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By Dr.E.S.Neelakantan


When we consider the whole gamut of Predictive Astrology, what it finally boils down is the judgement of houses. Dissection of a house with clinical precision is a gift in the hands of learned Astrologers. When the subject called bhava is brought into focus, one can see a kaleidoscopic range of features such as success, failure, joy, sorrow, compromise, mediocrity, excellence, existence, non-existence, acceptance and a multitude of contrasting facets. The job of a competent Astrologer is to separate the wheat from chaff or in other words derive the essence of planetary influences. This article is intended to clear the cobwebs and show the direction towards deriving correct conclusions from a chart under Astrological Scrutiny.

The bhavas that are occupied or aspected by Jupiter, Venus, Mercury or the lord of the Bhava deliver auspicious results (Rule 1).However, Waxing Moon can also be included in this “list of benefics” provided, the Moon has crossed the fifth lunar day, while Mercury in the above context needs to be unaspected and dissociated with a malefic; benefics, in general, show the path of benevolence. When a Natural benefic becomes  Functional malefic (as is the case with Jupiter for Libra Lagna), then the path, is no doubt good, but the destination is undesirable. When a Natural malefic becomes a Functional benefic, the path is violent, but the result is auspicious. Here, we have the famous saying of Machiavelli , “the end justifies the means”.

A Bhava will tend to flourish it (a) it is conjoined or associated with benefics and (b) it does not have the association or aspect of malefics. The Bhava will flourish if occupied or aspected by the Bhava lord (Rule 2)

When a planet in Moolatrikona, exaltation, Swakshetra or friendly sign is present in a particular Bhava, that Bhava will flourish.Converse is true, when a planet in debilitation or in an inimical sign occupies the Bhava (Rule 3)

For example, for a person born in Scorpio Lagna, let us say Jupiter is in Cancer. Then not only the 9th Bhava but also the 2nd and 5th Bhavas will flourish. On the other hand if Jupiter occupies Capricorn, it will spoil the 3rd house and also adversely affect the 2nd and 5th house prospects. When the lord of a dustana, occupies a Bhava, that Bhava gets spoiled. If the Bhava lord occupies a dustana, then that Bhava is also spoiled (Rule 4).

By a combined reading of the two above mentioned principles, it is possible to infer that a Bhava should remain free from the influence of the lords of 6, 8 or 12 while the Bhava lord should not get relegated to 6, 8 or 12. I would like to mention here one exception to the above rule. If a particular Bhava is aspected by a benefic, that Bhava will flourish in spite of the fact that the Bhava lord is in 6, 8 or 12. To understand this concept better, I would like to give the example of a building which rests on four pillars. The building will not collapse even if there is one pillar is supporting it. It will collapse, if all the four pillars give way. For a Bhava to function well, there are six main causative factors viz., the occupant of the Bhava, the planet aspecting the Bhava, the Bhava lord, the Rasi sign dispositor of the Bhava lord and the Navamsa sign dispositor, besides the Karaka of that Bhava.

A Bhava will bestow very good results if the Bhava lord occupies a quadrant or trine and is also strongly placed in a house (where it is exalted or occupies its own house or is otherwise strong) and is also aspected by benefics (Rule 5)

The quadrant house denotes action and aggression. So, a planet in a quadrant promotes the right activity which yields right results. On the other hand, trines represent the blessings of the divine, which secures favorable results, irrespective of the course of action. Quadrants denotes swimming against the tide, while trines denote swimming with the tide. Quadrant is similar to climbing stairs while trine is like stepping on to an escalator. Quadrants denote blessings of Vishnu; trines denote blessings of Lakshmi.

A Bhava will flourish if the quadrants and trines are occupied by benefics and at the same time the Bhava and Bhava lord are bereft of malefic influences. If the converse occurs, the Bhava suffers destruction while a combination of benefic and malefic influences yields mixed results (Rule 6)

By this rule, the most important principle we arrive at is that to assess the fertility of a Bhava, it is not just the occupant or aspecting planet, we need to look at but also the trines and quadrants from a Bhava. If you wish to know about the tenth house, then treat that house as if it is the Lagna and then apply this rule and you will know everything about that person’s career, growth, success, so on and so forth.

A Bhava suffers when the Bhava lord is either weak or afflicted. This occurs when (a) the Bhava lord is in the 8th (b) the Bhava lord is combusted (c) the Bhava lord is debilitated or is placed in an inimical sign and the above mentioned condition or conditions prevail, when there is no benefic aspecting or conjoining the Bhava lord (Rule 7)

If the 4th lord occupies the 8th house, one is bereft of houses, vehicles, so on and so forth; if the 4th lord occupies the 11th (8th from 4th), one gains vehicles, houses etc., but it spoils mother’s health and living conditions. So, while applying the above rule, one has to be careful about whether we are talking about 8th from the lagna or about 8th from the Bhava itself.

Bhava lord will not promote a Bhava when its sign-dispositor is in a dustana or is combust or is in an inimical sign(Rule 8)

This adds a new dimension to our analysis. Take the case of a person born in Scorpio lagna with Mars and Venus in Leo and Sun in Libra. If you analyze the lagna, the lord of lagna is strongly placed in 10, whereas its sign dispositor Sun is debilitated in the 12th. So the lagna Bhava is rendered weak. Look at the Tenth house. Though the lord of 10 is debilitated, the sign dispositor of Sun, is conjoined with lagna lord Mars and is strongly placed in 10. So the Tenth house gains strength.

Likewise the Bhava lord and Karaka should have a mutually beneficial relationship in order to strengthen the Bhava. The Bhava, as we discussed earlier, suffers annihilation when the Bhava lord is in a dustana. Similarly, we understood, that a Bhava suffers if the Bhava lord is in debilitation, combustion, so on and so forth. While placement in a dustana completely ruins the Bhava, debilitation or combustion can only affect a Bhava, partially and not fully. When a planet which is weak or afflicted is aspected by a benefic, then the affliction is removed. But what are the qualifications which render the aspecting planet, a true benefic?

When we speak of benefics, the pride of place goes to Jupiter. Of lesser significance, come the aspects of Mercury or Venus. Whenever traditional astrologers speak of malefics, they invariably refer only to Mars or Saturn while aspect of benefic refers mainly to Jupiter. If the benefic planet occupies its own navamsa or is exalted there, then that planet is strong and is capable of removing the Dosha, attributable to an afflicted planet. The favorable placement of the sign dispositor of the Bhava lord enhances the good effects of the Bhava, while placement of sign dispositor in a dustana, harms the Bhava.

A Bhava gets strength, when the 2nd, 3rd and 11th from the Bhava are occupied by the (a) Bhava lord (b) friends of Bhava lord and the (c) the exaltation lord of the Bhava lord. The above mentioned planets, in order to deliver auspicious results, should not be combust, debilitated or placed in inimical sign.( Rule 9)

Earlier we understood the impact of planets, placed in a quadrant or trine from the Bhava. The above rule is the extension of that rule in the sense that it deals with houses 2, 3 and 11.

Take the case of Scorpio lagna, with Moon in Cancer and Venus in Leo. Moon as lord of 9 in 9 is favorable. Exaltation lord of Moon is Venus, which occupies the 10th meaning 2nd from 9th. Though this is good, the effects are average as Venus occupies Leo, which is an inimical sign.

Planets become impotent when they occupy the Bhava sandhi or junction point of the Bhava. This is a double-edged sword, with afflicted or malefic planets losing their power to do harm, while benefics lose their power to do good.( Rule 10)

The lords of 6, 8 and 12 give auspicious results in their Dasas (only) if they are conjunct the lord of the 5th house. This argument can be further stretched to mean that the lords of dustanas also have the power to do good by virtue of their conjunction or association with benefic planets. ( Rule 11)

While trying to comprehend, the results of a planet, one has to decipher which house it occupies from the Lagna and which house it occupies from the Bhava. For instance, if in a person’s chart, Virgo rises with Jupiter in the eleventh in Cancer, it has two-fold implications. From the 4th, it occupies the 8th; therefore it will harm the longevity of the mother. From the 7th, it occupies the 5th and therefore it is auspicious for marriage and becomes supportive of relationship with spouse.

One has to be careful, while interpreting the dictum “Karako Bhava Nasaya” meaning “ the Karaka of a Bhava in that Bhava spoils that Bhava”. For instance Mars is the Karaka for courage and also siblings. If Mars occupies the 3rd in exaltation, it is good for courage but bad for siblings. Jupiter in the 5th makes a person intelligent but it is not good for children even though Jupiter is the Karaka for both “Intelligence” and “Children”.

Malefic planets will give benefic results when they are strong, occupy the vargas of benefic planets and receive the aspect of benefics which occupy benefic vargas. On the contrary, benefic planets will give malefic results, if they are devoid of strength, occupy the vargas of malefic planets and receive the aspect of malefic planets that are placed in malefic vargas (Prasnanushtana Paddhathi, written by Dr. Guru Rajesh, page 161). ( Rule 12)

When the Bhava, Bhava lord and the Bhava Karaka are joined with or aspected by malefic planets or the lords of the 6th and 8th house, the significations of the Bhava will be destroyed. When the Bhava, Bhava lord and the Bhava Karaka are not joined with or aspected by benefic planets, Bhava lord or the friends of the Bhava lord, the significations of the Bhava will not manifest in the native’s life (Ibid, page 162)( Rule 13)

A Bhava suffers annihilation if it is hemmed between malefics. Same is true if the 4th and 8th houses from a Bhava are occupied by malefics. The above principle is valid even if the trines are tenanted by malefics. ( Rule 14).Converse is true if a Bhava is hemmed between benefics.

If the lord of Lagna occupies a Bhava or is placed in a quadrant or trine from the Bhava or if the Lagna lord conjoins the Bhava lord, then that Bhava yields auspicious results. Same is true if the Lagna lord occupies the Bhava or aspects the Bhava. ( Rule 15)

The fruition of a Bhava takes place when the Lagna lord or the Bhava lord or the Karaka transit the Bhava. Same event occurs when the Bhava lord or the Karaka transit the Lagna or the sign occupied by the Lagna lord. In transit, when the Lagna lord and the Bhava lord conjoin or aspect each other, the fruition of that Bhava occurs. When Jupiter in transit arrives at the Rasi occupied by the Bhava lord (or a trine therefrom), fruition of the Bhava takes place. ( Rule 16)Generally clients meet Astrologers to find out when their children will get jobs, get married, get children, buy a house, so on and so forth. While deciphering the prospects of a Bhava for answering such questions, the above rules could come as a handy guide.

A Bhava proves to be auspicious when malefics are strongly placed in the 3rd, 6th or 11th houses reckoned from the Bhava. When the lord of a Bhava is exalted but present in a dustana, then that Bhava will suffer annihilation  ( Rule 17)For instance, for Leo lagna, if Venus is in Pisces, the 10th Bhava is affected and the exaltation status of Venus proves to be devoid of merit.

Litmus test for a planet’s strength lies in its placement in Navamsa. An exalted planet which is debilitated in Navamsa is considered weak whereas a debilitated planet, which occupies an exalted Navamsa is deemed to be strong. This is the basis for the saying “Amsakam Balam uttamam” (Strength in Navamsa is the foremost attribute of a strong planet).( Rule 18)

When we are on the subject of Bhava analysis,I would like to narrate one anecdote and then correlate that with this discussion.A man met a spiritual Guru and said,” I don’t see God anywhere.In my view he is absent from this world and also there is no evidence to prove his existence.In the absence of evidence,I can’t accept the theory that God exists”,The Guru said ,” I believe in God and I have myself realized his existence.However I will explain to you now,the fallacy in your argument.Absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. So in my view God exists”

When you understand the significance of this anecdote and apply it to this discussion,what I would like to suggest is that the Astrologer should look out for evidence of a Bhava.Merely because evidence is negligible,does not mean the Bhava is absent.This is why we have a large number of rules,which support the existence of a Bhava.Only when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary,can any Astrologer declare a Bhava to be non-existent or dysfunctional.

With these words let us move on to our discussion on case studies.

In the horoscope of John Major, Sagittarius rises with the lord of 10 placed in 4 and the lord of Lagna in 7. So, effectively there is a Parivartana between the lord of Lagna and lord of 10.  Mercury, though in Pisces is exalted in Navamsa, giving rise to the status of an exalted planet. ( Rule 18) As lord of 10, it aspects the 10th. So, a powerful nexus is established between the Bhava, Bhava lord and the Lagna lord, with reference to the 10th Bhava, propelling John Major to become the Prime Minister  of United Kingdom.

In the chart of Wimbledon Superstar, Monica Seles, Libra rises. With Lagna lord Venus in the 4th and the 10th lord in the 5th. Mars ( as sign dispositor of 10th lord Moon) is in the 7th aspecting both the Lagna and the 10th. The 10th comes under the influence of both Jupiter & Venus. Reckoned from the 10th, all the benefics are located in quadrants. The lord of 10, occupies the 5th, an auspicious trine. If you analyse the 10th from Chandra Lagna,you have Sun Vargottama in the 10th,Mars as 10th lord ,Vargottama in the 3rd and aspecting the 10th.( Rule 2)So, the tenth house comes under favorable influences in an all-encompassing way. This has led Monica Seles to reach the pinnacle of glory in women’s tennis.In 1990, Monica Seles became the youngest ever French Open champion at the age of 16. She went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday and was the year-end world no. 1 in 1991 and 1992. Regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest tennis players of all time,Monica Seles was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ricky Ponting, who led Australia to success in two World Cups, has an impressive array of planets. He is considered the most successful captain in International cricketing history, with 220 matches won, overall from 324 matches. Bhava lord in Bhava is most auspicious. So Mars in 10th is a boon. If we look at the quadrants from the 10th, Aquarius has two benefics in it, Moon and Jupiter forming a Gaja Kesari Yoga.( Rule 6) Mars aspects Lagna. So, this planetary alignment has facilitated Ricky Ponting to court success in an immeasurable way, in the world of Cricket.

We will now discuss the features of Sophia Loren’s chart. In her chart, lord of 10, Mercury is exalted in the 10th while forming a Dharma-Karmadipathi Yoga, in conjunction with 9th lord Sun. The 10th Bhava is hemmed between the benefics Jupiter and Venus. ( This is the converse of Rule 14 mentioned earlier)Though lord of 5, Mars is debilitated, it gets exalted in Navamsa and it also generates a partial Vipareeta Raja Yoga. Reckoned from 10th Bhava, Mars and Ketu are malefics in an Upachaya Sthana, being the 11th from 10th, which is the 8th house. Overall, we can say the 10th Bhava in Sophia Loren’s chart is rendered quite strong. In 1995, she received the Golden Globe Cecil B. De Mille Award for lifetime achievement.

In the chart of Tony Blair, there is mutual aspect between Lagna lord, Venus and 10th lord Saturn, both planets quite strongly placed. The 10th lord is retrograde and Vargottama at the same time and receives the benefic aspect of both Venus and Jupiter. ( Rule 5) The Upachaya houses from 10th are the 3rd and 12th, wherein Ketu and Sun are placed respectively. The chart also gains in strength due to the Parivartana between Lagna lord Venus and the 11th lord Jupiter.Blair served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007.

If we look at all these five charts, one common thread which runs through all of them is that the Tenth Bhava is strongly fortified and the key principles of Bhava analysis are all fulfilled in these charts. So, any Bhava, if analyzed in the light of these astrological principles, can be correctly judged based on the planetary influences on that Bhava. So, a perfect understanding of these rules will go a long way in comprehending the exact nature of a Bhava. By applying these principles, one can form an accurate opinion about the results likely to emanate from the planetary influences on a Bhava.


John Major

Monica Seles

Ricky Pointing

Sophia Loren

Tony Blair

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