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)
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.
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|
|10th House||Sun and Mars|
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.