Comprehensive Blog on Vedic Astrology (Jyotish)


Archive for the 'Mathematics of Astrology' Category

June 9th, 2007

Residential Strength – Avasiya Bala

This post is in response to a question about strength of planet in a horoscope, that was asked in Vedic Astrology forum on this site. The reader “had presumed that the higher the degree, the more matured the planet and hence more powerful the planet”.

There are 5 avasthas of planets as shown below. These states are mentioned here for odd signs (Aries, Gemini etc.) and should be read in the reverse for even signs (Taurus, Cancer, etc.)

I am of the opinion that the above table represents more of an ad hoc approach. In determining the strength of a planet in a horoscope, the important factor to be considered is the position of planet within a bhava. Planets situated near bhava madhya (mid point of bhava) are considered to have more strength and the strength decreases towards edges of the bhava. The strength of the planet in a horoscope derived using this method is called Avasiya bala. To calculate Avasiya bala, we need three parameters in a horoscope:

  • Beginning degree of the Bhava
  • End degree of the Bhava
  • Mid point of Bhava

Calculate the extent of two halves and depending on where the planet is situated in the first half or second half in a house in a horoscope, calculate the difference between the longitude of the planet and the beginning or the end degree of the bhava. The strength of the planet is the ratio of the difference and the length of the half. Pictorially:

In this image, the sweep denoted by the colour yellow represents the measure of strength. At the mid point, the planet is given 60 rupas (the unit of strength) and as it moves towards the fringes, the value goes to zero.

Unfortunately, my software cannot be used to determine the extent of a bhava as well as for calculating the bhava madhya in a horoscope. I do this calculation internally for bhava position of a planet, but do not have precious screen real estate to display anything other than the bhava. I suggest you take a look at this application to find out the bhava madhya and sandhi and then come back to this site for other values. Please note that bhava end of one bhava is the beginning of the next one. E.g. bhava end of 12th bhava would be the beginning of the 1st one etc.

September 23rd, 2006


Shadbala refers to strength of planet in a horoscope. Everywhere and every time during interpretation of a janma kundali and trying to make predictions, we refer to strength of a planet. We try to understand if a planet is really capable of producing the desired result in a Vedic horoscope. We try to provide arguments whether a planet has gained or lost strength due to position a friend’s or enemy’s house or has become more or less powerful due to aspects of other planets.

The Shadbala system of calculating strength takes the guesswork away from such an interpretation and brings it down to mathematical formulae. There are no more ambiguities left. The unit of strength of a planet in this system is called a “rupa”. A rupa is further divided into 60 virupas or shashtiamshas (literally translated as sixty divisions).

There are 6 main strength areas defined by Brihat Parashara Hora Shashtra – hence the name shat (six) balas (strengths)

  1. Sthana Bala
  2. Dik Bala
  3. Kala Bala
  4. Cheshta Bala
  5. Naisargik Bala
  6. Drik Bala

I would like to explain few of the interesting strength areas in this article. For the entire understanding of Shadbalas, please pick up the book Graha and Bhav Balas by Dr. Raman.

Sthana Bala

This is the most interesting strength area. Rather than relying on an Vedic Astrology software, a student of Vedic Astrology must learn how to calculate this using pen, paper and a pocket calculator. This is a strength obtained through the position – exaltation or debilitation, placement in angle, succedent or cadent houses, etc. Saptavargaja Bala talks about strength in classical sense – in its own rashi or in moolatrikona, planets gain certain virupas (30 and 45 respectively), in friend’s house – 20 virupas and in enemies house – 4 virupas. Uchcha bala is calculated based on how far a planet is from its highest exaltation point.


House in Janma Kundali Planets
Ascendant Jupiter and Mercury
4th House Venus and Moon
7th House Saturn
10th House Sun and Mars

Drigbala (Strength due to aspects)

Malefic aspects decreases strength and benefic aspect increases the strength of a planet.

This system talks about absolute gain or loss of strength. The other placement parameters should be then taken into account. Kendradi Bala talks about how a planet gains strength due to placement in Kendra – benefic will get more strength to do good and a malefic planet will get more strength to do worse.

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