Balarishta is a Sanskrit word composite of “Bal” and “Arishta”. “Bal” refers to infancy and childhood age; while the “Arishta” means evil or inauspicious. In vedic astrological readings, it implies specific planetary placement, which may cause death during infancy and/or childhood age. The disposition of the Moon in a vedic astrology horoscope is the primary factor in deciding the presence of “Balarishta” or the vulnerability of the child to suffer severe health issues including death. During earlier times, when medical facilities and treatment were not much advanced; the influence of “Balarishta” was more significant and strong. And, even minor affliction or weakness on the part of Moon was capable of causing death or other severe problems. While, now a days, with significant advancement in medical field, the influence of Balarishta, generated due to weakness of Moon, has actually become quite mild. And, for actual identification of the situation; the role of Lagna lord and eighth house lords should be given priority.

Chapter 11 of Brihad Parashara Hora Shashtra is containing vedic astrology lessons for identifying Balarishta; and some of the salient principles or rules are discussed below:
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule one for Balarishta: The placement of the Moon in sixth, eighth or twelfth house and also having influence of Cruel planets (Sun, Mars, Saturn, and Nodes) generates Balarishta. Such weak and afflicted placement of Moon is not auspicious for longevity; and death in infancy is possible. The influence of benign planets like strong Moon, Mercury, Jupiter or Venus is helpful in reducing the inauspicious influence. However, during practical observation, the applicability of this rule is not more than 50 per cent. One of the primary reasons behind non-applicability is advancement of medical technology. In addition to this, the disposition of planets in divisional charts (specifically Navamsha), is also to be analyzed for ascertaining their actual role.
For example, in the following vedic astrology horoscope, the Moon is badly placed in sixth house and also suffers from aspect of debilitated Saturn and Mars. The Moon is in second house from the Sun, thus, also lacking Paksha Bala. There were some health issues at the time of birth; but the native survived despite full application of the Yoga.
Some of the primary reasons observed in safeguarding from Balarishta are as under:
Ascendant lord Saturn is having its tenth aspect on the first house of his vedic astrology horoscope. Being debilitated, Saturn is weak; but is placed in Kendra Bhava (Angular house) and devoid of any malefic influences over it. Thus, it is able to generate some potent support to protect the Lagna.
The Moon is well disposed in auspicious zodiac sign in the Navamsha Chart.
Lord of eighth house Sun is also well placed in fifth house and united with ninth lord Mercury. This union is not auspicious for attributes related to sixth and ninth houses; but the Sun is having the auspiciousness of ninth lord Mercury.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule two for Balarishta: If Mars placed in first or eighth house of Lagna Chart; and at the same time, such Mars is also united with Sun or Saturn – such placement of Mars is not good for longevity. Aspect of benefic planets on the union is supportive for diluting the inauspicious influence.
As per vedic astrology readings, the Mars is a fiery planet and is Tamasika and cruel in nature. Therefore, the union of the Mars with another cruel planet like Sun or Saturn is being considered inauspicious for the health and well being, specifically during infancy. In the natural zodiac, the Mars is the lord of first and eighth houses; and, therefore, significantly represents the health and longevity. Combination of the Mars with Sun holds strong chances of it (Mars) becoming combust, and the combination of Mars with Saturn may also disturb the natural attributes of Mars. Therefore, the union of the Mars with Sun or Saturn is considered inauspicious for the health and longevity, specifically during infancy. The inauspicious influences will be more pronounced, if the Lagna lord is also becomes weak and afflicted. And, the Maraka bhavas i.e. second and seventh houses are suffering from malefic influences. The influence of auspicious planets on the union has been told to reduce the negative intensity. In this respect, one important thing to be kept under consideration is that it is the aspect of the benefic and/or auspicious planets on the union, which is considered to be able to reduce the malefic influence. Because, if the auspicious or benefic planet is having influence via union; it will itself get afflicted and not able to provide the requisite support.
The on ground applicability of this yoga is observed to be average. For example, in the vedic astrology horoscope of Rahul Gandhi, (As given above) the Mars is united with Sun in the first house itself and the lagna lord Mercury is also badly placed in twelfth house. However, the union of Sun + Mars is under aspect of Jupiter as well as debilitated Saturn (lord of eighth and ninth houses) and Rahu placed in ninth house. So, in a way, the aspect of Jupiter and Saturn (as lord of ninth house) might have been able to provide good protection against the Balarishta. Besides this, the Mercury is vargottama, which would also have provided some support.
One another vedic astrology horoscope can be perused, which is having the union of Sun + Mars in Taurus Ascendant (Vrishabha lagna); but the malefic influences of Balarishta were absent.
The union is under aspect of Jupiter and Ketu. And, being lord of eighth house, the aspect of Jupiter is also having some inauspicious influence. However, the results of Balarishta did not take place. The ascendant lord Venus is safe from any inauspicious planetary influences, is well conjunct with friendly planet Mercury in second house and also receiving the aspect of Yogakaraka Saturn.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule three for Balarishta: If the Sun and Moon are united with Rahu in Cancer or Leo zodiac sign; and at the same time first house is under aspect of Mars and Saturn – it may generate longevity issues or Balarishta. This rule is related to the concentrated affliction on luminaries (Sun and Moon), wherein not only the planet concerned; but the house ruled by it, is also under malefic influence of Rahu (North Node); and the first house of vedic astrology horoscope is also suffering from aspect of Mars and Saturn. Therefore, the following conditions are required to be met in a vedic astrology horoscope for this yoga.
Rahu should be making union with Sun and Moon, which will be quite damaging for both the luminaries.
These planets (Sun, Moon and Rahu) should be placed in Cancer or Leo zodiac sign.
And, the first house should be aspected by Mars and Saturn.
I have got one horoscope in my collection (given below), which fulfills all the conditions; but the inauspicious results of Balarishta are absent due to involvement of Jupiter. However, there are some other serious issues in his life; but he is very much alive.

As we can see in the above vedic astrology horoscope that both the luminaries (the Sun and Moon) and Lagna lord Mercury are conjunct with Rahu in Cancer zodiac sign. Jupiter and Saturn are placed in first house; and Mars (placed in tenth house) is having its aspect on first house of the Lagna Chart. The placement of Jupiter in first house of his Lagna Chart is looking to have provided some good support in countering the inauspicious influences generated in the horoscope. And, though the native did survived; he still faced serious problems in many aspects of his life.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule four for Balarishta: The placement of Saturn in tenth house, of Moon in sixth house and of Mars in seventh house is being told to generate Balarishta (longevity issues) to the child as well as to the mother. This rule is based upon bad placement of the Moon as well as the mutual disposition of cruel planets (Mars and Saturn) in the angular houses (seventh and tenth houses) respectively. The practical applicability of this Yoga is also looking doubtful as such the strong placement of Lagna lord; and influence of auspicious planets on the horoscope are capable to provide good amount of support.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule five for Balarishta: Even well placed moon in first, seventh or ninth houses can cause death, if it is afflicted by malefic planets either by aspect or union. This is also not looking much possible during current times. The strength of Lagna lord; and the nature of influences on second and seventh houses are also required to be considered for having a clear picture about the strength of the horoscope in terms of longevity.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule six for Balarishta: Saturn in first house, Jupiter in third and Moon in eighth house also generate longevity issues. Again, the applicability of this Yoga may not be good; until and unless the other factors like the Lagna lord and Maraka Bhavas are suffering from severe afflictions. Besides this, the signs occupied by the planets may also have a good say in deciding the applicability of this Balarishta Yoga. For example, in Libra Ascendant (Tula Lagna), this may not work at all. Saturn and Moon will be exalted in first and eighth houses of Libra Ascendant; while the Jupiter will be in its zodiac sign. And, then, all three planets are expected to give strong and auspicious results to the native. In my opinion, the inauspicious influence of these planets on the longevity of the person will be more prominent in Aries, Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio and Pisces Ascendant. I have got one horoscope in my collection (discussed at the end of this article), wherein the above rule is partially applicable; however, the child could not survive more than a month.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule seven for Balarishta: If the Sun placed in first or ninth house and at the same time Saturn is placed in seventh house; and Jupiter is united with Venus in the eleventh house, the child may not survive. The applicability of this yoga looks possible in Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces Ascendant. However, the disposition of these planets in Navamsha Chart as well as current operating Dasa will also have a say. The rules is based upon influence of enemy planets on each other (Jupiter and Venus) as well as disposition of Saturn in seventh house, where from it can cast its inauspicious aspect on Sun placed in first or ninth houses.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule eight for Balarishta: If cruel planets are placed in twelfth and sixth houses; OR the cruel planets are placed in second and eighth houses; and Lagna is also afflicted by malefic planets – it can cause death in infancy. The applicability of this combination is quite possible. The mutual aspect influence of cruel planets on each other (either in twelfth and sixth house OR in second and eighth house) can generate threat to the longevity of a person, if the Lagna is also afflicted by malefic planets. This applicability of this rule will be more prominent in even sign Ascendants i.e. Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces; while the Ascendants of odd signs may not be much influenced by this planetary placement. And, off course, the disposition and strength of Ascendant lord will have prominent say in deciding the level of inauspicious influence.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule nine for Balarishta: The presence of malefic planets in first and seventh houses (or in seventh and eighth houses) may generate death during infancy if the moon is also united with cruel planet. The influence of auspicious planets may provide support and are also capable of diluting the impact of Balarishta. The applicability of this rule is also quite possible. The affliction of malefic planets on first and seventh houses (or seventh and eighth houses) as well as on the Moon (general significator of health and longevity during infancy) is capable of causing Balarishta. The Paksha Bala of the Moon is also required to be considered for application of this yoga.
Vedic Astrology lesson – Rule ten for Balarishta: If in a vedic astrology horoscope, the Saturn is placed in twelfth house, Sun is in ninth and Mars in eighth house; and these planets are having no aspect from benefic planets – this may generate immediate death. This rule is based upon malefic influences on second, third and eighth houses along with diluted strength of luck to protect. Both Saturn and Mars will be having their aspect on second house; both Sun and Mars will be having their aspect on third house; and the eighth house will be carrying the heat of the Mars. The Sun placed in ninth house will also be suffering from aspect of Saturn. The applicability of this rule will depend a lot upon the planets placed in Angular houses (Kendra Bhavas) and disposition of Ascendant Lord. If the Lagna lord is strong and/or there are auspicious planets placed in central stage (angular houses viz. first, fourth, seventh and tenth); there are very less chances of Balarishta taking place.
My opinion: In my opinion, the following factors should be considered to check if the Balarishta is actually operational on a horoscope or otherwise.
Disposition of Lagna Lord: If the Lagna lord is well disposed and is also devoid of any malefic influences over it – this will definitely have a great say in countering the evil influences of Balarishta. Sometimes, even weak or debilitated Lagna lord is capable of providing some support, required it is not having any malefic planetary influences over it. Nature of planets influencing second, third, seventh and eighth houses: The second and seventh houses of vedic astrology horoscope are Maraka Bhavas (death inflicting houses). And, the third and eighth houses are related with age and longevity. Malefic influences on these houses are not desirable for healthy, physical safety and longevity. The placement of auspicious and unafflicted planets in these houses is capable of countering the inauspicious influence of Balarishta. Besides this, if the lords of these houses are under auspicious influence of a benefic planet (other than Lagna lord), this will also provide a good counter to the Balarishta. The comparative strength of Lagna Lord should be more than the lords of third and eighth houses. Mars and Saturn are considered to be the most inauspicious planets, when they form malefic relationship with these houses. The gravity will depend upon the number of auspicious/inauspicious influences received by a house. Concentrated malefic influences (like two or more malefic planets are having their malefic influence, either via placement or via aspect, on one house) are observed to be more severe against the inauspicious influence generated by a single planetary placement.

Angular houses: The role of angular houses or Kendra Bhavas (i.e. the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses) is also very important. If these houses contain auspicious and unafflicted planet(s); this will have a strong positive influence and very reasonably capable of countering the Balarishta.
Disposition of the Moon and operating planetary period: A strong and well placed Moon having Paksha Bala is also capable of working as an antidote to the Balarishta. If at the time of birth, the operating Dasa is of a strong and auspicious planet, it will provide a good protective cover. Navamsha Chart: The fruitfulness of planets is to be judged through Navamsha Chart. Therefore, if the weak and afflicted planets are having auspicious disposition in Navamsha Chart; it will also act as a strong counter to the Balarishta.

In addition to above, the Vedic astrology horoscopes of the parents will also have a great say in deciding the level of impact. If at the time of birth of a child, the horoscopes of the parents are having inauspicious planetary dasa (specifically related to family and progeny i.e. second, fifth and seventh houses); the chances of Balarishta taking place becomes more. While, the operation of auspicious planetary dasa/transit are observed to be helpful in diluting the inauspicious influence of the Balarishta.

For more clarity, I would like to present the following horoscope for consideration.
In this vedic astrology horoscope, the lagna is occupied by exalted Rahu and Saturn. The ascendant (Lagna) lord Venus is also well placed in ninth house; and there is a auspicious union of Sun + Mercury in tenth house. However, the child died within one month of his birth. The reasons behind the Balarishta in this horoscope are discussed below:

The lord of first house Venus is well placed in ninth house; but at the same time it (Venus) is afflicted by malefic aspect from Jupiter. As lord of eighth and eleventh houses in Taurus Ascendant (Vrishabha Lagna); Jupiter is a negative planet. Being exalted in third house, the strength of Jupiter to afflict the planets/houses coming under its influence is also significantly high. In addition to this, Jupiter is also retrograde; thus, the intensity and power acquired by Jupiter is further enhanced. Thus, despite being well placed in ninth house, the Lagna lord Venus is suffering from strong and malefic aspect of Jupiter; and comparative strength of Jupiter is much more than Venus, which is allowing it (Jupiter) to subdue the placement benefit obtained by Venus.
The seventh and eighth houses are occupied by Ketu (South Node) and Mars respectively. Ketu is also exalted; thus a strong but cruel planet is placed in seventh house. Jupiter and Saturn both are having their aspect on Ketu. The aspect of Saturn (as it is Yogakaraka planet for Taurus Ascendant) is auspicious; while that of Jupiter is inauspicious. Once again, the strength of Jupiter (being exalted and retrograde) is comparatively more; thus, the overall presence of Ketu in seventh house will be under inauspicious influence of Jupiter. The eighth house is occupied by Mars, which also aspect second and third houses of the Lagna Chart. Mars is also devoid of any auspicious influences from benefic planets. Thus, all the relevant houses (second, third, seventh and eighth) are under inauspicious planetary influences.

The Moon is placed in eleventh house; but at the same time it is lacking Paksha Bala and suffers from aspects of Jupiter, Ketu and Mars. Therefore, the malefic influences on the Lagna lord, and Moon; and the inauspicious placement of Jupiter, Ketu and Mars generated strong Balarishta on the baby. At the time of birth, Jupiter/Rahu dasa was operational on this horoscope. The placement of Saturn in the first house; and the union of Sun + Mercury in tenth house is supportive; but could not safe guard the child from the strong malefic influences. The horoscopes of the parents were also not much supportive; and indicating problems related to family at the time of the birth.
Here is another and very similar vedic astrology horoscope of a child, who died within one month.


As we can see that the first house of the Ascendant (Lagna Chart) is occupied by debilitated Ketu and the Lagna lord Venus is having union with Mercury and debilitated Rahu in seventh house.
Mars placed in fourth house is also having its aspect on the union of Venus with Mercury and Rahu. The placement and union of Venus with Mercury is auspicious; however, due to involvement of debilitated Rahu in the union and aspect of Mars (maraka planet as it rules over seventh and twelfth houses of Taurus Ascendant); most of the positive attributes are compromised; rendering Venus unable to protect despite having an aspect on the first house.
Lord of eighth house Jupiter is badly placed in twelfth house and is also retrograde. Jupiter is having mutual aspect relationship with the Sun (debilitated lord of fourth house); and also having its aspect on the Mars (placed in fourth house). The second house is occupied by the Moon (having reasonable Paksha Bala) and the Yogakaraka Saturn is having its aspect on Moon. Saturn also aspects Venus (having union with Mercury and debilitated Rahu). However, the negative influences on the horoscope were still more pronounced and did not allow the auspicious planetary influences to safeguard the child.
The affliction to first and seventh houses; affliction to Lagna lord Venus, bad placement of Jupiter (as lord of eighth house) and operation of Rahu/Jupiter dasa can be identified as the primary reasons behind the Balarishta, which resulted into death of the child within one month of the birth.
The life and death are most sensitive sections of a Human life. And no matter how hard one tries; or how competent and knowledgeable one is – accurately deciding the longevity of a person is very risky and tough task. But as they say, during doubtful circumstances, it is always better to take precautions and exercise caution.