Panchaangam or Almanac:
rituals are performed according to the position of various planets [and the Sun
and the Moon]. There are rules to determine this. The right day and hour [muhurta] for a function is fixed according to the position of
celestial bodies.” (Divine sayings of Peria Periayaval)
In Hindu Society, all important functions or rituals will be conducted only after choosing a proper time for them This is done with the help of Almanac or Panchanga(m), an important booklet possessed by every house-hold in Hindu families throughout the world. It is common even amongst some Muslim or Christian families to consult an almanac before finalizing the timing of any auspicious event.
The Sanskrit word “Panchanga” means five segments or limbs, namely, "Thithi" (lunar day), Vara (week day), "Nakshatra" (constellation), Yoga (luni-solar day) and Karana (half of a lunar day). The five limbs of the Panchanga represent the five sources of energy, visible as well as invisible, as denoted by these segments in a day.
It is believed by the followers of the Panchanga that a proper balance of these energies is necessary for health, wealth and prosperity of mankind. The almanac provides guidelines for a person to undertake various activities in accordance with the best possible and most beneficial combination of these five elements signified by the five limbs. The combination varies depending on the nature of activity undertaken. The time so chosen for these activities, religious, social or otherwise, is called a “Muhurtha(m)”. In a Hindu family or Society, no religious or social activity, which is compared important, is undertaken without fixing a proper muhurtha(m). Thus, apart from individual’s activities, dates for the festivals, sowing of plants and other agricultural activities and common religious functions are also chosen or determined on the basis of auspicious time indicated in the Panchanga.
The Panchanga is calculated annually in different parts of
One is surprised to find that for a given city two different Panchanga(m)s prepared by two different people give the position of stars ("Nakshatra"s) differently. When all the Hindu rituals are based on the "Thithi"s and "Nakshatra"s for each day, it is so confusing to find these panchangas showing differences in the duration of "Thithi" or "Nakshatra"s on a chosen day. One begins to wonder how the Sun and the Moon will change their position according to the will of the compilers!!!
In Tami Nadu, for example, there are so many almanacs prepared for different regions one set of them called “Vakya Panchaangams” and another set called “Thrik Kanitha Panchaangams”. Both Loukikas (common citizens) and the Purohits (Pundits) tend to cling on to the ones their forefathers have been using for generations. Since they are ignorant about the compilation norms, no body wants to question them as to their veracity. An example of such differences in the position of "Nakshatra" and the Moon is given below:
(Duration in Hours and Mintues)
Date "Thithi" ""Nakshatram"
May 7, 2000 Chathurthi Mrugaseerisam
As in Vakya
Panchanga(m) Till 1.55 PM Till 4.50 PM
As in Thrik Kanitha
Panchanga(m) Till 9.35 AM Till 1.36 PM
The question arises as to what one should follow. It is futile for me to raise this controversial subject in a forum like this. My intention is to point out the difficulties faced by the common man in choosing muhurtha for various purposes. The Pundits have a hay day, as there is none to question them. If one dares to do, he is dismissed summarily as an ignorant agnostic.
I feel that there is urgent need to reconcile these differences and bring out an acceptable Panchaangam for the country as a whole or at least for each region/State.
mistake committed by Purohits is in the calculation
of muhurtha lagans for various purposes. The muhurtha lagna is always fixed by
referring to the Panchaangams. The duration of muhurtha
lagna is not the same every where.
A Panchaangam prepared for Chennai latitude cannot be
the November 13, 2000 is the chosen date with Rohini Nakashatram (Star) and Dhwithiyai
chosen for marriage Scorpio (Vrischikam) in
Lagna period Vrischika (Scorpio) Duration Makara (Capricorn) Duration
For Bangalore: 6.33 AM to 8.45 AM. 132 mns. 10.52 AM to 12.46 PM 114 mns
For New Delhi, 6.59 AM to 9.18 AM. 139 mns. 11.22 AM to 01.05 PM 103 mns.
One would have committed a grave error in fixing muhurtha for marriage at New Delhi, based on lagna calculations for Bangalore without corrections for latitude for the former city.
For the benefit of internet readers, I append (see tables) auspicious muhurtha dates and lagna for Bangalore and New Delhi for the Hindu Nandana year commencing from 14th April 2012. These marriage muhurtha dates have been carefully prepared with the help of sophisticated computer software and Almanacs prepared in India. With suitable corrections with reference to latitude and longitude, these can be adjusted to suit any place in the world. Click here for Bangalore and New Delhi.
Some Panchaanga(m)s may indicate additional dates; muhurtha lagna and mangalyatharana time can be calculated for these dates also.
Those who want specific help in the matter may write to me. (Shri S.G.V.Ramanan. Email Address: email@example.com ).
I give below a simple method (steps) to find out a suitable date for marriage of a couple:
1.Select the month or date from the Table to find
out whether it is suitable or not.
Count from the girl’s star (""Nakshatram")
to the star indicated in column 4 of the table for the date chosen.
If the number is 3, 5, 7, 14, 22, or 27, or if the lagna
in which the star falls is eighth lagna from that the
girl's Chandra lagna, it is not suitable date. Then
choose the next date and do this exercise by following the same steps.
Also, do the same exercise for the boy, with reference to his star.
5. Reject if the number 1,3,5.7,14,19,22 or 27or if the lagna in which the star falls is eighth lagna from that the girl's Chandra lagna.
6.The above exercise does not lead to a good
date for both boy and girl, then, the girl’s star count can be taken as the
basis for the good date.
7. This is only indicative. It is preferable to consult a priest or astrologer before finalizing the date.
For the benefit of those who do not know the order of stars, the following numbers may be noted:
"Nakshatra" and Serial No. (Sanskrit Name)
1. Aswini 2. Bharani 3. Krittika 4. Rohini 5. Mrigasira (.Mrigasirisam)
2. Bharani 3. Krittika 4. Rohini 5. Mrigasira (.Mrigasirisam)
6. Aridra (Thiruvadirai) 7. Punarvasu (Punarpoosam) 8. Pushyami (.Poosam)
7. Punarvasu (Punarpoosam) 8. Pushyami (.Poosam)
8. Pushyami (.Poosam)
9. Aslesha (Ayilyam) 10. Makha (Magam) 11. Pubba (Pooram) 12. Uttara (Uththirai)
10. Makha (Magam) 11. Pubba (Pooram) 12. Uttara (Uththirai)
12. Uttara (Uththirai)
13. Hasta(m) 14. Chitta (Chittirai) 15. Swathi 16. Visakha (m) 17.
15. Swathi 16. Visakha (m) 17.
18. Jyeshta (.Kettai)
19. Moola(m) 20. Poorvashda (Pooradam)
19. Moola(m) 20. Poorvashda (Pooradam)
21. Uttarashada (Uththiradam)
22. Sravana (Thiruvonam) 23. Dhanishta (.Avittam )
22. Sravana (Thiruvonam) 23. Dhanishta (.Avittam )
23. Dhanishta (.Avittam )
24. Satabisha (Sathayam) 25. Poorvabadra (Poorattadhi)
25. Poorvabadra (Poorattadhi)
26. Uttarabadra (Uttarattadhi ) 27. Revati
(The name in bracket is Tamil equivalent. )
Question: People use the "Paambu Panchaangam" computed
1) How is "Nakshatram" calculated?
Also, how do you calculate "Thithi"?
Is it the "Thithi" at
do you determine the "Thithi" for a
particular day? For example if the "Thithi"
moves from one to the other around 11:00 am, what is the "Thithi" for the day? I was told that the "Thithi" for the day is the "Thithi"
which was during
3) What is "Lagnam"? How do you compute "Lagnam"?
1) ""Nakshatram" represents the position of the Moon in the elliptical circle or "zodiac". The zodiac is divided into twelve "Rasis" and 27 "Nakshatra"s are assigned to these 12 "Rasis" beginning from "Mesha" and "Aswini", respectively. The Moon takes 13 degrees and 20 seconds to traverse one "Nakshatra". So, the "Nakshatra" of the day is found from the position of the Moon in the zodiac cycle and dividing its longitude by 13 deg. and 20 sec. For example, if the Moon is in 325 degrees, it is in 25th "Nakshatra" (starting from Aswini) and that is Poorattadhi and is in Khumba Rasi.
2) In simple terms, "Thithi" represents the distance between the Sun and the Moon at any point of time. Each "Thithi" is equal to 0.9483 of a day and a lunar month (from Amavasya to Amavasya) is 29.53 days. "Thithi", therefore, does not vary according to
degrees, Dwithiyai ends and thrithiyai starts.
When the Moon and the Sun are in the same longitude, it is Amavasya; when they are 180 degrees apart, it is Poornimai. If the difference is less than 180 degrees, it is sukla paksha and if it is more krishna paksha. To find out a "Thithi", you have to deduct the longitude of the Moon from that of the Sun and divide it by twelve. The full number represents that particular "Thithi" and the reminder how much a "Thithi" has lapsed on that day. The longitudes of all planets are available for each place on earth and these can be found in "Ephemeris".
The longitude of not only the Moon and the Sun but also of all planets in a zodiac depends on the latitude and longitude of a place and the "ayanamsa" chosen for such calculation. One cannot take Madras Panchaangam (almanac) as valid for the entire world. This is the reason, why I have offered to help people to get the lagnas calculated for different cities.
Any good software on vedic astrology can help you to find out the "Thithi"s and "Nakshatra" for any place in the world. It is not easy to calculate "Thithi" for a particular place without Ephemeries.
"Lagnam" is associated with solar movement. Beginning with the rasi where the Sun rises on a day, "Lagnam" changes approximately every two hours; the duration of the "Lagnam" is not the same for every place. This also varies according to latitude/longitude.
Charts of two people born at the same time in two different places can be totally different from each other depending on variations in latitude/longitude.
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