Sunday, October 11, 2009

Timing! An Introduction To Panchangam

    An Introduction
    Whether it's in the telling of a joke or striking a business deal, there's nothing more important than timing. What you do is important but when you do it is just as important.
    We all know the importance of timing in the material world. Even little kids understand the importance of timing. When they want their next cool toy, they catch their dads in a good mood and butter them up! Thus we have known the importance of timing right from our childhood.
    The Siddhas say that what we need to learn now is that timing is just as important in the world of spirituality.
    Timing and Spirituality
    Just as timing is important in the material world, it's important in the world of spirituality too. The efficacy of one's spiritual practices can be increased greatly by timing it according to Siddha injunctions. The Siddhas say that he who wants to transcend time must know the connection between timing and karma completely.
    We have pointed out the importance of karma neutralization in the Agasthiar Primer. To effectively neutralize karma, everything we do must be done in a spiritual way in accordance with the rules of the spiritual world. It's the Sathguru who knows all the rules of the spiritual world and it's he who instructs on how we can perform all activities in a spiritual way. The Sathguru not only teaches us how to do things but also when to do them for maximum effect. There are time periods that are particularly effective and there are those that are disadvantageous. We must learn both from the Sathguru so that we know which time periods to pick and which to avoid.
    5 Attributes = Panchangam, the Spiritual Calendar
    The Siddhas teach us that each day has five attributes. These are known as panchaangam.
    Panchaangam = Pancha + Angam.
    Pancha = five
    Angam = attribute.
    Thus panchangam = five attributes (of each day). These five attributes of each day are:
    1. vaaram or day of the week
    2. tithi
    3. nakshatram
    4. yogam
    5. karanam.
    The Siddhas tell us that upon waking up, one must recite the five attributes of each day. This is an easy way of reminding oneself of the spiritual specialties of each day.
    To know the current thithi, nakshatra, yoga and karana, click here.
    All five attributes of the day are important, but we'll concentrate on the first three in this article. You can get these details for each day for your timezone from the Agasthiar Panchangam Spiritual Calendar provided in our Website. We shall describe the latter two atributes at a later date in this Website.
    Vaaram - Day of the Week
    As pointed out in the article on the spiritual hierarchy, the Nava Grahas (Nava Nayakaas, the Nine Lords, the Nine Planetary Deities) have been given much authority over human life. Each day of the week is ruled by one of the first seven of the nine lords, viz., Sunday by Soorya, Monday by Chandra, Tuesday by Angaaraka, Wednesday by Budha, Thursday by Guru, Friday by Sukra and Saturday by Sani. The last two of the nine lords, Raahu and Kethu, are associated with Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
    But there is one important thing to keep in mind. While the Western day (Sunday, Monday, etc.) begins at midnight, the Vedic weekday begins at sunrise. So when we refer to Sunday in the Vedic sense here in our Agasthiar Website, we are referring to the Vedic Sunday - the one which begins at sunrise on the Western Sunday and lasts till sunrise on the Western Monday. This is very important to keep in mind while you are reading the many time secrets pertaining to days of the week given by Sathguru Venkataraman in this website.
    The day of the week is known as vaaram. Baanuvaaram is Sunday, Somavaaram is Monday and so on. In worship procedures, this is mentioned as Bhanu Vaasarey and so on.
    Kizhamai (Tamil)
    Vedic Weekday (beginning at sunrise)
    Bhanu Vaaram, Ravi Vaar
    Gnayiru. Gnaayitru Kizhamai
    Vedic Sunday
    Soma Vaaram, Som Vaar
    Thingal. Thingat Kizhamai
    Vedic Monday
    Mangala Vaaram, Mangal Vaar
    Chevvai. Chevaai Kizhamai
    Vedic Tuesday
    Budha Vaaram, Budh Vaar
    Budhan. Budhan Kizhamai
    Vedic Wednesday
    Guru Vaaram, Guru Vaar
    Viyazhan. Viyazha Kizhamai
    Vedic Thursday
    Shukra Vaaram, Sukra Vaar
    Velli. Velli Kizhamai
    Vedic Friday
    Shani Vaaram, Sani Vaar
    Sani. Sani Kizhamai
    Vedic Saturday
    Each day of the week reflects the characteristics of the Lord who rules the day. Thus each day has its own spiritual specialities. For example, Budha rules buddhi (intellect) and thus Wednesday is particularly suited for activities that involve the intellect, e.g., writing, speaking. This is because Budha is in charge of vaak chaathuryam, the gift of articulate speech. Likewise Chandra rules the mind and Guru rules all spiritual activities. Spiritual aspirants need to know these specialities so that they can structure their schedule appropriately for maximum spiritual effect.
    Muhurtha - Spiritually Powerful Time Periods in Each Day
    Within any given day, there are certain time periods that are particularly spiritually potent. To start with, we will mention three such time periods in every day:
    1. Brahma Muhurtha
    Brahma Muhoortham is the three hour time period culminating at dawn. Assuming a 6 a.m. sunrise, this would be between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. everyday. This Brahma Muhurtham period is excellent for spiritual practices.
    2. Abhijit Muhurtha
    Abhijit Muhoortham is high noon when the sun is at its zenith. Assuming a 6 a.m. sunrise and a 6 p.m. sunset, Abhijit Muhurtham would be at 12 noon everyday. (See below for original Siddha revelations on Abhijit, the 28 nakshatra and the Abhijith Nakshatra Muhurtha Shiva Linga.)
    3. Nitya Pradosha Kaalam
    Nitya Pradosham is one and a half hours before dusk and half an hour thereafter. Assuming a 6 p.m. sunset, Nithya Pradosham would be between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. everyday.
    Sandhi Kaalam
    These three times mentioned above are also known as sandhi kaalam, junction times within each day. The first is when the night meets the day, the second is when morning meets afternoon and the third is when day meets night. The Siddhas say that spiritual activities like worship and mantra chanting conducted during these time periods are particularly effective. Spiritual aspirants should make use of these potent time periods for rapid spiritual advancement.
    Inauspicious Times in Each Day
    Rahu Kaalam, Yama Gandam, etc.
    Within any given day, there are also certain time periods that are inauspicious. Two of these are Raahu Kaalam and Yama Gandam. The Siddhas say that it is ideal if we can use these times totally for worship. If these time periods are used for worship and not for material activities, they yield manifold spiritual benefits. Click here to use our convenient Rahu Kalam and Yama Gandam calculator.
    To start with, we will describe how to calculate the Raahu Kaalam time period for any given day. The Yama Gandam calculation is similar. Divide the time period between sunrise and sunset into eight equal parts, which we will refer to as time octants. Arrange the days of the week in the order M,Sa,F,W,Th,Tu,Su and assign the second through the eighth time octants to these days in this order. These time octants then are the Raahu Kaalam times on each of the days of the week.
    So how do you calculate the Raahu Kaalam time period for your location on any given day? First find out the sunrise and sunset times for your location (this information is generally available in your local newspaper). Find out the length of the time octant by dividing the period from sunrise to sunset by eight. Pick the time octant that's appropriate for the day in question by following the order mentioned above. This is the Raahu Kaalam time period for the day in question for your location. Here are two examples of this calculation:
    Raahu Kaalam Calculation
    Day of the Week
    Example 1:
    Sunrise 6:00 a.m.
    Sunset 6:00 p.m.
    Time Octant = 90 minutes
    Example 2:
    Sunrise 5:58 a.m.
    Sunset 8:14 p.m.
    Time Octant = 107 minutes
    Example 3:
    Sunrise 6:36 a.m.
    Sunset 6:10 p.m.
    Time Octant = 87 minutes
    4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    6:27 p.m. to 8:14 p.m.
    4:43 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.
    7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
    7:45 a.m. to 9:32 a.m.
    8:02 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
    3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    4:40 to 6:27 p.m.
    3:16 p.m. to 4:44 p.m.
    12 noon to 1:30 p.m.
    1:06 p.m. to 2:53 p.m.
    12:23 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
    1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    2:53 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.
    1:49 p.m. to 3:17 p.m.
    10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
    11:19 a.m. to 1:06 p.m.
    10:56 p.m. to 12:23 p.m.
    9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
    9:32 a.m. to 11:19 a.m.
    9:29 a.m. to 10:57 a.m.
    Since the Raahu Kaalam time period is dependent on the sunrise and sunset times for your particular location, you must calculate it for each day using the above method. Or you can click here to use our convenient Rahu Kalam and Yama Gandam calculator.
    Horai (Hora) - Hourly Worship
    Just like a day has its own specialities, each hour of the day also has its own specialities.
    Originally each 24 hour day was split into 60 naazhigais, each 24 minutes long. Thus two and a half nazhigais constitute one modern hour which was known as horai (hora) in ancient times.
    The Siddhas say that each horai of each day is ruled by one of the first seven of the nine lords. Just like each day reflects the characteristics of the lord who rules the day, each horai also reflects the characteristics of the lord who rules the horai. Thus we have Soorya horai, Chandra horai, Angaaraka horai, Budha horai, Guru horai, Sukra horai and Sani horai times during each day.
    Now here's a question for you. At what time or times of the week are the characteristics of each of the seven lords most prevalent? Think about it...
    The answer should be pretty obvious. Here it is: The characteristics of each of the seven lords are most prevalent during his horai times on the day ruled by him. For example, Budha's characteristics are most prevalent during the Budha horai times on Wednesday. and hence these are the best time periods for conducting activities governed by Budha. The Siddhas have specified further refinements and we'll explore these in a future article.
    When do the various horai periods occur during the day? Horai periods start with Soorya horai at sunrise on Sunday and continue in the following cyclic order: Soorya, Sukra, Budha, Chandra, Sani, Guru, Angaaraka. For example, assuming a 6 a.m. sunrise, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on a Sunday would be Chandra horai and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. would be Guru horai.
    We encourage the reader to tabulate the horai schedule for each day. Or you can click here to use our convenient Horai calculator. If you do the tabulation, you'll find that each day starts with the horai of its governing lord at sunrise. That is, Monday starts with Chandra horai at sunrise, Thursday starts with Guru horai and so on.
    How can we make sure that we get the maximum spiritual benefit during every hour of the day. Sathguru Venkataraman has communicated to us a simple horai based nava naayaka worship program devised by the Siddhas.
    All a spiritual aspirant has to do is to meditate on the governing horai lord 108 times during each horai. For example, during Soorya horai times meditate thus: Om Sooryaaya Namaha or Salutations to Soorya. Likewise Om Chandraaya Namaha, Om Angaarakaaya Namaha, Om Budhaaya Namaha, Om Guruve Namaha, Om Sukraaya Namaha, Om Saneesvaraaya Namaha during their respective horai periods.
    Observe that this is a very simple worship procedure; it takes only about two minutes and so it's very easy to do even when you are at your place of work.
    This is yet another way in which the Siddhas help us conform to the Will of the Universal Lord Arunachala for maximum spiritual benefit.
    There are some subtleties in horai computations. We'll explore these at a later date.
    Thithi - Day of Moon Phase
    A lunation is the interval between new moons, roughly 29.5 days. Each lunation is divided into 30 thithis or lunar days with each tithi defined as the time required for the longitude of the moon to increase by 12 degrees over the longitude of the sun.
    Thus there are 14 tithis between every new moon and full moon and vice versa. The zeroth and the fifteenth tithis are of course the new moon and the full moon respectively.
    Here are the names of the tithis:
    Amavasya, the new moon day
    Pournami, the full moon day.
    After Pournami, the tithis once again go on from 1 to 14 and end in the next Amavasya thus completing one lunation.
    Each tithi has its own spiritual specialities. Here is a sampling:
    Ideal for pithru worship
    Ideal for Ganapathi worship
    Ideal for worshipping the Universal Mother
    Ideal for Muruga worship
    Ideal for Krishna worship
    Ideal for Rama worship
    Ideal for Narayana worship
    Ideal for Narayana worship
    Ideal for Siva worship
    Ideal for Siva and Ganapathi worship
    Best tithi for all worship activities

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