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Graha * Amsha * Bala

Vakra * Vakragati * Vakri


Chesta Bala = Effort and Endurance

cf. English: gesture


Krzywy Domek (Crooked House) in Sopot, Poland

Sanskrit Vocabulary for Vakra:


  • crooked, curved, bent, tortuous, twisted, wry, oblique
  • curled, curly (as hair)
  • having an apparently backward motion, retrograde (said of planets)
  • crooked in disposition, cunning, fraudulent, dishonest, evasive, ambiguous
  • hostile, cruel, malignant, inauspicious
  • The planet Mars; the planet Saturn
  • Name of Rudra; of the Asura; of a Rakshasa
  • A particular variation in the course of Mercury
  • The winding course of a river, the arm or bend of a stream
  • The apparent retrograde motion of a planet
  • A form of fracture (when a bone is bent or only partially broken)


  • crooked or winding course
  • Apparent retrograde motion or retrogression (said of the course of a planet)
  • equivocating, prevaricating, lying


  • moving,
  • moving the limbs, gesture
  • behaviour, manner of life
  • Action, activity, effort, endeavour, exertion
  • doing, performing
  • behaving, manner of life
UPAGRAHA in vakra* retrograde

B.V. Raman, A Catechism of Astrology. p. 18

"Q. 19

  • Have UpaGraha like Mandi any retrograde movements?


  • UpaGraha are symbolical points determined according to certain mathematical conventions.

  • They have no astronomical basis or retrograde motions like Rahu and Ketu."

Astrologers opine variously on the matter of" bent" course of the planets. When a graha reverses its normal forward movement and goes apparently backwards, it is called" vakragati" or" retrograde".

  • Some say that"vakri" subha-graha are improved; but papa-graha in vakrigati are worsened. Some say that retrograde motion connotes strength of effort, or the mandate to strengthen the effort: one must work even harder than normal to achieve the realization of the graha.

  • It is said that to accomplish the portfolio of the vakri graha will not be easy; but the fruits may be richer due to the long-term effort required. Thus, periods of the retrograde planet will be exceptionally difficult and exceptionally fruitful.

  • It is said that retrograde graha possess chesta bala, the life-force-energy of vital movement that is gained through exertion of effort.

Vakri = Positive or Negative?

The overall meanings of"vakra"are neutral in terms of phenomena of nature -- e.g., the bend of a river, curly hair, or a fractured arm -- but negative in terms of moral action:

  • crooked in disposition, cunning, fraudulent, dishonest, evasive, ambiguous

  • hostile, cruel, malignant, inauspicious

  • prevaricating, lying

My own view is that the vakri status gives endurance, stamina, and an extra push of willpower from the native who knows that the job is going to require some extra output.

If the graha is "bent on" doing evil, then the extra effort added to the evil-doing will simply increase the unhappiness.

But if the graha is fundamentally good via some traits - via perhaps bhava-lordship, or parivartamsha status, or nichha-bhanga, or otherwise well destined -- then"vakri" motion will contribute to a favorable outcome"over the long haul".

three times

Retrograde planets require the task to be done three times.

  • There are three repetitions necessary with every vakri graha.
  • However because"practice makes perfect" the final result is good.
stronger effect

Retrograde graha (eventually) produce a stronger effect.

  • One will be obliged to repeat the behaviors of the planet several times in order to gain the predicted effect;
  • yet when the effect does materialize the results are strong.

For example,

  • a retrograde placement for Shani often involves accepting an obligation or karmic duty; then rejecting that responsibility due to its being too weighty; then coming to understand that one must accept karmic obligations whether they are too weighty or not! Thus one's experience of accepting the duty has been"practiced" three times and one matures into a greater wisdom for having repeated the drill.
  • a retrograde placement for Mangala may involve pursuing a quarry - whether physical, mental, financial etc. At first the native moves with energy toward the conquest. Then one stops - it is too daunting, the vitality seems gone. Then a re-start and second burst of pursuit, which wins the competition.
What about retrograde Shani uttama in kalatra-bhava? retrograde Shani is extremely strengthening.

Shani forces repetition until the karmic lesson is understood; and retrograde graha also enforce repetition.

Kendra-7 is a splendid placement for uttama-Shani suggesting loyalty to a contract and long-term success in making deals and bargains albeit with slow and steady behavior never a fast success.

Whatever lessons about time, age, carefulness, neutrality, scientific method, government, social institutions, public norms, structure of reality etc (Shani things) that you have to learn (major karma is building trust in relationships) you must learn it three times (retrograde).

famous examples It might be useful to look at some famous examples, particularly from public figures who have lived a full life, to see what if any results occurred during the period of their retrograde planets.

India-PM 1966-1977; 1980-84 Indira Gandhi

her power grew immensely during Guru Mahadasha.

  • Did the work require more effort due to Guru's vakri status?

  • It would have been an exceptionally demanding time in anyone's life, given the very challenging placement of Guru's ruler Professor Shukra located in shad-ashtakya 6/8 from Guru-10

  • Guru and L-8 Guru's disagreeable, secrecy-loving, hostile angle to Rahu-5.

  • But, it could be speculated that without the "chesta bala" life-force effort produced by the vakri graha, the native might have abandoned public office, under the 6/8 pressures of animosity (6), jealousy (6), and threats to life (8).

Did Guru retrograde put Mrs. Gandhi into a state of willing readiness to accept the astounding state of complexity and conflict of her homeland?

  • She did hold up remarkably well during Guru Mahadasha all things considered.

  • It is not unreasonable to attribute her endurance, if not the full scope of her success during the mahadasha, to the chesta bala of Brihaspati "vakragati".


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