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Transit of Venus and Combustion

By Kshitij Sharma, April 27, 2012

On June 06, 2012, in a very rare astronomical phenomenon, Venus will move across the disk of Sun and can be seen as a black spot if viewed properly through a telescope. It will be visible in India as per this map from NASA. It is a rare phenomenon because the frequency is very low and although the last transit happened in 2004, the next one would happen only in 22nd century – on 11th Dec 2117 to be precise.

On this day, longitude of Sun and Venus would be almost the same, approximately 21°40′ in the sign of Taurus. By definition, Venus would be combust. This is the period of deep combustion, but it would remain combust from May 30th to June 12th. Venus is retrograde throughout this period, and there are many opinions about the degree of combustion of retrograde Venus and hence the period mentioned here is approximate.

I turned to standard Vedic Astrology text books to learn more about combustion in general and Venus in particular. Combustion is not studied separately and is seen along with other parameters that indicate strength of planet in a janma kundali, i.e. a Vedic horoscope. I have observed in the past and would like to bring to your notice some inconsistencies in these texts.

Saravali and Jaatak Paarijaat

These books say that a combust (one that is lost in the radiance of Sun, अस्तंगत) planet is in a Vikala state (विकल अवस्था). Vikala is a sanskrit word that essentially carries these meanings “agitated”, “miserable”, “full of worries”. However, what needs to be notices is that both the books that I own are from Ranjan Publications, New Delhi and from the same editor/commentator Dr. Sureshchandra Mishra. Such a planet is supposed to make a person wander in far off lands and have a difficult life. He would be devoid of strength and have many enemies.

Brihat Parashara Hora Shashtra

The version that I have has a state “kopa” (कोप अवस्था) for a combust planet. This word means “angry” as well as “agitated”. In this book, Vikala (विकल) stands for a planet that is conjunct with a malefic.

Uttara Kalamrita

In the book Uttara Kalamrita, the author has mentioned the following degree difference for planets being combust.

Planet Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn Retrograde Mercury Retrograde Venus
Degree Difference









Rahu and Ketu are naturally not a part of this list as they are shadowy planets. They rather cause distress to Sun (and Moon too) if they are close to Sun. It may be noted that eclipses occur due under such combinations that involve Rahu/Ketu and Sun and Moon.

A strong Venus is representative of material pleasure in a Vedic horoscope. A Venus, devoid of radiance and under a strong influence of Sun would turn the other way around and reject material pleasure, sensuality and sense of beauty. In other words, for male nativities, we are looking at deep disregard for the other sex. If married due to other factors, there would be an attitude of indifference towards the spouse. It is not a good combination for married life. It also indicates material loss, i.e. losses in business.

On this day, during the transit though, despite deep combustion, Venus is not completely devoid of shadbala in the janma kundali. If I am not wrong, it is reasonably powerful during the sunrise when the transit would occur in India. The overall bad effects would be muted. This combination will give health problems to children born during the transit, because Venus would be the lord of Lagna.

PS: Washington Post covers this event from a pure astronomical perspective…

On June 5 or 6, depending on the time zone, millions of people around the globe will watch Venus glide across the sun in a rare celestial event that won’t happen again until 2117. Because the planet is just 1/32nd the diameter of the sun, its silhouette will appear as a black speck during its six-plus hour passage.


  • Comment by s.arul anatham on July 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    i would be grateful if you kindly tell me what are the effects of combustion,during routine transits of planets near the sun in our daily lives.
    thank you SIR.arul

  • Comment by brajendra on January 2, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    I have one quedtion..
    When we talk about combustion degree. Is it difference between sun angle and specific planet angle??
    Like sun @25 degree and Venus@31 degree.
    So, 31-25 equal 6 degree so venus is combust.
    Is it correct??

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