Panchangam

North American Ganita Panchangam $6.00 each plus shipping

The 2007 Pamchangma produced jointly by The Council of Hindu Temples of North American and the Hindu Temple Society of North American is now available for sale. This Panchangam is prepared especially for use in North America.

All Hindu Temples may like to order copies that can be sold to the devotees in your Temple gift shop.

To order, please send $6.00 each plus shipping.

Make check payable to: The Hindu Temple Society of N. Am.
Mail to:
Dr. Uma Myesorekar, Secretary
The Council of Hindu Temples of North America
45-57 Bowne St. o Flushing, NY 11355
Ph: (718) 460-8484


WHAT IS A PANCHANGAM?

A Panchãng or Almanac serves two purposes:

  • It provides a dating system which can be used in civil affairs such as dating of documents, letters etc., maintaining accounts;
  • It also forecasts the occurrence of daily celestial phenomena such as tithis and nakshatras; the dates and times religious
    festivals are to be observed and the auspicious moments for other socio religious functions such as wedding, upanayanam
    etc, based on the duration of tithis and nakshatras and on planetary positions.

Observing the periodic recurrence of the same celestial events in a rhythmic cycle and in an effort to gain the ability to precisely forecast such phenomena, our sages have adopted one such complete cycle as a varsha or year. In course of time what constitutes a “complete cycle” came to be interpreted variously, each fulfilling a specific “civil” purpose. Thus there are five major systems of measuring the duration of a year as described below, although the first two – Soura Mãnam and Chãndra Mãnam are more prevalent than others.

  • Soura Manam: A year commences from the time Sun enters the zodiac sign Nirãyana Mesha (Aries) and runs through until the Sun completes thirtieth degree of Meena (Pisces) and is about to enter the sign Mesha again. This is about 365 1/4 days.
  • Chãndra Manam: A year commences from the šukla paksha prathama tithi of Chaitra month (i. e. the first tithi after the New Moon in Panguni month according to Soura Manam system) and spans over 354 days, ending when the New Moon in the next Panguni is over.
  • Savana Manam: A year consists of 360 days, each such day being the interval of time between two successive sunrises.
  • Nakshatra Manam: A year is made of twelve months, each month being the interval of time between successive occasions of Moon’s entry into Ašwini Nakshatra.
  • Brahaspathyam: A year represents the duration of time taken by Jupiter (Guru or Bruhaspati) to transit a zodiac sign. On an average this takes about 361 days.

Although each of these “Manams ” may serve a specific “civil” purpose, the principal “religious” contents of the panchãngs for all these “Manams ” are tithis and nakshatras, both of which are calculated on the basis of the positions of the Sun and the Moon. It is important to observe that the framers of all these systems have universally adopted the convention of forecasting the ending moments of daily celestial phenomena such as tithis and nakshatrams, applicable to the place for which the panchang is prepared.

The phenomena of tithis and nakshatras being geocentric ones, the ending moments of these are calculated as such and are equally applicable to all parts of the earth simultaneously. However, the moments of sunrise will differ for each place on earth depending on its latitude and longitude and therefore, the hours of duration of these phenomena will vary for each place.

This Panchang has been specially prepared for users in New York and neighborhood.

ABOUT THIS PANCHÃNGAM

This panchãng or almanac is very unique in many respects.

The use of naligai (ghalika) and vinãdi (vighalika) units of time (used by ancient Hindus) has been avoided, because most people are unfamiliar with the conversion of nãligai/vinãdi into hours, minutes. Instead, the universally understood units of hours & minutes are used.

The ending moments of tithi, nakshatra etc. are given in EASTERN TIME, applicable to New York, NY for which place this Panchãngam is prepared. We can use these for other places with proper corrections, because these calculations are geocentric based and therefore, ending moments of these phenomena are simultaneous for all places on earth.

For places like Chicago, IL using C.T., we have to subtract 1 hour; for places using M.T subtract two hours; and for places using P.T subtract three hours.

One special feature is inclusion of daily Rãhu kãlam, Gulika and Yama gandam with reference to sunrise and sunset at New York City, NY. These calculations are geographic based and users need to ascertain the moments of sunrise and/or sunset at their respective places in order to make proper adjustments, which are detailed elsewhere in this panchangam.

Rãhu kãlam , Yama gandam, Kari Naal and dhaniyanal are considered inauspicious.

Sunrise and sunset times are taken to be moments at which the center of the sun rises or sets unaffected by refraction.

It is clearly stated in the Šastras that days and nights are of equal duration on equinox days (March 22nd and September 22nd) which is possible only with reference to the rising and setting of the Centre of the sun unaffected by refraction.

AYANÃMŠA
Just as the position of a point in a plane is uniquely determined by its distances x,y from two perpendicular lines x and y axes, the position of a heavenly body is uniquely determined by longitude and latitude. The plane of the apparent path of the sun in relation to the earth cuts the celestial sphere in a great circle called an ecliptic. The plane of terrestrial equator cuts the celestial sphere in a great circle known as celestial equator. This and ecliptic intersect at diametrically opposite points. The point where the sun crosses the equator from south to north is called The First point of Aries and the other point is called First point of Libra. The angular distance form the First point of Aries to Foot of the secondary to the ecliptic through the celestial object is called the longitude of the celestial object.

The First point of Aries moves backward at the rate of about 50.3” a year. The longitude measured from this moving First point of Aries is called Sayana longitude. This is used by western astronomers. But the Hindus measure the longitude from a fixed point of ecliptic called Meshadi. The distance between this fixed point Meshadi and the moving First point of Aries is called Ayanamsa.

The Govt. of India appointed a Calender Reform Committee which after an exhaustive and impartial discussion came to the conclusion that these two points coincided and the ayanãmša was zero on March 22, 285 A.D. The ayanãmša, based on the year 285 A.D as the zero year is called Chaitra Patusha Ayanãmša, which is widely used. We also follow the same.

TITHI
The tithi sphuta is the the nirayana longitude of the moon minus that of the sun. First tithi (Prathama) begins when tithi sphuta is 0° and ends when it is 12°; 12° to 24° is dvitiya, 24° to 36° is Tritiya etc. 168° to 180° is Poornima; 180° to 192° is Dark Fortnight Prathama 192° to 204° is Dvitiya.etc. 348° to 360° is Amãvãsya. So, there are 30 tithis -15 are called šukla paksha (Bright Fortnight or waxing phase) the other 15 krishna paksha (Dark Fortnight or waxing phase).

It is to be noted that the Full Moon is the moment of opposition of moon with the sun whereas poornima tithi is the time interval from the instant at which tithi sphuta is 168° to the instant when tithi sphuta is 180°. Similarly New Moon is the moment of conjuction of the moon with the sun but amãvãsya is the time interval between the instant when tithi sphuta is 348° and the instant at which tithi sphuta is 0°.

The tithi of a day is usually taken to be the tithi current at sunrise on that day. Since the moment of sunrise is not the same at all places it is to be noted that occasionally a tithi current at sunrise at one place may not be current at sunrise at another place. It is also possible for a particular tithi to be current at sunrise on two successive days. So when two successive days have the same tithi associated with them, the 1st day is called Tridina. It is also likely that a tithi may begin after sunrise and end before the next sunrise. In such a case a tithi is skipped over and that day is called AVAMA.

VÃRAM / VÃSARAM
The day is divided into 24 parts of equal duration called “horas ( hours).” Each hora is associated with a planet in the solar system or the sun or the moon and the horas following each other are named after these heavenly bodies in the manner stated below.

If the first hora of a certain day is associated with the sun, say, the day is named sunday. The 22nd hora after three repetitions will belong to Sun, 23rd hora to Venus, 24th hora to Mercury, and the 25th hora ie the first hora of the next day will belong to Moon and is therefore, called Monday. The names of the successive days are given in this way and this is the familiar order of succession of the days of the week.

Vãra or day of the week is common all over the world.

NAKSHATRA
The moon’s path lies within the Zodiacal Belt which is the region extending to about 9° on either side of the ecliptic.

The moon completes a circuit of its path with respect to the earth in about 27 1/3 days. Hence the Zodiacal Belt is divided into 27 equal parts of 13° 20″ each called nakshatras. The first segment (measured from Meshadi) longitude of the moon 0° to 13° 20″ is called Aswini, the second 13° 20″ to 26° 40″ is Bharani, the third 26° 40″ to 40° 0″ is termed Krithika and so on. 346° 40″ to 360° is Revathi. Names of all nakshatras are given elswhere in the panchangam.

So it is clear that in the panchang (or in Astrology) Nakshatra (or star) is only one of the 27 segments of the Zodiacal Belt whereas in astronomy stars are heavenly bodies twinkling in the sky.

The segment in which moon lies at the time of birth of a person, is called janma nakshatra (birth star) of that person. When the longitude of moon is 133° 20″ to 146° 40″ at birth, the janma nakshatra is Poorva Phalguni.

YOGA
Yoga sphuta is the sum of the niryana longitudes of the sun and the moon. So there are 27 yogas. When yoga sphuta is (0° to 13°20″), it is 1st yoga and so on.

KARANA
Karana is half of a tithi. Karana sphuta is same as tithi sphuta, and therefore, there are 30 x 2 or 60 Karanas. There are seven chara (moving) karanas called bava, balava, kaulava, taitila, gara, vanij & vishti ( or Bhadra ) and there are four sthira (fixed) karanas-sakuni, chatuspada, nagava, kimstugna.

Beginning with the second half of šukla prathama, the seven chara karanas are repeated eight times upto first half of krishna paksha chaturdaši. The 2nd half of krishna paksha chaturdaši is sakuni, the first and second halves of amãvãsya are chatushpada and nagava respectively; finally the first half of šukla prathama is kimstugna.

Tithi and karana are not dependent on ayanãmsa whereas nakshatra will change with ayanãmsa.

GENERAL
Nakshatra tyajya is inauspicious for the duration of 1 hour and 36 min. from the time noted. Yogini is dependent upon tithi and if this moving direction is right or back it is good for travel; up or down -moderate and front or left-bad.
Netra and jeeva depend on the motion of the sun; netra 2, jeeva, 1-good. netra 1 jeeva 1/2-moderate and if both netra and jeeva are zero it is bad.

Amrutãdi yogas depend on nakshatra and day of week. Siddha and amruta yoga are good. Marana , prabalarishta and utpada yogas are bad.

Vivaha chakra directions-centre, east, south-east, west, north-west are good for wedding.

Rãsi balance is the interval of time between sunrise and end of the udaya lagna (at New York City, NY).
The timings shown for tithi, nakshatras, yogas, and karanas are their ending moments; the timings of transit from one rãsi to another are beginning moments; along with vratas, the sun’s entry times into navãmsas and the moon’s entry times into the rãsis are given.

RÃSIS
The Zodiacal Belt is divided into 12 equal parts called RÃSIS. The entry of sun into a rãsi called sankramana or sankrant.

The entry of sun into makara is called the Makara Sankranti, etc.

LUNAR MONTHS
A lunar month begins with a new moon (conjunction of moon with the sun) and ends with the succeeding new moon. Some measure lunar month from full moon (opposition of moon with the sun) instead of new moon. The former is called mukyamãna and the latter gounamãna.
The lunar month in which mesha sankranti occurs is called chaitra, the first month of the Chãndra Mãna Calendar. The following table gives the names of sankrantis and the corresponding lunar months:

NAME OF SANKRANT LUNAR MONTH IN WHICH THE
SANKRANTI TAKES PLACE

SOURA MÃNA CHÃNDRA MÃNA
MESHA (ARIES) CHAITRA
VRUSHABHA (TAURUS) VAISAKHA
MITHUNA (GEMINI) JEYESHTA
KATAKA (CANCER) AASHADA
SIMHA (LEO) SRAVANA
KANYA (VIRGO) BHADRAPADA
TULA (LIBRA) ASVINA
VRISCHIKA (SCORPIO) KARTIKA
DHANUS (SAGGITARIUS) MRUGASIRA
MAKARA (CAPRICORN) PUSHYA
KUMBHA (AQUARIUS) MAGHA
MEENA (PISCES) PHALGUNA

The lunar months are named after the stars, which usually occur on poornima days of those months.

It is possible that in a lunar month there may not be a sankranti. Two successive new moons may occur while the sun is in a particular rãsi. The lunar month between those 2 new moons will not have a sankranti. This phenomenon occurs once in three or four years. Such a lunar month is called extra [adhika] month. It is given the same name as the succeeding lunar month. The two consecutive lunar months having the same name are distinguished by adding the prefixes adhika (extra) and nija (proper) respectively, to the name of the month.

It is also possible that in a particular lunar month two sankrantis may occur i.e. no new moon will occur as the sun passes through a Rasi. In that event there will be a gap in the sequence of the names of the lunar months. In the year 1963, no new moon occurred when the sun passed through Vrischika Rasi, so the name margasira had to be skipped. The lunar month following kartika was called pushya. Margasira was called kshaya (skipped) month.
Whenever a kshaya month occurs there will be two adhika months-one before and the other after that lunar month. Of these only one is taken as nija and the other one as adhika. The period of recurrence of such gaps varies from 19 years to 141 years.
TRUE AND MEAN RÃHU AND KETU (Nodes of the moon)
Although every planet has mean and true positions, only true positions are given for all the planets. Likewise, we give true Rahu position only. Ketu’s position is diametrically opposite to that of Rãhu.

As the calculation of true Rahu position is complicated, our ancestors were using mean Rahu position which does not differ much from true Rahu position.

VRATAS & ŠRÃDDHAS
To determine vratas etc., the duration of day time [from sunrise to sunset] is divided into five equal parts – praatha, sangava, madhyanna, aparvahna, sayanna.

The rules to determine šrãddha tithi are as below:

Šrãddha tithi should be prevalent in aparahna. If two consecutive tithi’s fall on the same day it is called “tithi dvayam”

Sometimes two successive tithis fall on two days separated by a day in between. In other words, the succeeding tithi is observed not on the day following the first tithi, but on the day after that. So of the 3 successive days, the 1st and the 3rd are taken as days for observing 2 successive tithis. The middle day is not fit for any tithi. That day is called a tithi.

In a solar month a tithi may occur twice – once at the beginning and the other at the end of the solar month. One of them is to be taken as the day for actual tithi, and the other one is known as soonya tithi.

“Vai-Sva” and “Vya-Sra” are respectively vaidvuti and vyatieepata šrãdda days.

At the time of Moonrise on Krishna Paksha chaturthi, it is auspicous to perform puja to Mahã Ganapati. Those days are called Sankata Hara Chaturthi.

If sunset to next sunrise is divided into 5 equal parts, the first part is called pradosha. Pradosha Vrata is to be observed on the day when Trayodaši tithi is current at pradosha kãla. Temples observe slightly different rule.