What’s a Mangal Dosha? And what’s the importance of Mars in our birth charts?

The subject of astrology is primarily based upon the interplay of the 12 zodiac signs and the nine planets, nine in case of Hindu astrology. In fact there are only five planets that are taken into consideration namely Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, the sun being a star and the moon being earth’s satellite. That makes seven heavenly entities, the other two are Rahu, the north node of the moon, and Ketu, the south node of the moon.

These two are imaginary points in the zodiac formed by the intersection of the elliptic route of the earth going around the sun, and the elliptic route of the moon going around the earth. These two intersection points though imaginary, are considered tangible in astronomy for these can be calculated accurately by taking into consideration the motion of earth around the sun, and the movement of the moon around the earth.

These are the two points where when the earth, the sun and the moon come in line, the sun gets eclipsed on the dark night, Amavasya, and the moon gets eclipsed on the full Moon, Purnima. We refer to these nine heavenly entities as nine planets or Nava-graha.

So how does this relate to a Mangal Dosha?

The planet Mars, known as Mangal in Hindi, plays a very vital role in astrology, more so in matters related to matrimony. There’re several other factors that are considered when matching two horoscopes for a marital alliance, but the placement of Mangal happens to be one of the most important. In fact, in Hindi, the meaning of Mangal signifies auspiciousness and happiness. As is said,
“May your married life be Mangalmaye,” which translates as ‘full of happiness.’

Mangal’s placement in a person’s birth chart is considered a decisive factor in making the marital alliance blissful or disastrous. In case this red planet is adversely situated at the time of a person’s birth, it is known to afflict one’s marital happiness, health or even the life span of the person or their spouse. This affliction through Mangal is known as Mangal Dosha.

The effect or effects of Mangal Dosha in one’s birth chart is believed to cause financial loss after marriage, disharmony in family life, marital discord, divorce or even the death of one of the partners. Because of this belief that a Mangal Dosha can create such strong negative influences in a person’s life, there’s always a stigma or fear attached to being born with a Mangal Dosha at birth.

A matter of placement

Like the 12 zodiac signs in astrology, there are 12 houses or positions that are considered while framing a birth chart on the basis of the date, time and place of birth of an individual.

  • The 1st house represents the self, one’s body, appearance, general well being, etc.
  • The 2nd house represents one’s income, speech, general family, married partner’s life span, etc.
  • The 4th house represents one’s mother, home, happiness or lack of it, etc.
  • The 7th house represents one’s married partner.
  • The 8th house represents one’s life span.
  • The 12th house represents loss, hidden enemies, the health of a person’s spouse, etc.

Now, according to Hindu astrology, the placement of Mangal in six of the 12 houses indicates a negative impact on the person’s marital life. And if seen in the first, second, third, seventh, eighth or the 12th house, the chart is said to have a Manglik influence.

Our scriptures mention several factors that negate the negative influence of Mangal. Unfortunately, even some of the learned astrologers do not delve deeper into them, and hence are unaware of these negating influences. This could also be due to ignorance, deliberate withholding of facts for pecuniary benefits or to propagate superstition.

However, there is also a strong belief that the ill effects of Mangal Dosha wear off after one attains the age of 28, and hence mangliks are often advised to marry late. The other thing is that people with Mangal Doshas are also asked to marry people who have the same placement of Mars in their birth charts to cross out the ill effects.