Indian Vedic Panchang (Almanac) - Meaning & Details - A Guide
What is Panchang Today's Panchang Panchang in Hindu Astrology or Indian vedic astrology is a sort of Hindu Almanac. Literally it means "Five Limbs (parts)". It is an astrological diary that gives useful astrological information required by an astrologer. It is consulted for finding and selecting an appropriate and auspicious time for important occasions, ceremonies or actions like marriage, education, travel, starting new business or project, examination, interview etc.
So, basically, Panchang is used to match the current position of planets with the position of planets in a person's astrological chart so as to find and if required, to look ahead to find astrologically good days and times for that person. It is an ancient method to synchronize our actions with good times so as to reduce obstacles and increase our chances for success. In other words, it helps in knowing what days and times are good for an individual and which ones may cause problems so as to avoid them. It is clear that Panchang is a helpful and practical use of Indian vedic astrology and with its help, we can know the nature and quality of any day in advance. The belief is that time is an energy having unique qualities which can be reined in for our comprehensive improvement.
Theory behind Panchang : Why follow Panchang
The idea of panchang's utility is at bottom the ancient belief or the law of nature according to which every action brings an equal and opposite reaction. So, when we act in harmony with our environment, our environment in turn exercise a harmonious influence on us. The fruit of acting in such fashion is the creation of harmony, peace and stability in our lives. Taking into consideration that time is a priceless resource, the knowledge of panchang enables one to understand the quality of a particular moment or time and thereby help one to live in tune with nature or time.
Tithi (along with Paksha) is the day according to the Hindu lunar Calendar. The Hindu lunar calendar consists of a dark and a bright fortnight also called paksha). When the moon completes 12 degrees of its movement on the Sun, it is called a Tithi or Hindu lunar day. There are 30 tithis in a lunar month. Tithis belong to either Shukl paksh (the moon is waxing) or Krishna paksha (the moon is wanning). There are several rituals and festivals associated with Tithis. Most of the festivals fall on the new moon day (amavsaya) or the full moon day (poornma). It should be noted that starting and ending of a Tithi depends upon the degree of the Moon from that of the Sun. Ttherefore a Tithi can start or end at any time in a day.
The Hindu Tithis are classified into five types:
a. Nanda Tithi - bestows happiness and joy
b. Bhadra Tithi - good for starting new work
c Jaya Tithi - good for winning over enemies
d. Rikta Tithi - not good for any important work, so it is avoided
e. Poorna Tithi - very good to complete all jobs
Shukla Paksha : 15 Tithis starting from New Moon to Full Moon (Poornima) constitue the Shukla Paksha.
Krishna Paksha: The 15 Tithis starting from the Full Moon to New Moon ( Amavasya) form the Krishna paksha.
3. Nakshatra: Nakshatras are the stellar constellations or Lunar mansions. Literally this word means “that which does not decay.”
There are twenty-seven Nakshatras considered in Vedic Astrology. Each one of them has thirteen degree and twenty minutes of the zodiac. Nakshatra can be known with help of degrees of Moon in a particular sign at the time of birth.
The Nakshatras influence the quality of the Rashi in which they are positioned. The sequence of the 27 Nakshatras begins with Ashwini Nakshatra in Mesha Rashi.
Each Nakshatra has a planetary lord used for Vimsottari Dasa and K.P. calculations. The years assigned to the signs are the Mahadasa durations of Vimsottari Dasa.
4. Yoga: A Yog is obtained from the sum of the Nirayna Longitude of the Moon and Sun and the sum is divided into 27 parts of 13°20' each. The first yog ( Viskumbh) ends when the sum is 13°20'. Second Yog ( Priti) ends when it is 26°40' and so on .
5. Karana: Half of Tithi is called `Karna'. A Karna is completed when the Nirayana longitude of the Moon gains every 6° on that of Sun. In each Tithi there are two Karans covering the two halves of the Tithi.
There are 11 karnas in total. Four of them occur just once a month and are called the Fixed Karanas: Kintughna, Chatushpada, Sakuni and Naga.
The other seven are movable Karanas. They follow one another in a fixed rotation: Bava, Balava, Kaulava, Taitila, Gara, Vanija and Vishti.
Movable Karan Fixed Karan Bava Sakuni Balava Chatushpad Kaulava Naag Taitila Kintughna Gara Vanij Vishti or Bhadra
Each of the Karanas is said to have its own influence and interpretation. ‘Vishti’ is considered the most inauspicious karana. No important or new work is done during the period of this karana.
RahuKalam has a very important place in Vedic Astrology as it help in determining the inauspicious time period with in a complete day for starting any new, auspicious or important work.
Though, RahuKalam is calculated with help of Sun-Rise and Sun-Set time. Hence, this is obvious that it will differ from place to place.
Rahu Kalam is one and a half hour time each day of a week distributed at random in the week days.