Related Articles: Effects of Combust Planets
Combustion of a planet among navagraha is a phenomenon which is said to be caused when such planet comes within certain degrees of closeness to Sun. When it happens, the planet which has come closer to Sun more than a safer distance to be maintained, it may lose its shine and luster, which in astrological terms means that it may become comparatively weaker due to being too close to Sun, as the Sun may burn some of its strength out. This planet which loses some of its strength by virtue of being too close to Sun is called a combust planet and while depicting this planet in a horoscope, the alphabet ‘c’ is written along with it, which is an indication for the person who studies such horoscope, that this planet was combust at the time of birth of the native who possesses such horoscope.
For example, Mercury gets combust when it enters a distance which is 14 degrees or less from Sun. It means that if Mercury is placed in the sign of Leo along with Sun where Mercury has traveled 10 degrees in the sign of Leo and Sun has traveled 20 degrees in the sign of Leo, the net distance between Mercury and Sun is 10 degrees which is less than the safe distance of 14 degrees in case of Mercury and hence it becomes combust. The natives who are born during this phase of time will have combust Mercury in their horoscopes, which may be depicted by adding ‘c’ with Mercury. Similarly, other planets among navagraha also become combust when they enter a certain minimum distance from Sun. Among all nine planets considered in Vedic astrology, Sun is one of them and among the remaining eight, 6 planets except Rahu and Ketu, namely Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Saturn become combust when they enter a certain distance from Sun.
This minimum distance is different for different planets and a couple of these planets have different degrees of safe distances from Sun before they get combust, depending on the fact whether they are in forward motion or in retrograde motion. For example, in forward motion, Mercury becomes combust when it enters a distance of 14 degrees from Sun whereas in retrograde motion, it becomes combust when it enters a distance of 12 degrees from Sun. Rahu and Ketu never become combust by virtue of their closeness to Sun as they are shadow planets and they don’t have physical attributes like combustion. Before moving on with this discussion, let’s take a look at the distance from Sun after which, each one of these six planets becomes combust.
Moon becomes combust when it comes within 12 degrees on either side of the Sun.
Mercury becomes combust when it comes within 14 degrees on either side of the Sun provided Mercury is in forward Motion. When Mercury is in retrograde motion, the degree of closeness for combustion of Mercury becomes 12 degrees.
Venus becomes combust when it comes within 10 degrees on either side of the Sun provided Venus is in forward motion. When Venus is in retrograde motion, the degree of closeness for combustion of Venus becomes 8 degrees.
Mars becomes combust when it comes within 17 degrees on either side of the Sun.
Jupiter becomes combust when it comes within 11 degrees on either side of the Sun.
Saturn becomes combust when it comes within 15 degrees on either side of the Sun.
Though there is no doubt that a planet which becomes combust may certainly lose some of its strength, how much strength it may lose is dependent on many factors in a horoscope, and it is not decided on the basis of combustion only. The first one among these factors is the distance that a combust planet has travelled closer to the Sun. The closer a planet gets to the Sun after entering a certain minimum distance, the more combust it gets. For example, if Sun is placed in the sign of Leo at 20 degrees and Mercury is placed in the same sign at 10 degrees, though Mercury is combust as it has entered the minimum required distance for its combustion to take place, it still may not lose much power as it is not very close to Sun. However if Sun is placed in the sign of Leo at 20 degrees and Mercury is placed in the same sign at 18 degrees, the combustion of Mercury will be much stronger than the first case, as it has come much closer to Sun, compared to the first case, as the distance between Sun and Mercury is 10 degrees in the first case and the distance between Sun and Mercury is 2 degrees in the second case.
Similarly, if Sun is placed in the sign of Leo at 20 degrees and Mercury is also placed in the sign of Leo at 20 degrees, the combustion of Mercury may become the strongest among all these cases as Mercury has got as close to Sun, as it can. Taking a look at the second factor, the sign of placement of a combust planet and Sun is a very important factor to be discussed, while discussing the intensity of combustion of a planet in a horoscope. For example, if a combination of Sun and Saturn is placed in the sign of Gemini and Saturn becomes combust by coming within 15 degrees of the Sun, it may be a regular type of combustion as both Sun and Saturn are comfortable, or so to say strong in the sign of Gemini. However, if the same combination of Sun and Saturn is placed in the sign of Aries and Saturn becomes combust, this combustion is likely to be much stronger than the one that happens in the sign of Gemini.
This is due to the fact that Sun gets exalted in the sign of Aries and hence it gains maximum strength in this sign, which means it has more power to burn any planet that comes closer to it. On the other hand, Saturn becomes debilitated in the sign of Aries, which means it is already weak and it may not be able to fight such combustion in a very good way and hence, more weakness may be rendered to Saturn in this case. However if the same combination of debilitated Sun and exalted Saturn is placed in the sign of Libra and Saturn becomes combust, the results may be altogether different. Sun is debilitated in the sign of Libra and hence it may not be able to burn out much strength of Saturn which on the other hand is very strong by virtue of being exalted in the sign of Libra and hence it is more capable of fighting such combustion, rendered to it by very weak Sun or so to say, debilitated Sun.
You see how the change in the sign of placement alone changes the intensity of combustion of a planet to a great extent, even though it may be distanced from Sun by the same number of degrees in different signs. Though there are no exact measures through which such things may be factored in, but for the sake of convenience of readers, let me give you an approximate idea. The intensity of combustion received by Saturn at 10 degrees from Sun in the sign of Aries may be much stronger than the intensity of combustion received by Saturn at 5 degrees from Sun in the sign of Libra. This is because, Sun doesn’t have much strength in the sign of Libra and hence it can’t burn Saturn very much. At the same time, Saturn is the strongest in Libra and hence it can fight the burning effect initiated by Sun in a much stronger way.
This situation is opposite in the sign of Aries where exalted Sun is the strongest and debilitated Saturn is the weakest. Therefore such exalted Sun may burn such debilitated Saturn more form a distance of 10 degrees in the sign of Aries, compared to the burning effect caused by debilitated Sun to exalted Saturn in the sign of Libra at a distance of 5 degrees. Hence the sign of placement of Sun as well as that of the planet to be burnt is an important factor and it should be considered properly before predicting the amount of weakness received by a particular planet by virtue of combustion.
And though it may not be possible to discuss all the other important factors involved in deciding the amount of weakness rendered to a planet due to combustion, let me still discuss one of the most important factors as well as the factor which is often ignored by many astrologers, while assessing the intensity of combustion of a planet in a horoscope. This factor deals with the working nature of Sun in a horoscope and it also deals with the working nature of the planet which becomes combust due to its closeness to Sun. If in a horoscope, Sun is working positively, it is likely to do far less damage to a planet in combination with it by means of combustion, than the damage done by such Sun when it is working negatively in a horoscope.
It is important to understand that when a benefic planet becomes combust by benefic Sun in a horoscope, there are two processes going on at the same time. The first process is the process of combustion and the second process if the process through which two benefic planets interact with each other in the same house as well as in the same sign. Hence they provide strength to each other and they also complement each other in many other ways. Therefore, the combustion of this planet is not as damaging in this case as it may be in some other cases, as this planet is also receiving positive energy from Sun along with going through the process of combustion.
However if a benefic planet becomes combust by malefic Sun in a horoscope, the damage may increase as in this case also, two processes are in effect at the same time. The first process is the process of combustion and the second process is the one through which malefic Sun afflicts the positive planet involved in this combination and it sends negative energy to such planet through the process of affliction, apart from burning out some of its strength through the process of combustion. The benefic planet at the receiving end will need to lose a part of its positive energy in order to counteract such negative energy sent by Sun and in the process; this benefic planet may lose more strength in the form of positive energy. Hence malefic Sun can burn a benefic planet and it can also afflict it due to its malefic nature, which results in much more weakness due to combustion as well as due to affliction.
Similarly there are many other factors which play important role in the process of combustion, like the case when the combust planet is negative and the Sun is positive or the case when both the combust planet and the Sun are negative. Similarly, the placement of Sun and combust planet in particular nakshatras among the same signs may change these results and the placement of other planets in the house of combination of Sun and combust planet as well as in some other important houses of a horoscope can also affect the process of combustion in a positive or in a negative way.
Hence all these important factors should be duly studied when assessing the amount of damage done to a planet by virtue of combustion as these results may look the same in different horoscopes, but they may be entirely different. For example, a combination of Sun and Mercury in the sign of Gemini in one horoscope may result in combustion of Mercury, and Budhaditya Yoga may be formed at the same time due to Sun and Mercury both being positive in the horoscope. However in a different horoscope, the same combination of Sun and Mercury may results in the formation of Pitra Dosh, as malefic Mercury may afflict the Sun in this case. In yet another possible combination of Sun and Mercury placed in the sign of Gemini, malefic Sun may cause serious damages to Mercury by virtue of combustion as well as by virtue of affliction caused by it to Mercury.