Shadbala is one of the concepts from Vedic Astrology which helps us understand the total strength of a planet in our chart. Shadbala can be literally split into 2 words, i.e. Shad and Bala. Shad means 6 and Bala means Strength. So, Shadbala actually means 6 folded or 6 part strength of Planets. It means that Shadbala gives 6 basic principles on which we can analyse the strength or weakness of planets. These 6 principles are further divided into various parts for better understanding of strength or weakness of planets in chart. Of course, it requires a real deep study of all the criteria to truly understand the dignity of planets. Normally, at every stage of analysis, planets get some points based on D-60 chart, but as it is deep principle, I am skipping it for better understanding. Let’s just understand strength of planet from Strong to Weak, rather than any points based system. So, let’s begin –
The main 6 criteria of Shadbala are as follows –
Finally, Total Shadbala.
Let’s cover all of them one after the other –
First level of strength check is based on a planet’s sign position and in 90% of cases, it holds the biggest importance. Dignity of planet is mostly sign based and if there is a planet in good sign position, then it will give good results during its dasha, sooner or later. Sthan Bala is further divided into following parts to understand the sign-based strength of planet completely –
- Uchha Bala - This depends on whether a planet is in its exaltation sign and at exact exaltation degree. Closer it is to exaltation degree, the stronger it is. Other way around, the closer a planet is to its debilitation degree, the weaker it is.
- Saptavarga Bala - After seeing the sign-based strength of planet in D-1, we need to check the same in these seven harmonic charts: Rasi, Hora, Drekkana, Saptamsa, Navamsa, Dwadasamsa and Trimsamsa. In all these charts we look at what kind of sign a certain planet is located. The strength of planet goes from strong to weak based on the sign it is placed from Mool Trikon to Enemy Sign respectively.
- Ojayyugma Bala - The idea behind this concept is that a planet gains strength because it is in an even or odd sign or in navamsa. The Moon and Venus are strong when they are in an even sign. These planets also get strength when they are in an even sign in navamsa. The reason behind this is that the Moon and Venus are female planets and are strong when they are in female (even) signs or navamsas. Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn get strong when they are in an odd sign. They also can be strong when they are in an odd sign in navamsa. These planets are male or neutral and are strong in male (odd) signs.
- Kendra Bala - A planet in a kendra house (1,4,7 and 10) is strongest, a planet in the house 2,5,8 or 11 is at 2nd level of strength, a planet in the house 3,6,9 or 12 is at last level of strength. The reasoning is that planets in Kendra houses can easily express themselves and are therefore strong.
- Drekkena Bala - To calculate this the planets are divided into masculine planets (Sun, Jupiter and Mars), neutral planets (Saturn and Mercury) and female planets (Venus and the Moon). If a male planet is in the first 10 degrees of whatever sign, it gets strength. If a neutral planet is in the middle 10-20 degrees of whatever sign, it gets strength. If a female planet is located in the last 10 degrees of whatever sign it gets strength. The reasoning is that the first 10 degrees of each sign is good for male planets, the middle 10 degrees for neutral planets and the last 10 degrees for female planets.
Now we have to add up all the strength of planets. The result is the total Sthana Bala.
Dig Bala literally means Directional Strength. Here, Strength of Planet is based on a House, and not sign like Sthan Bala.
Each planet is powerful when it is located in a certain direction. The Sun and Mars are powerful in the South. These are planets which function especially well in the tenth house of charts. Saturn is given maximum Dig Bala when it is in the seventh house. Moon and Venus get maximum Dig Bala when they are in fourth house. Mercury and Jupiter function well in the first house. A reason for this is that the morning is a great time for studying and learning. That is why Mercury and Jupiter, planets which have to do with studying and learning, are strong during that time of day (morning time is when Sun is at Ascendant). The Sun and Mars are fiery planets which need the energy that is available around noon (this is when Sun is at 10th house) . Saturn is the planet of darkness, which are at its maximum during the evening (by then, Sun comes down to 7th house). Moon and Venus are gentle planets which function good during the time that is meant for sleeping and making love (Sun is now at 4th house).
A planet gets maximum Dig Bala when it is in middle of the bhava (house) where it functions especially well, i.e. 15 degree of 4th house. If the Moon is at 15 degree of the tenth house it is weakest. Here, degrees are cusp based not sign based. I know I haven’t made article on Cusp as yet, will do it soon. Dig bala gives a good indication for how strong a planet is in its house.
Kala Bala literally means Time Strength. So, it is strength of planets based on Time. It includes following factors:
- Divaratri Bala - According to this system the Moon, Saturn and Mars are powerful during midnight. At noon they are powerless. The Sun, Jupiter and Venus are powerful during noon and are powerless during midnight. Adaptable Mercury is considered to be always powerful. The Moon, Saturn and Mars are given strength only if the person is born at midnight and no strength, if the person is born at noon. Sun, Jupiter and Venus get strength if the person is born at noon and no strength if he is born at midnight. Of course if the person is born at a time somewhere in between then it will be average strength.
- Paksha Bala - A Paksha is equal to 15 lunar days. When the Moon is increasing it is Sukla Paksha. When the Moon is decreasing it is Krishna Paksha .The benefics are Jupiter, Venus, Waxing Moon and good influenced Mercury. These beneficial planets are powerful during Sukla Paksha. The malefics are Sun, Mars, Saturn, badly influenced Mercury and the Waning Moon. They are powerful during Krishna Paksha. The benefics get more strength if a person is born on Sukla Paksha and the malefics less. If a person is born during Krishna Paksha the malefics get more strength.
- Tribhaga Bala - The day (that means the period of daylight) is divided into three equal parts and the night (the period without daylight) is divided into three equal parts. In this system Jupiter is always at highest strength. In addition, if someone is born during the first part of the day Mercury gets highest strength. If someone is born during the second part of the day the Sun gets highest strength. If born during the last part of the day Saturn gets highest strength. If born during the first part of the night the Moon is given highest strength. If born during the second part of the night Venus gets it. If born during the last part of the night Mars is strongest. There is some similarity between this system and Dig Bala.
- Abda Bala - The planet which is the lord of the birth year will get strength. The lord of the year is the planet which belongs to the first day of the birth year. For example if the first day of a certain year is Sunday the year is ruled by the Sun, then Sun receives strength according to this method.
- Masa Bala – Similarly, he planet which is the lord of the first day of the month in which a person is born receives strength..
- Vara Bala – Likewise, the planet which rules the day at which the person is born receives strength.
- Hora Bala - A day is divided into 24 hours/horas. Each hora is ruled by a planet. The first hora is ruled by the planet which rules the day. For example at Sunday the first hora is ruled by the Sun. Then the order is according to the days of the week (next hora will be of Moon then of Mars and so on). If you are born at some distance from the equator the horas are not of equal length. The period of daylight contains 12 horas and the period without daylight contains 12 horas. The ruler of the hora when you were born gets strength.
- Ayana Bala &Yuddha Bala – Let’s skip these two as it needs calculation of points, distance of planets from equator and diameter of planet to calculate it. Not that these things are unavailable, but it will be too deep a stuff right now.
After everything has been calculated we add it all up and get the total Kala Bala.
Planets which are relatively slow (also retrograde planets) get a high strength value. Planets which are relatively fast get a low strength value. The reasoning is that slow moving planets are able to focus their energy more because they stay in one place. The Sun and Moon do not get Chesta Bala values. They move in a fairly regular pattern, i.e. Sun travels 1 degree per day and Moon travels 1 sign per 2 days 6 hours, and do not go retrograde ever.
Each planet gets a certain amount of strength according to the luminosity it has. Because the Sun is the brightest planet it is given highest strength. Saturn is the faintest and gets lowest strength. This means that the amount of strength a planet receives according to Naisargika Bala is same in every chart.
Drik Bala is called aspect strength. If a planet is aspected by benefics the planet receives a positive strength. If a planet is aspected by malefics than it gets negative. The calculation of the Drik Bala value is a bit complicated because we also take partial aspects in account. Most Astrologers only work with full (100%) aspects, but for this purpose we work with partial aspects like 50%, 25% etc. What is important to know is that if a certain planet has a negative Drig Bala value than it is mainly under the influence of malefics and if it has a positive Drig Bala value it is under the influence of benefics. Therefore, the Drik Bala value is very important.
Total strength will be analysis of total sum of all the points here and then we can truly reach the dignity of a planet. :)
Hope this helps. Thanks,