sign from 0 to 30 somewhere. Note this degree. This becomes the most effective point of each bhaav for all the signs.

Example Capricorn rises in ascendant at 20 degrees. Now Aquarius will be the 2nd house. But the 20th degree of Aquarius will give the exact center of the 2nd bhaav which is of money, wealth, family, speech, eating habits etc. (as you know from the earlier articles)

When a planet in a sign is sitting exactly of 20 degrees for this example, it will have 100% residential strength and give strong effects of that Bhaav. Plus or Minus 5 degrees from this of the range of 15 to 25 degrees, the planet still remains strong. Beyond that, the strength in the bhaav goes down by each degree. When the planet is at 4 degrees in a sign in the above case, it has actually gone into the previous Bhaav. So in the above example say a planet is at 2 degrees in Aquarius. Now even though that sign is in the 2nd Rashi (sign) it is actually in the 1st Bhaav (which in this example will extend from 5 degrees in Capricorn to 5 degrees in Aquarius.

If this is a bit complex right now, just worry about the first paragraph and not too much about the Bhaav movement concept called as ‘Chalit’ in astrology

This factor is VERY important when you look at a planet in any bhaav.


(V) Shadbala

Translated to English as the 6 fold strength. This is a comprehensive method of Quantifying a planets strength in astrological units called as RUPAS. Rupas follow a sexagesimal system with 1 Rupa = 60 VIRUPAS

The calculation has 6 main categories. Each category can have as much as 10 sub categories implying the calculation actually looks at more than 50 different characteristics in the underlying planet. The calculation is highly mathematical and detailed but aims at Quantifying each planets Total Power or strength. After the mathematical number is arrived at, there is a Cutoff for each planet. If the planet makes the Cutoff, it is strong enough to give its promised results, if not then it is weak. Each planet has a different cutoff. Example for Mercury it is 7 Rupas, for Moon it is 6 Rupas. So if one has Mercury at 8 Rupas, they have a Mercury at 114% when 100% means adequate strength.

The actual calculation and its logic is way beyond the scope of an online blog and this early on in a student’s stage. None the less, this is a vital component which can sometimes give counter-intuitive results as a debilitated planet can actually have a high Shadbala and vice-versa.

JHora software and many others mathematically do these calculations for you. But beware, there is errata in them. I am in touch with the author and longtime friend of JHora software in fixing some of them. Still it will give you a good estimate.

One has to be again careful not to rely on this completely, especially before a detailed understanding on the components and calculations behind Shadbala. It should be used as one of the many shades of strength or weakness a planet possesses.


(VI) Nakshatra Placement

As we have 12 signs (30 degrees each) we have 27 Asterisms or Nakshatras (13 degrees and 20 minutes each) or 13.33 degrees each. They are ruled by Ketu, Venus, Sun, Moon, Mars, Rahu, Jupiter, Saturn & Mercury (first 9) and then 10 to 18 again by the same lords (in that given order) and 19 to 27 likewise again.

Hence each planet rules 3 Nakshatra each placed equidistant from each other.

The Nakshatra in which Moon is placed at birth is to be noted as the Birth Nakshatra.

Planets sitting in the 3rd, 5th and 7th Nakshatra from it will be weak and tend to give negative results. Planets in the 2nd, 6th and 9th will give Positive and strong results whereas planets in 1st, 4th and 8th will tend to give neutral to slightly positive results.

Example birth is Sun Nakshatra. So make Sun as Nakshatra 1

Moon is now Nakshatra 2, Mars is Nakshatra 3 etc. Those planets in the Nakshatra of Mars, Jupiter and Mercury (because they will be the 3rd, 5th and 7th) Nakshatras will be deemed weak or ineffective and will not give positive or strong results.

Detailed analysis and explanation is again beyond the scope of this discussion at this stage.


There are many other factors to be seen while determining the overall strength of a planet in addition to the top 6 factors mentioned above. However concepts like ‘Ashtakvarga’ (positioning relative to 8 important points), Divisional Strength etc. are too complicated for discussion here for a beginner in this art and hence diverted for now.

However one can download the Free software JHora and start looking at many of the factors mentioned above to get a good feeling of their signs, houses, planets and their strengths or lack thereof.



43 Responses to Dignity of Planets (Part Dos)

  1. Sundar says:

    Hello VS:
    Is Residential Strength “Sthaana bala”? Asking since Sthaana bala is part of Shadbala.
    Thank you.

    • VS says:

      Sthaana bala is one component the 6 main categories of shadbala (shad = 6) bala = power. Sthana bala is further divided into many sub categories. You can google these up, you will find a lot of literature on it if you wish to know the details

  2. Varun says:

    Hello Vivekji! – Please suggest if planets moving to their natal position good for their functional and general significations. For instance, Jupiter will be transiting Virgo in August this year. Virgo is my 4th house and Jupiter is sitting there with Saturn in the natal chart. Virgo is not the best sign for Jupiter to sit in but 4H is. The standard dictum is Jupiter tends to expand the house he sits in and his aspects are generally good. So does it mean that this transit could help professionally ? Also, I believe Dashas and transits have to agree for any outcome to come true. Please suggest.

    Thanks for your time

    • VS says:

      Planets moving to the natal positions intensify the effects of the planet in the basic horoscope. Good or Bad, the result is amplified, especially if the dasa of the involved planet is running

      Since jupiter, rahu, ketu and saturn are slow moving, their effect is stronger and felt longer term as opposed to the slower moving planets where the return happens more frequently and for shorter periods of time

      dasa and basic horoscope is always most important. Transits will then synchronize to precipitate the good or bad events. Only transits by themselves can not give anything which the basic horoscope and the dasas dont promise themselves

      • Sundar says:

        VS: “Transits will then synchronize to precipitate the good or bad events”. So for example if it is Jupiter Dasa, and if Jupiter is transitting the 2nd house, the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 11th significations kick in (good or bad depending on the natal strength of Jupiter and its transit parameters like if it conjuct with a malefic etc). Is my understanding correct?

        • VS says:

          yes. also the transits of other planets will modify the good or bad of jupiter. jupiter is not acting alone

          • Sundar says:

            How about Yogas? Are they also triggered by transits, or do some give effects forever?

          • VS says:

            Initial triggering might happen during vital Saturn and Jupiter transits and good Dasia’s..later for life if togas are strong

  3. Moon says:

    Question 1. A man have venus-ketu both at 24 degree in the sign of leo in the 5th house. This mean an unhappy married life. But because both planets are weak (old)….so this will have no effect. Right?

    Question 2. I also have heard that when the degree of the ascendant is conjuncting the weak (old) planets…then it will have effect. Is this true?

    • VS says:

      24 degrees is not old. If the ascendant degree is also close to 24 then a planet anywhere at the 24 degree mark becomes very strong
      Venus and ketu together generally are not good for marriage but you have to see the strength of venus and more importantly the strengths and aspects on both the 7th house and its lord. Net result will dictate marriage happiness or lack of it

  4. Sundar says:

    Sri VS:
    For anybody born in Scorpio Rasi, the moon is debilitated; what is the effect of this placement in general? Also, supposing Mars is placed in Cancer, how does this affect the scenario due to the Rasi Parivartan? Thank you.

    • VS says:

      if the parivartan is of 2 good houses – example 5th and 9th then the effects are good. If the parivartan involves a dusthana – 6th, 8th or 12th then the effects are not good.

      even if effects are good due to good houses, some negative effects and blood related disorders can occur as both planets are debilitated and when a planet is deb and its depositor is also debilitated, it is a highly negative situation

  5. Sundar says:

    Sri VS:
    Re: Baaladi avasta, supposing a planet is in infant stage, yet + or – 2 degrees from the ascendant, how does that work out?

    Thank you.

    • VS says:

      its residential strength in the house will be high due to closeness from bhaav Madhya. hence it will strongly give its effect of the bhaav (in this case the 1st bhaav)

      however the color of the planet (which comes from which sign it is in) is not very deeply colored in this scenario unless it is same sign in navamsa (virgottam). So for example if it is Jupiter at 29 degrees in virgo. Its color is not fully virgo as its in the boundary of virgo. however since its virgottam also, the color will remain strong and if its within 2 degrees of the bhaav Madhya, it will give strong results related to that bhaav

      • Sundar says:

        Sri VS:
        Since you mentioned virgottam, I’d like to ask: Is there a concept of Virgottam of ascendant? If yes, if asc is at 1 degree and the ascendant itself is virgottam (in d-1 and d-9, ascendant is capricorn), what is your take?

        Thank you.

        • VS says:

          lagna virgottam gives strength to the horoscope. the ruler of lagna becomes most important. if it is ill placed, the negativity doubles and if well placed, the strength doubles

  6. UBR says:

    Dear Shri VS:
    I am not formally trained in Jyotish vidya. So kindly overlook any semantic defects.

    My question relates to the discussion of Residential Strength and how to better interpret a given horoscope.

    If (for instance), Lagna is at 26 deg Makara does it mean that a planet at 14 deg Meena should be treated as being in the 2nd Bhaav (as opposed to 3rd) with all associated 2nd Bhaav significations?


  7. UBR says:

    Thank you!

    To follow-up:
    1) Does a natal reading based on chalit significations ONLY (ignoring the underlying D1 significations) improve the odds of understanding a chart better?
    2) If we cannot completely ignore the underlying D1 significations, is there a rule of thumb weightage between Chalit and the underlying D1 significations that you have found to work in practlce?

    • VS says:

      rasi placement shows the nature and dignity of a planet
      chalit chart shows the bhaav related effects the planet is touching. Dasa wise chalit will gain more importance. For other purposes, rashi chart is more relevant

      however both are important

  8. Abhishek says:

    Hello V.S. Sir
    How does Mahadasha/Antardasha affects the strength of a planet.
    I have Virgo Lagana (24 deg 50′), Aries Moon Sign with following Mars and Saturn positions:
    Mars: 2nd House (26 deg 42′), Saturn: 10th House (24 Deg, 45′)
    Currently i am undergoing Mars Mahadasha with Sat Antardasha.
    Since both planets are closer to Lagna degree, they should be strong right?
    Will there be compound malefic affect of both planets as both are malefic for Aries?
    Please advise

  9. Mrugesh says:

    Hi VS,

    Thanks for sharing knowledge via Q&A.

    How important is Baladi avastha for planets as their measure of strength?
    As in say atmakaraka is a planet with highest longitude. So for most people it will be either Bala or meet avastha.
    That is kind of counterintuitive as AK is like lagnesh and can not do any bad for person. Seems like by definition it will mean, AK is most weakest planet of the chart! Unless you have all the planets between 12 to 18 degrees.
    However there is another problem. The specific exaltation degrees of planets can be any lower or higher degrees.
    E.g., Moon is best exalted at 3 deg Taurus. And it is in dead avastha!! How can a dead Moon be fully exalted?!

    What is your take on this?
    In my opinion avastha have nothing to do with strength or capacity to give results. Good or bad. Have you found this in practice?

    Thanks a lot for your reply in advance!

    • VS says:

      Hi Mrugesh

      Balaadi avastha is just one aspect of strength. Like dozens of others things one has to see regarding strength
      in real life, I have observed thousands of case studies where planets in the first or last 4 to 5 degrees can give excellent results

      residential strength (distance of planet from bhav sensitive point) and conjunctions/ aspects on the planet, strength of depositor of planet in the rashi, nakshatra and navamsa etc….all these are very vital considerations and just only Balaadi avastha can not be the considered factor

  10. Uthayathasan says:

    Hi Vs
    If a planet sitting in 7th house in rasi chart, it will aspect the 1st house. according to Bava chart its move to 6th house. So Now this planet aspect 12th house or 1st house.

    • VS says:

      it will affect both. However the phalit effects of planet in its dasas will be on 6-12 axis. but the planet will also affect health and personality (1st bhaav significations) albeit less strongly that if it were not moving in the chalit chart

  11. Sundar says:

    Sri VS:
    If Ketu is debilitated in the 5th house (Gemini) does it do more or less harm due to the deb’tn?

    • VS says:

      any debilitated planet, when not canceled, does harm to the house it sits in mostly and secondly the houses it owns and then the houses in aspects

  12. Sundar says:

    Sri VS:
    For a Leo asc, when the lord is conjuct Rahu in the 10th, is there anything to be said about a solar eclipse happening in Leo?

    • Sundar says:

      VS, is it true that it is better that the Dusthana lords be weak? What happens when, for e.g., Moon or Jupiter is the lord if that is true?

    • VS says:

      you will know soon if you are referring to trump
      the dasa and other transits have to be seen. Transit should not be seen from just moon, but also from lagna and arudha lagna and with respect to natal planets

  13. Sudhir Iswaravaka says:

    If a planet is a malefic in the chart and it’s Shadbala is more than the required strength, how are the effects to be read. Will they be more malefic in nature concerning that planet during its Sasha or since it has good Shadbala, will it make the planet tone down its malefic effects.

    • VS says:

      depends on where they sit. any malefic planet if own house and having high bal will do good also but if it is stronger than the good planets of the horo then total effect is bad

  14. SJ says:

    “planets in 1st, 4th and 8th will tend to give neutral to slightly positive results”. This would mean moon will never give strong results, could you elaborate.

    On a semi-related topic, I am trying to understand the relationship of nakshatra lord and rasi lord. Venus, Saturn, and Mercury nakshatras are all placed in enemy/neutral signs and they all lie within the sign fully. No crossover. On the other hand Sun, Mars and Jupiter nakshatra occur on the boundary of signs (one sign is the enemy and the other a friend). I understand the math behind it but not the meaning. If you could elaborate it would be helpful.

    For example, Saturn in Leo rashi is not comfortable as it considers Sun to be its enemy, however if its nakshatra lord is Venus does it lessen the discomfort.


    • VS says:

      from a nakshatra perspective, what you have to look at is the what kind of nakshatra is it from the Moon. So the 3, 5 and 7th nakshatras from moon are harmful, others are good. secondaly see if the owner of the nakshatra is functional malefic or benefic and where its placed. take Capricorn ascendant, moon becomes a maraca and functionally neutral. If moon is bright and sitting exalted in the 5th house, she will likely give very good results in general (Kendra lord in kona and exalted and bright)
      now say Saturn is sitting in virgo in moon nakshatra. In this case Saturn though inimical to moon, will not give bad results because moon is strong and benefic and hence any planet it deposits in its house or nakshatra will be benefited.

      rashi is most important then nakshatra and navamsa. do not reverse this order or you will always go wrong

      • SJ says:

        My main questions was related to relationship of planet (P), rashi lord (RL) and nakshatra lord (NL).
        So there are 3 relationship: P-RL, P-NL, and RL and NL. P-RL is the most important. The question is what is the second most important relationship?

        If it is RL-NL, then a weak RL (mercury) could be supported by strong NL (moon) who considers RL his friend. Similary, a weak RL and could be opposed by a strong NL who considers RL its enemy and support the planet differently (In this case the third relationship is in play). In case, where both are strong is relationship of P-RL weakened due RL and NL relationship.
        There are three options to proceed: (1) We could take compound relationship to make RL-NL relationship a variable for various charts, (2) We could consider the third relationship to determine it effects, or (3) RL is strong no need to consider NL and NL is only for fine tuning.

        If it is P-NL relationship, then Moon’s relation with Saturn gains precedence over Mercury-Moon relationship and this changes the way we view the chart.

        Sorry for taking too much of your time.


        • VS says:

          Here is the bottomline, as you dive in more and more in the Ganit fashion, you will lose the escence of astrology. Keep in mind that computers can do all the Ganit (Math) and can predict nothing.

          relation with rashi lord is most vital and will supercede all other relationships. Rest the only way to learn is to look at 100 horoscopes and note down the results systematically. You will answer your own questions in that manner if you do so…try it!

          • SJ says:

            As step 1, I am trying to understand my horoscope but I cannot decipher correctly. I tried variations in dasa seed (janma nakshatra and 5th star) to check which matches better with events. Also, I tried taking different ayanamsa (one recommended by JHora author, SSS). The pushya-pakha seems to match better but really not sure if I am applying my understanding of planets, rashi lords, and bhava are correct.

            Thanks for you input.

  15. Harich C. says:

    I want to know, whether Awasthas of planets change in life time (Ex. Infancy changes into Adolescence or Mature) If Yes, How much time is taken by each planets to change their Awasthas. Or they remain at the same place life long.
    I am Libra and I have Infancy Awasthas ( Balyaawastha). Will it shift to the next level or to the next in near future?
    I am very much worried as an astrologer told me about it and its effects are very slow in life like promotion in life and childbirth ( I am unmarried just now).
    Please respond, I am very thankful and grateful to you.

    • VS says:

      any planet at any avastha or location will not change in your life, unless you are reborn again which is obviously not going to happen in your present life
      that said, little knowledge is dangerous. avasthaas dont dictate everything about a planet, just 5% of it perhaps. So relax.

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