The word “badha” signifies a block of some kind, an obstruction that delays your plans and keeps you from attaining the success you are working towards achieving. In Vedic astrology, Badhaka planets create problems, difficulties and obstacles. The planets which serve as badhaka planets are determined based on your astrological sign, the ascendant in your birth chart, as well as the lords of the different houses. Even when a planet that is considered to be benevolent, such as Jupiter, when such a planet is lord of the badhaka house, it acts unfavorably. The full malefic impact of bandhaka planets is most acutely felt during the dasha or bhukti period of badhaka.
There are various interpretations of the badhaka houses and how they should be determined. In one belief system, the twelve signs of the zodiac are divided into three groups of movable, fixed and dual-natured signs. The basis of this division is the characteristics of the astrological signs. Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn fall under the movable signs. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius are the fixed signs and Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius come under the dual-natured signs. In this instance, the house which will be the Badhak is determined on whether the ascendant sign is movable, fixed or dual-natured. For the movable signs, the 11th house is the badhaka, for the fixed signs it is the 9th house, whereas for the dual-natured signs, the 7th house is the badhaka house.
In the “Prasna Marga” particular houses are predetermined as houses that will act unfavorably. The planets that are placed in these houses act as the badhaka planets. Here, for Aries, Cancer, Libra, Saturn is the badhaka planet. For Capricorn and Taurus, Venus acts as the badhaka, for Leo, Virgo, Scorpio and Sagittarius, Mars is the one and for Gemini and Pisces, Jupiter is the badhaka planet.
The 11th house of the horoscope is for gains and the favorable aspects of your birth chart. The 9th house determines your luck factor and the 7th house is for marital life, relationships and partnerships. Interpreting the horoscope also takes into consideration the placements of the other planets in the horoscope. Therefore, the influence of the badhaka planets may be diluted due to the favorable placements of the other planets. On the other hand, if other planets are also placed in unfavorable houses, the influence of the badhaka planet may be felt intensely in the area of life governed by the house the badhaka planet is in.
Badhaka planets offer the opportunity for spiritual growth. This happens by facing challenges related to the house the badhaka planet is in and acquiring qualities such as patience through delays, humility by way of experiencing disappointments, qualities linked to the life purpose. Karmic lessons are another explanation for the placement of the badhaka planets, where the belief is that experiencing obstacles, hardships and difficulties in a certain area of life is a way of repaying Karmic debts accumulated by actions in previous lifetimes.