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Functional Benefics and Malefics for All Ascendants

Summary: List of the functional benefic and functional malefic planets for each of the twelve ascendants in the sidereal zodiac used by Vedic Astrology. Essential information for chart interpretation and remedial measures.


List of Functional Benefics and Malefics for all Ascendants

Aries: Taurus: Gemini: Cancer: Leo: Virgo: Libra

Scorpio: Sagittarius: Capricorn: Aquarius: Pisces

This information is absolutely essential knowledge and forms a key component of chart interpretation.

It is also vital for prescribing the correct remedial measures for bringing balance to the planetary energies for a particular ascendant. As a general rule, planets that are functional benefics can be strengthened by wearing appropriate gem-stones. However, functional malefics cannot be strengthened in this way and other techniques, such as planetary mantras, used.

This list of functional benefics and malefics for all twelve ascendants is aimed at students of Jyotish who already have some knowledge about this topic. Please note:

    • The numbers in brackets e.g. (9&12) refer to the houses ‘ruled’ or ‘owned’ by the planet relative to the particular ascendant in the sidereal zodiac.
    • Rahu and Ketu do not own any houses, so are not classified here as ‘functional’. They are therefore just natural malefics.
    • The notes sections below have been taken mainly from Parashara
    • The degree of positivity / negativity is given a grade, from 1 to 5, where this information has been available [1].
    • A Grade 5 for benefics means this planet is the most beneficial and auspicious possible, much more so than a grade 1 benefic
    • A Grade 5 for malefics means this planet is the most dangerous and problematic possible, far worse than a grade 1 malefic
    • Not all Jyotish Astrologers will be in 100% agreement on all of the following points. There are many layers and ‘exceptions’ in Jyotish, but the following will serve as a good initial guide.

Aries Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Jupiter                       (9 & 12)           Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Sun                            (5)                    Auspicious – grade 2
    • Mars                         (1 & 8)             Helpful to auspicious planets

Functional Malefics:

    • Saturn                       (10 & 11)         Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mercury                    (3 & 10)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Venus                        (2 & 7)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Mars has Moolatrikona of Aries (1) so predominantly favourable.
    • Mars helps Sun, Jupiter – some also include Moon in this respect.
    • Saturn associated with Venus is not good.
    • Association of Jupiter-Sun; Jupiter-Mars, Mars-Sun are good.
    • Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter will not produce auspicious result.
    • Jupiter at disposal of a malefic gives inauspicious results.

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Taurus Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Saturn                       (9 & 10)           Very auspicious (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (2 & 5)             Auspicious
    • Sun                            (4)

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                      (8 & 11)           Very adverse indeed
    • Mars                         (7 & 12)           Maraka
    • Moon                        (3)


    • Moon as 3rd Lord is not auspicious (but not too bad: 3rd house is not as bad as 6th, which is itself less bad than 11th.)
    • Parashara says Venus, even though he is ruler of 1st, is Malefic – presumably as Libra is 6th sign from Taurus and Moolatrikona for Venus. Others argue that Venus is a benefic for Taurus Lagna as it rules the first house – which is both a Trine & Kendra simultaneously. They say that the ruler of the ascendant is always a benefic influence.
    • Mercury by joining Saturn/Sun acts more effectively.

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Gemini Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (5 & 12)           Auspicious – grade 2
    • Saturn                       (8 & 9)             Auspicious – see notes
    • Mercury                    (1 & 4)             Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                          (6 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Sun                            (3)                    Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Venus is highly favourable: 5th (Libra) is his Moolatrikona.
    • Saturn’s (8 & 9) role not mentioned by Parashara: it should be O.K. as 9th (Aquarius) is his Moolatrikona, but check other factors in chart.
    • Sun owning 3rd is not helpful.

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Cancer Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                          (5 & 10)           Auspicious – grade 2 (Yogakaraka)
    • Jupiter                       (6 & 9)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Moon                        (1)

Functional Malefics:

    • Venus                        (4 & 11)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mercury                    (3 & 12)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Saturn                       (7 & 8)             Strong Maraka


    • Mars well related to Sun or Moon or Jupiter is very good.

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Leo Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                          (4 & 9)             Very auspicious indeed – grade 5 (Yogakaraka)
    • Jupiter                       (5 & 8)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Sun                            (1)

Functional Malefics:-

    • Mercury                    (2 & 11)           Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Saturn                       (6 &7)              Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Venus                        (3 & 10)           Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Many say Venus is unreliable for this ascendant.
    • Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus will not produce auspicious results.

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Virgo Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (2 & 9)             Very auspicious (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (1 & 10)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                         (3 & 8)             Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Moon                        (11)                  Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Jupiter                       (4 & 7)             Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Suns (12th) role depends on associations – o.k. if joins good planets in good houses.
    • Saturn (5th & 6th) not mentioned by Parashara: favourable by virtue of 5th and relationship with Mercury – but some doshas due to 6th Lordship.
    • Jupiter (4 & 7) is a Maraka

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Libra Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mercury                    (9 & 12 )           Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Saturn                       (4 & 5)             Auspicious – grade 3 (Yogakaraka)

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                       (3 & 6)             Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Sun                            (11)                  Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mars                         (2 & 7)             Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Venus owns 1 & 8.  Parashara terms Venus a Neutral. However, some would argue Venus, as lord of lagna, is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Moon (10) associated with Mercury (9 & 12) causes Rajayoga.
    • Mars is a Maraka

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Scorpio Ascendant

 Functional Benefics:

    • Moon                        (9)                    Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Jupiter                       (2 & 5)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Sun                            (10)                  Auspicious – grade 1

Functional Malefics:

    • Mercury                    (8 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Venus                        (7 & 12)           Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 2
    • Saturn                       (3 & 4)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Mars (1 & 6) is Neutral. However, some would argue Mars, as lord of lagna, is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Venus is a Maraka
    • Sun and Moon associated are Yogakarakas.

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Sagittarius Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Sun                            (9)                    Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Mars                         (5 & 12)           Auspicious – grade 2
    • Mercury                    (7 & 10)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Venus                        (6 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Saturn                       (2 & 3)             Inauspicious – grade 2


    • Moon as 8th ruler is not mentioned as inauspicious. Apparently Moon is o.k. if related to Mercury, Sun, or Mars
    • Mercury is auspicious – 10th is Moolatrikona
    • Sun and Mercury mutually associated give Yoga
    • Association between Moon and Jupiter gives a good Yoga
    • Jupiter is Neutral

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Capricorn Ascendant

 Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (5 & 10)           Very auspicious  (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (6 & 9)             Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                         (4 & 11)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Jupiter                       (3 & 12)           Inauspicious
    • Moon                        (7)                    (see notes)


    • Saturn (1 & 2) is Neutral. However, some would argue Saturn as ruler of ascendant is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Sun (8) is Neutral.
    • Moon is Maraka

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Aquarius Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (4 & 9)             Very Auspicious indeed – Grade 5 (Yogakaraka)
    • Saturn                       (1 & 12)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                       (2 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Moon                        (6)                    Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Mars                         (3 & 10)           Inauspicious – grade 1
    • Sun                            (7)


    • Venus gives Rajayoga.
    • Saturn’s Moolatrikona sign is Aquarius, so it is considered auspicious.
    • Mercury (5 & 8) should be auspicious but gives mixed results according to association.

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Pisces Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                         (2 & 9)             Very Auspicious – Grade 4
    • Moon                        (5)                    Auspicious – Grade 2
    • Jupiter                       (1 & 10)           Auspicious – Grade 1

Functional Malefics:

    • Saturn                       (12 & 11)         Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Venus                        (3 & 8)             Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Sun                            (6)                    Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Mercury                    (3 & 7)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Pandit Ojha States: Sambandha between Mars and Jupiter gives Rajayoga.

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[1] I gained information on the five point grading system for benefics and malefics from the Jyotish pundits of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi over 30 years ago. If anyone has any comments, or can further update me on this, you can contact me via the information on the Contact page of this site.

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Further Resources for Students of Jyotish


Planetary Antidotes in Jyotish

Summary: Covering Remedial Measures or Planetary Antidotes (Upayes) in Jyotish. Detailed discussion of: Wearing gem stones associated with a particular planet: Chanting planetary related mantras: Performing specific acts of charity: Conducting Vedic rituals to balance planetary energies

Remedial Measures or Planetary Antidotes (Upayes) in Jyotish

Vedic astrology is essentially karmic in nature. It predicts the type and duration of both positive and negative returning karmas. It tells us what we are likely to experience in all areas of our lives and, most importantly, when these experiences are likely to occur. The great thing about Jyotish is that it comes from a tradition that believes suffering in life is unnecessary! So it is no surprise Jyotish offers a range of practical techniques to deflect, or at least greatly reduce, our returning negative karmas. These techniques are often referred to as ‘remedial measures’ or ‘planetary antidotes’ (Upayes).

A Vedic astrologer can identify imbalances in a person’s birth chart (based on the code read from the planetary positions at birth). The astrologer can then offer the individual practical strategies to ‘avert the danger that has not yet arisen’. So, they can actually prescribe a number of strategies to lessen the individual’s karmic burden. These strategies may not remove the karmas entirely, but they will certainly modify them.

These planetary remedies, or antidotes, are things that can balance out planets ‘negative energies’ and restore balance and harmony in our lives. They can also really enhance the energies from positive planets too – maximising positive returning karmas.

The antidotes to problematic planets that are prescribed by Jyotish generally fall into four categories:

These strategies are not based on superstition. They have withstood the long test of time from generation to generation. They work because the Vedic tradition sees everything in the universe as an interconnected whole. This Vedic model of reality is increasingly supported from the perspective of modern science. It is also reflected in the Vedic (and Buddhist) concept of ‘Indra’s Net’ [1].

There was a song by Joni Mitchell (released 1970) – the lyrics went: ‘We are stardust, we are golden’. Very true, as from the point of modern astrophysics we are actually mainly stardust! All the elements in our body (other than hydrogen), were forged in stellar furnaces billions of miles away (and billions of years ago). So we have a very real connection to the stars in that most of the stuff that makes us was made there. Many people report that wearing a quality Jyotish gemstone reminds them on a very deep level of this connection.

Although not specifically mentioned in the Jyotish texts, many astrologers also agree that performing spiritual practices can greatly modify returning karmas. In particular, mantra based Vedic meditation techniques have a big effect. When they examined the birth-charts of numerous long term meditators they found their actual life experiences much better than they would have otherwise predicted!

For those with a personal Guru, the ‘Grace of the Guru’ can remove major obstacles! Such individuals should consider themselves extremely fortunate!

Wearing Gemstones as Planetary Antidotes

In Vedic astrology, each planet is associated with a particular gemstone. For example, the Sun is associated with ruby, Venus with diamond, Saturn with blue sapphire, etc.  If an auspicious planet in a birth chart needs strengthening (note: usually ‘strong’ = ‘good’ in Jyotish), then this can be facilitated by wearing the gemstone for that particular planet.

The key word in the above sentence is ‘auspicious’. Only auspicious planets can be strengthened by wearing the appropriate gemstone for the planet  (‘auspicious’ in this context means ‘functional benefic’). Other mitigating strategies (such as mantras) are needed if the planet is not auspicious. A number of modern books on Jyotish fail to make this vital point clear. A serious and misleading error!

Because many of the planets simultaneously rule two houses, the rules for determining whether a planet is ‘good’ or ‘not  good’ for a particular ascendant are a bit more complex. As the ascendant (in the Sidereal Zodiac) changes sign, the ‘functional benefic’ or ‘functional malefic’ nature of a planet also changes. This is dealt with in detail in a separate article. However, as a general rule (and Jyotish just loves ‘exceptions’ to rules) any planet ruling the first, or fifth, or ninth house is considered auspicious regardless of what other house it ‘owns’.

The table below shows the gems associated with each of the nine planets:

Gemstones associated with particular planets in Jyotish.Planet and Gemstone Associations in Jyotish

Note: In the above chart, ‘Gomed ‘ is also known as ‘Hessonite Garnet’, and ‘Cat’s Eye’ is also known as ‘Chrysoberyl’

It is worth noting that the weight and quality of the gemstone are also specified by Vedic Astrology – as are the metals in which it is set and even the fingers on which it is worn [2]. For remedial purposes precious stones should also be natural and not synthetic or man-made gems [3].

In order to be effective stones must touch the skin – this can be achieved with special settings for rings, or the stones can be set as a pendant.

I have heard some Jyotish experts saying that even the gold (must be 22 carat) that is in a chain or ring removes quite a bit (maybe up to 70%) of planetary negativity. Interesting, if this is correct!

The concept, of wearing a gemstone to balance planetary energies, is therefore much more finely tuned to an individual’s birth chart in Jyotish, than in the Western Astrological system. Western Astrology just uses the relatively simple concept of a ‘birthstone’ or gem appropriate to the ‘sun sign’ of a person – rather than the detailed analysis and remedial prescriptions of Vedic astrology.

There is a lot of detailed and quality information about Jyotish gems on the Astrological Gem website (Vedicplanet has no commercial links with this site).

Semi-Precious Gemstone Equivalents

If we can’t afford a particular quality precious stone, then there are a few semi-precious equivalents. However, the general understanding is that semi-precious stones do not confer as much protection on the wearer as precious stones. In India, people sometimes wear the following semi-precious stones for Jyotish purposes:

    • Red Spinel for the Sun
    • Green Tourmaline for Mercury
    • Yellow Topaz (better than Citrine) or Yellow Citrine (Yellow Quartz) for Jupiter
    • White Sapphire (a good substitute for diamond) or Phenakite for Venus
    • Blue Spinel for Saturn

Wearing Gemstones Based on our Ascendant

If we know our ascendant (our ascending sign in the Sidereal zodiac) we can always safely wear the gemstone that is associated with the planet that rules or ‘owns’ our ascending sign. This will bring only positive results to our lives. This is something we can all do to reap the benefits.

Sign Ownership or Rulership by Planets in Jyotish

Wearing this gem will also give some help (but not as much as specifically targeted planetary relief) with any problems indicated in other areas of our chart by strengthening the ‘Lord of the Ascendant’ (planet that ‘owns’ or ‘rules’ our ascending sign). Strengthening the ascendant lord can only bring positive effects to an individual.  (Note: some astrologers say the only exception to this rule is for a Scorpio ascendant – where Mars simultaneously rules both the first and the sixth houses).

If we already have a Western style birth-chart giving our ascending sign in the Tropical Zodiac we can easily convert to Sidereal by subtracting the angle stated for the ‘Ayanamsha’ for our birth date. This is easier than it sounds [4]. We can then wear the appropriate gem stone.

An alternative to this is to use a free online service (based on the sidereal zodiac) for getting a gemstone recommendation. This link is the best I have seen and is driven by a very well respected piece of Jyotish software that produces great recommendations – only bettered by a very experienced Vedic Astrologer. But be aware that accurate birth-times are needed. If you do not have these try and generate two separate reports using your earliest and latest birth-time estimates. If the recommendations differ then seek out a professional astrologer.

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Chanting Planetary Related Mantras to Remove Negative Karma

While wearing gemstones for auspicious planets (i.e. auspicious for a particular ascendant) is good, wearing the gemstone associated with a ‘malefic’ planet (i.e. malefic for a particular ascendant) would not be good at all! In this case we can chant mantras to alleviate the negative effects of a weakened or badly afflicted malefic.

Mantras are always said or chanted in Sanskrit. This ‘upwardly manages’ the force of nature (the Devas). Specific mantras can be repeated to balance the negative energies associated with a particular planet. Mantras are like passwords that enable us to connect to the higher realms.  They are the vehicle that helps us transcend or ‘cross over’ to higher states of consciousness. A Jyotish astrologer can identify problematic malefic planets in a birth-chart and suggest mantras to remove their negativity.

At their most basic level, the planetary mantras can be fairly simple and follow the general pattern:

‘Om – [planets name in Sanskrit] – Namah(a)’

These can be repeated daily 108 times (the number 108 is derived from the nine planets multiplied by the twelve astrological signs: 9 x 12 = 108) – usually done with a ‘mala’ or rosary. So, for example, the mantra for Venus would be ‘Om Shukraya Namah’. This  takes only a few minutes to do.

Basic Planetary Mantras to Chant

Some planets have multiple names, so the names given below are only one suggestion out of a number of possibilities – but they are all very effective.

Getting the correct pronunciation is very important! Typing the mantra in the list below into ‘YouTube Search’ usually works well (although this sometimes gives a slightly more complicated version of the mantra – for example by adding ‘Shri’ or a ‘seed mantra’ in front of the planet’s name; but the basic pronunciation remains the same).

In the list below I have added an ‘a’ to the last word (Namah) in the mantras. This makes the ‘h’ at the end sound a little bit more prolonged. This comes from the ‘Visarga’ rules for the correct pronunciation of Sanskrit and here it applies to the final word in the mantras. So if ‘Namah’ appears in the middle of a mantra it is pronounced just as it is written (e.g. ‘Auṁ Namaḥ Śivāya’ – Om Namah  Shivaya). But at the end of a mantra the ‘h’ is just a bit more prolonged! The difference is quite subtle. So best to listen to a reputable source on YouTube if you have any doubts.

Sun: ‘Om Suryaya Namah(a)’

Moon: ‘Om Somaya Namah(a)’

Mars: ‘Om Mangalaya Namah(a)’

Mercury: ‘Om Budhaya Namah(a)’

Jupiter:  ‘Om Brihaspataye Namah(a)’

Venus: ‘Om Shukraya Namah(a)’

Saturn: ‘Om Shanaye Namah(a)’

Rahu: ‘Om Rahave Namah(a)’

Ketu: ‘Om Ketave Namah(a)’

A Jyotish astrologer would fine tune this process even more – by determining when in a person’s life the planet’s effects will be felt most and advising chanting during this time period (the Maha Dasha of the planet concerned). An analogy would be like putting on more clothes in the winter to protect us from the cold – we only need to do it for a limited period and not for life.

Mantra for Harmony between the Nine Planets

Another possibility is to chant a simple mantra that ‘takes care’ of the energies from all the nine planets and creates harmony between them. This will modify our returning karmas in a positive way. This is the great ‘Nav Graha’ mantra:

adityaaya cha somaaya mangalaaya budhaaya cha |

guru shukra shanibhyash cha raahave ketave namah(a) ||

It is surprisingly easy to learn by repetition, and there is a good version and explanation on YouTube:   ‘Mantra to balance effects of the Nine Planets (Navagrahas); By Swami Purnachaitanya’

General Mantras for Removing Negativity and Suffering

Another option would be to chant something like:

‘Auṁ Namaḥ Śivāya’ (Om Namah  Shivaya)

This simple mantra is very powerful at removing negativity. There are lots of videos on YouTube giving the pronunciation of this mantra in chant format.

Even more powerful would be chanting the great Mrityunjaya mantra – but this takes a bit of learning.

Why are these mantras so powerful? It is said: ‘Shiva sits on top of all the planets’ [5] , which really means ‘That Shiva Consciousness’ (i.e. ‘Shiva Tattva’[6]) has the ability to overwrite the planetary influences that are shown in our birth-charts. Chanting Shiva mantras enlivens this in our awareness! Wow.

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Acts of Charity to  Balance Planetary Energies

Because the Vedic tradition sees the universe as an interconnected whole, then specific acts of charity help negate the karmas associated with a particular planet. Even if this is not true, it is still good to give away a small fraction of our income to ‘good causes’!  A living enlightened Vedic Saint  encourages everyone to do this – he says that giving a few percent of our income to the charity of our choice means there is less likelihood of disputes, court cases and associated problems in our lives.

Some remedies are very simple – just feeding the crows on a Saturday is said to relieve some of the karmic burdens we might experience due to a problematic Saturn in our birth-chart.

Different planets are linked to different days of the week, so it is best to carry out certain specific acts of charity on the appropriate day for each planet.

This may all seem just superstitious, but these practices have withstood the long test of time; generation after generation. The interconnectedness of all things is increasingly being considered from a scientific perspective too (see article:  Vedic Model of Reality from a Scientific Perspective), giving additional weight to the perceptions of the ancient enlightened sages.

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Conducting Vedic Rituals to Remove Negativity

 Since ancient times, Vedic rituals have been performed to upwardly manage the forces of nature. When certain Vedic ceremonies (called ‘yagnas’ or ‘yajnas’ or ‘yagyas’) were performed, rain came on time, crops grew well and there was abundance on the earth.

In a similar way, serious problems due to out of balance planetary energies in a person’s birth-chart, can be resolved using these rituals.  People might view this is as ‘worshipping the planets’ – but it is far more subtle and profound. This is actually ‘karmic engineering’! The procedures for conducting these ancient ceremonies were actually given to mankind by the Divine to ease suffering.

The yagnas have to be performed very precisely using appropriate Vedic mantras and they really do give ‘peace from the planets (grahas)’ or ‘Graha Shanti’. They are best performed by pundits with a high level of consciousness. They are most effective when done in an Ashram or Temple according to the ancient tradition with all the specified ingredients (these are not easy to obtain in the West). Even better when they are supervised by an enlightened Guru. The only organisation I can recommend for this (based on my first-hand experience of their pujas) is that founded by the living saint ‘Mata Amritanandamayi’

The rituals can specifically target the problems associated in a birth-chart due to a single planet. They enliven the forces of nature associated with that particular planetary energy and modify returning karmas. Or, if there are a number of planets causing problems, then all nine of the planets can be targeted simultaneously so that there is peace and harmony between them and their energies do not conflict.

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[1] ‘The Net of Indra is a profound and subtle metaphor for the structure of reality. Imagine a vast net; at each crossing point there is a jewel; each jewel is perfectly clear and reflects all the other jewels in the net, the way two mirrors placed opposite each other will reflect an image ad infinitum. The jewel in this metaphor stands for an individual being, or an individual consciousness, or a cell or an atom. Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight, in every other jewel.’Stephen Mitchell, The Enlightened Mind, (HarperPerennial; Reprint edition: April 1993, ISBN -10: 0060923202)

[2] Jyotish is very precise about the metals in which a stone is set e.g. gold for ruby, silver for pearl etc. It is also very clear about the need for really high quality gems – preferably with no internal cracks or black spots (inclusions). In fact, the quality is often more important than the size of a stone for remedial purposes. For example, diamonds should be grade IF or VVS1, with colour grade H or better, with weight between 0.25 and 1.25 carat. These are expensive stones!

[3] Although synthetic gems are not suitable for Jyotish purposes, I have heard a world leading Ayurvedic doctor say they give 80% health benefits (compared with natural stones) for ayurvedic purposes. For Jyotish use there are also arguments about the benefits of heat treated stones compared with unheated ones. Certainly I believe it is better to completely avoid artificially irradiated stones.

[4] The difference in planetary positions between the zodiacs is now around 24 degrees. If our sun was, say 14 degrees in Virgo in Western Astrology, it will be at 14 – 24 = – 10 degrees Virgo in the Vedic system! So it will be 10 degrees before the start (or zero position) of Virgo. This simply means it has has moved backwards and changed sign into the position of 20 degrees in Leo in the Vedic system (as -10 + 30 = 20). However if our sun was at 28 degrees Virgo in the Tropical zodiacit will now be at 28 – 24 = 4 degrees Virgo in the sidereal zodiac. It has still moved backwards, but in this case it has not changed sign

[5] Quoted by By Swami Purnachaitanya’ of the Art of Living Foundation

[6] Quoted by the enlightened Vedic Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “Shiva doesn’t have a body, he was never a person at all. To symbolize the unfathomable, the infinite divinity, and to make it comprehensible for young people, for children and others, they made a form. In fact, there is no form to Shiva.

Shiva is a principle (Tattva) from where everything has come, everything is sustained in it, and everything dissolves into it. Shiva is the space, it is the consciousness. There is no way that you can even step out of Shiva at any time because Shiva is the summum bonum of the whole creation. That is why Shiva’s body is depicted in blue because blue signifies the sky; the all-pervading infinity which has no limits, and no shape.

The consciousness which is bliss and innocence, the consciousness which is the bestower of dispassion – is Shiva. The whole world is moving in an auspicious rhythm of innocence and intelligence – that is Shiva. The permanent and eternal source of energy, the eternal state of being, the one and only one – is Shiva.”

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Additional Information on Vedic Astrology

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Houses in Jyotish

Summary: Covering the Equal House concept in Jyotish, together with an analysis of ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ houses, including topics on: Kendra, Trikona, Dusthana, and Upachaya houses.

The Equal House Concept

Jyotish divides the 360 degrees of the sky up into twelve equal sectors of 30 degrees width and this produces twelve equal width ‘Houses’. Jyotish always uses the Sidereal Zodiac.

Each house governs particular areas of life. Details about the main significations of each house are given in the article ‘The Twelve Houses’. Most chart interpretations are based on a house‑by‑house analysis.

In Jyotish, each of the twelve houses corresponds exactly with a particular sign. Therefore in Vedic Astrology a house cannot overlap between two signs.

Western Astrology usually starts the first house at the exact degree of the ascendant. Not so in Jyotish. In vedic Astrology the first house corresponds with the whole sign that contains the ascendant, irrespective of its exact positional degree[1].

So in Jyotish, if our exact ascendant position is located at say 1 degree Leo, or 29 degrees Leo, or anywhere in between, then the first house corresponds exactly with the whole 30 degrees of Leo: the second house will correspond exactly with the whole of the sign of Virgo: the third with Libra, etc. The house containing the ascendant is shown by a diagonal line on the birth-chart.

Equal House Diagram in Jyotish

The South Indian chart format (probably easiest for beginners) numbers houses in a clockwise direction from the sign containing the ascendant (which is shown by the diagonal line in Leo in the above diagram)

The signs always stay in the same boxes in all charts, so Pisces will always be in the top left hand corner.

Houses do not have exactly the same meaning in Jyotish as they do in the Western system.

Errors in birth-times can throw the system out completely when an ascendant is near a boundary between two houses – but there are ways around this [2].

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Houses

The planet ruling a particular house changes as the ascendant changes.

For example, the planet ruling the 1st house is the Moon for a Cancer ascendant but the Sun for a Leo ascendant (see article on which planets rule which signs).

Irrespective of the zodiacal sign to which they correspond, good houses strengthen planets placed in them and ‘bad’ houses weaken them.

Trikona or Trinal Houses

According to Jyotish the 5th and 9th houses (‘Trinal’ or ‘Trikona’ houses) are very good indeed in that planets occupying these houses do well and are strengthened.

The first house is also considered to be a trinal house by many astrologers.

Therefore the good, natural characteristics of the planet occupying either the 5th or the 9th are strengthened and can deliver the full benefits associated with them

Any houses associated with the occupying planet are also greatly strengthened.

The rulers of the 5th and 9th houses carry with them a positive energy.They bring this to the house in which they are placed.

They also benefit (with this positive energy) any planet they are near to (conjunct), or which they aspect.

Kendras or Angular Houses

The Kendras (Angular houses) i.e. 1, 4, 7 and 10 are ‘good’ houses. Planets placed in them are strengthened. These houses themselves represent benign things.

A good house has two effects: it strengthens planets in it and all of their associations; its ruler carries a positive energy with it and benefits wherever it is placed.

Dusthanas or Negative Houses

Houses 6, 8, and 12 (Dusthanas) are ‘negative’ houses.

The houses themselves do not represent anything inherently evil but they are said to be negative because they seriously weaken planets placed in them. So, the good natural characteristic of the planets occupying them suffer.

In addition, the houses ruled by planets occupying the 6th, 8th, or 12th are also weakened and damaged, so that matters connected with them are also harmed.

The planets that rule the 6th, 8th, or 12th houses are also considered to carry with them a negative energy – this disturbs the house in which they are placed, or planets they are near to (conjunct), or which they aspect.

The 8th is the worst of the three!

Although they are considered negative we should be aware that a good sixth house means we overcome our ‘enemies’, a good eighth indicates a long life, and a good twelfth means we have little expenditure and loss (and are making good spiritual progress towards enlightenment).

Upachaya or Growing Houses

Houses 3, 6, and 10 and 11 have been declared Upachaya houses (‘growing houses’) where any problems indicated get better with time and where malefic planets eventually do some good. Therefore malefics are generally best placed either in their Own, or Exalted signs, or in Upachaya houses.


[1] The ascendant is located in the sign of the zodiac that appears to be ‘rising’ on the Eastern horizon at the time of our birth. So, if we looked at the Eastern horizon at the time of our birth and saw it was at  20 degrees Capricorn, we would say we had a ‘Capricorn Ascendant’. The ascendant is shown by a diagonal line in the chart. Note: this is in the Sidereal Zodiac used by Jyotish – not the Tropical one used by Western Astrology.

[2] Very skilled and experienced Vedic Astrologers can ‘work backwards’ from life events to determine a person’s birth-time! This process is called ‘rectification of birth-time’.

Additional Resources for Students of Vedic Astrology

Learn Jyotish – Overview

Summary: An overview of the collated resources on this website for students of Vedic Astrology. This information forms the minimum foundation knowledge needed to start understanding how charts are interpreted.

Learn Jyotish – Resources for Students of Vedic Astrology

The topics presented in this section are at ‘foundation level’ – the minimum we need to know in order to even begin the process of understanding chart interpretation. They cover:

Articles currently being prepared:

    • Elements of basic birth-chart interpretation
    • Transits

Taken as a whole, they should enable students to ‘put together the pieces of the jigsaw’ and to start examining the Vedic birth-charts (in the sidereal zodiac) of themselves, their family and friends.

The collated information in this section is aimed at Westerners who want relatively simple ‘key points’ for initial studies. I am aware that Jyotish is multi-layered, with more subtle chart interpretations being available at deeper levels of awareness. However, we all need to start somewhere and the very practice of Jyotish can itself lead to deeper states of awareness!

Most professional Vedic Astrologers will probably agree on more than 95% of the topics presented here. Where there is disagreement in the detail this often arises from differences in the versions of the standard Jyotish texts available, or the different interpretations of any ambiguous sections in the texts. Some knowledge has also been lost over the long passage of time. However, many principles can be verified by looking at a person’s chart and then comparing the predictions from Jyotish with the actual reality of their life experiences.

Parashara Taken as a Reference

Where possible, I have always used Maharishi Parashara as highest authority. This is simply because I have a particular affinity to this tradition of Masters which included the illustrious Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math (H.H. Brahmananda Saraswati) and whose disciple Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, brought meditation techniques to the West. Students should be aware that astrologers linked to other traditions may view things slightly differently from the information presented in this section; this is not a problem and adds to the joy and dynamism of the Vedic knowledge!

Further Resources on Jyotish

A Rare and Auspicious Planetary Alignment

Summary: This article examines the effect of a very rare and highly auspicious planetary alignment occurring during September 2020. The planetary configuration occurs in the sidereal zodiac used by Vedic astrologers and represents an outstandingly good time for souls to take a human birth!

A Rare and Auspicious Planetary Alignment

Right now is a great time to be born!

For about a week, beginning on the 8th September 2020, a rare and highly favourable planetary alignment happens. In the ancient Vedic Astrological system we find that 8 out of the 9 planets, which are used to decode a person’s returning karmas, are in exceptionally good positions in the sidereal zodiac.

For example, most of the planets are in their own signs, or exalted signs, etc. and also benefit from being spaced widely apart in the zodiac. They will therefore bring many benefits over an individual’s lifetime as events unfold. It often takes hundreds of years to see similar such occurrences of this configuration, so it is indeed a rare event.

In Jyotish astrology this alignment means that those born during this week will have almost no obstacles to their progress in life. They may have many exceptional talents, be especially gifted and excel in their chosen field.

From a Jyotish perspective those souls incarnating at this time will be blessed with exceptionally good karma throughout their lives and experience a lot of Grace. Some may even turn out to be Mahatmas – great souls born to benefit mankind and, hopefully, to hasten in the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment on planet Earth.

Detailed Analysis for Students of Jyotish

The Moon is, of course, the most rapidly moving ‘planet’ and spends roughly two and a third days in each sign. Before the Moon even enters Taurus sidereal, most of the other planets already have a high status or ‘dignity’   (a planet having ‘own sign’, Moolatrikona, or exalted status is ‘out of harms way’ in a birth chart). These planets therefore bring many benefits to someone born at this time. As the Moon moves into Taurus (from 8th to 10th September 2020 – where it has Moolatrikona status) it completes the planetary configuration giving rise to these extremely positive conditions. It then moves through Gemini before entering Cancer sidereal (from 13th to 15th September 2020). In Cancer it has ‘own sign’ status so once again completes this remarkable configuration.

In addition to 8 out of the 9 planets used in Jyotish having a high status as mentioned above, the planets are also spaced well apart in different signs giving rise to a special planetary combination or ‘Yoga’. This is called Veena or Sankhya-Veena Yoga and occurs when 7 planets are spaced separately in 7 signs. As this yoga is associated with the Veena (the classical musical instrument of Saraswati – the ‘deity’ presiding over Knowledge and the arts) this brings extra benefits to individuals born under these circumstances. These would include good prosperity, being fond of dance and music and having higher knowledge – such as being well versed in the Vedas or other scriptures.

People who were born a week or so before or after this rare event will still benefit from many planets in their birth chart having very good status. For example, although the Moon moves out of its own sign Cancer on the 15th September, the Sun remains in its own sign Leo until Sept. 17th, 2020. When it leaves Leo this further breaks the configuration.

Two Highly Favourable Periods

The first highly auspicious period during this week begins on the 8th September 2020 around 10 am GMT as the Moon moves into Taurus sidereal. It then leaves this sign on the 10th September 2020 at around 9 pm GMT.

The second highly auspicious period is from around 6 am on 13th September 2020 to about 9 am on 15th September 2020.

For the record, the planetary positions (at 0 hours GMT in the sidereal zodiac on the 9th) are as follows:

Sun 23 Leo Own Sign
Moon 7 Taurus Moolatrikona
Mars 4 Aries Moolatrikona
Mercury 11 Virgo Exalted Sign
Jupiter 23 Sagittarius Own Sign
Venus 9 Cancer Neutral Sign
Saturn 1 Capricorn Own Sign
Rahu 1 Gemini Moolatrikona
Ketu 1 Sagittarius Moolatrikona

Other Implications of This Auspicious Planetary Alignment

Will all individuals born during this period have the same karma? No, most certainly not. Individual karmas will need to be decoded (or ‘read’) from each person’s birth-chart. This will take into account the usual multi-layered factors such as: what is the ascending sign for a particular birth time and where is its ‘ruler’ placed; a house by house analysis including house ruler placement; occupying planets; aspects to the house; finer detail determinants – such as the divisional charts, etc. Karmas also unfold differently for different individuals as indicated by the Jyotish Mahadasa system.

Is this alignment ‘perfect’? Well, it is probably as good as it ever gets. Some of the very best charts I have seen have only had 4 high status planets and this configuration goes far beyond that! However, more advanced students of Jyotish will recognise some minor ‘weak points’ due to the following; a few planets being in the first degree or so of a sign; the Moon is waning and moving nearer the Sun; some planets are retrograde (giving rise to the usual debates about the effect of retrograde motion on planetary behaviour); and possibly even some debates about where the nodes experience ‘dignity’. None the less, a birth during this alignment represents extremely good ‘happy karmic returns’ for souls reincarnating at this time.

So, will this period be of great benefit to everyone and not just those born at this time? The answer is unfortunately not. While it is always good to have transiting planets in a positive state they only account for a fraction of people’s returning karmas. The vast majority is delineated by the Vedic Mahadasa system – which has nothing to do with the transiting planets. Therefore, although Vedic astrology indicates it is a truly great time to be born, it does not imply it is an outstandingly good time for those of us already here!

Additional Information on this Auspicious Alignment

    • This auspicious configuration was noticed by the authors on the Applied Vedic Astrology website in their ‘year ahead’ predictions. However, they did not look specifically at its effects on birth chart

Additional Resources on Jyotish