Strength of Planets: The Shadbala
As the name suggests Shadbala means six fold strength. Although these strengths are combined used for finding the effect of planets on the lives of the natives, there is more use of the strengths and we get the clue of those uses from their names. If they were to be used combined, then such specific names were unnecessary. Moreover, this is more logical to think that, a planet when strong, might not be so for influencing all affairs in our lives. A planet which might give good status might not be good to show the direction of your life. So we must construe, the special significance hidden in the names given to the six sources of strengths. These strengths need not be used only predicting the results of the dasa, however, can be used for normal horoscopic interpretation. For illustration, the kendradi bala is used in ayur calculation etc. One can understand their use more and more by understanding their name and their basis of calculation.
Shad Bal consists of the following strengths
1. Sthan Bal (Positional strength)
2. Dig Bal (Directional strength)
3. Kaal Bal (Temporalstrength), inclusive of Ayan Bal (Equinoctial strength)
4. Chesht Bal (Motional strength)
5. Naisargika Bal (Natural strength)
6. Drik Bal (Aspectual strength)
These strengths are computed for the seven Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The nodes are not considered.
2. STHANA BALA (Maximum: 480 virupa = 8 rupas)
Sthana means place and hence the sthana bala is calculated based on the placement of the planets in different signs on various parameters, such as how far are they placed from their exaltation sign etc. More follows below:
2.1 Uccha Bal (Maximum: 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
Uccha means exaltation. When a planet is placed in its highest exaltation point, it is of full strength and when it is in its deepest debilitation point, it is devoid of any strength. When placed at other places, it has middling strength proportionately dependent on the distance these planets are placed from the highest exaltation or deepest debilitation point.
Find the difference between a planet’s longitude and the deepest debilitation point. Divide the difference by 3 and the result so obtained is the uccha bala in Virupas. When a planet is in highest exaltation point, the difference happens to be 180 deg and hence the uccha bala for such planet becomes 60 virupa (180/3). However, when a planet is placed in the deepest debilitation, the difference becomes zero and hence also the bala is zero.
2.2 Sapt Vargaj Bal (Maximum: 45*7 = 315 virupas = 5.25 rupas)
Rasi, Hora, Dreshkan, Saptamsa, Navamsa, Dwadashamsa and Trimsamsa constitute the Sapta varga. The strength of the planets in these seven divisional charts based on their placements in moolatrikona, own sign, friendly sign etc. constitute the sapta varaj bala. The method of their calculation is as follows:
In the following rasis, the planets gets the corresponding Virupa of strength. Although maharishi gave the strength in terms of the avasthas they are place in, he gave the association of these avasthas with the placement of the planets in different rasis in the following chapter on the avasthas (Ch 45). The friend’s, neutral and enemical signs are based on the compound relationship and hence the term, great friend and great enemy has been used in this context.
Moolatrikona Sign- 45 Virupas
Swakshetra (Svasth) – 30 Virupas
Great Friend’s Sign (Pramudit) – 20 Virupas
Friendly Sign (Shant) – 15 Virupas
Neutral Sign (Din) – 10 Virupas
Inimical Sign (Duhkhit) – 04 Virupas
Great Enemy’s sign (Khal) – 02 Virupas
2.3 Oja-Yugma Rasi-Amsa Bala (Maximum: 30 Virupa= 0.5 Rupa)
Oja means Odd signs and Yugma means Even signs. Thus, as the name imply, this strength is derived from a planet’s placement in the odd or even signs in the Rasi and Navamsa. Moon and Venus are female planets and get strength of 15 virupas each while placed in the even signs in the rasi or navamsa. Other planets gets this strength, while they are placed in Odd (Male) signs in Rasi or Navamsa.
The maximum strength which can be derived from this is 30 virupas (Venus/ Moon placed in Even sign in both rasi and Navamsa; other planets placed in the odd signs in both rasi and navamsa.)
2.4 Kendradi Bala (Maximum: 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
The name itself implies how to compute this strength. A planet in a Kendra (Quadrant: 1-4-7-10) gets full strength, while one in Panaphara (Succedent: 2-5-8-11) Bhava gets half and the one in Apoklima(Preceedent: 12-3-6-9) Bhava gets a quarter or a rupa. One rupa equals 60 virupa, thus in virupas, the kendradi bala equals:
Kendra: 60 Virupa
Panaphara: 30 Virupa
Apoklima: 15 Virupa
2.5 Dreshkan Bala (Maximum: 15 virupa = 0.25 rupa)
due to placement in first, second, or third dreshkanaof a sign. Male, female and hermaphrodite Grahas, respectively, get a quarter Rupa (15 virupa) according to placements in the first, second and third dreshkana.
From this we can infer that the male planets are stronger in the beginning of a sign, female planets are stronger in the middle part and neutral planets gains strength in the ending part of a sign.
3. KALA BALA:
3.1 Natonnata Bala: (Maximum 60 virupa = 1 rupa)
Natonnata is composed of two terms nata and unnata. Unnata is the difference between midnight and the apparent birth time. Unnata when deducted from 30 Ghatikas gives Nata. Moon, Mars and Saturn are stronger at night, whereas Sun, Jupiter and Venus are stronger during the day. Mercury is stronger both during day and night. Hence, the nata bala is seen for Moon, Mars and Saturn and unnata bala is seen for Sun, Jupiter and Venus. Irrespective of day or night Mercurygets the bala of 60 virupa or 1 rupa.
At midnite, which marks the peak of night, the diurnal planets are weaker. Thus at that time the unnata bala of the diurnal planets Sun, Jupiter and Venus is zero, whereas the nata bala of the nocturnal planets Moon, Mars and Saturn is full 60 virupas. At the noon hr. when the day is at peak and the Sun is placed exactly on the meridian, the unnata bala of the Sun, Jupiter and Venus is full 60 virupas and the nata bala of Moon, Mars and Saturn is zero. At other time the bala is proportionate.
At Surise and Sunset, which marks the junction of the day and the night, the natonnata bala for all the planets (excluding Mercury, whose bala is always 60), is the same, i.e., 30 Virupas.
Also note the formula Nata Bala+ Unnata Bala = 60 virupas
The fluctuation of the Natonnata bala for the planets can be seen as follows:
Diurnal Planet Nocturnal Planet
Sunrise 30 30
Noon 60 00
Sunset 30 30
Midnite 00 60
3.2 Paksha Bal
Paksha can be loosely translated as a fortnite. However in Jyotish term, Paksha is the duration between conjunction and opposition of the Luminaries. The duration from Conjunction to Opposition is the time when the Phase of Moon increase and is termed as Waxing Moon, which in Jyotish parlance known as the Sukla Paksha. Whereas the duration from opposition to conjunction, the phase of Moon decreases and is termed as Waning Moon, which in Jyotish Parlance known as Krsna Paksha.
The Benefics are stronger in the Sukla Paksha and the Malefics are stronger in the Krsna Paksha. This forms the basis for calculation of the paksha bala. The benefics are Jupiter, Venus, well associate Mercury, whereas the malefics are Sun, Mars and Saturn. The paksha bala of the Moon is 2 rupas (120 virupas) at the end time of Full Moon and New Moon. The Paksha bala of the Moon goes down to 60 virupas, during the middle of the pakshas.
Find the angular distance between Sun and Moon. If the angular duration exceeds 180 degrees, deduct the same from 360. The degrees so obtained when divided by 3, which will indicate the Paksha Bala of each of the benefic Grahas. The Paksh Bal of benefic should be deducted from 60, which will go to each malefic, as Paksh Bal.
3.3 Tribhaga Bala
Tribhaga means three parts. This strength has gained its name from the fact that the day and night are divided into three parts each. The Planets which gain 1 virupa of strength during different part of a days is a as follows:
Mercury- First 1/3 part of day
Sun- Middle 1/3 part of day
Saturn- Last 1/3 part of day
Moon- First 1/3 part of Night
Venus- Middle 1/3 part of Night
Mars- Last 1/3 part of Night
Jupiter gets this Bal at all times.
3.4 Varsha (Abda) – Maasa- Dina- Hora Bal
Varsha-Maasa-Dina-Hora Bal. 15, 30, 45 and 60 Virupas are in order given to Varsh Lord, Maas Lord, Dina Lord and Hora Lord.
3.4.1 Varsha Bala: The Varsha mentioned here is the solar year or the samvatsara, which commences when the Sun moves to the first sign on the zodiac, Mesha. This is the weekday lord of the day in which the Sun has transited to Mesha. If Sun has moved after 00:00 hrs of civil calendar, the previous weekday has to be taken.
3.4.2 Maasa Bala: Like Varsha Lord, each saurya masa (Solar Month) commences when the Sun transits each sign of the zodiac. Take the weekday lord on which Sun has moved to a new sign as the lord of the Masa. If Sun has moved after 00:00 hrs of civil calendar, the previous weekday has to be taken.
3.4.3 Dina Bala: Dina is weekday. The lord of the weekday is the lord of the day.
3.4.4 Hora Bala: Hora means planetary hour. Each day from sunrise to next sunrise is divided into 24 equal parts of one hour. These Horas are ruled by the 7 Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The first Hora of the day is ruled by the Lord of the week day. The 2nd one is ruled by the Lord of the 6th week day, counted from the first ruler. The 3rd Hora is ruled by the Lord of the 6th week day, counted from the 2nd Hora Lord. Similarly it proceeds in the same manner, till the first Hora of the next day is taken over by the Lord of that day himself. At a particular time, the lord of a particular hora gets the Hora bala of 60 Virupas.
From the strength of the Varsa, Maasa, Dina and Hora lord, we can see that Hora lord gets the maximum strength, i.e., 60 Virupas, highlighting the importance of the hora lord over the other lords at any time.
3.5 Ayan Bala
The Earth’s equitorial plane when projected to the celestial spehere (a hypothetical sphere which has shows the visible stars and planets), is known as the celestial equator. The planets which we see, can be above, below or placed on the celestial equator at any point of time. The angle which they make with respect to the plane of celestial equator measured from center of earth is called the declination or Kranti. The Declination of Sun is maximum, i.e., 23°27’ during the solstices where the Sunrises either on Tropic of Cancer or Capricorn, whereas during the equinoxes, the declination becomes zero.
The calculation of the ayana bala is complecated, however the same can be accomplished using a simple formula: Ayan Bal = 60*(23°27’ ± Kranti)/(46°54’) = (23°27’± Kranti)*1.2793. Now a days with the advent of computers, things have become easier for the Jyotishis.
When Moon or Saturn have southern Kranti (placed below the equitorial plane) or, when Sun, Mars, Jupiter, or Venus have northern Kranti (Placed above the equitorial plane), take plus and otherwise minus. As far as Merucry is concerned, it is always plus. Krantis can be ascertained from a standard modern ephemeris.
Sun’s Ayana Bal is again multiplied by 2 whereas for others the product arrived in Virupas is considered as it is.
3.6. Yudhdh Bala
When two planets are placed inside each other’s orbs of influence, they are supposed to be in war or yuddha. Should there be a war between the planets, the difference between the Shad Balas of the two should be added to the victor’s Shad Bal and deducted from the Shad Bal of the vanquished.
4. DIK BALA
The planets gains full Dikbala in the following houses:
1st (Lagna Bhava) – Jupiter and Mercury (Ethery and Earthy element)
10th (Karma Bhava) – Sun and Mars (Fiery element)
4th (Sukha Bhava) – Venus and Moon (Watery element)
7th (Jaya Bhava ) – Saturn (Airy element)
When the planets are placed away from the bhava where they get the full dik bala, there strength is proportionately reduced. The maximum strength attained here is 60 virupa or 1 rupa. To compute the dikbala find the angular distance of the planet and the 7th of bhava where they get the full dik bala. If the angular distance is more than 180 then, subtract it from 360. The result when divided by 3, gives the dikbala of the planets. The longitude of the bhava is same as the Lagna cusp as per the equal house distribution.
5. NAISARGIKA BALA
Naturally the planets are stronger in the order of Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Sun in the ascending order. There natural strength is computed by dividing one Rupa by 7 and multiply the resultant product by 1 to 7 separately to obtain the strength of Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Sun respectively.
This happens to be
Planet In virupas In rupas
Sun 60.00 1.00
Moon 51.43 0.86
Mars 17.14 0.29
Mercury 25.70 0.43
Jupiter 34.28 0.57
Venus 42.85 0.71
Saturn 08.57 0.14
6. DRIG BALA
Drig is derived from Dris, which is the root of the verb “to see”. So this strength is gained by the virtue of the aspect (Graha Drsti) of different planets on a planet. The aspect of benefics are considered to be strength and the aspect of malefics are considered to be weaknesses. For calculation of this strength, the partial aspects are also taken into consideration.
The aspects of planets are given hereunder
7th- All planet aspect with full sight
4th/8th- Mars aspects with full sight while others aspect with 3/4th of their sight
5th/ 9th- Jupiter aspect with full sight and others aspect with 2/4th of their sight
3rd/ 10th- Saturn aspect with full sight and others aspect with 1/4th of their sight
From the drik balas of a planet we can judge what is the strength of aspects of the benefics and malefics on it and their combined influences. Aspect of benefics promote the house owned by the planet, by rendering the lord strong. It also enhances the house of which the said planet is a karaka.
The calculation is cumbursome and shall be given in subsequent article. This might be of some academic interest.
7. CHESTA BALA
Chesta means to move or to try. This strenth is attained by the planets, excluding the lumeries by the the virtue of their kind of movement. For Sun, the Ayana Bala becomes its chesta Bala, whereas for Moon, the Paksha Bala becomes the chesta Bala. For other planets, eight kinds of motions are attributed to they. These are:
• Vakra (retrogression)
• Anuvakra (entering the previous sign in retrograde motion)
• Vikal (devoid of motion)
• Mand (somewhat slower motion than usual)
• Mandatar (slower than the previous)
• Sama (neither fast nor slow)
• Char (faster than Sama)
• Atichar (entering next sign in accelerated motion)
The strengths, allotted due to such 8 motions are 60, 30, 15, 30, 15, 7.5, 45 and 30 virupas.
8. OTHER CONSIDERATRIONS:
8.1 Shad Bal requirements:
390, 360, 300, 420, 390, 330 and 300 Virupas are the Shad Bal Pindas, needed for Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn etc. to be considered strong. If the strength exceeds the above-mentioned values, the Grah is deemed to be very strong. A strong graha shall protect its houses and karakakatva and is more capable of giving its results. However, the nature of the results shall be influenced by the ownership, placements and the yogas the planet involved in. However, it is important to know what is the strength of each of the elements of the shadbala, to know the exact nature of the result
8.2 Requirement of strength of individual elements of Shadbala
Jupiter, Mercury and Sun are strong, if each of their Sthana Bala, Dig Bala, Kaala Bala, Cheshta Bala and Ayana Bala are, respectively, 165, 35, 50, 112 and 30 Virupas. The same required for Moon and Venus are 133, 50, 30, 100 and 40. For Mars and Saturn these are 96, 30, 40, 67 and 20.
9. USE OF SHADBALA
The individual elements of the shadbala show different aspects in our life. They are as follows:
1. Sthana Bala: This planet is the giver of position and status. This also shows which positions are most auspicious for us and where shall we be most comfortable.
2. Dig Bala: This shows the direction which shall be good for us for growth in the career or self development.
3. Kaala Bala: This shows which time is best suitable for us for undertaking an activity.
4. Cheshta Bala: This shows what drives us, our inherent desires and purpose of our struggle in this life.
5. Naisargika Bala: This is of lesser consquence as this remains constant all through out. This is to be used in conjunction with other strengths. This indicate which planets are naturally more able to dictate their results.
6. Drik Bala: This shows which planet shall be favourable all through out in the life of native as this is based on the aspect of benefics on the planet.
This is still a nacent area and require more researches to find out the exact use of each of the elements of the shadbala, rather than using the total values of the shadbala for analysing the dasas. We must understand that, each point of time is influenced by one or other planets with varying extents and we can judge these subtle influences, by analysing which planets are stronger at which point of time.
One good use I found with these balas is find the directional influences. For illustration, at this point of time while I am writing this article, Sun is having highest kala bala and highest chesta bala. In my rasi chart, Sun is the 9th lord placed in the 9th house with 10th lord, where as in the siddhamsa it is placed in the 12th house being the 6th lord. Chesta bala shows what are my desires or what am I trying to do at this point of time. Sun being the 9th lord shows teaching (with AK Mars shows that the desire is very strong); in the siddhamsa, being the 6th lord in the 12th, it shows the attitude of service (6th) without any motivation to gain (12th). In the dasamsa it is placed in the 8th house being the 6th lord and I am here sitting, without going to my office, writing this mail.
The kala bala is also highest that of Sun, shows that I should be doing Sun’s activity at this point of time. As Sun also shows that chesta as mentioned above, I am able to do something which I crave for. When I go further, I see that more strength (Kaala bala) is coming from the Ayana Bala, showing that, this is also helping me achieving the direction (Ayana) of my life. If the strength was due to Hora Bala, then I would have done something, which was directed by my environment and circumstances, like sitting in a Jyotish class or in a conference.