In this article, it will be my attempt to discuss about the strength of the planets. There are many opinions without any unequivocal explanation about this matter. Some experts say that exalted planets are most powerful. Exalted planets are planets which are most dignified; in other words they have greatest karmic strength in your chart. Some experts suggest that the ‘neechbhanga’ planets; i.e. the planets which have received ‘cancellation of debility’ become even stronger than the exalted planets.
Why should this be the case with ‘neechbhanga’?
Let me take an example: There are two persons; both of them are great and have accomplished much in life. One of them was born in very favourable circumstances. He had money, means of amusement and friends at his disposal since very beginning. He was as if born with a ‘gold-spoon’ in his mouth. With this back-up and his own industriousness and tenacity; he makes it very big in his life.
The second person was born in very humble circumstances; had hardly any support from his family and had struggle hard to rise up the ladder of success but makes it as big as the first person in the end.
Is it not very obvious that the second person had to hone much his skills and will be given much credit?
The first person represents the exalted planets and the second person represents neechbhanga planets.
Then there are experts who suggest that the planets which have highest shad-bala ( six fold strength) are strongest planets in the chart. In calculating this shad-bala various factors such as exaltation, directional strength etc are taken into the account. Shad-bala is often a strong indicator of strength of a planet.
For judging dasas—my personal experience suggests that the planets which are in their own nakshtras give very acute results for they are not ‘shadowing’ for their nakshtras lords. What it means is: Generally planets act like pseudo karkas of dasa for their nakshtra lords. Actual results of the dasas are given by lords and not by the dasa planets.
In order to judge over-all strength of a horoscope, it’s one of the great tools to look for the nakshtras lords of various planets. If most of the planets are in the nakshtras of benefics , it can be inferred safely that horoscope is a strong one and otherwise.
When we include other factors: We must take into the account tenancy. It can be of two types:
1. There are many planets in the rashi of a planet.
2. There are many planets in the nakshtras of the planet.
In cases where there is a conflict between the above two factors, other factors such as exaltation and house placement should be taken into the account but otherwise one of the planets qualifying for the above two criteria will be the strongest planet in the chart.