First, let us understand the word Panchanga before knowing how it works.
Panchanga combines two Sanskrit words: Panch (Five) and Anga (Limb or Part). Since ancient times, calculations based on the Vedic almanack or Panchanga have been practised in India by pundits, rishis, brahmans, and gurus.
Panchanga reveals the Creator Brahma’s timing for an individual’s birth and death. It correlates our past karmas with the time of the soul’s birth in a physical body and its departure at death.
For a Vedic Astrologer, a Panchanga is like a resume: immediately, it can reveal the potential of an individual.
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The five Angas or Parts comprising Panchanga correspond to the five primary energies born of the daily interactions of the Sun (Surya) and the Moon (Chandra). They are the five pillars of Panchanga:
These five aspects form the basis of the birth chart. Their analyses reveal an individual’s quality of life for wealth, health, relationships, fame, and hardship or the degree of effort by an individual to realize their potential as per their horoscope. These five aspects also point to the planets’ positions in the birth chart and the ruling Nakshatra at birth. Astrologers and occultists gauge doshas or adverse phases in a person’s life to suggest remedies/pariharas.
In English, Panchangas are called Ephemeris.
Panchanga determines Muhurta(the auspicious time to begin an activity) for important events such as weddings, griha pravesha (house-warming ceremony), naming a newborn, buying land and automobiles, making investments, etc. Every occasion has a different muhurta. Panchanga is also used to analyze Rashi Chakra (natal horoscope), Prashna (finding an answer to a question asked at a particular time), and Gochara (analysis of Graha transits).
Let’s understand the five aspects of the Panchanga individually.
VĀRA: THE DAY YOU ARE BORN
Vara is the day you are born, and the planet that rules the day is your Varesh. All seven days in the week have a ruling planet each. For example, Sunday is ruled by Surya or Sun. (Rahu and Ketu do not get lordship of any day in the week as they are shadow planets).
Western Method: Sunday is called dies Solis, day of the Sun, in Latin and later Sunnon-dagaz in old Germanic. It’sIt’s easy to see the origin of the English word Sunday.
Western Method: Monday is the moon day, dies Lunae in Latin, becoming Mon(an)dæg in Old English.
Western Method: Most English days of the week retain their associations with the Roman gods, but some were substituted with the equivalent of Germanic gods’ names because English is a Germanic language. Tuesday was named after the Roman god of war, Mars, known as dies Martis in Latin. 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, first known as Tiwsday and, eventually, Tuesday.
Western Method: The Germanic equivalent of the Roman god Mercury was Woden. So, this day, which started in Latin as dies Mercurii, became Woden’s Day in old Germanic, eventually becoming Wednesday in English.
Western Method: Jupiter, also known as Jove, is the Roman god and patron who created thunder and lightning. Thor is the Norse god of thunder, often shown riding through the sky in a chariot. From the Norse god, we see the Latin dies Jovis (Day of Jupiter) become Thor’s Day and eventually Thursday.
Western Method: 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.
Western Method: Saturn is the Roman god of agriculture, known in Ancient Greece as Cronos. In Latin, we have dies Saturni, and it’s easy to see why Saturday is Saturn’s Day.
Want to know more about Vara or day lord?
The English drew upon Ancient Greek, Latin, and Germanic languages for names of the days of the week. Why did the Romans name the days of the week and the planets after their Gods? Because they saw a connection between their gods and the changing face of the night-time sky with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The five planets plus the Moon and Sun made seven major astronomical bodies, so it was logical to use these names for the seven-day week.
Based on the lordship, each day carries the influence of its ruling planet. For example, Tuesday, ruled by Mars or Mangal, the planet of war, is ideal to start a war, but not a good day to get married or move into a new home. Monday (Soma-Vara ruled by the Moon) is a good day for marriage.
CONCLUSION – VARA IS YOUR ENERGY!
TITHI: DAYS CALCULATED PER MOON’SMOON’S MOVEMENT
Tithi is an essential element of the Panchanga because it is the lunar month’s building block. Each day, the Moon rises and sets, and the time between one moonrise and the next is called a lunar day or Tithi in Sanskrit.
There are 30 lunar days in a month, and their numbering is sequential, starting from the New Moon to the full Moon. (See the diagram below).
Tithi is the angular distance between Sun and Moon, and when Sun and Moon are conjunct, it is the start of the first Tithi. 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 leading to the next Tithi.
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The longitude of the Moon minus the Longitude of the Sun divided by 12 degrees gives the Tithi.
Therefore, only Amanta masa (month) is considered, and Shuklanta is just an interpolation (Amanta means Amavasya starts the month, and Shuklanta means Purnima starts the month).
In the Moon’s waxing phase, or the Shukla Paksha, the first lunar day is the Shuklapaksha Amavasya or New Moon Day. It is followed by the Shukla Prathama tithi, or the first date of the New Moon. Then comes the Shukla Dwitiya Tithi, or the Second New Moon Day, until the 14th lunar day, the Shukla Chaturdashi. The day after the 14th is called the Full Moon or Purnima.
Once the waxing phase reaches its peak with the Full Moon, the waning or second phase of the Moon begins, called Krishna Paksha. The numbering sequence starts again; the day after the Full Moon (Krishna Paksha) is the first Krishna Prathama Tithi; the next day is the second Krishna Dwitiya Tithi, and so on till the first day of the waxing phase again.
So, there are two sets of Tithis: The Shukla Paksha (Waxing phase) Tithis and the Krishna Paksha (Waning phase) Tithis, which complete the 30 lunar days. This month of 30 lunar days is called a masa (month).
Some parts of India begin the month from the Full Moon, whereas others start the month from the New Moon. Because the zodiac is 360 degrees, division by 12 gives us 30 Tithis (12×30 = 360). Fifteen of them fall in the bright phase of the Moon, whereas the rest 15 fall in the dark phase. With the start of the first Tithi, Moon moves away from Sun, gaining brightness. Moon’s light reflects the Sun’s light, so the farther the Moon is from the Sun, the more it shines.
On the 15th Tithi, Poornima, the Moon is at the farthest distance from the Sun in the 7th zodiac sign making a difference of 180 degrees when the Moon shines the brightest. After the 15th Tithi, because the Zodiac is round, the Sun moves slowly compared to the Moon at one degree per day, whereas the Moon moves 12 degrees per day, making the Moon 12 times faster, and the distance keeps increasing.
If we follow a linear measurement from Sun to Moon, the angle between them starts decreasing, causing the Moon to lose its brightness day by day, and on the 30th day, it is once again in conjunction with the Sun having no brightness at all.
The Moon’s most significant strength is its distance from the Sun. In the first five days of Shukla Paksha and the last five days of Krishna Paksha, the Moon is considered weak – it applies to those born on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, or 30th Tithis.
Tithis are considered auspicious or inauspicious for different events from an astrological perspective. In general, Shukla Paksha Tithis (Waxing Moon days) are considered conducive to growth and prosperity and are chosen for auspicious occasions. The Krishna Paksha (Waning phase) Tithis are deemed favourable to ancestor worship, and though Hindu festivals are not held during these days, there are exceptions.
Tithi is associated with the Jala tattva (Water element) and impacts interpersonal human relationships. Almost all Tithis have Doshas; some are considered blessed, and others cursed, so depending on the Tithi lord, we determine an individual’s challenges and successes.
CONCLUSION – TITHI RULES RELATIONSHIPS!
KARANA: THE SIGNIFICANT HALF!
Karana (Doing in Sanskrit) is a half lunar day and plays a significant role in selecting a Muhurta (the right time). Its energy element is the Prithvi tattva (Earth element), which impacts the Artha trikona (2nd, 6th and 10th Houses in a horoscope) regarding career, work, and finances.
A Karana has half the span of the Tithi, so there are two Karanas during a Tithi. Does that mean there are 60 Karanas in a month?
No, there are only 11 Karanas and here’s why: The first seven Karanas are movable, or Chara as it is called in Sanskrit. Chara means mobile or that which keeps moving.
The last four Karanas are fixed or Sthira.
The Chara or movable Karanas repeat from the second half of the first Tithi to the first half of
the 29th Tithi, with each Chara Karana repeating itself eight times through the Shukla Paksha and the Krishna Paksha. For the four-remaining half Tithis, the four Sthira or fixed Karanas take up one position each.
The Karanas, too, have good and bad attributes and must be analyzed to align with good undertakings. Below is a table showing the various Karana sequences in a month.
disposition apart from adventurous, lazy, dirty, and heroic.
CONCLUSION – KARANA RULES CAREER
NAKSHATRA OR THE LUNAR MANSION
Nakshatra is associated with the Vayu tattva (Wind element), primarily impacting health. When a birth chart or Kundli is drawn, one of the most important aspects to study is the Nakshatra, which determines many aspects of a person’s character. (The Moon stands for the mind, Sun for leadership, Mercury for communication, etc.) In many regions in India, its first syllable is based on the Nakshatra when naming a newborn.
Vedic Astrology divides the 360-degree Zodiac into 27 Nakshatras or star constellations. Each Nakshatra spans 13 degrees and 20 minutes of a zodiac sign, and each span is divided into 4 Padas or quarters of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. Therefore, the first Rashi or Zodiac sign, Mesha’s (Aries) 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, only 27 stars starting from Ashwini are considered for all practical purposes.
When a child is born, the birth chart notes the Nakshatra in which the Moon is positioned. The Janma, or birth Nakshatra, provides insights into the individual’s characteristics and personality. The Mahadashas, or major periods of planets in a horoscope, are calculated based on the Janma Nakshatra, a unique feature not found in Western astrology. The Dasha system is beneficial for timing events. There are 27 Nakshatras/constellations/stars. However, an additional Nakshatra, Abhijit, is also considered in exceptional cases.
While a Nakshatra’s span is constant, the Moon’s speed is variable so that a Nakshatra may be in operation for more than a day or less. The Panchanga notes the start and end time of the Nakshatra in a particular sign, marking the entry of incoming Nakshatra.
CONCLUSION – NAKSHATRA IS HEALTH!
Yoga plays an essential role in fixing Muhurta. There are two types of Yogas in the Panchanga: Naisargika or Nitya Yogas, based on the Sun and Moon’s longitudes, and Tatkalika Yogas, based on the combination of Vaar (Weekday) and Nakshatra (constellation). Yoga is associated with the Aakash Tattva (Sky element) and determines an individual’s degree of spiritual awareness. The 27 yogas each have distinct qualities.
CONCLUSION – YOGA IS THE OVERALL WILL OF GOD!
At the heart of the Panchanga is the worship of the Pancha Devatā (Five Gods), an early morning discipline. Many Jyotiṣa and occult practitioners will never share the importance of this pooja and its chronological order.
Here’s the chronology of the Pancha(PANCHANGA) Devata Pooja:
Begin with praying, invoking, and paying respects to your Guru with the Guru Guru Mantra as mentioned
I hope this blog has helped you learn the full significance of the Panchanga and that Muhurta is finding the best Panchanga!
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15 Feb 2023
14 Feb 2023
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