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Vedic Calendar Lesson

Vedic

The Vedic calendar is not based on clock time, but on the natural motions of the sun and moon. Therefore it is a reliable predictor of the seasons, weather and many other phenomena. The Vedic Astrological science of Muhurta or the election of auspicious timings for activities is based on the Vedic calendar system. Therefore every competent Vedic astrologer must be familiar with the Vedic Calendar.

Three types of lunar months are important in Vedic astrology: the Sidereal month, the Synodic month and the Nodical month. Since the lunar year is eleven days shorter than the solar year, there is a difference of over a month every three solar years. To compensate for this, roughly once in three years there is an intercalary month; during this year, there are thirteen lunar months.

The nineteen-year Vedic lunar-solar cycle is so accurate that the Tithis or lunar dates recur or fall on similar days after exactly nineteen years. The Moon's apparent path intersects the ecliptic obliquely at two points called the nodes. The point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic from south to north is called the Ascending Node or Rahu. Where it crosses the ecliptic from north to south is called the Descending Node or Ketu. Rahu and Ketu are instrumental in all eclipses and very important in Jyotish.


Panchang

Benefits from use of Panchang. The time duration from one sun rise to the next sun rise is reckoned as a day (Vara) in Panchang. This duration is considered equal to 60 ghatis (24 hours). However, as the sun rise time varies from day to day by a small measure, the duration of the day also varies to that extent.

Thithyeshcha Shreeyamapnothi Vaaraath Aayushyavardhanam
Nakshathraath Harathepaapam Yogaath Roganivaranam
Karanaath Karyasiddhishchaath Panchang dashamephalam

Knowledge of Tithi bestows Wealth, Knowledge of Vara increases Longevity, Knowledge of Nakshatra erases Sins, Knowledge of Yoga cures Diseases and Knowledge of Karana ensures Success in work.

All instances of time have five characteristics viz. Vara, Tithi, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karana. These five characteristics are detailed for all the days of the year in an almanac which is called Panchangam. (Pancha + anga). These characteristics are derived from the positions of Sun and Moon. Panchang is used for knowing these five basic characteristics of time for sankalpa, locating dates of vratas, locating dates of shraddhas and for finding suitable dates for auspicious functions.

Paksha - A paksha is the moon’s fortnight. The fortnight during which the moon is waxing is called Shukla or Shuddha. This begins with the end of Amavasya and lasts upto the end of Pournami. The fortnight during which the moon is waning is called Krishna or Bahula. This lasts from the end of Pournami to end of Amavasya. Each chandramana masa consists of both the pakshas (halves), Shukla paksha (Bright half) and Krishna Paksha (Dark half).

Tithi - The moment of new moon, or that point of time when the longitudes of the sun and the moon are equal is called Amavasya (means dwelling together of the sun and the moon). A tithi is the time occupied by the moon in increasing its distance from the sun by 12 degrees.

Tithi’s Beginning / End point
- As the time duration of tithi varies from day to day, tithi’s Beginning/ End points occur at different times of the day. Generally one tithi begins on a day and ends on the next day which means on each day one tithi ends and at the same time the next tithi begins. However, as the time duration of thithis can vary from 59 ghatis to 65 ghatis, on some days (day as per panchangam);

(a) The same tithi will have its Beginning as well as End point which means such days will have two Beginning/End points of tithis
(b) Tithi will not have its end point which means such days will have no Beginning / End point of tithis.
Days with two Beginning / End points of tithis and No Beginning/End points of tithis are taboo for auspicious functions.

Day’s Tithi's - The tithi ruling at the time of sun rise of the day is reckoned as the tithi of the day for all date referrals. During sankalpa tithi, nakshathra, yoga, karana ruling at the sun rise of the day is used.

Varieties of Khanda Tithis - Shuddha and Viddha are the two varieties. Tithis present at both sun rise and sunset of the same day (and on days like Shivarathris extending upto midnight) are called Shuddha while others (not present at both sun rise and sunset) are referred to as Viddha.

Viddha means one with vedha
ie., One attached to another. Tithis with End / Beginning point located between the sun rise and sunset of the same day are said to have; (a) Poorva Viddha with the ending tithi (b) Para Viddha with the beginning tithi.

Vedhas of  Tithi's - Tithis starting from about 6 ghatis after Suryodaya are said to have Pratharvedha with the previous tithi extending upto 6 ghatis from sun rise. Tithis starting from about 6 ghatis before Sunset are said to have Sayamvedha with the previous tithi extending upto 6 ghatis before sunset.

Shraddha

For the purpose of Shraddha, the tithi ruling at shraddha aparahna has to be considered. The guiding principles in deciding Shraddha Tithi are:
1. If one tithi alone is present during the entire Shraddha Aparahna, that tithi is the day’s Shraddha tithi.
2. On some days, one tithi ends and another begins during shraddha aparahna. In such cases:
2 a. Of the two tithis during shraddha aparahna, whichever is present for longer time is the day’s Shraddha tithi.
2 b. If the same tithi is present during shraddha aparahna of two successive days, the day on which its duration during shraddha aparahna is greater of the two, will become the Shraddha tithi.
2 c. Sometimes, the duration of the two tithis during the shraddha aparahna will be greater than that during the previous / next days’ shraddha aparahna. In such cases, this day will have two Shraddha Tithis.
2 d. Sometimes, the duration of the two tithis during the shraddha aparahna will be lesser than that during the previous / next days’ shraddha aparahna. In such cases, this day will have no Shraddha Tithi referred as Shoonya.

Hindu

Marriage is a most complicated structure made up as it is of a whole series of subjective and objective facts of a very heterogeneous nature. Since we are concerned with the psycho -astrological aspect of marriage we shall exclude the objective factors of legal and social nature although these factors have a pronounced influence on the psychological relationship of the married pair.

Marriage is not an institution for simple brute sense gratification. The idea that it is a civil contract terminable at will smacks of meanness in conception of the grand liabilities and assets between the parties to be engaged in sacred wedlock. One of the great American judges said "the contract of marriage is something more than a civil agreement between the parties, the extent of which only affects themselves.

It is the basis of the family, and its dissolution as well as its formation is a matter of public policy in which the body or community is deeply interested and it is to be governed by other considerations than those which obtain with regard to any other civil contract that the ground which shall invalidate the contract must be something more than a mere representation as to collateral matters that no ground will annul a marriage which does not go to the very essence of the contract".

Marriage, both in the social and economic sense, is a sexual relationship entered into with the intention of making it permanent. In India, marriage was and is regarded as a religious sacrament and marriage comprehends the equality of the partner in respect of Dharma (right conduct), Artha (financial position), Kama (sex relation) and Moksha (final salvation). The universality of marriage constitutes one of the most striking differences between the Hindus and the other culture*

When the question of marriage is considered, various factors demand our attention, important ones being physical fitness, mental qualities, heredity, sexual compatibility and social and economic status.
In the modern world so much is made of the sex element in marriage that the other equally important factors, social and psychological, are practically ignored. The Hindu Sastras, having in view the climatic and ethnological conditions of India, have fixed the maximum and minimum age limits for marriage.

Marriages between parties belonging to the same Gotra are not favoured perhaps because of the dysgenic influence on the offspring. Inter-racial, intercommunal and inter-religious marriages are not looked upon favourably because in such matches there are cultural differences.

After a careful consideration of all these factors, the Hindus had devised an astrological means of judging marriage compatibility whereby the relations between the couple may stand the strain of mal adjustments.

The Hindus have solved this complex problem of marriage selection by recourse to astrological considerations, If investigations into the various kutas are undertaken before the marriage is contracted, there will perhaps be fewer tragedies than at present and less marital infidelity.

Modern science has devised no means to find out the compatibility between the marrying couple. Sexologists suggest that the bride and bridegroom should subject themselves to a thorough medical examination. Although this sounds reasonable, it makes an important omission in that mere physical fitness does not ensure complete marital happiness. Happiness largely rests upon so many other factors that the aid of astrology should be sought for by every sensible individual.

In selecting horoscopes for marriage purposes, three factors have to be carefully considered. They are: -
(a) The longevity of the bride and the bridegroom.
(b) The larger strength of the 7th and 8th houses.
(c) Agreeability in regard to the Kutas or pooruththam.

When there is no longevity in the case of bride, the horoscope must be rejected even though the 7th house may be strong or the requsite number of units are available. Likewise when the 7th house is weak and is considerably blemished, the horoscope to be matched should have antidotes or counteracting influences.

The kutas or the units of agreement should be considered only when there is general sympathy between the horoscopes of the parties to be brought together. The existing practice almost all over India and particularly in the South is highly defective and dangerous as horoscopes are rejected simply because they do not conform to certain kutas, while the most important factors such as longevity, widowhood, etc., are completely ignored.

Therefore it is very essential to examine to start with, the general strength of the chart; and when good longevity is indicated in both horoscopes and they are free from the afflictions in regard to the 7th and 8th houses, further agreement should be judged. When Mars and; Venus are in the 7th, the boy or girl concerned will have strong sex instincts and such an individual should be mated to one who has similar instincts.

When sexual incompatibility sets in marriage, life proves charmless and friction arises between the couple. Therefore it is the duty of the parents to consult learned astrologers and not to entrust the work of comparing horoscopes to all persons who have no practical experience. History is replete with ill-matched marriages and the most miserable lives the couples have to live.

Muhurtha

Fixing the Marriage Muhurtha - The lunar months of Magha, Phalguna, Vaisakha and Jyeshta are good. Kartika and Margasira are ordinary.  Some sages opine that marriages can be celebrated in Pousha and Chaitra provided the Sun is in Capricorn and Aries respectively.

§ The following lunar days, viz., from the 8th day (dark half) to New Moon, Riktha Tithis, 8th, 11th and 6th should be rejected. The best lunar days are the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 13th (of the bright half).

§ Vara Days
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are the best. Sunday and Saturday are middling. And Tuesday should be invariably rejected.

§ The Best Nakshatra are Rohini, Mrigasira, Magha, UttaraPhalguni, Hasta, Swati, Anuradha, Moola, Uttarashadha, Uttarabhadra and Revati. The first quarter of Magha and Moola and the last quarter of Revati are inauspicious and they should be rejected. Nakshatras not mentioned here are unsuitable and they should be avoided.

§ The following yogas should be rejected: Vyatipata, Dhruva, Mrityu, Ganda, Vajra, Soola, Vishkambha, Atiganda, Vyaghata and Parigha.

§ Vishti karana must invariably be discarded.

§ Among the zodiacal signs Gemini, Virgo and Libra are the best. Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius are middling. The rest are inauspicious.

Elements of Muhurtha Chart: In the election of a Muhurtha for marriage, as many of the 21 dosha are possible and should be avoided. The most important considerations however are
(1) The 7th house must be unoccupied by any planet
(2) Mars should not be in the 8th
(3) Venus should not be in the 6th
(4) Lagna should not be hemmed in between malefics
(5) Malefics should not occupy Lagna
(6) The Moon in the election chart should not conjoin any planet

Apart from the above, the usual Tarabala, Panchaka. etc., should be looked into. Jupiter, Mercury or Venus in Lagna, malefics in the 3rd or 11th, would constitute a formidable force in rendering the Lagna strong. The following are some of the special combinations which are supposed to fortify the marriage election chart:

1. Jupiter in the ascendant, Venus in the 8th and the Sun in the 11th - Mahendra Yoga.
2. Venus in Lagna, Jupiter in the 10th and the Sun and Mercury in the 11th-Vishnu Priya Yoga.
3. Venus in the 2nd, Jupiter in the 12th, the Sun in the 8th and Saturn in the 6th - Sreenatha Yoga.
4. Venus in Lagna, Jupiter in the 4th, Mercury in the 2nd and Saturn in the 11th - Samudra Yoga.
5. Mercury, Jupiter and Venus in Lagna - Vijaya Yoga.
6. Venus and Jupiter in Lagna elevated or otherwise strong - Jaya Yoga.
7. Saturn in the 3rd, Jupiter in the 6th, the Sun in the 10th and Mars in the 11th - Pushya Yoga.
8. Mars in the 3rd, Saturn in the 6th, Venus in the 9th, Jupiter in the 12th - Maharshi Yoga.
9. Venus in Lagna, Jupiter in the 11th - Ardhama Yoga.
References: 1. Prasna Marga 2. Muhurtha- BV Raman

Marriage

In selecting horoscopes for marriage purposes, three factors have to be carefully considered. They are:
(a) The longevity of the bride and the bridegroom.
(b) The larger strength of the 7th and 8th houses.
(c) Agreeability in regard to the Kutas or pooruththam.

When there is no longevity in the case of bride, the horoscope must be rejected even though the 7th house may be strong or the requsite number of units are available. Likewise when the 7th house is weak and is considerably blemished, the horoscope to be matched should have antidotes or counteracting influences.

The kutas or the units of agreement should be considered only when there is general sympathy between the horoscopes of the parties to be brought together. The existing practice almost all over India and particularly in the South is highly defective and dangerous as horoscopes are rejected simply because they do not conform to certain kutas, while the most important factors such as longevity, widowhood, etc., are completely ignored.

When sexual incompatibility sets in marriage, life proves charmless and friction arises between the couple. Therefore it is the duty of the parents to consult learned astrologers and not to entrust the work of comparing horoscopes to all persons who have no practical experience. History is replete with ill-matched marriages and the most miserable lives the couples had to live.

A careful consideration of the important astrological works reveals, the following information: -
(1) If Kuja is in the 7th house unaspected or not joined by benefics,there will be frequent quarrels in the married life often leading to misunderstandings and separation.
(2) When Saturn is in the 8th house, and particularly in a square to Mars. the married life will be crossed by discord, lack of mutual understanding and want of real attachment.
(3) When Leo is Lagna and the 7th lord Saturn is in the 2nd, the husband will be subservient to the wife carrying out all her orders.
(4) Saturn in the 7th house is also indicative of unhappiness in marriage unless Saturn happens to be either lord of Lagna or lord of the 7th.
(5) According to Prasna Marga. the famous Kerala work on Astrology, if the Sun and Venus occupy the 5th, 7th, or 9th house then the native will lack marital happiness. * See English translation of Prasna Marga by Dr. B. V. Raman.
(6) A strong malefic in the 4th, particularly Mars, is not conducive to conjugal happiness.
(7) If in the Ashtakavarga of Venus, the 7th house from Venus contains a large number of bindus (positive units) and the wife is born in any of the asterisms of the Sun, then his wife will be as dear to him as life.
(8) When the longitude of the 7th house falls in a malefic Navamsa,frequent quarrels and misunderstandings will ensue.
(9) If the lords of the 7th and 1st are friends then the native will be loved by his wife. Otherwise there will be no harmony.

The above combinations do not speak of either the death of wife or more than one marriage. They simply state that the dispositions of planets in a certain manner in the (male's or female's) horoscope, render the marital life unhappy.
(10) Make the necessary reductions in the Ashtakavarga* of Venus. * Ashtakavarga System of Prediction by Dr. B. V. Raman.
Mark those signs that contain bindus or dots. Then take that sign which contains more dots and get the bride from the direction indicated by that sign. The marriage is said to bring real happiness.

We should like to make a few observations based on our studies and experience. Today in the Western countries, one in every three marriages is said to end in divorce. Love, affection and loyalty appear to be inconsistent or out of date with a gadget-geared, money-mad and permissive society.



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