Five elements of Panchanga ~ Part 04

The essence of the five elements of Panchanga in terms of understanding one's Horoscope, Kundali or Janam Patri or birth chart referred in many ways by occult experts.

In my previous article, I introduced Pangang, an Ancient Indian Almanac, and explained why Astrology students must pay attention to every panchang detail.

In this blog/article, I will illustrate and provide insight on the five elements of panchaga, as they form the basis of one's birth chart. It is with the analysis of these five elements or the Pancha Angas or five limbs as it is known, an occult expert, especially astrologers, can quickly determine the quality of life of a person he or she can aspire for, in terms of wealth, Health and relationships, and the name and fame a person will get during his lifetime. The hardships one is destined to face

Panchanga in Jyotish Veda for an Astrologer is similar to a RESUME for Human Resource Manager in the Corporate World, and both at a glance can determine whether the person has the punch or not.

Panchanga also creates the Muhurta( This I will explain in my next insight). And Muhurta is a composite of all these five limbs of time and is the first analysis of horoscope or Kundli or birth chart, leading to analyzing the five elements or limbs of time. Through this analysis of five factors, Astrologers, occult Masters determine various doshas' medical ailments, personal and professional problems and suggest suitable remedies/pariharas. Planning of the critical events in one's life, be it wedding or grihapravesha or new purchases (land, automobiles, and investments). For every occasion, there is a different muhurta, and there can never be one Muhurta for all

Now let me explain the First Element Vara

Vara is the Day you are born, and the energy element associated with it is fire/agni. Vara became your day lord and called Varesh and before we go any further, let me explain to you the seven kinds of Varas which constitute the seven days in a week, illustrated as under along with the associated planet lord for that particular Vara called as Varesh. Rahu and Ketu are not considered as planets in here as they do not have a complete body. Vedic weekday starts from Sunrise and ends with the next Day Sunrise. Unlike the western method, Julian day, The Julian Day starts from noontime astronomers use Greenwich Mean Time January 1, 4713 BC as per the Julian calendar or November 24, 4714 BC Gregorian calendar, This, from midnight today till midnight the next Day.

  • Sun has known as Ravi; hence Ravi vara (Sunday), and the associated lord is Sun or The Surya. And technically, this is the first Day of the week; unlike in the western world, it is the last Day of the week.
  • Moon is known as Soma: hence Som Vara(Monday), and the lord associated with this is Moon or Chandra
  • Mars is known as Bhauma or Mangal: hence Mangal Vara (Tuesday), and the lord associated with this is Mars (Mangal)
  • Mercury is known as Budha, Wednesday is Bhud vara, and the lord associated with this is Budha
  • Brihaspati in ancient Vedic astrology is Counselor of Devta's or priest of Gods and hence called Devaguru, and the planet attributed to this in the solar system is Jupiter. Hence Thursday is called a Guru Vara, one of the most benefic planets in one's horoscope or Kundli and key to success in one's life.
  • The next in the sequence is Friday, and the planet associated with this is Venus, another important benefic planet that determines one's social status, wealth, and glamour. In Vedic Astrology, Venus is Shukra is the name of the son of Bhṛgu and preceptor of the Daityas/the guru of the Asuras and hence the Day is called Shukra Vara
  • Last but not least, Saturday, technically the last Day of the week, is ruled by the gaseous planet SATURN, ruled by Lord Shani. Hence the Day is called Shani Vara. One of the malefic planets with the power to obstruct, destroy, and represents austerity, longevity, old age,

In a snapshot, I am summarizing as under :

  • Sunday, the Sun (Ravi-vara)
  • Monday, the Moon (soma-vara)
  • Tuesday, Mars, (Mangala-vara)
  • Wednesday, Mercury, (Budha-vara)
  • Thursday, Jupiter, (guru-vara)
  • Friday, Venus (Shukra-vara)
  • Saturday, Saturn, (Shani-vara)

One can still see these astrological influences in western astrology, and If examined, the English draws upon Ancient Greek, Latin, and Germanic languages and their effects in the names of the days of the week. Why did the Romans name the days of the week after their gods' names for the planets? Because they saw a connection between their gods and the changing face of the nighttime sky. They could see in the sky each night were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Those five planets plus the Moon and Sun made seven major astronomical bodies, so it was natural to use these seven names when the seven-day week arrived.


The first Day of the week named after the Sun – dies Solis – day of the Sun in Latin and later Sunnon-dagaz in old Germanic. It's easy to see where the English word Sunday comes from here.


It's similarly easy to see where this weekday name originates too. Monday is the moon day – dies Lunae in Latin, becoming Mon(an)dæg in Old English.


Whereas most English days of the week retain their associations with the Roman gods, some were substituted for the equivalent Germanic gods' names because English is a Germanic language.

Tuesday was named after the Roman god of war, Mars, so in Latin, it was known as dies, Martis. However, the Germanic god of war was known as Tiu and the English Day of the week is derived from this Germanic god's name instead, first known as Tiwsday and eventually Tuesday.


Similarly, the Germanic equivalent of the Roman god Mercury was equally as swift Woden. And so this Day, which started in Latin as dies Mercurii, became Woden's Day in old Germanic, eventually becoming Wednesday in English.


Jupiter, also known as Jove, is the supreme Roman god and patron of the Roman state. He is the god that created thunder and lightning. Thor is the Norse god of thunder, often shown riding through the sky in a chariot. And it's from this Norse god that we see the Latin dies Jovis (Day of Jupiter) become Thor's Day and eventually Thursday.


Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty, and in Latin her Day was known as dies Veneris. We get the English name for Venus' Day from Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and the heavens, and possibly Fria, the Teutonic goddess of love and beauty. In Germanic we have Frije-dagaz, later becoming Friday in English.


We end with an easy one. Saturn is the Roman god of agriculture, known in Ancient Greece as Cronos. In Latin, we have dies Saturni, and it's not hard to see that Saturday today is still very much Saturn's Day


To understand the importance of this element, I always share this favorite logic in a lighter sense; There is a saying that if you want to ask your boss a favor, it is better to do it after he had his lunch! It makes sense because, after feasting and resting, he will be in a more benevolent mood. If he is in a bad mood, instead of asking a favor now, it is better to wait till he is in a good mood.

Tithi is the essential element of the panchanga because it is the lunar month's building block. Each Day the Moon rises in the east and sets in the west. And the time between one moonrise and the next is called a “lunar day.” The Sanskrit word for this lunar Day is Tithi. There are 30 such lunar days in a lunar month, and their numbering is sequential, starting from the new Moon and the full Moon. See the diagram that shows the lunar month along with the phases of the Moon. Thus, in the Moon's waxing phase (From darker to Brighter), the first lunar Day is called the new Moon Shuklapaksha(Amavasya), the next lunar Day is called the first(Shukla Prathama) tithi, the next lunar Day is called the second(Shukla Dwitiya) tithi, the next is called the third(Shukla Tritiya) tithi, and so fon and forth until the fourteenth lunar Day (The Shukla paksha Chaturdashi). The Day after the 14th, the 15th Day is called the full Moon (Purnima)Krishna paksha.

From this point, the numbering sequence starts over again. The Day after the full Moon (Krishna paksha) is the first (Krishna Prathama) Tithi; the following Day is the second (Krishna Dwitiya) Tithi, and it continues till the 14th lunar dayThe Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi. The critical difference is that the second set of tithis belongs to the Moon's waning phase(Krishna paksha), while the first set belongs to the waxing stage(Shukla paksha). Afterward, the cycle repeats itself. In this way, thirty tithis make up a lunar month, which is known as masa. Some parts of India begin the month from the full Moon, whereas other parts begin the month from the new Moon. Today, the lunar calendar is still used throughout the Hindu world for religious purposes and drawing a Kundli the birth chart. From an astrological perspective, the various tithis are considered either auspicious or inauspicious for different events. In general, tithis on the waxing or bright side of the lunar month (Shukla-paksha) are considered conducive to growth, increase, and prosperity and would be selected for such occasions as weddings, moving into new homes, or starting businesses. Most religious festivals occur at these times, and the festivals' names are as per these tithis. The Moon's waning or dark side (Krishna-paksha) is considered favorable for ancestor worship pitrus , Hindu festivals are not held during this dark side of the lunar month, but there are important exceptions.

And the Tithi is associated with the energy Jala Tattwa, and it impacts interpersonal human relationships. Almost all of the tithis have some Doshas, while some tithi is cursed while some are blessed; depending on tithi lord, and by understanding tithis well, you will understand the relationship issues in both personal and professional life. From an astrological perspective, it is imperative to understand the strength of the Moon in thitis

As we learned, Tithi is the angular distance between Sun and Moon. When Sun and Moon are conjunct, it is the start of the first Tithi, and This is a clear indication that only Amanta Masa is considered and Shuklanta is just an interpolation – Amanta means Amavasya starts the month and Shuklanta means Purnima starts the month. When the distance between Sun and Moon reaches 12 degrees, it is the apex of the first Tithi, with the difference exceeding to 13th-degree stars next Tithi. There is a formula to calculate Tithi as given below

Longitude of Moon – Longitude of Sun / 12 Degree
[Longitude of Moon minus Longitude of Sun divided by 12 degrees gives the Tithi]

Because the zodiac is 360 degrees, division by 12 gives us 30 Tithi's only [12X30=360]. Fifteen of them fall in the bright phase of the Moon, whereas the rest 15 falls in the dark phase of the Moon. With the Start of the first Tithi Moon, it starts moving away from Sun and gains brightness. Moon's light reflects the Sun's light; the farther Moon is from Sun, the longer their angle will be giving better shine to Moon. On the 15th Tithi, Moon is at the farthest distance from Sun in the 7th sign making a difference of 180 degrees, and at that time, Moon shins brightest, after this 15th Tithi, because the zodiac is round. Sun moves slowly as compared to Moon and moves one degree per Day whereas Moon moves 12 degrees per Day, making Moon 12 times faster than Sun and the distance keeps on increasing If we follow a linear measurement from Sun to Moon, but the angle between them starts decreasing causing Moon to lose it's brightness day by Day, on the 30th Day he is once again in conjunction to Sun having no brightness at all. For Moon, its most significant strength is its distance from Sun. In the first five days of Shukla Paksha and the last five days of Krishna Paksha, Moon is considered very weak; that is, Moon is weak when born in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, or 30th Tithi.

The Third Element is Karana and Karana Lord

Karana (half lunar Day) is one of the leading five Angas, five primary Panchanga system elements. The right choice of a Karana plays an essential role in finding Muhurta (right time) for any deed or action. And the energy element associated with this is Prithvi Tattwa. The Tattwa impacts the artha trikona aspect of your horoscope, all about your career, work, and finances. A Karana has half the span of the Tithi, so there are 2 Karanas during a Tithi. There is a total of 11 Karanas. The Karana sequence changes according to Krishnapaksha or Shuklapaksh and the 1st half or 2nd half of the Tithi. The Karanas, too, have good and bad attributes and are suitable for various good or bad undertakings. A Karana is just half of a Tithi. Technically, a Karana completes when the difference between the locations of the Moon and Sun crosses multiple of six degrees.

There are total 11 Karanas in Astrology; Bava, Baalav, Kaulav, Taitil, Gar, Vanij, Vishti, Shakuni, Chatushpad, Naag, Kinshtughna. The first 7 Karanas are known as ‘Char,' which means variable, and the last 4 Karnas are ‘Sthir,' which means constant. The final four are known as ‘Sthir' because they always come in a specific period starting from the second half of Krishna Paksha (Dark Fortnight) Chaturdashi and ending with the first half of Shukla Paksha (Bright Fortnight) Pratipada. The first 7 Karanas are known as Char because they repeatedly come, in a specific sequence, covering the period starting from the second half of Shukla Paksha (Bright Fortnight) Pratipada and ending with the first half of Krishna Paksha (Dark Fortnight) Chaturdashi.

Effects of birth in different Karanas

  1. Bava Karana: One born in Bava Karana will be extremely lustful or intoxicated, liberal, prosperous, and happy. He will discard religious or righteous conduct, be lordly and head of an army.
  2. Balava Karana: One born in Balava Karana will be ‘Very bold, very fortunate, sacrificial in disposition, playful like a lad and happy.
  3. Kaulava Karana: One born in Kaulava Karana will be secretive in disposition (not outspoken), fickle-minded, amuse others, indulge in sinful deeds, and be bereft of happiness.
  4. Taitila Karana: One born in Taitila Karana will be an achiever. His wealth will be his truthfulness. He will be both firm and fierce in disposition apart from being adventurous, indolent, dirty, and heroic.
  5. Gara Karana: One born in Gara Karana will be an expert in the science of Mantras (sacred spells), just, skillful, physically weak, garrulous, unstable in
  6. Vanija Karana: One born in Vanija Karana will be knowledgeable in many business activities and live by trading.
  7. Vishti Karana: One born in Vishti Karana will be cruel, adventurous, fierce, will indulge in sinful work, and will excel in all undertakings.
  8. Sakuni Karana: One born in Sakuni (also known as Sakuna), Karana will ever be active at work, patient in disposition, ever roaming, knowledgeable, and a specialist in the study omens.
  9. Chatushpada Karana: One born in Chatushpada Karana will be involved in tilling and trading, a superior Yogi, be not industrious, be active and mighty.
  10. Naga Karana: One born in Naga Karana will have exceptional knowledge of many minerals and metals, be attached to his work, and protect (or breed) cobras.
  11. Kimstughna Karana: One born in Kimstughna Karana will be strong, stunned, will accomplish his and others' undertakings, be short-lived, bereft of pleasures, and will live in loneliness.

The Fourth element is The Nakshatra or The Lunar mansion

Nakshatra is associated with the Vayu Tattva, which impacts your Health primarily. The Nakshatra is essential in Hindu culture. At birth, a person's horoscope or Kundli is made, and one of the most critical items to be known is the Nakshatra. The Nakshatra determines many elements of a person's character. (The Moon stands for the mind, The Sun for the leadership quality, Mercury about communication in Hindu astrology.) In many regions of India, a person's name is based on the Nakshatra. The first syllable of the word may be derived from the Nakshatra.

Vedic astrology divides the 360 degrees of the zodiac space into 27 Nakshatras or star constellations.
Each Nakshatra has 13 degrees and 20 minutes, and each span is subdivided into 4 Padas or quarters of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. On the day in question, the Nakshatra in which Moon positions itself is the prevailing Nakshatra. While the span of the Nakshatras is constant, the speed of the Moon is variable. Hence a Nakshatra may be in operation for more than a day or less than a day. Panchanga gives the starting and ending time of the Nakshatra in process and the next Nakshatra's name wherever applicable.

How do the Nakshatras affect you?

As mentioned above, The zodiac has divisions of 27 Nakshatras. Therefore, while traveling the zodiac, the Moon has to pass through one of the Nakshatra. The birth date, the Nakshatra, in which the Moon locates itself at that time, is called the Janma Nakshatra or birth Nakshatra. Janma Nakshatra gives insights into the thinking patterns and characteristics of a person. Nakshatras are the basis for calculating the Dashas, a unique feature of Vedic Astrology not found in the western system of astrology. The Dasha system is beneficial for timing the events. There are the 27 Nakshatras/ constellations/ Stars in all; however, an additional Nakshatra ‘Abhijit' is also considered sometimes in exceptional cases.

Vedic astrology identifies each constellation with a star. Therefore, the 360-degree division of the sky is further divided into 27 subdivisions of 13.20 degrees each and identified with 27 stars. Each of these Nakshatras further is subdivided into four Padas or quarters, each of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. Therefore the first Rashi, Mesha(Aries), which has 30 degrees, contains the entire 4 Padas (13:20′) of the 1st-star constellation Ashwini, the whole 4 Padas (13:20′) of the 2nd-star constellation Bharani and the 1st Pada (3:20′) of the third-star constellation Krittika. In this manner, each Rashi comprises 9 Padas. Some schools of astrology also consider 28 divisions with an additional star called Abhijit. However, for all practical purposes, only 27 stars starting from Ashwini are considered. (Ref: the chart).

Nakshatras and Their Lords

Nakshatra Lords and Their Essential Merits: Deity, Color, Astronomical Name & their Ruling Planet

The Fifth & The Final element is The Yoga

Yoga is another component of the Panchanga system that plays an essential role in choosing Muhurta for any action. There are two types of Yogas in Panchanga: Naisargika (another name – Nitya, Yogas, that are based on longitudes of the Surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon)) and Tatkaalika (Yogas, that are based on the combination of Vaar (weekday) and Nakshatra (constellation)).

Yoga is associated with the Aakasha Tattva, The Sky Element, and determines the spirituality in a person. There are in total 27 yogas. In this section, you will find specific recommendations for suitable actions for each of 27 Nitya Yogas (check the list below).

  1. VISHKAMBHA (Supported) — prevails over others, victorious over enemies, obtains property, wealthy.
  2. PRITI (Fondness) — well-liked, attracted to the opposite sex, enjoys life with contentment.
  3. AYUSHMAN (Long-lived) — good Health and longevity, energetic.
  4. SAUBHAGYA (Good Fortune) — enjoys a comfortable life full of opportunities, happy.
  5. SOBHANA (Splendor) — lustrous body and demeanor sensualist, obsessed with sex.
  6. ATIGANDA (Danger or obstacles) — difficult life due to numerous obstacles and accidents; revengeful and angry.
  7. SUKARMA (Virtuous) — performs noble deeds, magnanimous and charitable, wealthy.
  8. DHRITI (Determination) — enjoys the wealth, goods, and spouses of others; indulges in the hospitality of others.
  9. SOOLA (Spear, Pain) — confrontational and contrary, quarrelsome, angry.
  10. GANDA (Danger or obstacles) — flawed morals or ethics, troublesome personality.
  11. VRIDDHA (Growth) — intelligent, opportunistic, and discerning; life constantly improves with age.
  12. DHRUVA Constant) — steady character, able to concentrate and persist, wealthy.
  13. VYAGATHA (Beating) — cruel, intent on harming others.
  14. HASHANA (Thrilling) — intelligent, delights in merriment and humor.
  15. VAJRA (Diamond, Thunderbolt) — well-off, lecherous, unpredictable, forceful.
  16. SIDDHI (Success) — skillful and accomplished in several areas; protector and supporter of others.
  17. VYATAPATA (Calamity) — prone to sudden mishaps and reversals, fickle and unreliable.
  18. VARIYAN (Comfort) — loves ease and luxury, lazy, lascivious.
  19. PARIGHA (Obstruction) — encounters many obstacles to progress in life; irritable and meddlesome.
  20. SIVA (Auspicious) — honored by superiors and government, placid, learned and religious, wealthy.
  21. SIDDHA (Accomplished) — accommodating personality, pleasant nature, interest in ritual and spirituality.
  22. SADHYA (Amenable) — well behaved, accomplished manners and etiquette.
  23. SUBHA (Auspicious) — lustrous body and personality, but problems with Health; wealthy, irritable.
  24. SUKLA (Bright White) — garrulous and flighty, impatient and impulsive; unsteady and changeable mind.
  25. BRAHMA (Priest, God) — trustworthy and confidential, ambitious, good discernment and judgment.
  26. INDRA (Chief) — interest in education and knowledge; helpful, well-off.
  27. VAIDHRITI (Poor Support) — critical, scheming nature; powerful and overwhelming mentally or physically.


With this, we conclude our notes on Panchanga and hope our students now understood why Panchanga is the key for any Jyotish acharya/astrologer.


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