Those who are practicing astrology are well aware of benefic and malefic nature of planets. Jupiter, Venus, Waxing Moon and Mercury in conjunction with these planets are treated as benefic planets. Sun, Wanning Moon, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu and Mercury in conjunction with these planets are treated as malefic. The classification is by nature. Again we have functional malefic and functional benefic planets. In this context we can classify the planets broadly in two groups.
Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Ketu form one group. Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Rahu form another group. Those who are born in the ascendants ruled by 1st group of planets will have to suffer during the vimsottari dasha periods of another group of planets and vice versa as they are functional malefics to other group of ascendants. Of course, we have innumerable exceptions in this regard. Though Jupiter is most benefic among all the planets, it is the most dangerous functional malefic for Mithuna (Gemini), Kanya (Virgo), Thula (Libra) and Makara (Capricorn) ascendants. At the same time, the aspect by Jupiter on any house for any ascendant is treated as benefic. The aspects of Venus, Full Moon and Mercury are also treated as benefic. Hence, the classification of benefics should have been done basing on the aspects of those planets. These planets shower good or bad on humans at appropriate time, mostly during their vimsottari periods.
The classification of benefic or malefic is only from the view point of humans. From philosophical view point, the benefic and malefic have no meaning. We have to understand that the nature is all set only for good and not for bad. May be its Tsunami, or eruption of volcano, or any other natural disaster, humans suffer a great loss in many respects. It is only correction by nature. The planets or nature won’t do any good or bad to this world or humans. It is mostly* our Karma that drives us and renders results at appropriate time in appropriate proportion, but not planets. We have so many examples in Indian Philosophy.
The story of Hanuman, a great servant of Lord Sri Ram is one such example. He must be born in some ascendant along with some planetary position in his horoscope. Both malefic and benefic periods should have come in his life. But what is bad that happened in his life. Nothing. Everything that happened in his life is good. He has done good to one and all, to his King Sugreeva, to his lord Rama and to his colleagues. There is no need to explain the prominent role played by him in Ramayan. The results are abundant longevity, abundant shower of divine blessings on him and a divine promise of position of Brahma in future.
Some other stories of Markandeya Maharshi, Garuda and others prove the same.
In Ramayan, Ravan, the main villain performed penance and pleased Lord Brahma and achieved abundant longevity and abundant super powers. But what happened? He lost everything and finally succumbed to lust, in spite of blessings by Lord Brahma. Even benefic planets did not come to his rescue in his life.
To conclude, the driving force is mostly* our Karma and we can pave our way either to heaven or to hell.

*The words ‘mostly our Karma’ have so much of importance in our life. We people accustomed to attribute all the results derived by humans to Karma. But some times, we cannot attribute the results to our Karma. It does not happen always, but only some times. A discussion will take place in future articles. Hence, the term ‘mostly’ instead of ‘always’ is used here.

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