Istha Phala/ Kashta Phala

This is an extremely important and often overlooked topic as well.

For any planet-

Istha Phala = The ability to do Good

Kashta Phala = Ability to Harm/ create problems

The numeric value of these features, lets call them IP and KP in short for this article, depends mostly on 2 factors –

I) The Distance from Sun – The farther a planet is from the Sun, the higher its IP. This is attributed to the fact that planets close to the sun start becoming invisible due to the sheer brightness of the sun and hence lose their own ‘lusture’. The farther a planet is from the sun, the brighter its own appearance in the sky. This is most clearly visible for the Moon for obvious reasons. Exactly opposite to the Sun, the Moon is Full and bright and conjunct to the Sun is the New Moon or Amavasya where the moon is fully dark.
Likewise, for other planets (except Rahu-Ketu) the farther they are from the Sun, the brighter they will be.

Within the same context, safe to mention here without getting into details, is the fact that the outer planets – Mars, Saturn and Jupiter get retrograde when far away from the Sun and hence when Retrograde planets will generally have a higher IP.

II) Distance from Point of Exaltation – The closer a planet is to its point of deep exaltation, the higher its IP and lower its KP. Vice-versa is also true.

Now when you add the points (I) & (II) an important point to note is that a low IP DOES NOT automatically imply a high KP. It might, but not necessarily.

As an example assume Saturn at 15 degrees in Libra. This Saturn is within 5 degrees of its deepest exaltation point at 20 degrees of Libra and hence will have a very low KP and a high IP by default. Now assume Sun is at 10 degrees of Libra. Now Saturn being so close to Sun will drastically reduce the IP of Saturn however will NOT increase the KP. Hence such a Saturn will have a very low KP and a low IP. On the other hand notice how Sun is at exact debilitation point. Hence Sun will have a very high KP and almost NIL IP.

Another example – Moon at 3 degrees Taurus with Sun in Scorpio at 3 degrees will have a full IP (100%) and zero KP as its fully bright and also in deep exaltation.

Important features to know about IP & KP –

1) These are not parts of the standard Shadbala calculation for a planet’s strength

2) The mathematical range varies from an absolute number of 0 – 60. 60 is the highest IP for any planet and 0 in the lowest

3) Rahu-Ketu are excluded in this analysis as they are not real bodies or planets

4) High IP planets tend to give their promised results easily in their dasas as opposed to high KP planets. A planet with a high KP will tend to throw many obstacles in the native’s path during its dasa. However the final result is not dictated by IP/ KP. Its dicated by the functional nature, dignity, Yogas etc the planet is involved in.

5) If a planet is functionally benefic and good in dignity and shadbala and involved in good yogas, it will give very good results in its dasas. However if this planet has a low IP, the results will still come albeit after some initial setbacks and with more ‘hesitancy’ or a reduced ‘fluency’ than if planet also had a high IP

6) Contrary to pt. 5 above, if the planet is strongly malefic by rulership, dignity etc and has a low IP also, it will create grave problems in its dasas and might even detroy all significations of houses it rules, sits in and aspects

7) More than the planet itself, the IP of the Rashi, Nakshatra and Navamsa depositor of a planet is very crucial. This is because these planets act like a source for nourishment for the deposited planet from where the planet get its ‘Poshaak’ or Food. If a planet is deposited in a Rashi and Nakshatra of a planet with a very high IP and low KP, such a planet will have a lot of good energy to feed from and will give good/ benefic results.

8) Good Yogas should ideally form in signs and nakshatras owned by planets with high IP and low KP so that these Yogas can easily fructify. If the reverse of low IP and high KP is true, then the Yogas will manifest to a lower intensity and that too after initial struggles and hurdles in the path

9) Generic Benefics – Jupiter, Venus, Moon & Mercury form a greater Nourishment providers than the natural malefics – Saturn, Mars & Sun. However this is just a relative comparison and it is always desirable to have a planet with a higher IP as opposed to a low IP

JHora will spit out the numerical values of these in the ‘Strengths’ tab as do other softwares. As a general guideline, a planet with less than 20% IP is a very low IP. This implies an IP below 12 (in the 0 – 60 range) as very low. Typically any IP value above 30 is Very good and IP values above 45 are excellent.

26 Responses to Istha Phala/ Kashta Phala

  1. Uthayathasan says:

    Hi Vs,
    A planet in 12 house, enemy sign, low vimsopaka bala and low Shad bala, but it has a very high ishta bala. In this case, is that possible to give good results (Ishta bala) during the planet dasha period?

  2. RKK108 says:

    I have been meditating of this topic for a while in the hope to grasp this important influence when making a reading. Like many other factors in vedic astrology, a jyotish must learn to take the whole chart into consideration and blend the many factors in the chart, but there are some points that make me ponder. For exemple, frequent used terms in Vedic astrology books, such as auspicious and inauspicious have always been a big source of curiosity, and I would like to take this opportunity to ask a question:

    When refering to shubha and ashubha influences, are their effects applicable in a absolute and universal manner? That is to say, the inauspiciouness and auspiciouness will be experience by the native irrespective of the persons status and spiritual evolution? Could it be possible that the same experience caused by a particular planetary combination be precieved in diferent manner?

    Looking forward to your kind reply.
    Thank you,

    • VS says:

      No they will not be felt in an absolute manner. The reason, for example, why planets behave better beyond their maturity ages is because as the spiritual and mental advancement of a soul occurs, they develop the necessary wisdom and intellect to ward off many of day to day life’s negatives, many of which are self inflicted and more in the our minds than in reality.

      the Istha phala concept illustrates the general intention of a given planet to do good in a horoscope. A natural malefic like Saturn, if possessing a high kastha phala, will tend to create big hurdles in the area of life he rules and aspects in a chart. How the individual handles these will be dependent on the person’s own mental development, patience and outlook towards life in general

  3. Dinesh Gupta says:

    Hi VS,
    If functional malefic planet has higher KP then it means it is good for us as we have to suffer the bad results with delay or difficulty. .

    Kindly share your views on the same..

  4. Madan says:

    Hi VS
    Is it possible that by appeasing planets their IP gets bettered? Or any remedies where in general IP aspect of a planet can be strengthened? I have a debilitated and combust mercury in meen and am meen rashi and this would mean mercury would not be giving any IP at all?

    • VS says:

      Hi Madan
      No the basic IP can not now change after birth. However appeasing weak planets does mollify some of their negative results. especially the ones which have a psychological/ mental manifestation

  5. Veena says:

    If a FM planet has same IP-KP value(close to 30= Good) and the FM planet’s depositor has very high IP(>45) and low KP, does the FM do good? Will the FM be able to absorb good energy or it just strengthens the FM?
    Does the planet depositor significance(General Malefic or Benefic) also matter?

  6. Veena says:

    What happens when a chart mostly higher Kashta Phala(GE 30 for most planets) than IP?

    • VS says:

      these are finer observations and not to be used blindly. the yogas and strengths of lagna, lagnesh and the various planets as per rashi and bhav strength will dictate most of the results
      other tools are for fine tuning. typically strong yogas with low IP planets implies the yoga will fructify but after much effort or setbacks. Higher IP planet yogas fructify easily without much setbacks in general

  7. B says:

    Hi VS,

    Amazing site, fascinating read.
    You noted in point 7 – More than the planet itself, the IP of the Rashi, Nakshatra and Navamsa depositor of a planet is very crucial.
    Where may I find this on JH if at all.
    Apologies if this has already been answered.
    TIA for your time and efforts

  8. RC says:

    If distance from sun is used for Ishta phala calculations, how it is calculated for Sun? How can it be low in Dhanur raasi? I’ve low Ishta phala for Sun and I’m about to start its Dhasha in few months. Could you please let me know how the Dasha will be for me.
    I started learning and chanting Vishnu Sahasra Nama, Lalitha Sahasra Nama and Sri Rudram in the last two years, if that’s any pointer.

    22/12/1975, Chennai, 4:25 AM, Male

    • VS says:

      Distance from sun is one component. That is due to the fact that the farther a planet is from sun, the brighter it is
      the other component is distance from its deepest exaltation point. At exact exaltation point, Istha phal is full and on the other hand at deep debilitation point, Istha phal is 0

  9. I have calculated the potency or strength of a planet using a combination of Shadbala, Ishtha Phala, Kashtaphala and the residential strength of the planet in the bhava and have my own software to do so. Please read and the strength of houses calculated thus is close to reality in a large sample taken from all over the world, class, job, criminals, prominent people and poor people.

    • VS says:

      Thanks for your note and good luck with your good work
      Unfortunately, mathematical numbers of shadbal, ishtha/ kashta phal, ashtakvarga bindus etc do not work once you extend your research to 1000s of horoscopes. I can readily show 100s of horoscopes of very successful men in various fields of life who have relatively low bal and all of the numbers you have mentioned and still have spectacular results and vice versa.

      Ganit jyotish can only only as far. In today’s world, you can instantly get all the detailed numbers in one second on computers and even phone apps (very detailed softwares) The real magic is to holistically analyze yogas and learn from case studies which takes decades of hard work and unbiased mind


      • Baskar says:

        Am I understanding right that a Functional Benefic with good dignity , placed well, aspected and conjuncted equally by functional benefics & functional malefics will produce “reasonably good” results in its dasa period, even though the mathematically calculated GANITH values of Shad Bala, Ishata bala , Kashta Bala etc., are LOW?

        Kindly enlighten!

        Thanks much VS ji.

        • VS says:

          yes absolutely
          actually even the Mathematics is debatable due to interpretation of rules at times
          I have had this discussion with PVR (Narasimha Rao) the author of JHora…once you go deep into the maths of some of these calculations, the results can change substantially depending on many factors and how you interpret them

          hence best is to stick to basics of exalted, own, friendly, non friendly sign, directional strength, conjunctions and aspects and brightness etc. these are simple to eyeball and no deep calc is needed. Some old extremely accurate astrologers never calculated shadbal etc. they had an approximate idea by looking at the main factors and that’s what a learning astrologer should strive to do

          • SJ says:

            IP and KP accounts for exaltation point and distance from the sun and does not consider MK or own house, so is it better to use them when dealing with planets in neutral houses?

          • VS says:

            Yes. there is no account for MK houses in this
            Jupiter and venus have MK very close to their deep debilitation points and hence their KP remains very low in their MK area

          • Baskar says:

            Thanks much VS ji.. Thank you for taking time to answer all these questions to all the learners here.

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