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.


For daily panchang, today's panchang, Coming Solar & Lunar Eclipses, click here.

The five parts of Panchang are described below :

1.  Din  (vaar) or Day of the Week
2.  Tithi or the Lunar day
3.  Nakshatra or the Constellation
4.  Yoga
5.  Karan


1.  
Din (also called Vaar)  (Day of the week): The days of the week along with the ruler planet in the brackets are :

       Sunday (Sun)
       Monday (Moon)
       Tuesday (Mars)
       Wednesday (Mercury)
       Thursday (Jupiter)
       Friday (Venus)
       Saturday (Saturn)


2.
Tithi :

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.

Tithis are known by the following  Hindu Names:

Tithi     Nmae            Type

1         Pratipada       Nanda
2         Dvitiya           Bhadra
3         Tritiya            Jaya
4         Chaturthi        Rikta
5         Panchami       Poorna
6        Shashthi         Nanda
7        Saptmi            Bhadra
8        Ashtami          Jaya
9        Navami           Rikta
10      Dashmi           Poorna
11       Ekadashi        Nanda
12       Dwadashi        Bhadra
13       Tryodashi        Jaya
14       Chaturdashi     Rikta
15       Poornima /        Poorna
           Amavasya

The meaning of Tithi types is described here. Please click.

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.

  Nakshatras                                                                                 Lord    Years

1. Aswini          10. Magha                19.   Moola              ----->     Ketu         7
2. Bharani         11. Poorvaphalguni   20.  Poorvashadha            Venus     20
3. Krittika         12. Uttaraphalguni     21.  Uttarashadha                Sun          6
4. Rohini          13. Hasta                  22.  Sravana                        Moon      10
5. Mrigasira      14. Chitra                  23.  Dhanista                      Mars        7
6. Ardra           15. Swati                   24. Satabhisha                    Rahu       18
7. Punarvasu    16. Visakha               25.  Poorvabhadra             Jupiter     16
8. Pushyami     17. Anuradha             26. Uttarabhadra                Saturn     19
9. Aslesha       18. Jyeshta                27. Revati                           Mercury    17


Nakshatra also indicate Yoni, Gan and Nadi of an individual which are described below:

   
a.  Yoni:

There are 14 Yonis (animal symbols) in Vedic astrology assigned to nakshtras :

Nakshatras                            Yoni

Aswini, Satabhisha                 Horse
Swati, Hasta                           Buffalo
Dhanista, Poorvabhadra         Lion
Bharani, Revati                       Elephant
Krittika, Pushyami                  Sheep
Poorvashadha, Sravana         Monkey
Uttarashadha (Abhijit)             Mongoose
Rohini, Mrigasira                    Serpent
Anuradha, Jyeshta                  Deer
Ardra, Moola                           Dog
Punarvasu, Aslesha               Cat
Magha, Purvaphalguni            Rat
Chitra, Visakha                      Tiger
Uttaraphalguni,
Uttarabhadra                          Cow


b.   Gana:

   There are 3 Ganas

   1. Deva: Divine
   2. Manuj: Human
   3. Rakshas: Demon

Nakshatras assigned to the Ganas:

Nakshatras                                                                                 Gan
                                                                         
Aswini, Mrigasira, Punarvasu, Pushyami,
Hasta, Swati, Anuradha, Sravana, Revati      ---->                     Deva

Bharani, Rohini, Ardra,
Poorvaphalguni, Uttaraphalguni, Poorvashadha,
Uttarashadha, Poorvabhadra, Uttarabhadra         --->                Manuj

Krittika, Aslesha, Magha, Chitra, Visakha,
Jyeshta, Moola, Dhanista, Satabhisha            ---->                  Rakshas


c.    Nadi:

There are 3 Nadis

   1. Adi:        Vata
   2. Madhya: Pitta
   3. Antya:    Kapha (or Shleshma)

Nakshatras assigned to the Nadis:

Nakshatras                                                                               Nadi

Aswini, Ardra, Punarvasu, Uttaraphalguni,
Hasta, Jyeshta, Moola, Satabhisha, Poorvabhadra                Adi (Vata)

Bharani, Mrigasira, Pushyami, Poorvaphalguni,
Chitra, Anuradha, Poorvashadha, Dhanista,
Uttarabhadra                                                                        Madhya (Pitta)

Krittika, Rohini, Aslesha, Magha, Swati,
Visakha, Uttarashadha, Sravana, Revati                            Antya (Kapha)

              A very detailed information on Nakshatra is given here. Please Click.


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 .

There are 27 yogas, namely:
1. Vishkumbha 2. Priti 3. Ayushman
4. Saubhagya  5. Shobhana 6. Atiganda
7. Sukarama 8. Dhriti 9. Shoola
10. Ganda 11. Vridhi 12. Dhruva
13. Vyaghata 14. Harshana 15. Vajra
16. Sidhi 17. Vyatipata 18. Vriyana
19. Paridhi 20. Shiva 21. Sidha
22. Sadhya 23. Shubha  24. Shukla
25. Brahma 26. Indra 27. Vaidhriti


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:

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.

Since Rahu Kalam is dependent on the Sun-rise and Sun-set times of your particular location, you must calculate it for any day. Get your Rahu Kalam & Yamagandam Calculator here.

   
  Yamagandam:

Like Rahu Kalam there are periods known as Yamagandam during which it is considered to be inauspicious to start any important work.
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