Now there are so many rules in astrology, there is no consensus among astrologers which rule to take and which rule to leave. If we ask two astrologers to analyze the same chart for a known event, we will see two different analyses. One astrologer will use one theory to justify the same event and other will use another theory/ rule/ principle to do the same. As there are no common rules, we cannot say who is correct and who is not in the analysis. I strongly see a need for standardizing the rules, so that astrologers can at least discuss on the same platform and understand each other's language. Unavailability of common language is drastically hampering the progress and success of Vedic astrology.
Coming to the topic, Badhak Graha, Badhakasthana & Badhakesh is another rule where there is no consensus and astrologers utilize this rule the way they want. Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra, the bible of Vedic astrology, defines Badhakshana as follows -
"For all movable signs, the 11th house therefrom is the badhaka sthana, for all fixed signs, the 9th therefrom are their badhakasthana and for all the dual signs, the 7th therefrom are their badkasthanas."
Thus for the 12 signs of the zodiac, the badhakasthanas are:
1. Aries: Aquarius
2. Taurus: Capricorn
3. Gemini: Sagittarius
4. Cancer: Taurus
5. Leo: Aries
6. Virgo: Pisces
7. Libra: Leo
8. Scorpio: Cancer
9. Sagittarius: Gemini
10. Capricorn: Scorpio
11. Aquarius: Libra
12. Pisces: Virgo
Badhak the word literally means to Obstruct meaning oppressing, harassing, paining, opposing , hindering, injuring, prejudicing from the root verb 'baadh' meaning to press , force, drive away, repel , remove.
Generally astrologers treat badhakasthana as malefic house and gives adverse result during its dasa. Though the usage and application differs from astrologer to astrologer and everybody applied his/ her own modifications. Let us see first what Mahirshi Parashara has to say about Badhaka. There are only two places where we see the reference of Badhaka in BPHS, both in the chapter "Effects of the Char etc. Dashas", as follows -
1. Kumbh, Vrishabh, Simh and Vrischik are Badhak Bhavas for the four Movable Rāśis: Mesh, Kark, Tula and Makar. In other words the 11th Rāśi to a Movable Rāśi is its Badhak Bhava. If there is a malefic in the Bhava, occupied by its Lord, or in Badhak Bhava of that Rāśi, there will be occasions of great sorrow, imprisonment and diseases during the Dasha.
2. There will be great danger, imprisonment during a journey, displeasure of Government and danger from enemies in the Dasha and Antar Dasha of the Rāśi, from which its Badhak Bhava, Vyaya, Ari and Randhr are occupied by Rahu. There will be loss, due to the displeasure of the king and danger therefrom in the Antar Dasha of the Rāśi, that is occupied by Sūrya, Mangal, Rahu and Śani. There will be the possibility of death, if the 5th and the 9th from the Antar Dasha Rāśi are occupied by a debilitated, or malefic Grah.
It is important to note that Maharishi Parashar has used Badhak only in reference with Chara dasha and not in general application. So should it be used with other dasa systems, especially Nakshatra based dasa systems like Vimshottari dasa, they way it is being used by present astrologers? For example, we don't see reference of badhaka in Vimshottari Dasa chapter, his favorite dasa to which he has devoted most number of chapters. Badhakasthana is a rasi based concept and it makes more sense to use it with a rasi based dasa like Chara dasa.
The point should also be noted that Mahirshi doesn't make any mention that the owner or occupant of badhakastha will prove malefic for the native. If badhakesh or the planet occupying badhakasthana are to be classified as malefics, it will violate other rules laid out by Maharishi. Generally it is accepted by all that any planet in 11th will give good results, by being Tri-Sharaya Pati. Similarly for Fixed Sign Badhak Rashi is 9th from it. 9th lord is considered yogakaraka by Maharshi Parasar and said that except the lord of Dusthanas, all planets give good results in this house. In Parasara Hora Sastra, in the Chapter of Vimshottari Dasa, all the Dasas andantardasas of Trines has been said to be good. Finally, for the dual rasi, the Seventh House is the Badhak rasi. Seventh house can be considered evil by being marka house, but we should note that the seventh house is also one of kendras and any planet in kendras give good results and in Parasara Hora Sastra, the dasas & antardasas of planets posted in kendras has been said to be good.
So in my opinion, occupants and owner of the badhakasthana cannot be considered malefic. The only point that we can take from Parashara Hora Shastra is that the (chara) dasa of a rasi will prove adverse if its badhakasthana is occupied by malefic planet or afflicted by malefics.
It is not that the confusion is there only among classical astrology. KP System is also started getting into this confusion. Sri KS Krishnamurti, the inventor of the system, has used signification of badhakasthana only for calculating longevity. According to KP System, conjoined dasa period of Maraka and Badhaka will prove fatal to the native. He has not classified badhakasthana as general malefic. KP astrologers later own started using it in the way it is being used by classical astrologers by considering badhaksthana, badhakasthanapati and planet occupied in badhakasthana as malefic, which seems incorrect to me.
In my opinion, we astrologers have so many rules (read - confusing rules) so that we can justify all our analysis. More numbers of rules means we have more ways to prove our points. It is the time for the astrologers to standarize on the rules otherwise we are not far from the day where astrology will be classified as a fraud.