Vedic Astrology Demystified By Chandrashekhar Sharma, India

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Chandrashekhar Sharma, from Nagpur, is a sanskrit scholar and a well known name in the internet forums for his humbleness & kindness to teach each and everyone.  He has been an ardent student of this science from decades with deep thoughts into various disciplines. He the author of  the book “Vedic Astrology Demystified”, published by Parimal Publications Delhi. He is currently translating Guru Nadi for Saptarishis Astrology.

Vedic Astrology Demystified

Bhavas An Exposition


Chandrashekhar Sharma, India

Readership Level: Intermediate To Advanced

[Publisher: This is extracted from the book Vedic Astrology – Demystified, by Chandrashekhar Sharma, a must for all Vedic students. It is printed by Parimal Publications, New Delhi and is available in all book stores including Saptarishis Astrology Bookshop. We have decided to give 10 % discount on this book for the month of July as a mark of respect to the author.]

1.     Strength of Bhavas

We have learnt what is a bhava and what is the subtle difference between the terms griha, bhava and bhavanas, in the earlier chapter. Before we delve into this topic let us remember, once again, that the terms griha, bhava and bhavana are used interchangeably in Jyotish and their meaning has to be understood from the context in which they are used. One more thing to remember is that, sometimes, the term sthana (place) is also used to indicate either a bhava or a bhavana (house). An example is the 2nd house in a chart could either be called Kutumba bhava or Kutumba sthana.

Let us now understand the principles involved in the analysis of a bhava. The basic principle that needs to be understood in the analysis of a bhava is that bhava and bhavesha strengthen each other. Bhavas derive strength from:

  • aspects received,
  • strength of their lord (bhavesha),
  • their karaka grahas,
  • strength of their lord’s dispositor in the rasi chart,
  • strength of their karaka’s dispositor in the rasi chart,
  • strength of their lord’s dispositor in the navamsha,
  • strength of their karaka’s dispositor in the navamsha,
  • strength of their rasi lord’s dispositor, dispositor in the navamsha (this is called navamshesh-lord of the navamsha rasi occupied by the dispositor),
  • strength of their rasi karaka’s depositor, dispositor in the navamsha (again called navamshesh)

Similarly bhavas receive strength when they are aspected by either of Guru, Shukra, Budha or by its own lord. In my opinion, a bhava is also strengthened when it receives the aspect of a graha that attains exaltation in that bhava, and looses it when aspected by the graha that attains debilitation in that bhava.

Grahas acquire strength by:

  • being in their exaltation, own or friend’s rasis in natal and navamsha chart,
  • being in shubha (auspicious/benefic) bhavas like trikona or kendra, in natal and navamsha chart.
  • strength of their sign dispositor,
  • strength of navamshesh of their sign dispositor,
  • when the bhava owned by them is strong,

Grahas loose strength by reason of being in debility or occupying enemy rasi, dusthanas and weakness of their sign dispositor and weakness of navamshesh of their sign dispositor, in similar fashion. Additionally, conjunction with the nodes afflicts grahas and bhavas get affliction by their occupation by the nodes.

One should also take into consideration the shad-varga strength (strength in the primary 6 D-charts) and positional strength of a graha for finer assessment. Again it is necessary to remember that strengths of bhavesha and karaka of a bhava are able to overrule indications of the grahas themselves, placed in a bhava.

Now the most important thing to remember in analysis of bhava is to pay due importance to the functional beneficence or malfeasance that a graha gets, by reason of owning a benefic or malefic bhava, before going on to predict solely on the basis of natural malfeasance or beneficence. This is more relevant when we want to time events and their nature through application of Maha Dasha (period of influence of a graha) and other dashas within a Mahadaasha.

Sushlokshataka”, one of the commentaries on dasha interpretation on the basis of principles of “Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra” says:

“¢ha> ola> ola naÇ saEMya> saEMya kdacn.1,3,

grahäù khaläù khalä nätra saumyäù saumyä kadäcana||1|3|

tt! tt! Swananusare[ ÉvNtIh ola> zuÉa,

tat tat sthänänusäreëa bhavantéha khaläù çubhä |

zuÉa> olaStwa baeXyaStiÚ[Rymwae ï&[u.4.

               çubhäù khalästathä bodhyästannirëayamatho çråëu ||4||”

Grahas are not khala (ashubha or malefic) or shubha (benefic) by themselves. They become khala or shubha on the basis of their rasi placement (ownership of bhavas). Listen to how it is decided as to whether they are khala or shubha. 

Functional Beneficence / Malfeasance of Bhava Lords

Let us understand the functional beneficence/ malfeasance of bhava lords, in brief. Lords of trikona are functional benefics if they are not simultaneously lords of trishadaaya or of the 8th house. Lords of kendra are strong functional benefics if they also own trikona, even if naturally malefic and become Yoga karaka.

Benefics, if they are lords of a kendra but do not own a trikona simultaneously, are not able to give their benefic effects and malefics when they are lords of a kendra are not able to cause harm, if they do not, simultaneously occupy their own kendra house:

The malefics when they own kendras are functional benefics if they occupy house other than kendra and similarly the benefics become functional malefics if they own kendras and occupy house other than their kendra house. They are stronger in the order of owning lagna, 4th , 7th and 10th house in ascending order.

In short, the benefics give malefic results and malefics loose their malfeasance when they own kendras and do not occupy the kendra that they own. This blemish caused to the benefics that occurs, on account of their ownership of a kendra, is called kendraadhipati (kendra = square + adhipati = ownership) dosha (blemish). There are four grahas that are natural benefics that is Guru, Shukra, Mercury (when not conjunct a malefic) and Chandra (when he has paksha bala). The degree of their malfeasance, in descending order, when they become kendraadhipatis, not occupying own sign in a kendra is Shukra, Guru, Budha and Chandra.

In case of kendradhipati dosha attracted by benefics and good results delivered by malefics, opposite results obtain when they occupy the rasi in the kendra, owned by them. It is well to understand that when benefics occupy the kendra owned by them, both the bhava they occupy and the bhavas they aspect will receive good results, whereas when malefics do this, some indication of the bhava they occupy will get some harm, this will be to the relative indicated by that bhava, as the malefic can not harm the Jataka himself being in own house, though they will generally be benefic for that bhava but the bhava they aspect will have a higher degree of harm coming their way. This follows the principle enunciated by “Mantreshwar” when he says in

Even malefics give benefic results when they occupy their own house.

So when, placed in a kendra owned by them, the malefics would become shubha (auspicious) but also attract dosha and therefore some of the indications of that bhava would suffer, though others would fructify. An example would be a horoscope having Mars in Scorpio in the 10th house. The Jataka would be very successful as indicated by Mars in 10th but at the same time he is not likely to have much Pitru Sukha (happiness on account of father). Similarly the dosha of kendra ownership of benefics is removed by occupying own rasi in a kendra.

One must remember that this phenomenon, of contrary results of kendra ownership, does not happen when the graha occupies its exaltation rasi. This is a common mistake committed by astrologers. An example would be Saturn occupying the 10th bhava in Tula (Libra) rasi, for Makara (Capricorn) lagna. Saturn will not turn malefic in the 10th house but would give good results of 10th bhava and even the harm to 12th , 4th and 7th houses that he aspects will be minimal.

Now let us see the grahas that become functional malefics by reason of owning certain bhavas.

The trishadaayaadhipati grahas (lords of 3rd, 6th and 11th) are paapa (malefics) as is the lord of the 8th bhava. Lords of 2nd and 12th become malefics or benefics by association with functional benefic or malefic.

Thus the trishadaayaadhipati (lords of 3rd, 6th and 11th) are treated as functional malefics, whereas the lords of the 2nd (a maraka sthana and evil) and the 12th, are not out and out malefics but are neutral and give results depending on the grahas conjoining them being functional benefics or malefics.

If the lords of 2nd and 12th are not joined by other grahas, then they are treated as neutrals. If they own another bhava the results of that bhava being a malefic or benefic will ensue. The reason for their being treated as neutral is that they give both good and bad results as we shall now see. So in matter of bed pleasures, the 12th lord will give good results where as in matter of expenses it will give more expense. Similarly for dhana or wealth, 2nd lord will give good results but would give bad results with respect of health. This would have to be ascertained from transits operating simultaneously with the dasha of those planets. One can say that generally they will give evil results as one is maraka and other is lord of trika sthana. Again when we say joining, it includes any one of the different sambandhas that are acceptable. Sambandha is defined below.

Trikesha (lords of the 6th, 8th and 12th) are strong functional malefics but amongst these the lord of the 12th, as seen above, is not out and out malefic, but is neutral. This distinction needs to be remembered. It follows that a neutral planet, if not conjunct a functional benefic, would give some inimical results and some favorable results. One must understand that though for the purpose of results in their dasha the lord of the 2nd is treated as a neutral, lords of 2nd and 7th bhava are termed as marakesh (capable of killing) and are capable of resulting in death in their dasha (period of influence). Other functional malefics can also act as marakesh to a lesser degree.

Bhavas from Chandra

So far we are talking about various bhavas with respect to lagna. We have also seen how to understand which grahas can be functional benefics or functional malefics. However whenever bhava analysis is to be done all that applies to a bhava from lagna is also to be applied to similar bhava from Chandra. The rasi occupied by Chandra is thus also called Chandra lagna. It is true that Moon represents mana (mind) and has its own effects on the personality represented by lagna. But that is not the primary reason that analysis from Chandra rasi is important, had this been the case one would have been asked to analyze the chart from Surya lagna also, since Surya rules the atmabala (self confidence) of the Jataka. The primary reason for Chandra lagna being given the same importance as the lagna is the fact that no assessment of planetary strength is possible with out assessing strength of the Chandra, it is said:

caNÔ< vIy¡ vIyR bIj< ¢ha[a<.

cändraà véryaà vérya béjaà grahäëäà||

Strength of Chandra is the seed of strength of all planets.

4. Bhavat BhavaH and Bhava from Karaka Bhava

The next important principle is that of “Bhavat BhavaH” meaning, literally, bhava from a bhava. When one considers a particular bhava from lagna, the bhava similarly ahead of the bhava under consideration is also to be analyzed to understand the results generated by the bhava. This is amplified in “Prashna Marga” as:

#òÉaviSwtaE l¶at Éa½.

iñöabhävasthitau lagnäta bhäcca||

A bhava under consideration is to be assessed both from lagna and the same distance from the bhava under consideration, as that bhava is distant from the lagna.

An example is that if one wants to analyze the strength of say Putra bhava, which is 5th from lagna, then one must also analyze the strength of 9th bhava, which is 5th from the 5th bhava to understand about matters governed by 5th bhava.

Another important corollary to the above principle is based upon the importance accorded to karaka of the bhava. When one looks at and analyses a bhava, it is also necessary to analyze      similar bhava from the bhava karaka to come to a more accurate analysis of the bhava under consideration. For example assessment of 9th bhava is to be made from 5th bhava (being 9th from 9th Bhava) but also 9th from Surya, the karaka for 9th bhava.

Now we would take into consideration some exceptions, related to grahas, which need to be understood while analyzing a bhava, especially the 8th bhava. It would be good to remember that the karaka graha in karaka sthana generally harms the karaka bhava. The stronger the graha is the greater the harm to the bhava. An example is Putra karaka, Jupiter in the 5th house, in exaltation, where he is likely to make the Jataka childless.

At the same time one has to apply one’s common sense and understand that Saturn in 8th house will strengthen the house and not damage it, as he is bali (strong) there. Similarly lordship of 8th house gives functional malfeasance to Ashtamesha (lord of the 8th bhava), but not if he is also lord of ascendant and placed in 8th house. The luminaries, Surya and Chandra, are free from Ashtamesha dosha (blemish on account of becoming the 8th lord). We should also remember that amongst grahas getting kendradhipati dosha, Venus is the most malefic, Jupiter, Mercury and Moon also give malefic results but in descending order of strength.

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