Panchang Explanations

What is a Panchang? What are its key elements?

Panchangam or Panchang is a Hindu astrological almanac (ephimeris) and it is the official astrological guide of practicing Hindus. A typical Panchangam has five main elements. They areTithi (Hindu Date),  Vara (days of the week like Sunday, Monday….), Nakshatra (Group of stars), Yog/Yoga (an auspicious moment) and Karan (Half of the part of Tithi). 

A Panchangam is used for Astrological and religious purposes. Panchangam is the ancient Indian astrological guide. This Panchangam covers different aspects of astrology like phase of the moon, position of stars and planets etc... The basic purpose of panchangam is to determine the Hindu Religious Festivals and auspicious times.

 

What are Nakshatras?

The 360 degree zodiac is divided into 27 nakshatras. (Even though there are 28 nakshatras, the 28th nakshatra, Abhijith is not usually considered in nakshatra calculations). The nakshatra during sunrise is considered as the nakshatra of the day.

Many elements of a person's character is thought to be determined by the naksatra. (The moon stands for the MIND in Hindu astrology). In many regions of India, a person's name is based on the birth Nakshatra or the first syllable of the name is derived from the nakshatra. At the time of a puja or religious ceremony, a priest usually ask's for the nakshatra of the person performing the religious service so that it can be recited in the opening statement of the puja. Similarly at the time of marriage considerations the nakshatras of both the bride and groom may be compared to check for psychological compatibility (horoscope matchmaking).

Following are the 27 Nakshatras as per vedic Indian astrology: Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigshira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha, Magha, Purva-Phalguni, Uttara-Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyeshta, Moola, Purva-Ashadha, Uttara-Ashadha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Shatbisha, Poorva-Bhadrapada, Uttara- Bhadrapada, Revati  

The best way to understand nakshatra is to observe the moon some evening. Notice the moon's position in relation to the background of stars. The next evening, at the same time and in the same location, again observe the moon's position in relation to the background of stars.  The moon has moved 13 degrees and 20 minutes. The region of the sky that has been displaced by the moon's eastward movement in one day is called a nakshatra. In English this known as a lunar mansion. 


What is a Tithi?

Tithi (also spelled Thithi) is the lunar date. Tithi is one of the most important aspect of the Indian Almanac or the Panchang and therefore many Hindu festivals and ceremonies are based on Tithi.  Tithi is the time taken for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the sun to increase by 12°. A lunar month consists of 30 tithis, whose start time and duration (19 to 26 hours) vary.

The 15 days  commencing from Amavasya (no moon or new moon day) to Pournima (Full moon), are called the Tithis of the Shukla-Paksha (Waxing phase) and the days commencing from Pournima (Full Moon day) to Amavasya (New Moon day) are called Krishna Paksha (the Waning phase). There are 30 Tithis in each lunar month.

​The twelve months based on the lunar days (tithis) contain about 354 days. Just like the leap year system, an extra month is added to the lunar year every 30 months. This leap-month (adika-masa) is generally inserted after the months of Asadha or Shravana and is called either a second Asadha or Shravana. Thus every second or third year contains 13 months. 


Your Lala Ramswaroop Ramnarayan Panchang serves the purpose of connecting the lunar year dates with that of solar year dates.

 
What are yogas?

Yoga is the period during which the joint motion of the sun and the moon totals to 13 °20'. There are 27 Yogams. Each Yogam has a characteristic associated with it.

 
What is a karna?

A karana is half of a tithi in duration. A karana is the time required for the angular distance between the sun and the moon to increase in steps of 6° starting from 0°. There are eleven karanas in total. Of the eleven karanas, four are fixed and occurs only once in a cycle. The remaining 7 karanas repeat eight times to cover the remaining 56 steps

There are two karanas in each tithi. In total there are eleven karanas that rotate through the 30 tithis that make up the lunar month.

 

What are the hindu months?

The Hindu year contains twelve lunar months named after the nakshatra in which the moon is full:

·         Chaitra (March - April) (citra-naksatra)
·         Vaisakha (April - May) (visakha-naksatra)
·         Jyaistha (May - June) (jyestha-naksatra)
·         Ashada (June - July) (purvasadha-naksatra)
·         Sravana (July - August) (sravana-naksatra)
·         Bhadrapada (August - September) (purva-bhadrapada-naksatra)
·         Ashwina (September - October) (asvini-naksatra)
·         Karttika (October - November) (krttika-naksatra)
·         Margasirsa or Agrahayana (November - December) (mrgasirsa-naksatra)
·         Pausa (December - January) (pusya-naksatra)
·         Magha (January - February) (magha-naksatra) and
·         Phalguna (February - March) (phalguna-naksatra).

Different parts of India start the year during different months. In general the year begins either in the month of Chaitra or in the autumnal month of Karttika.

Your Lala Ramswaroop Ramnarayan Panchang serves the purpose of connecting the lunar year dates with that of solar year dates.