Functional Benefic, Malefic & Neutral Planets
In Vedic astrology, each Ascendant or Lagna has certain planets that are naturally benefic that can become malefic or deviate from their natural tendency and produce a bad effect.
Guru, Shukra, Waxing moon and Budha in association with benefices are Natural Benefics. Kuja, Shani, Waning Moon and Budha in association with malefics are Natural Malefics.
Rahu and Ketu always act as functional malefic for all the ascendants.
Natural benefic planets cannot be considered benefic for all the ascendants. In Indian Astrology, the benefic or malefic result of planets has been categorized according to the Ascendant. As such, Jupiter, Moon and Venus which are considered naturally benefic planets can play a role of being malefic planets and Sun, Mars and Saturn known otherwise malefic can give positive results.
For example, the planet of good fortune, Jupiter becomes malefic in Virgo or Kanya Lagna. While in Leo or Simha Lagna, it is neutral. On the other hand, malefic planets like Sun, Saturn can produce positive results too. There are rules to determine the benefic, malefic and neutral planets for each Lagna or Ascendant. Benefic planets produce good results and malefic planets produce evil or negative results. Neutral planets do not cause good or bad results.
The principle governing functional benefic or functional malefic planets for a particular ascendant can be analyzed as follows:
Functional benefic planets rule the ownership of Trikona houses for that Ascendant, i.e. 1st, 5th and 9th houses are benefic places and benefic lords.
Similarly, a planet should be considered functional malefic only when it occupies the ownership of 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th houses. These houses are Dusthanas (evil houses).
2nd and 7th houses are Maraka sthanas and their lords are Marakaadhipathi.
Planets which are friendly to ascendant should also be considered functional benefic.
For any Lagna, a Graha owning a kendra house will lose its natural effect. i.e if a benefic planet owning a Kendra will loose its maleficence with respect to that Lagna. This is known as Kendradhipatya Dosha, which gets cancelled only when the aforesaid planet occupies its own sign.
In Kendra Sthana, 10th house is most powerful and followed by 7th and 4th. Likewise in Trikona, 9th is stronger than the 5th.
Lord of Ascendant is always considered to be the most functional benefic planet even though the other sign of ascendant is placed in 6th or 8th house as in the case of Aries, Scorpio, Taurus and Libra Ascendants. Aries and Libra ascendants have their Moolatrikona in the first house of the chart. As such, for these ascendants Mars and Venus should be considered more auspicious.
Each sign has a particular sign corresponding to it which obstructs it. The movable signs are obstructed by the 11th from them, the fixed are obstructed by the 9th from them, and the dual signs are obstructed by the 7th from them.
When interpreting, decide whether a planet is benefic or malefic and also consider its placement, strength of planet and then read the results accordingly.
Based on the logic presented here, the list of benefic and malefic planet for each Lagna can be summarized as follows.