Houses or Bhavas in Vedic Astrology – Part 1

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Houses in Sanskrit are referred to as ‘bhava’ meaning a mode of being, essence or feeling, and are thus, in Vedic Astrology, a changing twelve- fold division of the zodiac circle, which depend upon the position of the earth in its daily rotation relative to the heaven. As the earth rotates during the course of the day, the whole zodiac gradually rises in the East and sets in the West. The tenth house is the zodiac sign which is exactly on the top (the north direction) at the time of birth. The qualities of the houses are explained in terms of angles (kendras), trines (triconal), upachayas, dustanas, and marakas. Also, each of the twelve houses relates with one of the four aims of life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.


The point rising in the East at the time of the birth is known as the Ascendant, the most important single consideration used in Vedic Astrology for predictions. The Zodiac sign which includes the Ascendant is considered as the first house. There are twelve houses in an Astrology chart, each of which defines a specific domain or area of our action in life. The sign next to the ascendant (which will rise the next) becomes the second house and so on. The tenth house is the zodiac sign which is exactly on the top (the north direction) at the time of birth. The qualities of the houses are explained in
terms of angles (kendras), trines (triconal), upachayas, dustanas, and marakas. Also, each of the twelve houses relates with one of the four aims of life: dharma, artha, kama, and moksha.

The purpose & the division of the Zodiac
The ancient Hindu way of life, based on the Karma theory, looked at the progress of the human soul based on three essential macroscopic parameters. They are: The Karma acquired from your past life, the karma you acquire by virtue of your actions in your present life and based on these your future life. They classified our present life into four broad aspects. Dharma or right living, Artha or the monetary aspect, Kama or the desires and finally Moksha or spiritual progress and liberation.

They recognized the importance of balancing these four aspects of life for the proper progress. To understand and improve all these four aspects they gave us various Shastras. The Veda shastras for spiritual progress, the Dharma and Nyaya shastras for the legal and social conduct, the Artha ( finance), Ganita (mathematics), Vanijya (trade) shastras for earning money, Sangeeta (music) Nritya (dance) Shilpa (art) Kama (sex) Paka (cooking)
shastras for pleasure. Finally the Jyotishya ( Jyoti=light+ Isha=God meaning the light of God to remove ignorance) was given to us as a guide, to get the best results during the most suitable times, in each of the above four areas of life. The entire basis and theology of our Astrology is based on these principles.

What is Bhava
The Bhavas as per Brighusutra Significations of the Twelve Houses of the Horoscope. The sage Brigu explains the Bhavas in his Brigusutra as under:-

First House (or Lagna-Ascendant).
The first house or Lagna represent Physical stature, colour, form and shape, constitution, health, vitality and vigour, natural dispositions and tendencies, personality and struggle for life, honour, dignity, prosperity, general well being, head, upper part of the face, virtues, longevity, start in life and an idea about the general structure of life.

Second House
Money matters, fortune, profit, gain or loss, one’s power and resources, worldly attainments and possession of extrinsic value, jewellery, precious stones, bonds, securities and shares,  speech, vision, right eye, memory, imagination, nails, tongue, nose, teeth, chin, family members. This is also a house of death or maraka sthana. Many scholars believe that education is also a signification of this house.

Third House
Mental inclination, ability, memory, intellect, inclination to study, courage, firmness, valour, prowess, heroism, younger brothers or sisters, cousins, neighbors, short travels, communications such as railways, wireless, posts and telegraphs, correspondence, writings, change of residence, signing contracts or agreements, rumours, carrying tales, hands, throat, shoulder blade, collarbone, arms nervous system.

Fourth House
Mother, one’s home (native place), residence, domestic environments, grave yard, private affairs, secret life, vehicles, fields, pastures, farms, orchards, mines, buildings, ancestral property, hidden treasure, academic education, wells, water, milk, rivers, lakes etc.

Fifth House
Progeny (children), inclinations, pleasure, artistic talent, recreation, amusement, sports, romance, competitive activities like cards, crosswords, lottery, gambling or betting, love affairs,  ambassadors, the good and the bad, mantra-tantra, religious mindedness, high learning and wisdom, intelligence, enormous riches, spiritual practice etc.

Sixth House
Sickness, diseases, nursing, food, service, employees, servants, debts, cattle, tenants, enemies, miserliness, intense anguish, litigation, maternal uncle etc.

Seventh House
House of union or earthly ties, legal bondage, partner in life (wife or husband), partner in business, conjugal life, influence in foreign countries and reputation achieved there, sexual life, marital relations, danger to life, marakasthana (house of death).

Eighth House
Longevity or span of life, also called house of death (because end of longevity is death); inheritance, legacies, wills, insurance, pension and gratuity, accidents, death by drowning, fire or suicide; misery, misfortune, sorrow, strife, worries, disgrace, delay, dejection, disappointment, defeat, loss and obstruction, theft, robbery, chronic diseases.

Ninth House
Faith, wisdom and divine worship; fortune or luck (bhagya), philosophy, religious and philosophical beliefs, meditation, intuition and forethought, places of worship, sacrifices and charity, father, preceptor (Guru), teaching, Dhana, grandchildren, dreams and visions, knees; communication with spirits, long journeys, voyage, air travel, higher education, foreign travel.

Tenth House
Thighs, honour, dignity, public esteem, name and fame, power,  prestige, credit (for good work and conduct), success and status, rank and renown, respect and reputation, ambition and authority, worldly activities, responsibilities, permanency (in service), promotion, advancement, appointment, profession, last rites to one’s parents, religious functions. Government, high position such as President, Prime Minister or Minister, pilgrimage to holy
places, honour from Government. 

Eleventh House
Friends, society, community, favourites, ambitions, wishes, desires and their fulfilment, gains of wealth, success in undertakings, incoming wealth, profits, prosperity, elder brothers and sisters, recovery from illness, dawn of fortune, ankles.

Twelfth House
Loss and impediments, restraint and limitation, waste and extravagance, expenses, drudgery and deception, investments, donations, charities, separation from family, going to far away places, sorrow and sin, misery and misfortune, poverty, imprisonment, secret enemies, confinement in hospital, association, fraud, scandal, disgrace, secret sorrows, success through occult affairs, the feet, the left eye, the left ear, comforts of bed, debts,
life in a foreign place and Moksha (final salvation).


Published by P. S. Sukumaran A Study on Houses or Bhavas in Vedic Astrology International Journal of Scientific Research – See more at:

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