The exact potency or strength of a planet is determined by analysing its various positions in zodiac. These various positions are the various sources of strength known as Shadbala. The methods of calculation of Shadbala can give a quick insight in the state of planets and houses. The final sum of the calculations of method of Shadbala gives a value to each planet. The more points a planet gets in Shadbala the stronger it is.
Strength and weakness of the planets depend upon their net Bala strength i.e. the sum of the Balas. The net strength is important for the judgment of the effects during Dasas and transits.
Planets with high net Bala will have strong effects. These effects will be auspicious in most cases. But strong planets can also have strong inauspicious effects, especially Saturn and Mars. Planets with low net Bala will prove inauspicious or harmless.
Strength and weakness of planets depend upon their total Shadbala. Planets are considered to be strong if they meet the minimum Shadbala requirements mentioned in Hora Shastra. The values are
| Sun || 6.5 ||390|
| Moon || 6.0 || 360|
| Mars||5.0 ||300|
| Mercury || 7.0 || 420|
| Jupiter || 6.5 ||390|
| Venus || 5.5 || 330|
| Saturn ||5.0 || 300|
A planet that has at least the required Shadbala Pinda is considered to be strong and will show favorable results. Nevertheless malefics like Saturn or Mars can give problems and miseries, too.
Requirements for Individual Shadbala Types
There is another Shadbala requirement template that is based upon individual requirements for different types of Sub-Balas. This approach can be used as an alternative method for judgement of strength, even if the requirements mentioned above do not match.
Planets are arranged in groups. The corresponding planet must match all the requirements in order to be considered as strong.
The table shows the required Balas in Virupas.
| Sun, Jupiter, Mercury|| 165||35|| 50||112|| 30|
| Moon, Venus|| 133||50|| 30||100|| 40|
| Mars, Saturn|| 96||30|| 40||67|| 20|
It is important to have some insight in how the Shadbala value is calculated. Only if you are aware of the method followed in this system of calculation of Shadbala of planets you can easily have an idea about the strength of it.
Positional Strength (STHANA BALA)
A planet gets positional strength by virtue of its occupying a particular sign of zodiac. This may be exalted, debilitated, own, Mool Trikona, friendly, neutral or enemy sign. The strength or potency a planet gets due to its occupying a certain degree in a sign is known as positional strength.
The positional strength of a planet consists of five components:
1. Oocha Bala, 2. Saptavargaja Bala, 3. Ojayugma Bala, 4. Kendra Bala, 5. Drekkana Bala
- Oocha Bala: When a planet occupies it exact degree of exaltation the planet gets 60 Shashtiamsas (Shashtiamsas are points). When it occupies the opposite point, its exact point of fall, it does not get any Shashtiamsas. Of course most of the time a planet will occupy a position somewhere in between these points. In that case the points that it will get will be calculated according to its position from the point of exaltation and fall.
- Saptavargaja Bala: To calculate this the position of planet in following seven divisional charts is studied: Rasi, Hora, Drekkana, Saptamsa, Navamsa, Dwadasamsa and Trimsamsa. In all these charts we look at what kind of sign a certain planet is located. If a planet occupies in the rashichart its Moolatrikona sign it gets 45 Shashtiamsas (this is a special rule for the rashi chart only), if it is in its own sign (of whatever varga) it gets 30 Shashtiamsas, in the sign of a great friend 22.5 Shashtiamsas, in the sign of a friend 15 Shashtiamsas, in a neutral sign 7.5 Shashtiamsas, in the sign of an enemy 3.75 Shashtiamsas and in the sign of a great enemy 1.875 Shashtiamsas. This is one of the most important parts of Shadbala because Saptavargaja bala can give a lot of Shashtiamsas.
- Ojayyugma Bala: A planet gains strength because it is in an even or uneven sign or navamsa. The Moon and Venus get 15 Shashtiamsas when they are in an even sign. These planets also get 15 Shastiamsas when they are in an even navamsa. In totality the Moon or Venus may gain 30 Shashtiamsas if they are located in an even sign AND even 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 15 Shastiamsas when they are in an uneven sign. They also can get 15 Shashtiamsas when they are in an uneven navamsa. These planets are male or neutral and are strong in male (uneven) signs..
- Kendra Bala:: A planet in a kendra house (1,4,7 and 10) gets 60 Shashtiamsas, a planet in the house 2,5,8 or 11 gets 30 Shashtiamsas, a planet in the house 3,6,9 or 12 gets 15 Shashtiamsas. The planets in kendra houses can easily express themselves and are therefore strong.
- 5. Drekkana Bala: Each of the male planets (Sun, Jupiter or Mars), gets 15 Shashtiamsas in the first drekkana (0-10 degrees) of whatever sign it. Neutral planet (Saturn and Mercury) in the middle drekkana of whatever sign (that means it is located between 10-20 degrees of whatever sign) gets 15 Shashtiamsas. If a female planet (Venus and the Moon) is located in the last drekkana (the last 10 degrees) of whatever sign it gets 15 Shashtiamsas. The first drekkana of each sign is good for male planets, the middle drekkana for neutral planets and the last drekkana for female planets.
Now add up all the Shashtiamsa values. The result is the total Sthana Bala.
Directional Strength (DIG BALA)
Dig Bala means directional strength. The Sun and Mars are powerful in the South i.e when they occupy the 10th house. Saturn gets full directional strength in the West, the seventh house. Moon and Venus get maximum directional strength when positioned in the North (fourth house). Mercury and Jupiter function well in the first house (the East).
The points opposite to powerful points are powerless points which when occupied give no directional strength. Actually 180 th degree from powerful point is powerless point. For example Sun gets maximum directional strength in the 10th house i.e south and zero directional strength in 4th house i.e north direction.
A planet gets maximum Dig Bala when it is in midpoint of the bhava (house) where it functions especially well. If for example the Sun is located right in the middle of the tenth house it gets maximum Dig Bala and is given 60 Shashtiamsas. If the Sun is in the middle of the fourth house it is given 0 Shashtiamsas.
Dig bala gives a good indication for how strong a planet is in its house.
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 (at that time the Sun is near the ascendant). The Sun and Mars are energetic planets which need the energy that is available around noon (at that time the Sun is in the tenth house). Saturn is the planet of shades, which are at its maximum during the evening (when the Sun is opposite the ascendant). Moon and Venus are soft planets which function good during the time that is meant for sleeping and making love (at midnight the Sun is in the fourth house).
Temporal Strength (KALA BALA)
This has to do with the strength which a planet has because of the time of the day. It is strength of time.
It consists of following 9 different factors:
- Divaratri Bala: According to this system the Moon, Saturn and Mars are powerful during midnight. At noon they are powerless. These are the natural malefics + the Moon. The Sun, Jupiter and Venus are powerful during noon and are powerless during midnight. These are the natural benefics + the Sun. Adaptable Mercury is considered to be always powerful. This means that in every chart Mercury gets the maximum of 60 Shashtiamsas which can be gained by this factor. The Moon, Saturn and Mars are given 60 Shashtiamsas only if the person is born at midnight and 0 if the person is born at noon. Sun, Jupiter and Venus get 60 Shastiamsas if the person is born at noon and zero if he is born at midnight. Of course if the person is born at a time somewhere in between the value is interpolated.
- Paksha Bala: A Paksha is equal to 15 lunar days. Moon increases in Sukla Paksha and decreases in Krishna Paksha.The benefics are Jupiter, Venus, Moon (from the 8th day of the bright half of the lunar month to the 8th day of the dark half of the lunar month) and good influenced Mercury are powerful during Sukla Paksha. The malefics Sun, Mars, Saturn, badly influenced Mercury and the Moon (from the 8th day of the dark half of the lunar month to the 8th day of the bright half of the lunar month) are powerful during Krishna Paksha. The benefics get more Shastiamsas if a person is born on Sukla Paksha and the malefics less. If a person is born during Krishna Paksha the malefics get more points. The maximum amount of Shashtiamsas to be gained is 60. The value of the Shastiamsas of the malefics + the value of the Shastiamsas of the benefics is always 60. The Shastiamsas of the Moon are always doubled.
- Thribhaga 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 given 60 Shastiamsas. In addition, if someone is born during the first part of the day Mercury gets 60 Shashtiamsas. If someone is born during the second part of the day the Sun gets 60 Shashtiamsas. If born during the last part of the day Saturn gets 60 Shashtiamsas. If born during the first part of the night the Moon is given 60 Shashtiamsas. If born during the second part of the night Venus gets 60 Shashtiamsas. If born during the last part of the night Mars gets 60 Shashtiamsas.
- Abda Bala: The planet which is the lord of the year will get 15 Shahtiamsas. The lord of the year is the planet which belongs to the first day of the year. For example if the first day of a certain year is Sunday the year is ruled by the Sun, which receives 15 Shashtiamsas according to this method.
- Masa Bala: The planet which is the lord of the first day of the month in which a person is born receives 30 Shashtiamsas.
- Vara Bala: The planet which rules the day at which the person is born receives 45 Shashtiamsas. This planet is found without calculations.
- Hora Bala:: A day is divided into 24 hours or horas. Each hora is ruled by a planet. The first hora is ruled by the planet which rules the day. For example at Monday the first hora is ruled by the Moon. Then the order is according to the days of the week (next hora will be of Mars then of Mercury 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 60 Shashtiamsas.
- Ayana Bala: The strength of a planet on account of its situation either towards north or south of celestial equator is known as Ayan Bala. All hevenly bodies move northwards to equator for some time & then southwards. This angular distance from equinoctial or celestial equator is Kranti or declination. The value a planet gets according to Ayana Bala has to do with the declination it has from the equator. If a planet has 0 declination the ayana bala is 30. For Venus, the Sun, Mars and Jupiter the Northern declinations are added to his value and the Southern declinations subtracted (the consequence of this is that a planet has a low ayana bala if the planet has a Southern declination and a high ayana bala if the planet has a Northern declination). For Saturn and the Moon it is the other way around. For Mercury declinations are always added. The maximum amount of Shashtiamsas to be gained is 60. The ayana bala of the Sun is always doubled.
- Yuddha Bala:: Two planets are said to be in Yuddha when they are in conjunction and distance between them is less than 1 degree. Therefore we only encounter Yuddha bala values if there are planets at war in the chart. First we have to calculate the total Sthana bala value + Dig Bala + Kala Bala till Hora Bala of the two fighting planets. Then we must calculate the difference between these two values. This difference must be divided by the difference between the diameters of the two planets as seen in the sky. The result of this calculation is the Yuddhabala. This must be added to the Kala Bala total of the winning planet and subtracted to the Kala Bala of the loosing planet.
After everything has been calculated we add it all up and get the total Kala Bala.
Motional Strength (CHESTA BALA)
The Sun and Moon do not get Chesta Bala values. They move in a fairly regular pattern and do not go retrograde ever. The other planets turn retrograde when they are on a specific distance from Sun. Planets which are relatively fast get a low chesta bala value. The slow moving planets are able to focus their energy more because they stay in one place for longer duration. The maximum amount of Shashtiamsas to be earned is 60.
Permanent Strength (NAISARGIKA BALA)
Each planet gets a certain amount of Shashtiamsas according to the luminosity it has. Sun is the brightest planet it is given 60 Shashtiamsas whereas Saturn is the faintest and gets 8.57 Shashtiamsas. This means that the amount of Shashtiamsas a planet receives according to Naisargika Bala is in every chart the same.
Aspect Strength (DRIK BALA)
Drik Bala is called aspect strength. Planet aspect the zodiacal degree in opposition (180 degrees from it). The point which is 120 degrees from these planets get a partial aspect of 50%, the point which is 90 degrees from the planet gets a 75% aspect, the point which is 60 degrees gets a 25% aspect and the point which is 30 or 150 degrees from the planet gets no aspect at all. If a planet is aspected by benefics the planet receives a positive Shashtiamsa value. If a planet is aspected by malefics than it gets negative Drik Bala points.
In order to obtain the total Shadbala of each planet, all six types of Balas are added. Drikbala is added or subtracted depending upon whether it is positive or negative. The result obtained is the Shadbala of planets in Shashtiamsa which divided by 60 gives Shadbala in Rupas.
It is important to realize that the influence of certain Shadbala factors is much greater than others. Simply because the amount of Shashtiamsas to be gained by certain Shadbala factors is much greater than by others. As an example: the amount of Shashtiamsas which can be gained by the factor Sthana Bala is a lot more than what can be gained by Dig Bala. Therefore the six Shadbala factors are not equally important.
Somebody has affirmed rightly,"The directional strength of Sun is most important, in moon's case it is Pakshabala which should be given prime importance and for other planets it is Oochabala which should be brought under consideration primarily."
According to the Shadbala rules every planet needs a certain amount of Rupas to be strong. According to these rules Mercury needs 7 Rupas, Jupiter needs 6 ½ Rupas, The Moon needs 6 Rupas, Venus needs 5½ Rupas, Saturn, the Sun and Mars need 5 Rupas. These values are seen as the minimum requirement for a certain planet to be strong. The total Shad Bala in Rupas is divided by this minimum requirement and then we get the Shad Bala ratio. The most interesting about this Shad Bala ratio is to see whether a planet has more or less than the minimum requirement.