STHANA BALA = positional strength


Istha Phala/ Kashta Phala

Istha Phala = The ability to do Good

Kashta Phala = Ability to Harm/ create problems

The numeric value of these features, lets call them IP and KP in short for this article, depends mostly on 2 factors –


I) The Distance from Sun – The farther a planet is from the Sun, the higher its IP. This is attributed to the fact that planets close to the sun start becoming invisible due to the sheer brightness of the sun and hence lose their own ‘lusture’. The farther a planet is from the sun, the brighter its own appearance in the sky. This is most clearly visible for the Moon for obvious reasons. Exactly opposite to the Sun, the Moon is Full and bright and conjunct to the Sun is the New Moon or Amavasya where the moon is fully dark.

Likewise, for other planets (except Rahu-Ketu) the farther they are from the Sun, the brighter they will be.

Within the same context, safe to mention here without getting into details, is the fact that the outer planets – Mars, Saturn and Jupiter get retrograde when far away from the Sun and hence when Retrograde planets will generally have a higher IP.

II) Distance from Point of Exaltation – The closer a planet is to its point of deep exaltation, the higher its IP and lower its KP. Vice-versa is also true.

Now when you add the points (I) & (II) an important point to note is that a low IP DOES NOT automatically imply a high KP. It might, but not necessarily.

As an example assume Saturn at 15 degrees in Libra. This Saturn is within 5 degrees of its deepest exaltation point at 20 degrees of Libra and hence will have a very low KP and a high IP by default. Now assume Sun is at 10 degrees of Libra. Now Saturn being so close to Sun will drastically reduce the IP of Saturn however will NOT increase the KP. Hence such a Saturn will have a very low KP and a low IP. On the other hand notice how Sun is at exact debilitation point. Hence Sun will have a very high KP and almost NIL IP.

Another example – Moon at 3 degrees Taurus with Sun in Scorpio at 3 degrees will have a full IP (100%) and zero KP as its fully bright and also in deep exaltation.

Important features to know about IP & KP –

1) These are not parts of the standard Shadbala calculation for a planet’s strength

2) The mathematical range varies from an absolute number of 0 – 60. 60 is the highest IP for any planet and 0 in the lowest

3) Rahu-Ketu are excluded in this analysis as they are not real bodies or planets

4) High IP planets tend to give their promised results easily in their dasas as opposed to high KP planets. A planet with a high KP will tend to throw many obstacles in the native’s path during its dasa. However the final result is not dictated by IP/ KP. Its dicated by the functional nature, dignity, Yogas etc the planet is involved in.

5) If a planet is functionally benefic and good in dignity and shadbala and involved in good yogas, it will give very good results in its dasas. However if this planet has a low IP, the results will still come albeit after some initial setbacks and with more ‘hesitancy’ or a reduced ‘fluency’ than if planet also had a high IP

6) Contrary to pt. 5 above, if the planet is strongly malefic by rulership, dignity etc and has a low IP also, it will create grave problems in its dasas and might even detroy all significations of houses it rules, sits in and aspects

7) More than the planet itself, the IP of the Rashi, Nakshatra and Navamsa depositor of a planet is very crucial. This is because these planets act like a source for nourishment for the deposited planet from where the planet get its ‘Poshaak’ or Food. If a planet is deposited in a Rashi and Nakshatra of a planet with a very high IP and low KP, such a planet will have a lot of good energy to feed from and will give good/ benefic results.

8) Good Yogas should ideally form in signs and nakshatras owned by planets with high IP and low KP so that these Yogas can easily fructify. If the reverse of low IP and high KP is true, then the Yogas will manifest to a lower intensity and that too after initial struggles and hurdles in the path

9) Generic Benefics – Jupiter, Venus, Moon & Mercury form a greater Nourishment providers than the natural malefics – Saturn, Mars & Sun. However this is just a relative comparison and it is always desirable to have a planet with a higher IP as opposed to a low IP