Bhava Phala Praveshika — 2: Grahas aspecting the Lagna
Graha aspecting Lagna — Sun
Saravali 34.1–7. If the Sun aspects the Ascendant, the native will be valorous, will be irascible with females, be cruel, will gain wealth from paternal side and will serve the king.
Saravali initiates the elaboration of interpretation of the Lagna bhava by narrating the influences of various Grahas on the Lagna.
While the nature of the person is determined by the Sign rising in the ascendant, they undergo modification by the influences of Graha placed in the ascendant. If none placed in the ascendant, then the Graha aspecting the ascendant leave their stamp on the Lagna.
The aspecting Graha aspects the Lagna from one of the other houses. For instance Jupiter can aspect the ascendant from the 7H or one of the Trines due to its special sight. The originating bhava should also be considered as the aspecting Graha connects the originating bhava and the aspected bhava.
As a final step in understanding the influence of Graha aspecting the lagna, one should also look at the houses owned by the Graha. For instance For Ta Lagna, Jupiter is a functional malefic and if aspects the Lagna from 5H Virgo, it can promise good health (natural signification of Ju) but it can cause life-long tensions (8L/11L) pertaining to matters of Children (5H). Last but not the least, the sign where the aspecting Graha is sitting needs to be seen as well as that will show the environment where the aspect will become effective.
In this case, placement of 8L and 11L in the 5H is not conducive to have a happiness with regards to children and Jupiter is connecting this to the Lagna by its aspect.
Having understood the general concepts of aspect, the source and destination of the aspect, the natural and functional nature of aspecting Graha, let us observe what aspecting Sun has to say?
Aspecting Sun bestow its naisargika significations to the Lagna. They are-
- Valor: Lion, king of the Jungle. Friendly to Mars, the Graha of valor
- Irascible with females: Highly masculine. Inimical to Venus, the Graha of relationships
- Cruel: Sun is a Krura Graha by nature. It acts on a Situation without being swayed by emotions.
- Gain paternal legacy: Sun signifies father and also resources. Legacy comes due to influence of Saturn who rules death
- Serve the king: Sun signifies the King. Aspect of Sun gives the inclination to work for the king or work in the court of King like an minister or artist.
Aspect vs. Placement
The aspect is different from the placement of the Graha in the lagna. Note what Saravali (30.2) says about the placement of Sun in the Lagna.
“The Sun in the Ascendant denotes, that the native will be baldish, be lazy in action, given to anger, will have prominent personality, be honourable, will have weak eyesight, coarse physique, be courageous, impatient and unkind.
If the Ascendant is Cancer and is occupied by the Sun, the native will have swollen eyes, if it be Aries with Sun therein, his sight will be weak and in Leo the Sun makes him night-blind.
One suffers poverty and loss of children, if the Sun occupies Libra.”
Now the question is “What is causing the difference”
The primary result of a Graha is always of the Bhava where it is placed which the Bhava aspected by the Graha is always secondary. It is also said in many places that the nature of the results due to placement and aspect are also different from the overall auspiciousness and inauspiciousness standpoint. For instance it is said that Saturn protects the house it is placed and troubles the house it aspects. On the other hand this is reverse for Jupiter who protects the house it aspects but troubles the house it is placed. The principle laid here should also be used for other bhavas as Saravali didn’t mention the aspects of Graha on other bhavas for the sake of brevity.
Now coming back to the placement vs. aspect of the Sun, we note that the aspect is primarily influencing the nature of the person not affecting the physical attributes physique, hair, eyes; the destiny attributes Honour, wealth or poverty, homeland, own culture, own people etc.
Graha aspecting Lagna — Moon
Saravali 34.1–7. If the Moon aspects the Ascendant, he will be under the control of women, fortunate, be very courteous, be very wealthy, softly disposed and will gain by dealing in water-born articles.
Saravali 30.14. The Moon in the Ascendant identical with Cancer, Taurus, or Aries indicates, that the native will be liberal, beautiful, rich and enjoying pleasures greatly. The Moon in the Ascendant identical with other Signs indicates, that the native will be intensely passionate, base, deaf, distressed, dumb and will decline in prosperity with time.
Aspecting Moon bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Under control of women: Moon is a Jala graha and is emotional and sensitive in nature. Such people like to be involved in some or other relationships as they find comforting in company of the opposite sex.
- Fortunate: Moon is the karaka for this life and also the mother. Aspect of Moon indicate blessings of the mother. Moon should be strong in paksha-bala to bestow fortune.
- Very courteous: Courtesy comes from the Jala Graha Moon and Venus as they have strong feminine qualities and they are able to relate to others well. While Moon is endowed with compassion and empathy, Venus is endowed with Sensuality and highly cultured habits.
- Very wealthy: Comfort also comes from the Jala Graha as they also attain dikbala in the 4H of comfort and the Sukha (Moksha) kendra. This makes the person seek comfort and luxuries.
- Softly disposed: Soft nature is governed by Saumya Graha Moon, Venus, Mercury and Jupiter. Among them Moon is soft and motherly, with a feminine speech.
- Gain by dealing in water-born articles: Moon is a Jala Graha and governs Cancer indicating river. Hence such native are gainful if they deal with water born articles.
Graha aspecting Lagna — Mars
Saravali 34.1–7. If Mars lends his aspect to the Ascendant, one will be fond of valorous acts and battles, irascible, will have severed relationship, be very righteous and will have a long penis.
Saravali 30.26. If Mars occupies the Ascendant, the native will be cruel, adventurous, dull-witted, short-lived, honourable, courageous, will have an injured physique, be attractive in appearance and fickle-minded.
Aspecting Mars bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Fond of valorous acts and battles: Mars the Deva Senapati or the commander-in-chief of the Deva’s army. In all cultures, Mars is also considered the god of war. Mars intention is to do heroic acts so that he gets noticed by others. One important aspect of Mars is protection and security; it is always eager to protect the righteous and defeat the evil forces.
- Irascible: What can you expect from a army commander. His speech is dominating, commanding and at sometime rude and condescending.
- Severed relationship: Mars likes to be a Bachelor as it is the significator of Celibacy. It rules physical strength which is lost by having sex. Emotions and sensitivity is not his forte which is a key ingredient in any relationship. The emotional component is governed by the watery element (Venus and Moon). Mars is also fickle minded (wavering fire), hence is not committed to any relationship
- Very righteous: Mars is the protector of the righteous being the commander of the God’s army. He is the governor of Sattva according to all major Jyotish classics, although endowed with Tamas Guna.
- Long penis: In my humble opinion, this could be a mistranslation of the Sanskrit word as in these verses, the aspects indicate mental attributes. For those who are interested in exploring this further, the word used here is “स्थूलशेफ sthūlaśepha”
Graha aspecting Lagna — Mercury
Saravali 34.1–7. Should Mercury aspect the Ascendant, the native will have rich knowledge of arts and will thereby gain and be quite intelligent, famous and honourable.
Saravali 30.38. Should Mercury occupy the Ascendant, the native will have a flawless physique, be intelligent, will know proper (beneficial) place and time, be well-versed in poetry and mathematics, be a skilful and sweet speaker and be long-lived.
Aspecting Mercury bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Rich knowledge of arts and also gain from it: Mercury is the eternal learner and it governs our learning skills. It also governs the child within us which is not bound by societal norms and is completely free in mind. Hence, in a way it indicates unconditioned and unbound creativity. It rules all form of learning and practice including various forms of arts such as Music, writing etc. Among the various art forms, the specific art forms it rules those which keep the body flexible i.e., yoga, dancing, aerobics, gymnastics etc. It also rules writing and speech (mimicry, satire, comedy etc.).
- Intelligent: The Sanskrit term Budha mean “to understand”. All Grahas have some forms of intelligence which gravitate our mind towards certain aspects. Howsoever varied the kinds of intelligence are, there are two common themes 1) learning & replicating 2) applying and discerning. The learning aspect of the intelligence is governed by Mercury, however, the ability to discern the right from wrong is governed by Jupiter. An argument can be logically true but may not be correct from its application standpoint, thus when knowledge matures one becomes a master.
- Famous: This is an outcome rather than mental aptitude. In my opinion the author is trying to say that such people seek attention and try to make themselves visible among any group or gathering, somewhat like a child. Given their skills, learning and scholarship, they also manage to standout. They are known to be good and well-read scholars or a walking talking encyclopaedia.
- Honourable: Fame and Honour comes from the Lagna and the 10H, the houses of two thrones. The Lagna rules the earth throne while the 10H shows the sky throne. The Lagna represent fame because of one’s identity (learning, behaviour, nature, family, background etc.) while 10H indicate one’s actions and authority.
Graha aspecting Lagna — Jupiter
Saravali 34.1–7. If Jupiter be the aspecting planet with reference to the Ascendant one will be interested in religious observations, be honoured by the king, be famous and will be endowed with (the company of) virtuous people, elders and guests.
Saravali 30.50. If Jupiter occupies the 1st, the native will be attractive in appearance, energetic, long-lived, will act after assessing consequences, be learned, courageous and great.
Aspecting Jupiter bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Interested in religious observations: Brhaspati is the Deva-Guru whose responsibility is to see that his followers are on the righteous path and following the religious code. Native having Jupiter’s aspect on the lagna are usually god fearing and believe in external attributes of worshipping i.e., going to temples, observing religious ceremonies, yagna, havan etc.
- Honoured by the king: Among all the Grahas, Jupiter has the highest intellect, which is why is the supreme advisor and minister. Such people are known for their dur-drsti (long vision), pragmatic advises and ability to advise the right thing to do according Dharma (righteous path). Which is why such people are respected by the masses.
- Famous: Fame comes from the Lagna and the 10H and the Karaka for fame are Jupiter and the Moon. Jupiter’s aspect on any bhava gives fame to the native pertaining to the significations of that bhava and / or to the people signified by the Bhava so aspected. Jupiter’s aspect on the Lagna gives fame pertaining to one’s knowledge and as an advisor or counsellor.
- Company of virtuous people, elders and guests: Jupiter confers the mindset of being around of righteous people, learn good things from them which will help one to grow in life. They also want to help people in need and guide others in their life. Off-course the ability to guide others does not come from thin-air, hence they are always engaged in learning spiritual or philosophical texts and reflecting on life’s challenges and ways of addressing them. Their nature is highly benevolent and they honour and respect everyone irrespective of their religion, caste and creed; especially elders and guests (atithi-devo-bhavah).
Graha aspecting Lagna — Venus
Saravali 34.1–7. Venus aspecting the Ascendant denotes, that he will be addicted to many prostitutes, be youthful, will have happiness of wealth and pleasure and will be beautiful in appearance.
Saravali 30.62. If Venus is in Ascendant, the native will possess beautiful eyes, face and physique, be happy, long-lived, timid and attractive to females.
Aspecting Venus bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Addicted to many prostitutes: Venus chiefly governs the semen or the reproductive energies. While that is essential to progress the lineage of own kind in the world, too much of anything is not good. Venus’s aspect makes someone fond of company of the opposite sex, especially during adolescence when the Venus (Virya) is very active and the sexual drives are strong. On the other hand Venus is the Karaka for relationship and romance that is needed for two persons from opposing sex to come together. In summary, people with strong Venus influencing the lagna are relationship oriented and sexually active. However, whether or not they go to prostitutes can’t be seen from just the aspect as Lagna (ideals) and 9H (religious principles, morals) and 4H (emotions) play and important part. If these houses are strong, the person will not cross the social boundaries. In this matter one should note that Venus-Mars and Moon-Mercury combinations drive one towards extra-marital affairs so influence of such combinations should also be judged.
- Youthful: Among the Grahas, the most youthful is Mars (Kumara), followed by Mercury (Child), followed by Venus (Sensuous). This indicate that such people are highly active and gregarious in their youth and have big circles of fiends and extended social circle.
- Happiness of wealth and pleasure: All kinds of pleasures and comforts are governed by Venus. They desire material happiness and comforts and try to acquire them. However, whether or not they get all these need to be seen from overall disposition of the horoscope especially the 4H.
- Beautiful in appearance: Beauty is of different kind represented by all the Benefics. Mercury indicate beauty of innocence, Moon indicate beauty of compassion, Jupiter indicate beauty of dignity while Venus indicate beauty of sensuality.
Graha aspecting Lagna — Saturn
Saravali 34.1–7. If Saturn aspects the Ascendant one will be troubled by heavy loads, travels and diseases, be irascible, will be attached to aged women (i.e. will be fond of seeking union with aged females), be devoid of happiness, be dirty and foolish.
Saravali 30.74. If Saturn happens to be in the Ascendant identical with exaltation, or own House, the native will equal a king in status, or will head a country, or city. If Saturn is in the Ascendant in other Rāśis, then his own, or exaltation Rāśi, the planet will give misery in boyhood, dirty disposition and indolence.
Aspecting Saturn bestow its natural signification on the lagna-
- Troubled by heavy loads: Saturn signify labor, hard-work, persistence and toil. When Saturn aspects the Lagna, such people can become extremely hardworking depending on the strength of the Lagna lord. On the negative side, Saturn causes lethargy and procrastination and shy away from hard work.
- Travels and diseases: Saturn cause someone to get uprooted from own home, homeland, native place etc. They have to wander around without settling in a place for too long. This causes instability and fatigue. Saturn is also the karaka for diseases being the karaka of the Trika (6–8–12), its aspect on the Lagna can make the person fight long-lasting diseases, especially when Saturn is inimical to the Lagna lord (Say Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter)
- Irascible: influence of Saturn and Mars, the two Tamas Grahas cause the native to get perturbed with smallest of troubles. This is because they represent the state of low energy. This is why such natives are easy angered under smallest of pretext. If the lagna lord is strong, this issue is overridden.
- Attached to matured women: Saturn rules old age and its aspect on the lagna indicate attachment to everything that is old, old things, old ideas and concepts, old customs, old values, old people and old women. Such people are usually highly conservative and less open to new ideas (signified by Mercury who represents change).
- Devoid of happiness: Saturn is represent sorrow and misery, then how can their aspect on the lagna give happiness. People with Saturn aspecting Lagna could have gloomy outlook towards life, they can be pessimistic etc. depending on the strength of Lagna lord.
- Dirty: Saturn rules all dirty things in life such as garbage, waste disposal system, human excretory system etc. Saturn rules all cleaners who are essential to keep a system tidy and working. However, influence of Saturn on the lagna makes the person unkempt, shabby and not concerned about their looks and appearance.
- Foolish: Foolishness can mean many things including lack of intelligence represented by Mercury or Jupiter. However, intelligence needs to be seen from the overall disposition of the Lagna, the 5H and their karaka. So it will not be correct to conclude that native with Saturn aspecting the Lagna makes the native devoid of intelligence. The way it should interpreted is, such natives don’t know how to behave appropriately in different circumstances; they are oblivious to the societal norms and diplomacy. They lack high culture and finesse represented by Venus, scholarship indicated by Mercury, Dignity indicated by Jupiter, Royalty indicate by the Sun and social mannerism indicated by the Moon.
Shubha or Krura Grahas aspecting Lagna
Saravali 34.8. (1) When a planet aspects the Ascendant identical with its own Sign, it confers happiness and wealth, apart from close relationship with the king. (2) If the Ascendant is not owned by the aspecting planet, then a benefic confers auspicious effects and a malefic evil results.
- A strong Lagna is essential for success in life and having a sense of fulfilment. If the Lagna is weak, the person can waste his life wandering and drifting like a ship without a captain.
- Aspect of Grahas on the Lagna gives a purpose in life. If the aspecting Graha is strong, then the intensity of the purpose is strong, else weak. It is always good to have many planets aspecting the Lagna, else the native will lack a definite purpose.
- Benefics (natural) aspecting the Lagna will always help in fulfilling the purpose in life while malefics can cause obstacles.
- However, if the aspecting malefic is the lord of the Lagna, it can never create obstacles for its own house. Hence, it will support the native in fulfilling life’s purpose.
- The own house principle can be extended to exaltation and friendly sign of the aspecting Graha as they will not ruin the bhava owned by their friends or if the sign is their exaltation sign.
- On the other hand, if the aspecting malefics are inimical to the Lagna lord, there is severe problem. The obstacles in life can come from the natural as well functional significations of the aspecting Graha and also from the Bhava from where the Graha is aspecting.
- Aspecting benefics if inimical to the Lagnesha, can also damage to certain extent, but by nature their ability to do harm is always limited. For instance for Ta or Li Lagnas, aspect of Jupiter from the 7H can only be considered mildly negative. It can still support giving fulfilment in life, but there could also be challenges in life due to their lordship of TriShadAaya or the 8H.
Lagna devoid of aspects
Saravali 34.9. Should the ascending Sign be not in aspect to even one planet, the native will be devoid of (other) qualities and will acquire exclusive qualities of the Sign concerned.
- A native is governed by the Sign rising in the lagna, the Graha placed in the Lagna or the Grahas aspecting the Lagna.
- If a Graha is placed in the Lagna, it will have stronger in influencing the person’s nature. Else, the native will be governed by the Grahas aspecting the Lagna. If there is none in the Lagna and not one is aspecting it, then the nature is governed by the rising sign in the Lagna.
- Order of precedence is Grahas placed in the Lagna Grahas aspecting the Lagna Sign Rising the Lagna.
- Nevertheless, the nature of the rising sign can’t be fully overridden by the Graha placed or aspecting the Lagna. There will be some characteristics that will still shine through, although to a lesser extent.
- If the Lagna lord is placed in the Lagna or aspecting the Lagna, it is extremely strong in bringing out the influence of the rising sign and the lagna lord.
Multiple Grahas aspecting Lagna
Saravali 34.10–11. (1) If two or more planets aspect the Ascendant, the native acquires happiness and wealth. (2) Even one benefic aspecting the Ascendant is auspicious, while a malefic so aspecting is inauspicious. (3) If the Ascendant is aspected by all the planets one rules over the earth. (4) Should all the planets be endowed with strength, he will enjoy all kinds of happiness, be free from fear and be long-lived.
- Auspicious Grahas confer happiness while inauspicious Grahas cause obstacles.
- Strong benefics aspecting the Lagna confer the best results while weak benefics aspecting confer diminished auspiciousness. Similarly strong malefics are less malefic while weak malefics are vicious.
- The statement of “If the ascendant is aspected by all the planets one rules over the earth.” should be interpreted as aspect of natural benefics only i.e., Jupiter, Venus, waxing Moon and well-associated Mercury.
- If both benefics and malefics aspect the Lagna, then the results will be mixed depending their strengths and weaknesses.
- If all the benefics aspect the Lagna and if all of them are strong, the native free from fear (from mishaps in life) and long-lived (with happiness and contentment).
Planets conjoining Lagna
Saravali 34.12. (1) If three planets are together in the Ascendant, the native will be devoid of miseries and will lord over the earth. (2) But, if these are (exclusively) malefics, he will be distressed due to fear, grief etc., will eat much and will be disregarded by one and all.
- This verse endorses the fact that the aspecting Grahas mentioned in the previous verse refers to benefics only i.e., excluding the malefics.
- There are four benefic Grahas viz., Jupiter, Venus, waxing Moon and well-associated Mercury. If out of them 3 are placed in the Lagna (and with strength), the native is given all comforts.
- However, if the 3 Grahas are malefics viz., Saturn, Mars, Sun, Rahu or Ketu, then the reverse will happen i.e., life full of fear (of danger, mishaps), miseries, failures etc. The native is humiliated (lagna=fame), dishonoured and there is fall in position (compared to the circumstances the native is born).