Planetary War

There are three types of CONJUNCTION (Yuti) of planets : Yoga, Yuddha and Samāgama. Yoga of five planets (Tārā grahas) and Moon with Sun is called Asta (Combustion). Yoga of five planets (Tārā grahas) with Moon is called Samāgama. Yoga of five planets (Tārā grahas) among themselves is called Yuddha.

If planets are very close to each other, Graha-Yuddha (Planetary War) takes place depending on certain extra conditions which define various types of planetary war.

Mandala-grahas and Chāyā-grahas are excluded from planetary war which takes place only among Tārā-grahas. Bhavishya Purāna defines Sun and Moon as Mandala-grahas, and Rahu as Chhāyā graha (excluding Ketu because there are many types of Ketu, but the lunar node ketu is a chhāyā graha). Remaining five planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn are Tārā-grahas because they appear like stars. But these so-called Tārā grahas have mandalas (discs) too whose sizes are mentioned in Suryasiddhānta. Computation of size and relative position of disc is crucial for planetary war.

Types of Planetary Wars

Four Types of Full Fledged Planetary Wars

Ullekha-Yuddha : It occurs when the discs of two planets touch each other.

Bheda-Yuddha : It occurs when the discs of two planets overlap each other to some extent.

Amshuvimarda-Yuddha : It ensues when "Kiranas" (amshus or rays) of two planets join ("yoga").

Apsavya-Yuddha : If the latitudinal difference is less than one degree, it is called Apsavya-Yuddha. It has two sub-categories : Vyakta and Avyakta. If any one planet having Apsavya-Yuddha has small Bimba then it is Vyakta-Apsavya, if not bright then Avyakta-Apsavya. In Apsavya type of Yuddha, a planet is defeated by the other depending on following conditions : which planet has its image covered by the other ("pihit"), which is southern in latitude, or has smaller Bimba size. But if a planet has southern latitude but has a brighter and bigger Bimba then it is victor. Venus almost always wins an Apsavya war whether it is in north or south.

"Current degrees of planets" means Planetary positions (Longitudes) which is used in any horoscope (D1). Planetary War takes place when apparent discs of planets touch or overlap each other (as appearing to us, but not in reality). Apsavya type of War occurs when they do not overlap due to latitudinal difference which must be less than 1 degree, while longitudinal difference must be same as in other types of war, ie, touching or overlapping in longitude.

Three Types of Planetary Wars With No Victor

Koota-Yuddha : If both planets have small images (bimbas) in spite of characteristics of war, it is called Koota-Yuddha.

Vigraha-Yuddha : If both planets have destroyed ("vidhvasta") images (bimbas) in spite of characteristics of war, it is called Vigraha-Yuddha.

Samāgama-Yuddha : If both planets have bright images ("deepta bimba") in spite of characteristics of war and the latitudinal difference is over one degree, it is called Samāgama-Yuddha. Brahma-siddhānta uses the word "sthoola" instead of "deepta", the latter is used in Suryasiddhanta. It has two sub-categories : Vyakta and Avyakta. If both planets having Samāgama-Yuddha have bright Bimbas then it is Vyakta-Samāgama, if not bright then Avyakta-Samāgama.

Sizes of Graha-Bimbas (Images of Discs)

Suryasiddhanta gives following sizes of planetary discs in Yojanas as projected into Lunar Orbit :

Mars : 30
Mercury : 45
Jupiter : 52.5
Venus : 60
Saturn : 37.5
Moon : 480
Sun : 486.2 reduced to Lunar orbit (6500 absolute).

Drik-karma-samskaara is difficult whjich I have deliberately avoided because no one on internet will read such things. Mean sizes of discs are : 4' Venus (60 yojana/15) and 2' Mars (= 30 yojana/ 15). Combined diameter is 6', which means centre to centre angular distance is 3' if they touch each other. If the difference in their longitudes is equal to or less than 3', they will overlap and war will occur, provided latitudinal difference is not more than one degree. Suppose in some horoscope Mars is at 168 degrees and Venus is at 168.03 degrees. It means the centres of their discs are at those longitudes. The difference is 0.03 degree or 1.8 minutes. In this case, there will be war provided latitudinal difference is not more than one degree.

These are mean sizes projected in lunar orbits. Mean size multiplied with true daily motion and divided by mean daily motion gives the true size for the moment. Divide these figures by 15 to get disc sizes in minutes-of-arc. If planetary longitudes are less than angular disc sizes, there is overlapping of discs.

Let me show one example comparing Suryasiddhantic dimensions of planetary sizes with those of modern astronomy. Mean distance on Moon from Earth is 384401 Kms, and Lunar diameter is 3476.1 Kms. Hence, angular size of Lunar Disc is inverse-sine of ( 3476.1 * 384401 ), which is equal to 0.5181271 degree or 31.087626 minutes-of-arc. According to Suryasiddhanta, multiply it with 15 to get disc size, which is 466.3144 yojanas. But Suryasiddhanta states Lunar Disc size to be of 480 yojanas. The anomaly between Lunar Disc size according to Suryasiddhanta with respect to modern astronomy is 2.9%. Values of physical astronomy are not applicable to Suryasiddhantic values, because Suryasiddhanta is especially designed for astrology.

Results of Planetary War

Suryasiddhānta adds that planets do not actually fight among themselves because they are away from each other in fact, Graha-Yuddha ia actually a means to give BHāva or Abhāva (fruits) to the Lokas.

Computation of Graha-Yuddha requires āyana-drik-karma-samskāra and āksha-drik-karma-samskāra which are complicated processes.

Achārya Ranganatha (1609 AD) cited Bhrigu rishi for the following fruits of planetary wars :

अपसव्ये विग्रहम् ब्रूयात् संग्रामम् रश्मि- सङकुले ।
लेखने- sमात्यपीडा स्याद्-भेदने तु धनक्षयः ॥

[ Translation :
The result of Apsavya-Yuddha is Vigraha (discord) ;

Amshuvimardana-Yuddha (= Rashmi-sankula) gives the fruit as Samgrāma (battle) ;

Ullekha-Yuddha (lekhana) results in Amātya-peedā (sorrow to minister) ; and

Dhana-kshaya (loss of wealth is the result of Bhedana (Bheda-Yuddha).]

Mediaeval phalita texts distorted these ancient siddhāntic rules of planetary war. A winner planet seizes all the properties of the defeated planet.

Brihat-Samhitā's Graha-yuddhādhyāya by Varāha-Mihira starts with the statement that Varāha-Mihira had already explained the mathematics of Graha-Yuddha in his Karana text (ie, Panchsiddhāntikā). But the extant does not contain anything about Graha-Yuddha, although it mentions rightly that it is a Karana text. Hence, the extant version of Panchsiddhāntikā has lost many portions. Brihat-Samhitā says there are four types of Graha-Yuddha : Bheda, Ullekha, Anshumardana and Apsavya. Verses by Parāshara, Garga and Kāshyapa are still available which state the thing.

In 27 verses, Brihat-Samhitā describes astrological effects of different types of planetary wars, but all these effects are related to national astrology, not to individual horoscopy. But we can deduce implications for natal astrology from these verses. Traditional commentators have added verses from pre-Kaliyuga rishis about astrological effects of Graha-yuddha in their commentaries on Brihat-Samhitā, such as by Pt Achyutānanda Jhā, published by Chaukhambā Vidyābhawana.


The problem arises only in determination of type of War. For that, I have indicated the SIZES of planetary discs above, which are too small to cause War in hardly any native you might have encountered in your life. Original classics stated that Apsavya War occurs when LATITUDES differ by one degree. Some mediaeval phalita texts simplified it by stating that the difference should be one degree, without elaborating whether this difference should be in latitude or in longitude. Therefore, many moderners are propagating that LONGITUDE should differ by less than one degree to cause War. This is wrong.

For instance, disc sizes of five panch-taaraa planets range from 2' to 4' (minutes of arc), which is very small. Any War among them will be possible only if their centres come closer than 2' to 3.75' to each other. Such a situation will hardly be found in any horoscope, it is a rare situation in natal astrology. But it is not rare in mundane astrology, because all planets come together each other many times every year, and while doing so if their latitudinal difference is not more than one degree, there will be planetary war.

The effect will be "Loss of Wealth" of native or nations if their discs overlap one another. Otherwise, the effect will be conflict. Minister ( or Kutumba) will get this result if there is Rashmi-War, which can be deduced from the Rashmi chapter of BPHS. In deduction of Rashmi, difference of planetary longitude from its point of debilitation is doubled. Hence, two planets will have 4' difference in Rashmi when their longitudes differ by 2'. If this difference is more than needed for other types of War, then it will be Rashmi War. For instance, Venus and Mars need a difference of 3' to touch each other for Ullekha War, and less than 3' for Bhedana War. But if their difference is more than 3' and less than 6', there will be Rashmi-sankula War, causing strife to Kutumba. If their difference is more than it, they will have Apasavya War if latitudinal difference is less than one degree.


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