Shadbala is an elaborate system of computation to aid in determining planetary strengths and weaknesses. It is perhaps the most sophisticated and detailed of such astrological systems and probably the most reliable. While Shadbala is not necessary to give an accurate astrological reading it is helpful information to have. As the calculations are very complex and require much skill and time to do oneself, a computer program to do it is essential. For reason of its complexity we will only outline it here.
A planet strong in Shadbala will have power in the chart, but for good or ill depending upon its nature. One weak in Shadbala will be able to do little and may cause disease or difficulties. Along with Shadbala, signs, houses, aspects and yogas must still be considered. Shadbala is an enhancement not a substitute for a comprehensive examination of a chart. Shadbala tells us if a planet is likely to have enough strength to fulfill its role in the chart. The chart tells us what that role may be and if it is likely to be ordinary or extraordinary.
The six factors of Shadbala are 1) Positional Strength (Sthana Bala); 2) Directional Strength (Dig Bala); 3) Temporal Strength (Kala Bala); 4) Motional Strength (Chesta Bala); 5) Natural Strength (Naisargika Bala); 6) Aspectual Strength (Drik Bala).
This consists of five factors. These are 1) Exaltation Strength (Ucha Bala); how close a planet is from its point of exaltation. 2) Divisional Strength (Saptavargaja Bala); its residential strength in the seven harmonic charts. 3) Odd-Even Sign Strength (Ojayugmarasyamsa Bala); 4) Quadrant Strength (Kendra Bala); its strength in terms of house position. 5) Decanate Strength (Drekkana Bala); its strength in terms of decanate location.
This is one of the main factors of planetary strength and weakness and helps us understand the power of the planets in the houses; hence we explain it below. Mercury and Jupiter are strong in the east, (the ascendant or first house). The Sun and Mars are strong in the south (the tenth house or midheaven). The Moon and Venus are strong in the north (the fourth house or nadir). Saturn becomes strong in the west (the seventh house or descendant). The same planets become weak in the opposite house or direction.
This factor should not be given too much weight by itself. Generally, any of these planets will do better in quadrants than other houses, but this scheme shows us which quadrants they prefer.
This is a combination of nine factors based upon the time of birth in hours, days, months, years etc. and the strength of planets at these times or as ruling them. These are 1) Day-Night Strength (Nathonnatha Bala); 2) Monthly Strength (Paksha Bala); 3) Four Hour Strength (Tribanga Bala); 4) Lord of the Year Strength (Abdadhipati Bala); 5) Lord of the Month Strength (Masadhipati Bala); 6) Lord the Day Strength (Varadhipati Bala); 7) Lord of the Hour Strength (Hora Bala); 8) Declinational Strength (Ayana Bala); 9) Planetary War Strength (Yuddha Bala).
4. MOTIONAL STRENGTH
This is the most complicated of the Shadbala and relates to the motion of the planets around the Sun, including their movement of retrogression.
This is the same for all charts. The Sun is the strongest planet, then the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, in line with their apparent brightness as seen from the earth.
This is according to the judgement of the arc of aspect as according to the extended rules of determining aspects. It is not meant to substitute for calculating aspects in the chart.
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