Bala rishta – Afflictions to the Moon

Afflictions to the Moon at birth and the remedies

(as Published in Gochara Volume 21, Issue 1, Autumn 2020)

Moon is the mind of a person. The mind is the seat of emotions and is linked to five sense organs of sound, touch, sight, smell and taste from which information and knowledge are continuously gathered. The same mind when turned inward by the control of these five sense organs by the intellect, becomes an instrument for gaining higher awareness. Moon is a critical planet in a horoscope as it is lord of the 27 nakṣatrās that controls the longevity.

Moon is often associated with Vedic deity Somā, the god of nectar who is responsible for the healing and cooling of the planet. Somā nourishes the plant kingdom as the Vedic deity Agni feeds the animals and humans. Sri Kriśna the avatarā represented by the planet Moon talks about this concept in Chapter 15 in the Gita in the following verse –

पुष्णामिचौषधी:सर्वा:सोमोभूत्वारसात्मक:|| 13||

gām āviśhya cha bhūtāni dhārayāmy aham ojasā
puṣhṇāmi chauṣhadhīḥ sarvāḥ somo bhūtvā rasātmakaḥ

Permeating the earth, I nourish all living beings with my energy. Becoming the Somā (Moon), I nourish all plants with the juice of life.

Moon is the life force – the prānā. breath. When Moon has directional strength, the powerful deity Mārutā (The God of Wind) is invoked. The Moon in the 4th house from āruḍha gives immense power to overtake things. In Hora Ratnam, it is described that when Moon is in directional strength in the 4th house, the native will win over enemies, be endowed with progeny and kinsfolk, very wealthy, an abode of numerous virtues, dear to women and highly honourable. If the Moon loses on this count, the native will be interested in going to distant lands (out of distress), will wander aimlessly, be unfortunate, will perform mean deeds, and be unkind and bereft of sons and friends.

It follows that a powerful Moon can withstand many a foe and preserve life. If afflicted or weakened, the longevity or balance of mind of a person may be disturbed.

Riṣṭā in Sanskrit means danger, misfortune or something that can be torn away like life from a vulnerable child and mother. In the natural scheme of dasās of planets, the first two years of the child is governed by the Moon when the child does not have a separate identity from the mother. An afflicted Moon is considered very dangerous as it can limit the life in childhood. Classics describe a life that is lost before a child reaches the age of twelve years as Bala riṣṭā, before the age of twenty years as Yoga riṣṭā and below the age of twenty-four years as Janma riṣṭā. It is advised that longevity should not be thought about until this period of 24 years is over. Vaidyanātha Dikṣitar in Jātaka Pārijāta goes on to say that if the child dies in the first four years, it is because of the mother’s karma, as she suffers the most along with the child. If the child dies between 4 and 8, then it is owing to accumulated karma of the father and after that it is the child’s own karma from past life (Jātaka Pārijāta, Book 1, Chapter 4, and Verse 2).

Some of the life threatening combinations caused by the placement of Moon at birth are discussed below. In the present times, a lot of these dangers have been mitigated by the scientific advancements and the practise of better hygiene.

Moon in Shadow houses of 6th, 8th and 12th houses (dusthānās)

Moon in the 6th, 8th or 12th house aspected by malefic planets like Rahu, Saturn and Mars or Ketu can cause an early death or illness. The 6th, 8th and 12th are shadow houses and harmful to the longevity of a person, as Saturn the significator for these houses is weakest amongst the planets. When the Moon is placed in these houses, it is best if Saturn is placed in a Kendra and aspecting the ascendant.

There is a dictum that if in a horoscope the Moon is in the 8th house and Saturn is stationed in the Ascendant while Jupiter is in the 3rd house – journey to the abode of Yama (death) will occur soon. This is because all the three planets in question are in death like situation or in marana. When Moon is in marana, Saturn should be strengthened as it is the kārakā of the 8th house, but if Saturn is also in marana, there is nothing to help. Jupiter in marana is dire, as Jupiter is the one that protects life.

However, it is important to say that not every child who has Moon in these shadow houses will face danger to life. The Moon has to be aspected by malefics and the planetary aspect should be given more importance rather than the sign aspect. Bhaṭṭopāla a commentator of this verse in Jātaka Pārijāta explains that if the Moon is in a benefic sign or conjunct a benefic in a sign owned by a malefic, then the child will not die. A strong Śubhapati (dispositor of the moon) is also likely to help.

Afflicted Moon in Ascendant, 7th or the 9th house

When Moon is conjunct or aspected by a single malefic planet and placed in the Ascendant, 7th or 9th house without any benefic aspects, it can cause early demise of the child. The results of 1st, 7th and 9th house manifest late in a horoscope and when an afflicted moon is placed in this house, it can reverse the longevity.

Moon ideally should be on placed on its own in a sign and not conjunct any other planet. The planet conjoining Moon transfers its guna or attributes to the Moon and the innate nature of the Moon radically changes by a conjunction. Moon is sattva guna planet and when it is with the tamas guna planets like Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu, there is damage to longevity or balance of mind. Rahu’s conjunction with Moon causes terrible shocks, its conjunction with Mars can cause accidents and ill-health, and its conjunction with Ketu detachment. Moon with Saturn causes anxiety or depression.

Moon with Rajas guna planets like Mercury and Venus cause excessive desire and hankering. Further, the yoga of Moon with Venus is called Rudrā Yoga and there could be blood pressure issues. Conjunction of Moon with Mercury results in śārada yoga, which is good for knowledge. Moon with sattva planets like Sun or Jupiter will have more positive influences, however Moon with Sun is called Amavāsya (dark moon) and it has to be remedied immediately.

Further, when Moon is conjoined with a malefic in any house and there are malefics in the ascendant and the 7th house and none of them have benefic influences, there can be a threat to life. This is because the ascendant and the 7th house are 6th and 12th house from the 8th house of longevity.

Moon hemmed by malefic in either sides (Papa kartari)

When Moon is in low light (from the 11th day of the waning cycle to the 5th day of the waxing cycle) and is placed in ascendant, 7th, 8th or 12th with a malefic influence on either side of it then death is sure to come quickly. A low light moon is inherently weaker and the awareness of health is
very low in shadow houses. This placement can promote bad habits and carelessness. This combination becomes extremely dangerous when there are malefic planets in 7th and 8th house.

Moon in Kendra with Malefics and birth in gaṇḍānta

Moon in Kendra combined with birth in gaṇḍānta will also lead to early death. Gaṇḍānta are junction points where abrupt changes are expected to happen. There is lack of continuity in the momentum and planets are placed in the junction of two conflicting elements like fire and water or air and earth. The ascendant can be in gaṇḍānta, or the nakṣatrā of the Moon or the tithi (soli-lunar day). The combination can become more dangerous when the birth is close to sunrise or sunset or when the birth is in a horā of the Moon.

Birth during an eclipse

Parasara mentions in Chapter 87, verse 2 that the birth during an eclipse is considered as inauspicious. Whoever is born during the solar and lunar eclipse runs the risk of sickness, suffering, poverty and death. (Chapter 93, Verse 1)

Sarāvali in Chapter 10 verses 37-38 further elaborates that if such an eclipsed moon is in the ascendant with malefics in the Kendra or the 8th house without aspect of a benefic, then the longevity of the child is impaired.

Antidote to the danger (Riṣṭā bhaṅga )

A whole chapter In BHPS has been dedicated to mitigation of these evils and Sarāvali has two chapters out of which one is specifically dedicated to the nullification of dangers caused by Moon.

एकोपि ज्ञार्यशुक्राणं लग्नात् केन्द्रगतो यदि

अरिष्टं निखिलं हन्ति तिमिरं भास्करो यथ

ekoapi jñāryaśukrāṇaṁ lagnāt kendragato yadi

ariṣṭaṁ nikhilaṁ hanti timiraṁ bhāskaro yatha

If even one among Mercury, Jupiter, Venus happens to be in Kendra (1st, 4th, 7th or 10th house) the combination destroys all evils as darkness is eliminated by the rising Sun.

Parasara in further verses goes on to say that a single strong Jupiter in the ascendant is akin to Lord Siva in the Ascendant is the destroyer of all evils like and asks us to propitiate him. Similarly, a strong Venus in Kendra gives the desire to live and humane instincts. A strong Mercury in the Kendra helps with experiential knowledge which will be the protection. Appropriate remedies can be given to propitiate the deities of the planets if they are placed in Kendra. Here I have found that, if the benefic in question aspects the ascendant, the protection is higher.

A strong Jupiter is the destroyer of darkness or tamasic instincts and he is compared to the rising Sun that dispels evil and darkness. Therefore, it follows that a strong ascendant lord in Kendra is a great protector as he carries the energy of the Sun who is the kārakā for the first house.

A strong aspect of a benefic on the ascendant will help provided the birth is at day time and a waning moon period or night time with waxing moon period. The ascendant or malefics flanked by benefics on either side causes śubha yoga can help mitigate the danger.

Kalyana Varma in Sarāvali mentions that a full moon when aspected by all other grahas can overcome all dangers. A Moon not aspected by any planet has very little desire and causes kemadruma yoga or poverty which usually starts in the mind. He goes on to say that if the Moon is exalted and aspected by Venus, then all evils are countered, this is because
Venus is all the lord of the sign of Moon’s exaltation. Previously this yoga of Moon and Venus has been talked about as bringing blood pressure issues, however Sarāvali says that it is akin to inducing vomiting to destroy the phlegm and bile!

In this context he says if the Moon is in a malefic house and is aspected by the lord of the sign, then Moon will not cause harm just like a miser protecting his money. The Śubhapati, the dispositor of the Moon has a big role to play in sustenance of life. If the Śubhapati is in the ascendant with all planets aspecting him, then the dangers in a horoscope are nullified. One should look at the planets causing riṣṭā and riṣṭā bhaṅga in the varga charts of dvādasamsa (D12) and ṣaṣṭiamsa (D60) before arriving at firm conclusions.

Example 1 – Difficult birth, baby lost

A mother expecting normal delivery, was brought into a hospital maternity unit in November 2019. Fearing the baby was stressed, the mother was induced with a drug to speed up the delivery. Then the doctors decided to go ahead with an assisted delivery with forceps. Not succeeding, the birth finally took place by caesarean section. The baby was still-born and was resuscitated after twenty-eight minutes resulting in brain damage. He died a week later when the life support system was disconnected.

In the birth horoscope, the Moon is severely afflicted and in Kendra, hemmed between Saturn and Ketu, aspected by dire malefics Mars and Rahu. 3 malefics in Kendras results in a Sarpa yoga which is shows bondage. The presence of Saturn next to Moon encouraged the drug to be induced for the speedy delivery. The presence of the nodes Rahu- Ketu made them use of forceps and Mars forced a caesarean section.

In this case unfortunately, there was not one redeeming feature for the protection of life of the baby. No life giving benefic planet is aspecting the Moon or the ascendant. The Śubhapati is Jupiter placed in marana in the 3rd house, unable to support. Moon was in Purvāṣāḍha and the ruler Venus is placed in the 3rd house with the Jupiter. Jupiter helps in prevention of the danger or illness and the locum doctor who attended to this patient was found to be negligent later in a formal enquiry. Venus helps in curing the problem and the specialist who could have turned the situation around apparently did not bother to arrive on time. The ascendant lord Mercury is retrograde showing the baby fought to stay alive during the torturous two hour delivery period and was alive for a week despite the harsh circumstances.


Example 2 – Difficult birth and a twin lost, baby survived

The Moon is in Viśākha nakṣatra in the 9th house affflicted by Saturn and aspected by Rahu and Mars. The mother suffered a sudden paralysis of the legs before birth due to an ongoing auto-immune disease. Saturn caused the birth to be induced through a drug and there were severe complications at birth and the native’s twin did not survive. Saturn aspects the 3rd house of siblings. Mars the Śubhapati aspects the Moon which is protective.

Quoting BHPS Chapter 12, verse 3

एक एव बली जीवो लग्नस्थो रिष्टसंचयम्।

हन्ति पापक्षयं भक्त्या प्राणां इव शूलिनः॥

eka eva balī jīvo lagnastho riṣṭasaṁcayam |

hanti pāpakṣayaṁ bhaktyā prāṇāṁ iva śūlinaḥ ||

A single but strong Jupiter in the ascendant has the ability to destroy all evils just a single obeisance to Lord Śiva can destroy all sins.

Jupiter in the Ascendant in his own sign, kārakā of the 9th house and the lord of the nakṣatrā of the Moon came to his rescue. However as Jupiter is combust and afflicted by Rahu, he could not control all evils. Not only his twin died during the birth, but his mother also died within a year. The person signified by planet conjuct with the
ātma kārakā in the 9th house can normally add to the longevity. Here, Moon is conjunct with Saturn who is also the ātma kārakā, Moon can represent the mother and the death of mother added to the life of the child.

Example 3 – Perilious fall from the 2nd floor window, toddler fighting for life

This is a case of a toddler who was very bright, happy and active until his accident. Moon is in ascendant in his own house and is vargottama showing great strength, focus and memory. However this Moon is in low light and hemmed by malefics Mars and Rahu on either side of ascendant causing a papa kartari yoga. Mars and Rahu together cause accidents. Ketu is a malefic in the 8th house and the 7th house is aspected by the Mars and Saturn. A string of planets called graha mallikā yoga starting from the Sun in the 12th in marana and ending with Jupiter in the 3rd house also in marana blocks the path to the fourth house.

When the toddler was 16 months he fell out of the 2nd floor window. The second year is the second house using Sudarśana chakra dasā and Rahu the 8th Lord is in the 2nd house. After the fall, the child had to undergo major surgery first on the left side of his brain which seemed successful at first, however suffered a stroke a week later on his right undamaged side of the brain. This caused bilateral brain damage and the child lost his motor and cognitive skills and suffered from vision impairment. The papa kartari on the Moon and the ascendant became active as Rahu caused the accident and the marana Sun with Mars in the 12th house resulted in nerve damage causing loss of motor skills and vision.

The toddler lives and is fighting strongly for life the past 16 months since the accident. The vargottama ascendant lord Moon is in his own sign in the ascendant is protecting him true to what is mentioned in BHPS Chapter 12, Verse 4.

एक एव विलग्नेशः केन्द्रसंस्थो बलान्वितः

अरिष्टं निखिलं हन्ति पिनाकी त्रिपुरं यथा

eka eva vilagneśaḥ kendrasaṁstho balānvitaḥ

ariṣṭaṁ nikhilaṁ hanti pinākī tripuraṁ yathā

Just as Lord Śiva, the holder of bow destroyed the demon Tripura, the Lord of Ascendant has the capability of destroying all evils provided that he is strongly placed in Kendra.

The Moon does not have the aspect of a natural benefic and the kārakā of the 1st house, Sun is ill placed in the 12th house. The nakṣatrā dispositor of Punarvasu is Jupiter and he is in Marana in the 3rd house. The ātma kārakā Saturn is in the 6th house of navamsa showing chronic illness implying a full recovery may never be possible. The bādhakeśa Venus is the single benefic in Kendra and his mother is a big worshipper of Durgā.


Example 4 – Auto immune disease, paralysis of legs and full recovery

Example 4 is of a little girl, who right after her 2nd birthday developed a normal infection that quickly developed into an auto immune disease called GB syndrome. She was paralysed from waist down and kept in an incubator. Moon is in Jyeshta in the 8th house debilitated and in Marana placement. The Ascendant Lord and Śubhapati is Mars conjunct with Ketu in Piśāca Yoga (Ghost attack). The nakṣatrā lord of Jyeshta is Mercury who is exalted but in the 6th house of disease. Saturn the kārakā of the 8th house only has a sign aspect on Moon but strong in Kendra in śaśa mahāpuruṣa yoga.

3rd year is the 3rd house using Sudarśana chakra dasa with the combination of Mars and Ketu. They aspect the 9th house which has a debilitated Rahu in marana who is also the badhakesha. 9th house shows lower part of body, the thighs. Her legs were paralysed from her waist and travelling up to her arms. The prognosis did not look good.

Venus being a natural benefic in a Kendra in mālavya mahāpuruṣa yoga with an aspect on ascendant ultimately helped in protection of the child and she made an astonishing complete recovery in a year.

Example 5– Birth on Solar Eclipse Day, undergoing treatment

This is a case of a teenager diagnosed with three malignant tumours in her brain after her 16th birthday. Moon is in the 12th house with Sun and Ketu and aspected by Rahu. The birth happened on the same day as the solar eclipse on 3rd December 2002. There is a Kala Amrita Yoga (planets are hemmed between Rahu and Ketu) in the horoscope. Mercury can break the yoga but it is combust. An exalted Jupiter who is the Ascendant Lord aspects this combination from the 8th house. The nakṣatrā dispositor of Anurādhā is Saturn and is placed in Digbalā and retrograde. So she will fight the disease. Birth is also on a Tuesday that brings forth the karma of fighting disease or obstacles.

Using Sudarśana chakra dasā, the 17th year is the 6th house with Rahu in the house. The Śubhapati Mars does not aspect the Moon or the ascendant. Mars is conjunct Venus in an unfortunate gaṇḍānta combination – the mixing of water and fire element causing danger. There is no aspect of a benefic planet on the Ascendant. The teenager is still undergoing treatment. The effect of eclipse can take 18 years to come to fruition, the time denoted by Rahu. The karma of the disease suffering belongs totally to the teenager as this is a case of Yoga riṣṭā as the disease came after 12 years of age.

Example 6 – Death in a helicopter crash

This is the horoscope of Gianna Byrant who died recently with her father NBA star Kobe Byrant. She died in her 14th year, hence this is a case of Yoga riṣṭā. Moon is in the 6th house afflicted by the bādhakeśa Mars (Moon and Mars is a Rudra yoga). The Śubhapati Mercury is debilitated and conjunct Rahu in the 3rd house. It has a sign aspect to the Moon placed in Gemini. However, Kalāyana Varma holds that a malefic lord’s aspect to the house where Moon resides is more beneficial than a benefic lord as a malefic can put up a better fight than a benefic lord. The combination of Rahu and Mercury show breakage of bones. She was killed in a helicopter crash. She had completed 13 years of age. Using Sudarśana chakra dasā, 14th year is the 3rd house. The 3rd from āruḍha shows the circumstances of death. The sign Sagittarius is 3rd from āruḍha in Libra. Sagittarius shows fall from heights and the aspect of Rahu and Venus on the sign shows a big machine or vehicle. Jupiter the great benefic is in the Kendra that should have helped but has no aspect to the ascendant.

There are many dangers to life of children and this article is an attempt to discuss some obvious combinations brought about by the placement of the Moon. The Sages advice never to discuss the longevity of the children until the age of 24 when Janma riṣṭā is complete. They only recommend prayers and oblations to seek the grace. A strong Jupiter can prevent dangers and a strong Venus can cure. There is nothing better than the Mrtyunjaya Mantra addressed to Lord Śiva for release from fear of death, suffering and bondage.

त्रयंबक्कं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मूक्षीय मामृतात्॥

trayaṁbakkaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭivardhanam|
urvārukamiva bandhanān mṛtyormūkṣīya māmṛtāt ||


  • Pandit Sanjay Rath’s lectures on riṣṭā and ariṣṭā of BHPS Chapter 11 and 12
  • Sarāvali Chapter 10
  • Jātaka Pārijāta Book 1, Adhayaya 4
  • Horā Ratnam

ॐ तत् सत्

4 Replies to “Bala rishta – Afflictions to the Moon”

  1. Great to see you back with a new article . Thank you so much. Please post more , I love your detailed and comprehensive approach to what you write.

    Would you be kind enough to suggest the remedy for Amavasya birth ?
    My son is Karka lagna , has Ch, Sk and Su in 11th house aspected by Ma and Sa , Ke in 8th opposed by Ra and Ju in 2nd, Bu in 10th house .

    1. Soumya thanks for your generous praise. For Amavasya birth, we ask to fast on the tithi and worship Durga or Kali depending or Shukla or Krishna Paksha. One can eat in the evening. One has to really look at the chart to see the form of the divine mother.

  2. Very glad to hear from you again! Your deep knowledge is felt in every word.
    The theme of the moon is very important for me as now I’m in moon dasha. My only question is whether the waning moon (25th day) can be benefic as it is in Cancer, Pushya nakshatra, with Jupiter with it, in the 11th house.
    I’m still a neophyte in Jyotish and can’t combine different things.

    1. Thank you. I will be writing more on Moon and the 4th house in the next months. Moon in Cancer has dignity because of its own house. Full light is from Ashtami – 8th day of S8to K8. Moon is really only troubled in the tithis of Amavasya, K14 and S1. 25th day is neither bad nor very good. Where it is a benefic or not also depends on the aspects.

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