Digbala of Grahas –Directional Strength

Digbala of Grahas –Directional Strength

Pulished in Jyotish Digest Jan- Apr 2020

Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher

Digbala or directional strength of planet is the from the word “dis” (दिश्) in Sanskrit that means to point out, show or direct. The word can also mean a certain space, direction or quarter. All planets have power in certain quarters and when they are placed in such position, the devata indicated by the planet will manifest and bless us in our lives and point us to the right direction.

Planets in kendra have the highest power to manifest and only kendra position can give rise to a full digbala position. The ākāś tattva planet Jupiter and prithvī tattva planet Mercury get digbala in the lagna, these two planets help in gaining wisdom and strongest at sun rise when sattva is highest. The agni tattva planets Sun and Mars get strength in the 10th house when the Sun is the strongest at mid-day and are good for governance. The vāyū tattva planet Saturn has the maximum strength in the asta lagna at the time of setting of the Sun when shadows are longer. The jala tattva planet Moon and Venus are in digbala in the fourth house at midnight when moon light is strongest. Ketu is like Mars and gets digbala in 10th house whereas Rahu is like Saturn and is stronger in the 7th house.

Planets in digbala show natural karmic directions for us to proceed. The devatas of the daśamśa varga (the D10 chart used for career and profession) are the digbala devatas. One can propitiate them with the appropriate mantras. Planets in digbala show the subject matter one is likely to excel in, they are mostly useful only for choosing the path for career and shaping professional lives. When a planet is in digbala, we are bestowed with the knowledge of that planet. On the other hand if there is a planet in zero digbala or very low points the devata is said to be sleeping and one should not invite the wrath of the devata by proceeding in that subject. When the devata is angry, the weapon of the devata manifests in life.

There are 10 digpala devatas that derive power in the 10 directions – 4 cardinal, 4 inter-cardinal directions, the upward direction of zenith and downward direction of nadir. To choose the physical directions one should look at the digbala strength from the āruḍha lagna only.

Planet Devata Direction Vahana Weapon Consort
Sun Indra East Airāvata/White Elephant Vajra (Thunderbolt) Śaci
Moon Marutā/ Vāyu North-West Mṛga (Deer) Aṅkuśa (Hook, Goad) Bhāratī
Mars Yamā South Mahiṣa (Buffalo) Daṇḍa (Staff) Yamī
Mercury Kubera North Nara (Human) Gadā (Mace) Kuberajayā/ bhadrā
Jupiter īśana North-East ṛṣabha ( Bull) Triśūla (Trident) Maheśvarī
Venus Agni South-East Meśa (Goat) śakti (Spear) Svāha/Svadha
Saturn Varuṇa West Makara Paśa (Noose) Vāruṇi
Rahu Rakṣasa/Nirṛti South-West āśva (Horse) Khaḍga (Sword) Khaḍgī
Ketu Anantā Downward Vulture SudarśanaChakra (Disk) Citrā
Lagna Brahma Upward Hamsa (Swan) Padma (Lotus) Sarasvati

As digbala is based on tattva, planets in own sign in digbala are very strong. They are also stronger if they are in exaltation or in powerful yogas that enhance the tattvas such as the pañca mahāpuruṣa yogas. Planets that get digbala in the 1st house – Jupiter and Mercury, are more fruitful if they are human signs of Gemini, Virgo, Libra and Aquarius. Jala tattva planets are stronger in jala signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Vāyu tattva planets are stronger in insect signs of Cancer and Scorpio. Agni tattva planets are better in animal signs such as Aries, Taurus, Leo and Sagittarius. Sun is also strong in bird signs of Capricorn and Pisces. One should also check the hora of the planet in digbala, whether it is day strong or night strong for it to be more powerful.

While determining the direction of professional life, we should also look at the planets in the two adjacent houses from the house it gets digbala. If Jupiter gets digbala in the lagna, then it will also have high points if it is placed in the 2nd or the 12th house. One should also look at the placement and the directional strength of dispositor of the sign in which the planet is placed in before making a complete judgement. A dispositor if well placed in directional strength, can mitigate the effects of a low directional strength of a planet.

While choosing directions in professional life, for example if the Sun is in digbala, one would be interested in leadership or politics. If Sun is in digbala from the āruḍha lagna, then we can say that the eastern direction will be favourable. The following table gives the significations of planets and the professions one could choose.

Planets List of professions
Sun King, Politician, Cabinet Minister, Government, Musician, Instrumentalists, Gold Jeweller, Bullion, Head of a company, Photography
Moon Bureaucrats, Public Service, Charities, Singers, Water and liquids, Hospitality, Food, Cooking, Gems, Psychologists, Healers and Doctors, Home- makers, Child care
Mars Army, Surgeon, Engineers, Mechanics, Arms dealer, Strategists, Cooks, Police, Security Services, Hair dressers, Marital Arts, Gym Trainers
Mercury Business and Trade, Languages, Mimics, Writers, Publishing, Accountants, Lawyers, Journalists, Business Analysts, Software Professionals, Dancing, Yoga, Herbs, Gardening, Sculptor, Carpenter and Toys
Jupiter Philosophers, Teachers, Professors and Intellectuals, Advisors, Consultants, Judges, Priest, Astrologers, Clergymen, Treasury, Central Bank employees, Bankers, Authors
Venus Poets, Managers, Sales and Marketing, Public Speakers, Photographers, Cinematography, Web designers, Beauticians, Alchemists and Chemicals, Aroma-therapists, Florists, Fashion Design and Interior Decoration, Clothing Business, Sewing and Embroidery, Entertainment and Painting, Shares
Saturn Mining, Alcohol and Gambling, Casinos, Retirement Homes, Labourers, Cobblers, Street Vendors, Builders, Plumbers and Garbage Collectors, Laundries, Delivery men, Masseurs, Weight-lifters, Undertakers
Rahu Foreign trade, Foreign currency managers, Researchers, Statisticians, Actuaries, Diplomats, Spies, Crime and Drugs, Mafia, Racketeering, Large Machinery and Mining
Ketu Watch Manufacturers, Needle work, Assembly Line workers (small parts), Pilots, Terrorists, Internal security guards, Espionage, Foreign Trade, Thieves, Spiritual People, Dog Walkers


Iśana is a form of Shiva associated with the ākāś tattva or space element. The devata confers knowledge and wisdom and he is teacher of all. His weapon is triśūla and he gets strength in north eastern direction.

When Jupiter is in the first house, it is in digbala and Iśana will manifest. It is said in Hora Ratnam that when Jupiter is in digbala, the native will be a great scholar, endowed with many good qualities, food comfort and drinks. His enemies will vanish. Should Jupiter be without this strength he will deprive the person of wealth and grains. He will be interested in living in distant lands (out of distress), be unstable in disposition and ever humiliated.

Pandit Sanjay Rath has Jupiter in the first house in digbala. Iśana will manifest in his life and work as Jupiter rules the lagna and the 10th house. Pandit Rath is from a traditional family of astrologers from Bira Balabhadrapur Sasan village of Puri, Orissa, who trace their lineage back to Shri Achyuta Das (Sri Achyutananda). From a very young age he learnt jyotish from his uncle Pandit Kashinath Rath.

Jupiter is in his own sign in Pisces in hamsa yoga. The other dispositor Ketu is exalted and is also in digbala (Ananta is the devata) in the 10th house showing the path of spiritual knowledge. Jupiter is in a human sign (Jiva) and this makes the position favourable as Jupiter and Mercury are strong in human signs. A planet 7th from the digbala planet is necessary to help the power of Iśana to manifest and secure the position permanently. Mars is across Jupiter in the 7th house and it is friendly to Jupiter and will support it. With the blessings of Iśana, Pandit Sanjay Rath has spearheaded dissemination of this traditional and sacred knowledge in a systematic and thorough manner throughout the globe with the help of his teaching institutions Devaguru Brhaspati Centre and Sri Jagannath center and has authored several books.

The lord of the 7th house Virgo is Mercury that is not friendly to Jupiter and placed 6th from it (Jupiter does not support the 6th from it). It will block the blessings of Iśana during its dasa. As Mercury is in the 6th house, it could bring health problems. The other lord Rahu is neutral but will be less inimical as it is placed in a kendra in exaltation. Jupiter is the lagna lord of daśamśa and is exalted and placed in a trine with Venus making it easier to choose this path.

John Coltrane was a famous American Jazz saxophonist and composer who had a short purposeful life for 40 years. There are no planets in digbala in the rāśi chart but Moon has relatively high digbala being close to the 4th house. The calculated digbala is 49 points. Moon is in aśvinī nakṣatrā and is conjunct the 10th lord Mars in the 3rd house showing the possibility of creative enterprise. Moon is exalted in the trine in the navamśa giving him a natural ability in music.

Jupiter is in digbala in the daśamśa chart and exchanges with Venus, the ascendant lord making Jupiter really strong and as if it is Pisces. A planet in lagna in daśamśa gives ability to the native. In the rāśi chart, Jupiter is debiliated and retrograde giving the results of Cancer but in the 12th house in the rāśi chart, again showing high digbala points of 55. Jupiter is in dhaniṣṭha nakṣatrā which bestows ability in music. One could see the manifesation of Iśana in his music. Coltrane was very spiritual and had religious influences right from childhood. His work in the later years took a spiritual dimension as he explored mysticism through music. He was highly influneced by Hindisuism and Budhism and recorded “Om” and several chants from Bhagvat Gita. Here is a quote from wikipedia – “His study of Indian music led him to believe that certain sounds and scales could “produce specific emotional meanings.” According to Coltrane, the goal of a musician was to understand these forces, control them, and elicit a response from the audience. He said, “I would like to bring to people something like happiness. I would like to discover a method so that if I want it to rain, it will start right away to rain. If one of my friends is ill, I’d like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he’d be broke, I’d bring out a different song and immediately he’d receive all the money he needed

Kubera is the God of wealth and he gains strength in the northern direction. He is guardian of the nine kinds of treasures called nava nidhī and is the king of yakṣas, semi divine beings. He rides the human beings and carries a mace. Though he is reputed be ill-formed, when Mercury is in the first house, the individual is quite youthful with good features. Kubera is believed to enslave
humans with their lust for wealth and thus portrayed to ride humans. However, a person with Mercury in the first house can renounce wealth and become a champion for freedom. Some examples are, Abraham Lincoln who removed slavery in the United States, Dalai Lama who has fought for freedom for Tibet and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who taught transcendental meditation to liberate ourselves.

When Mercury is in directional strength, the person will be kind, friendly, will enjoy pleasures, be jocular and endowed with prosperity, skill and virtues. He will be a gracious figure and famous in the world. One with Mercury without digbala will be disappointed, given to vices, fond of warring, a head of thieves, without dutifulness and attached to moving in distant lands (without fruits).

Ted Snowdon is American whistle-blower and was once an employee of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He is on the run for leaking confidential documents. Mercury, the 5th lord in digbala has given him a high intelligence and made him a computer wizard. He is also good in languages can speak Japanese and Mandarin. A strong Mercury also gave him an interest in the practice of philosophy and he was a registered as a Buddhist when he enlisted in CIA.

Mercury as the 2nd lord in the 1st promises prosperity. However, the dispositor of Mercury, the lagna lord Venus is placed in the 3rd house of challenge and combat and the other lord Moon in the 6th house. Further Mercury is placed in Aries in the 12th house of secret enemies in daśamśa with an exalted Rahu (lord of retirement in D10) and Mars the 10th lord which denotes the government agency. He was disillusioned with the ethics of policies of the National Security Agency that violated personal freedoms of citizens, and leaked them to the press. Subsequently he has been charged under the Espionage Act in the US. He has absconded since then and has sought asylum in Russia.

Jupiter is placed in the 7th house from Mercury in the rāśi chart. A planet in the 7th from a digbala planet will help secure permanently the promise of the digbala devata. The dispositor of Jupiter is Mars which is inimical to Mercury and will not the support the digbala position. Mars is conjunct Sun and Rahu in an eclipse yoga. The thoughts about leaking the documents came to his head in the maha daśa of Saturn and the antar daśa of Mars. The actual leak took place in the antara of Rahu which is conjunct Mars. Since the antar daśa of Jupiter, he has been living in Russia in an undisclosed location. He moved in the North-East direction from the place of his birth in the direction of Jupiter. Jupiter does not score high in directional strength from the āruḍha lagna in Virgo or Pisces, therefore his residence will be unstable.

Indra is the lord of the heavens, rides the elephant Airāvata and his weapon is the Vajra or the thunderbolt. The word Indra means the one who has conquered his senses, the king of senses being the mind, Indra is the one with a controlled mind. When Sun is in digbala, Indra manifests in life and such natives become natural leaders and rise to powerful positions. Many politicians, industrialists and people who excel in sports have Sun in the 10th house. According to Hora Ratnam “If the Sun is endowed with directional strength, the native will acquire various kinds of wealth, elephants, horses, gems, robes and garlands. He will enjoy pleasures and royal honours”. If the Sun is without directional strength, the native will incur harm from all directions will tell lies and be averse to honouring gods and Brahmins.

The newly appointed UK Prime Minister has Sun in the 10th house in rāśi and daśamśa chart. Sun is in Gemini which is the navamśa level exaltation and such a Sun will have the blessings of “mitrā āditya” and he will be great networker. Sun is in yoga with an exalted 6th lord Rahu that makes him a leader in the community and a gifted speaker. Sun is also conjunct the bhāgyeśā Venus which is combust. There is also an exchange of the 9th lord Venus and the 10th lord Mercury bringing about a dharma karmādhipati yoga, a conjunction for a great service to be rendered to the nation.

This Sun is also in digbala position in daśamśa and is conjunct the lagna lord Venus indicating he desires the position of Indra. However as Sun is the 12th lord of rāśi chart, this position came at the loss of the stability of his long term marriage with Marine Wheeler. The planet opposite Sun in rāśi chart is Ketu which is not a natural supporter of Sun. Therefore the position of power comes with mistakes and disasters. His earlier quote is totally fit in the current situation “My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters”.Currently Johnson is running Mercury maha daśa Ketu antar daśa which will end in January 2020.

Yama is the God of death and revels in war. The word Yama also means restraint or discipline. He carries a mace or a noose and rides a buffalo, he is the son of Sun god, Surya and his wife Saṁjñā.

When Mars is in digbala in the 10th house, the person is given to bad qualities, He will be radiant, will endure difficult labour and anguish, and be modest, wealthy and righteous. If Mars is without directional strength, the native will have no wealth, will serve aged women, be desirous of others wealth and will undergo intense difficulties.

Mars is a tamasic planet, therefore there will be strife in the area of work when placed in the 10th house. Mars destroys the 12th from it (the 9th house), and therefore this position is not very favourable for a righteous nature. Mars also ruins where it is placed, the native will be always looking for the next project or company to serve. Mars is a malefic and is most unwelcome in the 4th house of any chart. The 4th house shows mother, home and contentment and the placement of Mars in the 4th creates disturbance in these matters. Later in life it will also create issues in marriage as Mars as full aspect on the 7th house. However this a good placement for spirituality, if other planets are supporting.

The 14th Dalai Lama was chosen as the spiritual leader of the Gelug School at the tender age of two years. Mars is the 6th lord placed in the 4th house. He had has been away from his home from the age of four years. He left Tibet permanently at the age of 24 and has since lived in exile in India. Mars in the 4th is not conducive for receiving maternal affection as it damages the house it is in and it also destroys the 12th from it – the house of sexual intimacy, making him a monk. He relinquished his political rights and is an ambassador for world peace and harmony. The dispositor of Mars is Mercury and it is in digbala, so he wages a war mostly with words and has abandoned the path of direct confrontation.

Instead he naturally chose the direction of the digbala planet Mercury in bhadrā mahāpuruṣa in a human sign of Gemini and conjunct with Sun and Ketu. Influenced by these conjunctions, he is well versed in sacred literature he has authored over 100 books. He spent decades supervising and guiding the setting up of Tibetan educational institutions in India, thereby creating the legacy for Buddhist followers all over the world for studying and practising Tibetan Buddhism.

Agni is the god of fire and is responsible for digestion not only of the food but also of knowledge. Agni also means the first (अग्रे गच्छन्ति इति अग्नि) and he is the primary receiver of the offerings in a sacred fire worship or yajña. He is the messenger of gods and also purifies. He is three legged, rides a Ram, has 7 tongues and his weapon is a spear. He is also ever thirsty and is strong in the South-Eastern direction.

When Venus is in the 4th house, Agni manifests. When Venus is in digbala “the person will be gracious, will have no enemies, will have his fame spread in various directions and countries, be wealthy, be large hearted and be dear to all. If Venus is without digbala, the native will be interested in living in foreign countries, will not have fortunes, wicked, ungrateful, and cunning and be not associated with good people.

Bill Gates, the former Chairman of Microsoft, has Venus in digbala in his own house in Malavya mahāpuruṣa yoga. This Venus gave him the fire of creativity. Venus is conjunct an exalted Saturn and a debilitated Sun (that has a cancellation). There are no planets opposite to the sign in the rāśi chart. In the daśamśa chart, Venus is also in digbala and is the lord of the 7th house
of business and is conjunct Saturn the 10th lord giving him the top status in his enterprise. Sun is opposite to Venus. He released his first retail copy of the Microsoft Windows software in November 1985 while he was running Venus maha daśa and Sun antar daśa. Since then during the balance Venus maha daśa and Sun maha daśa, he has built the largest software company that is known in every nook and corner of the world. He has been better known for his management, marketing and strategic leadership, all are attributes of a strong Venus. He is a gracious figure better known for philanthropy these days and is currently actively involved “Bill & Melinda Gates foundation” that he has set up with his wealth.

Marutā (Vāyu) is the god of strength, the ruler of air element. He is powerful as he has the lifting power and give us our life and longevity. He is called mātariśva as “the one who moves about the sky”- literally everywhere, meaning the prana, the life force. He carries a white flag and a goad (Aṅkuśa) as his weapon. Hanūmān in the epic Rāmāyaṇā and Bhīmā in Mahābharatā are the sons of this Vāyu. Moon in the 4th house from āruḍha lagna gives immense power to overtake things.

Should the Moon earn digbala, 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.

Dominique Strauss -Kahn (DSK) was a political figure in France and the former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He has a packed 10th house with an exalted Sun in digbala. Four or more planets in one house is a yoga for renunciation. Moon, the lagna lord has very low digbala at 9 points in the 9th house in rasi chart. It also has zero digbala being in the 10th house in Dasamsa. One should avoid going in the direction of professions led by Moon which is bureaucracy and other appointed positions for the welfare of the public.

He was appointed the Managing Director of IMF at the end of Sun dasha (during Venus antara) in November 2007. Venus is in digbala in the daśamśa chart, however has zero-digbala in the rāśi chart. A planet with digbala in the daśamśa and none in the rāśi is very dangerous. He should have stayed away from matters of Venus (women) in the office or while working. 4th house of daśamśa is office area. In May 2011, he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid while he was in New York and was brought out of an airplane in handcuffs. He had to resign his post from IMF subsequently while he was running Moon maha daśa and Jupiter antara. This was followed by series of allegations from several women from his past, of sexual misconduct and gross indecency while at work. Both jala tattva planets Moon and Venus have no digbala showing very little compassion towards woman. After his dishonour and resignation he has spent his time fighting the allegations which are numerous. It has also ruined his possibility of entering politics in France again. It is well worth to note that both the planets that rule his 9th house of dharma Jupiter and Ketu have zero-digbala in the rāśi chart.

Varuna is the digpala devata that is powerful in the westerly direction. He is pictured as riding a mythical animal makara and holding a noose in his hand. The abode of Varuna is the ocean and is responsible for all life in the world. Varuna is amongst the oldest Gods, and is upholder or enforcer of natural order (Ṛta) of the universe.

When Saturn is endowed with directional strength will subject will enjoy abundant food and drinks, be considerate, will enjoy various pleasures, fond of music and devoted to gods and Brahmins. If Saturn is without directional strength, the person will be interested in other’s women, be pessimistic, fierce and will betray his preceptors (or elders) and be shameless.

When Saturn is in the 7th house, Varuna will manifest and they will be great entertainers and performers. There will be a tendency to want to enjoy life to the fullest. Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines who had a collection of more than 1000 pair of designer shoes is another example with Saturn in digbala.

Woody Allen is a gifted American director who is known for producing romantic comedies with a hint of parody. He is also a writer, playwright song writer and passionate about Jazz music. Saturn is in the 7th in digbala with Moon in saśa mahāpuruṣa yoga. A planet in digbala is influenced by the planet it conjoins. Saturn exalts in Libra so gives the skill of directing movies and plays and its conjunction with Moon the interest in song writing.

Saturn is also in digbala in daśamśa in Taurus with a digbala Jupiter across it in Lagna holding it. Saturn has two dispositors Moon and Venus, both in Aquarius in digbala. There is an exchange between Moon and Venus and Saturn. Moon and Venus together shows an excess in jala or sensuality. Moon is the 12th lord of affairs and Venus the 10th lord in the rāśi chart. He often mixed business and pleasure had affairs with Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton who were the lead actors in all his movies. One of his adopted daughter’s Dylan has accused him of incest and he also later married his step daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Rahu the dispositor of Saturn in rāśi is debilitated in the 5th house of children. The karaka for children Jupiter is cursed as it is afflicted by Sun and Saturn.

To conclude one can say that even if there is one planet in digbala in the rashi chart, there is a blessing and the direction will be clear. In the horoscopes of the Vishnu Avataras the 9th lord of dharma will be in digbala as the reason for their descent is to uplift dharma and protect the righteous. Outcome and destination are far less important than direction in life. One should take the direction in life by which our karma and nature will be exhausted most naturally and this is also the advise of Sri Krishna in the divine song Bhagavat Gita. In Chapter 3.35, he says, “It is far better to perform one’s natural duty, though devoid of merit or tinged with faults, than to perform another’s duty, though perfectly. In fact, it is preferable to die in the discharge of one’s duty, than to follow the path of another, which is fraught with danger”.

श्रेयान्स्वधर्मो विगुण: परधर्मात्स्वनुष्ठितात् |
स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: परधर्मो भयावह: || 35 ||

śhreyān sva-dharmo viguṇaḥ para-dharmāt sv-anuṣhṭhitāt
sva-dharme nidhanaṁ śhreyaḥ para-dharmo bhayāvahaḥ

ॐ तत् सत्


References –

Pandit Sanjay Rath’s teachings of Digbala while studying Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra

Hora Ratnam by Bala Bhadra

Teachings of my Swami Paramarthananda of Arsha Vidya Gurukukum on Bhagavad Gita

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