Panchang is another name for Hindu calendar. It is a Sanskrit word made from the combination of two words: panch and ang. Panch means five and ang mean parts. It means that the calendar is intended from 5 parts. These five parts are Tithi, vaar, Nakshatra, Yog and Karana.
The primary purpose of Hindu Panchang is to refer to Hindu festivals.
Let us read about the five parts of the Hindu panchang:
- Tithi: Tithi means to date. It starts with the rise of the Sun and ends with the sunset. The position of the Moon at the sunrise calendar shows the ending time of the Tithi.
- Nakshatra: It defines the starts of the day. It is indicated by the position of stars at the time of sunrise. The sending time for the Nakshatra that was active at the time of sunrise shows the sending point of the time.
- Yog: It defines probability. It is the time period prevalent in a day. Yogas are calculated by adding the longitudes of Sun and Moon. It can be divided into 27 equal parts.
- Karan: Karan defines the work being done or half of the Tithi. They are 11 in total.
- Vaar: It defines a week.
Tithi is calculated on a scientific basis. Technically, it is an angle between the Sun and the Moon. A 12-degree perspective makes one tithi. Sun and Moon both are continually moving. The Moon appears when the Sun goes away. The period when Moon goes away from the Sun is known as Shukla Paksha. When it comes near to the Sun, its size appears to be decreasing and the period is known as Krishan paksh. Hence, a rule was evolved to calculate the Tithi.
Following tithi's are considered terrific.
: The lord of 4th lunar, Ganpati removes the obstructions and destructs one’s enemies.
: The day is ruled by Naagas (snakes). The day is favourable for medicine, the purging of poisons and surgery.
: The day is ruled over by Kartikeya. It is favourable for coronations, festivities and enjoyment.
: The 7th lunar is ruled by Sun. It is considered suitable for starting a new journey.
Rudra rules the day. It is considered suitable for taking up arms, one’s defence and fortification.
: Ambika rules the day. It is suitable for killing enemies and destruction.
: Dharamraja rules this day. It stands for virtues, religious functions and spiritual events.
Ekadashi: Rudra also rules this day. Fasting, remembrance of God and devoting themselves to God is considered auspicious on this day.
: Kali rules this day. The day is especially famous for calling elements and spirits.
Amavasya: The day is meant for Pitru devta, and it is intended for the performance of austerities.
There is a definite formula for calculating Tithi;
= (Bhogansha of Moon – Bhogansha of Sun)/ 12
Janam Nakshatra is calculated as the Nakshatra or star present in the Moon at the time of the birth of an individual. Nakshatra of a particular time is calculated as the star current in the Moon in that specific moment. In ancient times, Nakshatras were also counted as 12, but with the advancement of astrology, legends realize that they are 27 in number. Later, these Nakshatras emerged as one of the essential parts of the astrology.
There are 27 constellations identified, and a star represents each one of them.
A vaar is a single day that starts with the sunrise and ends with another sunrise.
It is the fourth part of the panchang. It is calculated based on the position of Sun and Moon. They are 27 in the count and gives results according to their names. A formula also calculates yoga.
A day, vaar is meant from two Karnas. Apart from this, there is a petition, which is 7 in number. They occur 8 times a month.
There is a total of 11 Karnas: Bava, Baalav, Kaulav, Taitil, Gar, Vanij, Vishti, Shakuni, Chatushpad, Naag, Kinshtughna. ‘Char’ is the name for first 7 Karnas and ‘Sthir’ is the name for last 4 Karnas.
There are two types of calendars in Vedic astrology. One is based on Sun and other is based on Moon. The panchang follows the lunar calendar.