For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

Recent Posts


Encyclopedia of Vedic Astrology: Remedies: Introduction, Chapter I, Part – 3

Dr. Shanker Adawal

Part 3

In Vedic astrology, a given planet is described as having two kinds of attributes. It is either strong/weak (a quantitative attribute) or benefic/malefic (a qualitative attribute). One need not block ones mind by getting hung up on the terms. Many astrologers refer to these two attributes interchangeably, sometimes out of carelessness. On the other hand there also exist in traditional texts references to planets which are cruel, Kruras – the Sun for instance – but which are not necessarily malefic; somewhat akin to having a strict father or teacher! It is important to understand that gemstones are only capable of strengthening weak planets. They must not be used when the planet is a malefic. As a ready-reckoner, when a planet is in exaltation, in its own sign, in its special sign (Moolatrikona), placed in the sign of a friend, in an angle or trine or in its angle or Kendra of power (e.g., Jupiter, Mercury in 1st, Venus, the Moon in 4th, Saturn in 7th and Mars, the Sun in 10th), then it is strong. A similar brief consideration for determining a malefic planet would be: if it rules the 6th, 8th or 12th houses or if it rules the obstructive or Badhaka house (11th, 7th or 9th signs from the ascendant if the latter is in a cardinal, mutable or fixed sign, respectively), etc. Evidently there is more to these attribute determinations than this. This has practical implications. For example, if the lord of the 6th house is weak (the Moon for an Aquarius horoscope), we must not recommend that the person wear pearls! On the other hand, if the Sun is in Libra in the same horoscope, wearing a ruby (Sun’s gemstone) would improve matters pertaining to the 7th house!

While weak benefics can be strengthened by gemstones, malefics can be propitiated by other forms of remedies, including fasting, performing good deeds or giving charity, immersing oneself into specific Mantras and other devotional acts. A malefic planet indicates a karmic factor that may be amenable to correction or pacification (Shanti), hence the importance of penance or voluntary suffering! It must also be noted that though Mantras can be utilized for strengthening weak planets as well; however, they are generally very specialized and require appropriate Rituals in order to be effective. Merely chanting them after reading them off a text or a web page might not do the trick! It is safe to say that listening to properly recorded chants does induce some benefits, though.

A perfect astrologer would prefer to view a birth chart as a map of the earthly manifestation and allocation of the cosmic energy, the breath of life primarily for the current lifetime. The horoscopic houses are the 12 corridors of human experience that are illuminated by the 7 planetary candles, all of which are manifestations of the Prime Energy Source from which the more you take, the same remains behind. Each planet finds certain corridors that are harmoniously and brightly lit by its light. These represent the strong positions for the given planet. There are also those corridors that would not be well lit by the same planet’s presence there (the planetary energy is not fully expressed). In such a case, one may resort to boosting the light, by using the lenses or reflectors in the form of gemstones or herbs. Of the 7 candles, some candles have a clean flame (benefic), while others also produce smoke (malefic)! A candle might produce an intensely bright and blinding light with plumes of smoke (a strong malefic) or it might produce a smokeless dim light (weak benefic). Think of it this way, if gemstones are reflectors or condenser lenses, then penance and Mantra are like HEPA filter air purifiers in this analogy!

A gemstone may be worn to fortify a benefic planet that is weak in the natal chart at any time, or it may be worn when its planetary period, such as Vimshottari Dasha or sub-dasha (a method of lunar progression) is operational. In the case of slower moving planets, if they are weak in transit while one is experiencing their Dashas at an important phase in life, gemstones often help. Since, in these situations, the planet is the source of the effect or the motivation factor, we would like it to be as strong as is possible. If the planet is weak and malefic, then we would leave it untouched! Doesn’t this make a weak malefic sound like a karmic windfall?


Dr. Shanker Adawal

Research work and articles on Bhrigu Nadi astrology:
Published articles on
or search keyword "shanker adawal" in google search for published articles
Join my Facebook Group for free Astro Queries:
Published articles on Newspapers:

Education and Astrology!

Relations and Astrology

Predictive Patterns of Zodiac Signs 2024

राशिचक्र का पूर्वानुमान वर्ष 2024 के लिए।