If you open your software at the detailed Shadbala calculation, you will see in the last line, Ishtha phala and Kashtha phala calculation values. The highest value is 60, lowest being 0.
- Ishta means favourable or auspicious.
- Kashta is trouble or hardship.
This is the final summary of the Shad-bala calculation and gives in one single value if a planet is going to be auspicious or inauspicious in his Dasha periods or in his significant transits over your chart. Rahu and Ketu being Chhya-graha, astral forces, are not considered while calculating the Shad-bala or the Ishta/ Kasta values.
This the sample chart I use, Aleister Crowley, 12th Oct 1875, 11: 42pm, Leamington Spa, Britain. I prefer using dead people’s charts for analysis.if you use a living person’s chart as an example chart, the act of dissecting the horoscope interferes with his life.
The last two lines are the values we are interested in. Ishta values of over 40 give good and auspicious results. Between 20-40 are average results. Ishtha values below 20 indicate struggles.
- The Moon, Mars and Mercury, have Ishta values over 40 points, thus they will give very good and auspicious results in the matters connected to them and in the time periods dominated by them.
- Similarly the Kashta value for Sun, Jupiter and Venus are above 40 points so things connected to these planets will not give auspicious results and in fact give hardships.
- Saturn has values between 20-40 so will give average results.
Crowley’s life is well documented so you can easily see that these results match what is known about his life.
A bit of math. The Ishta value is calculated using the Uccha Bala and the Chestha Bala, ie the exaltation strength and the motional strength of the planet are multiplied and the square root if this value is the Ishta Bala.
So logically greater the Chestha Bala, greater will be the ability of the planet to give auspicious results. Chestha Bala is highest for a planet when he is stationary or retrograde or conjunct the full Moon. A planet is retrograde when he is farthest away from the Sun. Also the Moon is full when he is placed 180deg away from the Sun. So in short, a planet gains maximum power when he is farthest away from the Sun and has slowed down compared to his average speed. This is the reason why retrograde and stationary planets in the chart should be analysed carefully as they have gained more influence over you.
Also nearer the planet to his exact degree of exaltation, greater is his auspicious power.
You can see this math reflected easily in our example.
- Moon is farthest from the Sun and approaching Taurus
- Mars is far off from the Sun and exalted
- Mercury is far off from the Sun too (24deg away) and close to his degree of exaltation in Virgo
- Jupiter is near the Sun and far from his point of exaltation in Cancer
- Venus is near the Sun and very near his point of debilitation in Virgo
- Sun is nearing his point of debilitation in Libra
- Saturn is mid-way towards his point of exaltation and far from the Sun.
So overall, if a planet is stationary on his point of exaltation and farthest from the Sun simultaneously, he will have the greatest Ishta phala value. A high Ishta value planet will give his results easily and without much effort from your side. You will enjoy what he offers to you during the dasha time periods he controls and his keywords will be auspicious for you in life.
If a planet is deeply combust, in Atichara speed and near his point of debilitation simultaneously, he will have the lowest Ishta phala value and the highest Kashta value. His results will be linked to hardships. This does not mean that he will deny the result. The actual event will depend on the specific combinations in the chart. But a low Ishta/ high Kastha value means that there will be several problems in the process. Eg suppose your 5th house lord has a high Kashta value, this does not mean that you will be denied education or denied children etc. It means that you will face several struggles in these aspects of life and you will not get genuine satisfaction with these things.
Functional benefics and Yogkarak planets if with higher Ishta values ease out several aspects of your life. But if these have high Kashta values then obviously your life will have a lot of turmoil as auspicious things will not happen easily, and even if they occur, the benefit you derive from them will be lowered.
Functional malefics with high Ishta values can actually help you in a roundabout manner. You might face stressful events as per their indications in your chart, but you will ultimately gain in some way or the other from them. But functional malefics with high Kastha values become dangerous, can cause serious problems and should be carefully analysed.
Often there is question that why despite Raj-Yog, Dhan-Yog etc types of auspicious planetary combinations in the horoscope, the person’s life remains mediocre? The answer to this is also linked to the Ishta / Kashta values. A Raj-yog with a planet having a high Ishta value will give more auspicious, enjoyable, better results and more easily, effortlessly. If the Raj-Yog forming planet has a high Kashta value, then he will be unable to give the results, or will give lowered results after a period of struggle.
Jyotish requires a good ability to do maths coupled with intuition, blessings from your favourite deity and practice. In this post I have started with the Shad-bala and in the next few posts will write on the strengths of the planets and using the numbers in a practical manner. (There is a book by BV Raman, Graha and Bhava bala in case you wish to delve into the math part.)
I have written further on the Drig Bala in this post.