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Prasna

The divinatory use of astrology is quite ancient in many cultures. This method of questioning and then conversely picking times to do things as if they were questions develops as a major methodology in both Eastern and Western cultures. This essay compares how these systems developed in the East and the West.

We will:

  • Examine the development of Horary and Prasna techniques as they were practiced by 1700 CE.
  • Examine the development of Electional and Muhurta techniques as they were practiced by 1700 CE.
  • Compare and contrast the different logic and assumptions which developed in different regions.
  • Analyze the extent to which these similarities and differences resulted from cultural transmission.
  • Evaluate how these astrological systems were integrated into the systems of knowledge in each culture.

The reader will become aware of the cultural and of some initial technical considerations in prasna.

What are Prasna and Muhurtha?

Prasna is essentially, horary astrology, and fits under the broad branches of Hora also known as “Predictive Astrology’, so it has a direct relationship to predictive systems of astrology. If one stretches the analogy far enough, Prashna connects directly with some of the concepts contained in the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, particularly transits (also known as Gochara analysis, which rests in a system of analysis called Sarvashtaka Varga— but most regular prasna analysis is much, much simpler than Sarvastakavarga and the Prasna system appears to have developed most aggressively in the Kerala (Southwest) part of India. There is typically much less emphasis on nakshatras in standard prasna interpretation than in natal charts, and there is some dissimilarity in interpretational principles—but not as much as one might imagine, based on allowances contained in the most important Prasna text, the Prasna Marga. The most important difference is the use of a special calculated point in the chart, which we will explore in week 4.

Little known or realized is the fact that remedies can be provided for a bad prasna chart. The Prasna Marga in particular, contains several remedies that can be used for remedies, and, as a matter of fact, contains many of the remedies that have become commonplace in latter day Vedic Astrology—gemstones, yagnas, and the full-blown concept of karmic reward or penalty for past actions starts to get institutionalized, along with the idea that yoga as the path to self-realization, can act as a remedy for chart afflictions. (This was not discussed as a principle in early Vedic texts like Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, Brihat Jataka, or Saravali for instance.

Prasna also overlaps into interpretation of omens (nimhita) and there is also an elaborate ritual system called Astamangalam Prasna and Deva Prasna.

Muhurtha (which translates as “moment” and is also a definition of time that is 48 minutes in length) is electional astrology which appears to have its roots in the selection of ritual times and in classical texts like the Brihat Samhita. It is part prediction, and part remedy, as it has the potential to override bad natal chart combinations. We will discuss this in more detail toward the end of the article.

Horary astrology has been practiced for centuries in India known as Prasna Sastra (Sanskrit prasna, question). It is a branch of Indian astrology which is still widely used.  There are also advanced forms called Astamangalam Prasna (There is an excellent article on this technique included in the course readings and Deva Prasna methods. You will also see forms of prasna in this course which borrrow heavily from Western techniques (in the writing of Gayatri Vasudeva) and more traditional techniques (M. Ramakrishna Bhatt and B.V. Raman’s Prasna Marga translation.) There is also a form of horary taught to Hart DeFouw by his teacher, and many forms are taught from teacher to student in South India, in particular.

Finally, the immense classical work, Brihat Samhita a sixth century text by one of the greatest Indian astrologers, Varahamihira and the Chandra Kala Nadi (a tenth or thirteenth century work–accounts of its origins differ), contain a wide array of techniques that are essentially interpretation of omens, which in India is called Nimhitta. The interpretation of omens (i.e., the direction from which the person enters a room, sounds occurring in the background, even celestial phenomena, like meteors or rings around the Moon) is considered an essential part of prasna.  Many Indian Brahmin priests, if not trained in full astrological interpretation, are tutored in nimhitta.

When can Prasna be used?

It can be used when:

1) The person has a deliberate need to ask a question and has a strong desire to ask the question. Prasna is generally not responsive if a person asks a question out of curiosity, or with little passion or curiosity about the result. The stronger the desire to know, the more accurate the result.

2) Prasna is very useful for answering questions when birth time is not available or unknown to the Jyotishi (astrologer)

3) Prasna is useful when circumstances don’t allow the astrologer to analyze a chart–a chart or nimhitta when the question is asked will generally be able to produce a quick answer without elaborate preparation,

4) The elaborate ritual methods for Prasna can be used for ascertaining longer term trends, addresssing a social issue, or even attempting to gain the favor of the divine or determine the favorability of the question to the divine. (Working in harmony with the divine is an important cultural and religious aspect connected to astrology in India.)

Although Prasna is practiced throughout India, it has an important connection to Kerala, in Southwest India. The mythology connected with the founding of Kerala is fascinating and, for some astrologers, also explain why prasna flourished here. This was the part of India saved from being submerged by Parasurama’s battle axe. Parasurama is the incarnation of Vishnu through Venus, and Venus is the grandson of Bhrigu, one of the first and most proficient practitioners of astrology.

Read the following links:

http://www.prokerala.com/kerala/history/history.htm

http://www.kerala.com/kerala_history/index.php

http://www.keralaeverything.com/his.htm

Types of Prasna charts

The simplest type of interpretation in a Prasna chart is that indicated very early in the Prasna Marga, which is as important a text as Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra is for natal astrology or the Brihat Samhita.is for mundane astrology. It encompasses nearly every form of astrological technique known in India, but Prasna Marga has a particular gift for blending mathematical technique with observation of the environment, also known as Nimhita—or the science of omens. The text, as a matter of fact, is a compendium of ways to assess a situation—from judging the way in which the person asks the question, the direction from which the person asks the question, to the words used to ask the question, to the querent’s breath…all of these elements are considered in the interpretation of chart, so the astrology used becomes more “localized” for Horary Astrology.

Interpretational Principles

Prasna Marga principles

The Prasna Marga outlines the following principles of chart interpretation (this is not an exhaustive list):

  1. Interpretation based on the directions from which the querent enters—the directions or arudha—is translated into a sign which becomes the ascendant;
  2. Interpretation based on the individual’s disposition or signs (omens) that occur when the person is asking the question (this can be as simple as, for example, looking at a person’s clothes when he or she arrives to ask about a marriage—crisp clothes indicate a favorable answer);
  3. The breath of the astrologer when the person asks the question;
  4. Astrological interpretational principles that are unique to the practice of horary astrology;
  5. Ritualized prasna techniques such as the Deva Prasna and the Asta Mangala Prasna rituals in which the chart is set up as an act of worship by a Brahmin priest or priests before it is interpreted by the astrologer;
  6. Astrological interpretational principles that are part of the larger tradition of astrology in India.

Methodologies propagated by:

B. V. Raman through Gayatri Vasudeva

The late B. V. Raman’s daughter, using some principles propagated through Prasna Marga and some principles used in common practice, in the book Practical Horary Astrology, provides a fairly mainstream approach to Vedic prashna, which emphasizes the use of standard house definitions that are used in natal or Jataka charts. This system does generously borrow from Prasna Marga’s more conventional chart interpretation techniques.

Iyer through Hart DeFouw Hart DeFouw, at least in his chapter in Richard Houck’s compendium, and in a class I personally attended, presented a very simple approach to horary which divides the chart into four divisions—the first house is the querent; the fourth house is the querent’s status; the seventh house is partner’s and the tenth house is action or career in the world. DeFouw’s main teaching approach is to present small bits of information, and to lengthen the teaching process dramatically. This has both strengths and weaknesses. The main strength is that it introduces people to material quickly, and allows the student a fair, but partial, introduction. On the downside, it assumes a slow learning curve and a slow developmental process, and it uses an Eastern model that assumes a student is ready to learn when the Guru says he or she is. It is entirely appropriate for some students, but it assumes a social paradigm that may not be appropriate in the West, and implies a VERY long learning curve—years in fact. The technique taught in this chapter is a modification of some of the techniques demonstrated in the book Practical Horary Astrology by Gayatri Vasudeva. (see above)

M. Ramakrishna Bhatt

The late M. Ramakrishna Bhatt was a highly regarded Sanskrit referring who authored two respected Vedic Astrology texts based exclusively on written classical texts and who translated the only currently available translation of Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita, a masterpiece of mundane astrology and of general astrological techniques.

Miscellaneous Prasna Texts

Jaimini’s Prasna Deepika

This 17th century text is an example of an astrological text that solely uses Jaimini techniques, which is a relatively simple but effective system of chart interpretation used in India. Note: Among the many main distinctions between this text and Prasna Marga is that the Arudha of a sign is determined as it would be in standard Jaimini astrology. In Jaimini (with certain controversial exceptions), the arudha of a sign is the sign that is as far away from the lord of a sign as the lord of the sign is from the sign it rules—for example, for Aries, if Mars is in Taurus, and Aries is the first house, then the arudha of the first house is Gemini. If Mars is in Virgo, the Arudha of Aries (the first house) is Aquarius.

House Primary Question

Chyuti 1 Change of social status, Promotion/Demotion/ Victory/Loss, Fame/Infamy, Honor
Vrdddhi 4 Gains/losses especially of people, material, things, money, property, vehicles, etc.
Nivritti 7 Matters that are restored to their original state, returning of lost objects, regaining of health, regaining of lost position of life
Pravas 10 Journeys, foreign residents, being away from one’s home, immigration, relocation, travel, move of residence

Results based on sign

Aries Cancer Libra Capricorn Change
Taurus Leo Scorpio Aquarius No Change
Gemini Virgo Sagittarius Pisces 0-15 No Change; 15-30 degrees, Change

 

Rules:

  1. In order to analyze a question, it is important to have a strong desire to know the answer. The horoscope can be checked to make sure it reflects the question.
  2. Determine which house in the first table reflects the question. If you can’t determine the appropriate house, use the rising sign (lagna).
  3. The question should be reduced to its primary purpose. If it is about selling property, look at the fourth house for gain; tenth house if about relocation and so forth.
  4. If the affected house is occupied, or is aspected by malefics, surrounded by malefics, or otherwise afflicted, then the matter connected with the question suffers. If a planet is in its own house, exalted, or if a house is aspected by its lord, the matters connected to that house will prosper.
  5. If a house is occupied or aspected by a benefic, the person’s feelings are enhanced and a positive outcome is likely.
  6. If benefics and malefics aspects the house, the results will be mixed. If more planets belong to one group, that group will prevail.
  7. Timing can be judged by when the ruler of the house in question, or the Moon, transits or aspects the house in question. Changes in nakshatras or navamsas of the slower moving planets can be used instead of the Moon.

RULES FOR WHETHER TO ANSWER A QUESTION; RULES FOR ANSWERING MULTIPLE QUESTIONS

A while ago a student asked me if there were any conditions under which a question should not be answered according to the chart. While there are no conditions in the chart that indicate that a question can not be answered, there are circumstances under which a question should not be answered, because the querent in insincere.

From “Prasna Tantra” here they are:

1. Whether the person is sincere or not in putting the question should first be ascertained on the strength of the ascendant. The astrologer should then study the good and bad aspects of the query and his prediction shall be duly inspired.

2. The querist’s intention will not be honest if a) the Moon is in the ascendant, Saturn is in a quadrant and Mercury is combust (Gary’s note: I would use a 3 degree range of combustion); b) Mars and Mercury aspect the Moon in the Ascendant; c) a malefic joins the ascendant; d) Jupiter or Mercury cast an inimical glance on the lord of the 7th (house). His intention will be sincere if: a) the benefic planet joins the ascendant, b) if Mars or full Moon and Jupiter aspect the ascendant, and Jupiter or Mercury throws a friendly aspect on the lord of the 7th (house).
In cases of multiple questions, read the first from the ascendant, the second from the Moon, third from the Sun, fourth from Jupiter, fifth from the stronger between Venus and Mercury.

This week we are going to examine a chart in real time using some of the Indian prasna techniques discussed in the last class. Be prepared to have queries asked by people close to you, paying attention to omens. Use at least three of the techniques we discussed in the last class. I will also post some examples of Prasna chart analyses for you.

Electional astrology (called Muhurt or Muhurtha in Hindu astrology) concerns itself with finding the best time to do a particular activity. A part of Vedic astrology, this system proposes that the results of any action are based not only on who or how they are performed, but also when. This system takes in account the individual person, and the place where the action is performed to suggest the best time to perform the activity in order to get the best results possible.

“The basis of electional astrology lies in the assumption that just as the destiny of an individual is governed by the state of the heaven when he was born, the outcome of the action also depends on the stars governing it.” direct quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electional_astrology

Muhurtha seems to be the best documented and most ancient technique maintained by the Indian tradition; it is certainly the most complicated system of astrology in India—that is saying a great deal—and its range of applications, the exceptions that exist to its terms, and even the additional techniques are among the most sophisticated techniques in the Vedic tradition.

(The dating of the Yajur Veda, as all the Vedas, is a point of some controversy)–S

The following are quotes from the The Yajur Veda
(Taittiriya Sanhita)
Arthur Berriedale Keith, translator
1914

“ii. 2. 10.

“Yonder sun did not shine, the gods sought an atonement for him, for him they offered this oblation to Soma and Rudra: verily thereby they bestowed brightness upon him. If he desires to become resplendent, he should offer for him this oblation to Soma and Rudra; verily he has recourse to Soma and Rudra with their own portion; verily they bestow upon him splendour; he becomes resplendent. He should offer on the full moon day of the month Tisya; Tisya is Rudra [1], the full moon is Soma; verily straightway he wins splendour. He makes him sacrifice on an enclosed (altar), to acquire splendour. The butter is churned from milk of a white (cow) with a white calf; butter is used for the sprinkling, and they purify themselves with butter; verily he produces whatever splendour exists. ‘Too much splendour is produced’, they say, ‘he is liable to become a leper’; he should insert the verses of Manu’s; whatever Manu said is medicine [2]; verily he makes medicine for him. If he fear, ‘I shall become a leper’, he should offer an oblation to Soma and Pusan ; man has Soma as his deity, cattle are connected with Pusan ; verily he makes him a skin by means of his own deity and cattle; he does not become a leper. He who desires offspring should offer an oblation to Soma and Rudra; Soma is the bestower of seed, Agni is the begetter of offspring; verily Soma bestows on him seed, Agni begets offspring; he obtains [3] offspring. He who practises witchcraft should offer an oblation to Soma and Rudra; man has Soma as his deity, Agni is this Rudra; verily ransoming him from his own deity he entrusts him to Rudra; swiftly he attains ruin. He who is long ill should offer an oblation to Soma and Rudra; the sap of him who is long ill goes to Soma, the body to Agni; verily from Soma he ransoms his sap, from Agni his body; even if [4] his life be gone, he yet lives. The Hotr loosens him that is swallowed by Soma and Rudra and he is liable to be ruined; an ox must be given by the Hotr; the ox is a carrier, the Hotr is a carrier; verily he saves himself as a carrier by means of a carrier. He who desires, ‘In his own abode may I produce a foe for him’, should offer an oblation to Soma and Rudra; selecting an altar he should dig up half, and half not, spread half the strew, and half not, pile on half the kindling-wood and half not; verily in his own abode he produces a foe for him

“ii. 5. 2.

“Tvastr, his son being slain, offered Soma excluding Indra. Indra desired an invitation to the rite, but he did not invite him; (saying) ‘Thou hast slain my son.’ He made a disturbance of the sacrifice, and forcibly drank the Soma. The remains of it Tvastr cast upon the Ahavaniya (fire), (saying), ‘Hail! wax great, Indra’s foe.’ In that he cast it (avartayat), Vrtra is Vrtra; in that he said, ‘Hail! wax great, Indra’s foe’, therefore [1] Indra became his foe. He sprang into life and came into union with Agni and Soma. He grew on all sides an arrow(shot), he enveloped these worlds. Because he enveloped these worlds, therefore is Vrtra, Vrtra. Indra feared him. He ran up to Prajapati, (saying), ‘A foe has sprung up for me.’ He dipped his bolt and gave it to him, (saying), ‘Slay with it.’ He went against (him) with it. Agni and Soma said, ‘Hurl it not [2]; we are within.’ ‘Ye are mine’, he replied, ‘come to me.’ They asked for a share; he gave them at the full moon this offering for Agni and Soma on eleven potsherds. They said, ‘We are bitten all round, and cannot come.’ Indra produced from himself cold and fever heat; that was the origin of cold and fever heat. Him who knows thus the origin of cold and fever heat [3] neither cold nor fever heat slays. By them he led him on, and as he gaped Agni and Soma went forth from him. Then expiration and inspiration deserted him; skill is expiration, intelligence is inspiration; therefore one who gapes should say, ‘Skill and intelligence (remain) in me’; verily he places expiration and inspiration in himself and lives all his days. He, having called off the gods from. Vrtra offered at the full moon the oblation to the Vrtra slayer; they slay him at the full moon [4], but make him swell at the new moon; therefore verses are uttered at the full moon referring to the slaying of Vrtra, at the new moon referring to his increase. Having performed the oblation to the Vrtra slayer, he took his bolt and again went against (him). Sky and earth said, ‘Hurl it not; he rests in us two.’ They said, ‘Let us choose a boon.’ ‘May I be adorned with the Naksatras’, said yonder (sky); I May I be adorned with variegated things’, said this (earth). Therefore yonder (sky) is adorned with the Naksatras, this (earth) with variegated things. He who knows thus the boon of sky and earth [5] attains a boon. Indra thus impelled by these two slew Vrtra. The gods having slain Vrtra said to Agni and Soma, ‘Bear the offering for us.’ They said, ‘We two have lost our brilliance, our brilliance is in Vrtra.’ They said, ‘Who is there to go for it?’ ‘The cow’, they said, ‘The cow is the friend of all.’ She said [6], ‘Let me choose a boon; ye shall feed off both when they are in me.’ The cow brought the (brilliance); therefore they feed off both things that are in the cow; ghee indeed is the brilliance of Agni, milk the brilliance of Soma. He who knows thus the brilliance of Agni and Soma becomes brilliant. The theologians say, ‘What is the deity of the full moon (rite)?’ He should reply, ‘Prajapati; by means of it he established his eldest son, Indra.’ Therefore they establish their eldest sons with wealth.

“ii. 3. 10.

“a. What went new that became fresh butter; what crept that became clarified butter; that which became firm became ghee.
b. Thou art the breath of the Açvins; of that to thee let the two give whose breath thou art; hail! Thou art the breath of Indra; of that to thee let him give whose breath thou art; hail! Thou art the breath of Mitra and Varuna; of that to thee let them give whose’ breath thou art; hail! Thou art the breath of the All-gods [1]; of that to thee let them give whose breath thou art; hail!
c. Stream of ghee, path of ambrosia,
Given by Indra, presented by the Maruts,
Thee Visnu perceived,
Then Ida moved thee in the cow.
d. Let the god Savitr set thee free for life, for living, with the Pavamana Stoma, with the path of the Gayatra (Saman), with the strength of
the Upançu (Graha); let the god Savitr set thee free for life, for living,
[2] with the Brhat and Rathantara’s Stoma with the path of the Tristubh,
with the strength of the Çukra (Graha); let the god Savitr set thee free
with the measure of Agni, with the path of the Jagati, With the strength
of the Agrayana (Graha).
e. Him quicken, O Agni, for life, for radiance,
Make dear his seed, O Varuna, O Soma, O king;
Like a mother, O Aditi, give him protection,
O ye All-gods, that he may win old age.
f. Agni is full of life; he is full of life through the trees; with this life I make thee full of life. Soma is full of life; he is (full) through the plants; the sacrifice is full of life; it is (full) through the sacrificial fees; the Brahman is full of life; that is full of life through the Brahmans; the gods are full of life; they are (full of life) through the ambrosia; the Pitrs are full of life; they are full of life through the Svadha-call with this life I make thee full of life.

The Yajur Veda is, in essence, a book of rituals and these rituals appeared geared to the higher echelons of society. Animal sacrifice is indicated in these texts and this later became less and less a part of the Vedic canon as time progressed, this aspect of the Sanatana Dharma was eliminated, probably through the influence of Buddhism. .Some of the rituals in the Yajur Veda can still be observed being performed in Hindu Temples internationally.

The Mahabharata

The timing of ceremonies starts to become more ritualized and specific to the nakshatras when we look at sections of the major text called the Mahabharata.

The text from Nalini Kantha Das on “Astrological References in the Mahabharata” includes certain muhurtha practices that have endured to this day. For example, the nakshatra Pushya, located in the early degrees of Cancer, is considered one of the most auspicious nakshatras for any event, except marriage. In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas (the heroes of the story) marry their common-law wife under that nakshatra. The Pandavas had horrible luck and there was an attempt to rape and humiliate the wife on the part of their adversaries. So an otherwise auspicious time becomes difficult for one kind of activity, perhaps based upon this story.

Although we do not have a precise chronology of how these rituals developed or have changed over time, we do have classical texts that are the basis for many contemporary muhurtha techniques.

Although there are other books that are used as references for muhurtha, we will be using the text Kalaprakasika as a reference, and we will be using two more contemporary texts, based on classical texts, that provide a good orientation to muhurtha. There are also references in the Prasna Marga to muhurtha that we will reference from time to time. Finally, as with the Prasna principles found in Prasna Marga, some contemporary astrologers from India use specific electional principles to analyze birth charts, as this was when the soul elected to come to earth again.

Specialized Muhurtha techniques

Keep in mind that the following techniques are used in addition to regular chart interpretation techniques for determining the auspicious and inauspicious times to conduct activities.

Also,  this is not an exhaustive list of electional techniques–research into the recommended reading will reveal special combinations that should be used for elections. Usually, astrologers start from the nakshatras, but that is an incomplete assessment of all the requirements of an electional chart.

Panchanga: The five limbs of the panchanga are:

1. Vara (solar day) 2. Tithi (lunar day) 3. Nakshatra (lunar asterism) 4. Yoga (conjunction of planets) 5. Karana (half of a lunar day)

Panchanga Literally ‘five limbs’ (pancha, ‘five’ and anga, ‘limb’). The almanac of the Hindus, so named because it deals with the five Hindu divisions of time An ‘auspicious’ moment is considered very important, for starting a ceremony, a journey, a new venture or the commencement of studies. The panchanga is used to find such ‘auspicious’ moments when the various permutations and combinations of the five units of time are found congenial. When performing a ceremony, the time must harmonize with the horoscope of the person it is being performed for. Such calculations are therefore highly individual.

The panchanga is also useful in predicting the dates of various fasts and festivals like Janmashtami, Diwali and Holi. This is so because the Hindus follow a luni-solar, not solar calendar . Therefore festivals do not fall on the same date every year and have to be calculated.

The positions of the stars in each area is taken into consideration while making these panchangas. However, if religious accuracy has to be preserved, there must be separate panchangas for every 10 to 15 miles because the position of the stars and the other relevant details change. The concept of different units of time dates back to the Veda. Prataha (morning), Sayam (evening), Madhayadina ( midday ) and other words for the times of the day are found in the Rig Vedas (see Veda). There have been many astronomers in India , who has tried to explain time concepts, of which Aryabhatta (5th century AD) is the foremost.

Vara (solar day), literally means a weekday. This is the time from one sunrise to the next. For official purposes, one day is reckoned from midnight to midnight. The solar day of the Hindus is divided into four parts: divas (day), ratri (night), sandhya (morning twilight), sandhyansha (evening twilight). One solar day is made of 60 ghatikas and also of 15 muhurtas. The Hindus follow a seven-day week system and each day of the week is a vara.

The seven varas of a week are Ravivara (Sunday), Somvara (Monday), Mangalavara (Tuesday), Budhvara (Wednesday), Brihaspativara (Thursday), Shukravara (Friday), and Shanivara (Saturday).
Each vara is special to a particular presiding deity. The seven varas are also associated with the seven planets of the Hindus.
Tithi (lunar day) is defined as the time taken by the moon to gain 12 degrees on the sun. The moon takes about 30 days (one lunar month) to go around the earth’s ecliptic. In each tithi, the moon travels 12 degrees ahead of the sun (i.e. if the sun and the moon are present in a specific position relating to the earth, after one tithi, the moon would be ahead of the sun by 12 degrees) hence completing 360 (12 degrees x 30 days) degrees in a terrestrial month. In one month, there are 28 tithis, one poornima or full moon and one amavasya or new moon. The first tithi begins after the amavasya. There are 14 tithis in the shukla paksha (light half) and 14 in the Krishna paksha (dark half) of a month.The names of the 14 tithis are Prathma (first), Dvitiya (second), Tritiya (third), Chaturthi (fourth), Panchami (fifth), Shashti (sixth), Saptami (seventh), Ashtami (eight), Navami (ninth), Dashmi (tenth), Ekadashi (eleventh), Dvadashi (twelfth), Triodashi (thirteenth), and Chaturdashi (fourteenth). Because the movement of the moon is irregular, a tithi ranges from 54 to 65 ghatikas. Hence when a tithi begins at sunrise and stretches to 60 ghatikas, it is equal to a solar day. But at times there are two or sometimes three tithis in one day and conversely one tithi might extend to three days. The former case is considered to be auspicious while the latter is not good for occasions like marriages or marching on an invasion. This concept of an auspicious tithi for all occasions is about 3000 years old, while the word tithi itself first came into use around 300 BC.
A full moon night of any month is considered especially auspicious. Various fasts and ceremonies are hence performed on this day. Amavasya on the other hand is not particularly beneficial, though both the new moon and the full moon are favoured motifs in classical poetry and the lives of saints.

TITHIS

Properties of the Lunar (phases) tithis.
1st Lunar Day – pratipat
The presiding deity of the first lunar day in Brahma and is good for all types of auspicious and religious ceremonies.
2nd Lunar Day – dvitiya
Vidhatr rules this lunar day and is good for the laying of foundations for buildings and other things of a permanent nature.
3rd Lunar Day – tritiya
Visnu is the lord of this day and is good for the cuttings of one’s hair and nails and shaving.
4th Lunar Day – chaturthi
Yama is lord of the 4th lunar day, which is good for the destruction of one’s enemies, the removal of obstacles, and acts of combat.
5th Lunar Day – panchami
The Moon rules this day, which is favourable for administering medicine, the purging of poisons, and surgery.
6th Lunar Day – sasthi
Karttikeya presides over this day and is favourable for coronations, meeting new friends, festivities, and enjoyment.
7th Lunar Day – saptami
The 7th lunar day is ruled by Indra; one may begin a journey, buy conveyances, and deal with other such things as a movable nature.
8th Lunar Day – astami
The Vasus rule this day, which is good for taking up arms, building of one’s defenses, and fortification.
9th Lunar Day – navami
The Serpent rules this day, with is suitable for killing enemies, acts of destruction, and violence.
10th Lunar Day – dasami
The day is ruled by Dharma and is auspicious for acts of virtue, religious functions, spiritual practices, and other pious activities.
11th Lunar Day – ekadasi
Rudra rules this day; fasting, devotional activities, and remembrance of the Supreme Lord are very favourable.
12th Lunar Day – dvadasi
The Sun rules this day, which is auspicious for religious ceremonies the lighting of the sacred fire, and the performance of one’s duties.
13th Lunar Day – trayodasi
The day is ruled by Cupid and is good for forming friendships, sensual pleasures, and festivities.
14th Lunar Day – chaturdasi
Kali rules this day suitable for administering poison and calling of elementals and spirits.
15th Lunar Day – amavasya and purnima

The Vasve-devas rule the New Moon suitable for the propitiation of the Manes and performance of austerities.
It takes a little more than a lunar day to travel into each nakshatra and so it becomes full in a different nakshatra every month. The sun travels about two and a quarter nakshatras every month. The first 14 are called Devanakshatra and the next 14 are Yamanakshatra. They too have presiding deities, and the Vedas say that these nakshatras are the heavenly abodes of pious people and great devotees.

Benefic nakshatras for different activities (source: Muhurtha by B.V. Raman, Nakshatras by Dr. Dennis Harness; Brihat Samhita, Kalaprakasika and Electional Astrology by Ernst Wilhelm)

Marriage: Rohini, Mrigisira, Magha (except first pada/quarter), Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Swati, Anuradha, Mula (except last part), Uttarashadha, Uttarashadrapada and Revati.

Medical Treatment: Asvini, Mrigasira, Punavasu, Pushya, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Satabisha; Revati

Politics (Swearing in): Asvini, Rohini, Mrigisira, Pushya, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Anuradha, Uttarashadha, Sravana, Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

Real Estate Purchases: Aswini, Rohini, Mrigasira, Punarvasu, Pushya, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Svati, Uttarashadha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak, Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

House Building : Rohini, Mrigasira, Uttaraphalguni, Anuradha; Uttarashadha; Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

Learning a Mantra: Rohini, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Magha, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Jyeshta, Mula, Uttarashadha

Agriculture: Rohini, Mrgasira, Punarvasu, Uttaraphalguni, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Uttarashadha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak, Uttrabhadrapada, and Revati

Business Opening: Ashvini, Rohini, Mrigisara, Pushya, Uttaphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Anuradha, Uttarashadha
Travel: Asvini, Mrigasira, Pushya, Hasta, Anuradha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Revati

Writing—Beginning: Mrigasira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Mula, Shravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak

The following table gives an idea of qualities connected to electing an activity that each nakshatra possesses. For a hospital stay, one would want a favorable nakshatra, like Ashwini or Punarvasu, not a heroic nakshatra like Jyeshta.

Four nakshatras are considered good for most constructive activities—Rohini, (especially for abundance),Pushyami (except for marriage); Chitra (especially for success) and Shravana (especially for finding solutions to problems). These are considered overall favorable. Also look at the caste, direction, aim (dharma is obligation or law, Artha is wealth, Kama is desire and ambition, and moksha is spiritual activity. This will give you an idea of which aims the nakshatra supports.

Name Caste Direction Aim Quality Shakti

Ashwini Merchant South Dharma Light Healing

Bharani Outcast West Artha Fierce Removing

Krittika Brahmin North Kama Mixed Burning

Rohini Shudra East Moksha Fixed Growing

Mrigashirsha Farmer South Moksha Soft Enjoying

Ardra Butcher West Kama Sharp Achieving

Punarvasu Merchant North Artha Mutable Revitalising

Pushyami Warrior East Dharma Light Sanctifying (creating spiritual energy)

Aslesha Outcast South Dharma Sharp Destroying (obstacles to spiritual energy)

Magha Shudra West Artha Fierce Dying (spiritual rebirth)

PurvaPhalguni Brahmin North Kama Fierce Procreating

UttarPhalguni Warrior East Moksha Fixed Prospering

Hasta Merchant South Moksha Light Gaining

Chitra Farmer West Kama Soft Creating (spiritual power)

Swati Butcher North Artha Mutable Transforming

Vishaka Outcast East Dharma Mixed Harvesting

Anuradha Shudra South Dharma Soft Abundance

Jyestha Farmer West Artha Sharp Heroism

Mula Butcher North Kama Sharp Clearing

Purvashada Brahmin East Moksha Fierce Invigorating

Uttarashada Warrior South Moksha Fixed Victory

Sravana Outcast North Artha Mutable Connecting

Dhanistha Farmer East Dharma Mutable Joining

Satabhisha Butcher South Dharma Mutable Healing

PurvaBhadra Brahmin West Artha Fierce Upraising

UttaraBhadra Warrior North Kama Fixed Stabilising

Revati Shudra East Moksha Soft Nourishing

(Table courtesy of Shri Jyothi Star Astrological Software, author, Andrew Foss. Copyright 2005)

Karana is half of a lunar day or tithi. Therefore there are two karanas in one tithi and 60 in a lunar month. There are 11 names for karanas, of which seven are termed as moving or chara and four are stationary or sthira. The seven moving karanas occur eight times a month here as the four stationary ones occur only once a month. Both karanas of a tithi are not shown in a panchanga, only that one whose end does not coincide with the end of the tithi. Like the other limbs, the karanas are also presided over by the various deities and are good or bad accordingly. Karana is half a tithi. So a lunar month will have 60 karanas. There are only 11 names available for the karanas-
– seven chara (movable) karanas, viz., Bava, Baalava, Kaulava, Taitila, Gara, Vanija and Vishti
– four sthira (immovable) karanas, viz., Sakuni, Chatushpada, Naaga and Kimstughna.

These karanas occur in a particular order every month. The first half of the sukla paksha prathama (the first tithi of the Sukla paksha) is Kimstughna and the second half is the bava. The next karanas are the chara karanas, namely, baalava, kaulava etc. upto Vishti. These sets of seven Karanas repeat 8 times. So we have covered 1 +(7*8)=57 karanas. The 58th karana, corresponding to the 29th tithi of the month, is named sakuni. The next karana is the chatuspada (1st half of amavasya) and the last karana of any lunar month is the naaga.

Yoga

Yoga is defined as the time taken by the sun and moon together to accomplish 13 degrees 20 minutes of space. It is calculated from the sum of the longitudes of the sun and the moon and has no astronomical backing.
The first yoga occurs at 13 degrees 20 minutes, the second at 26 degrees 40 minutes and so on. There are 27 yogas in all, in a month (making a total of 360 degrees). These are called the nityayoga (ever occurring) and yield good or bad results according to their names. They too have deities presiding over them. Besides the 27 nitya yogas, there are special conjunctions of week days (vara) with certain tithis, nakshatras or planets, and rashis (see Janmapatri), which are also termed yoga and are auspicious or inauspicious according to various factors.
There are 27 Nitya yogas and they are:

1.Viskumbha – Malefic. The most malefic portion is the first hour and 12 minutes

  1. Preeti
  2. Aayusman
  3. Sowbaghya
  4. Sobhana
  5. Atiganda – Generally malefic. The most malefic portion is the first 2 hours and 24 minutes
  6. Sukarma
  7. Dhruti
  8. Sula – Generally malefic. The most malefic portion is the first 2 hours.
  9. Ganda – Generally malefic. The most malefic portion is the first 2 hours and 24 minutes
  10. Vriddhi
  11. Dhruva
  12. Vyaghatta
  13. Harshana
  14. Vajra — Generally malefic. The most malefic portion is the first hour and 12 minutes
  15. Siddhi
  16. Vyatipatta – Totally malefic.
  17. Variyan
  18. Parigha – Generally malefic. The most malefic portion is the first 12 hours
  19. Siva
  20. Siddha
  21. Sadhya
  22. Subha
  23. Sukla
  24. Brahma
  25. 26.Indra
  26. 27.Vaidhriti—Full 24 hours.

These values are in the Panchanga because it is essential to have an accurate knowledge of the longitude of the sun and the moon to determine the beginning and ending moments of a solar month, lunar month, tithi, karana, nakshatra and yoga. Looking at it the other way, knowing these values gives the position of various celestial objects. Its enough for now to know that many such ingenious and simple methods were evolved in Indian astronomy to calculate the longitudes of the sun, the moon and the planets and that these procedures were improvised from time to time.

The Panchanga also contains Lagnas (alternative for time) and Muhurtas. Let us see what they are.

Lagna: (or the ascendant)
We’ve seen about the twelve Rasis, which correspond to the division of the Zodiac into 12 zones. The Lagna is given by the Rasi, which is just above the horizon. In a particular day, suppose a particular star rises in the eastern sky at 6:00 . Find out the Zodiacal division or Rasi corresponding to that star. The Lagna at that time, corresponds to the Rasi of that star. In the panchanga, the beginning moment of each lagna (Mesha, Vrishabha,…) on any particular day is given. The durations of the different lagnas are different because of the inclination of the ecliptic to the equator. The instant corresponding to the beginning of each lagna would be different for places with different latitudes.

Muhurtha and Ghatika:
Each solar day consists of 30 muhurtas or 60 ghatikas. So the duration of a muhurta comes to 48 minutes, and that of a Ghatika is 24 minutes.

Panchanga Shuddhi
According to texts such as “Muhurtha Chinthamai “and “Chackra Sangraha” There are a few very auspicious days (Periods) in each year. Those are called the dates with “Panchanga Suddhi” meaning that Day, Nakshtra,

Thithi, Yoga and Karana are all auspicious at that time.

Suba Muhurtha

To calculate “Panchanga Shuddhi” Manually, there are Panchanga Shuddhi Chakaras (Tables)
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1 Day/Nakshtra Table (only the Siddhi, Subha, and Amurtha conditions are auspicious)
Ex. If Asvini Nakshtra Falls on a Sunday then it is called Siddhi which is Auspicious but if the same Nakshtra on a Monday is not good (Ava)

In pseudo code it will be something like this:

If Day = Sunday (1) and Nakshtra = Asvida (1) Then Sidhi (Auspicious ) Condition = True go to check the => Day/Thithi Table )

Else if Day = Sunday (1) and Nak. = Berena(2) Then Dagdha (Not Auspicious – or the condition failed => Go to check the Next Day)

  1. Day /Thithi Table ( Shubha, Amurtha and Siddhi conditions are good; others are bad)
    Ex. If Krishna or Shuka Thithi 1 (Partipat) falls on a Sunday then the condition is called Amurtha (Good)
    If Day = Sunday (1) and Nakshtra = Asvida (1) Then Sidhi (Auspicious ) Condition = True go to check the => Day/Thithi Table ) If Thithi = Krishana Paksha Thithi 1 Then Condition = True (Amurtha)
  2. Yoga The following are bad yogas :
    Vishkamba, Athiganda, Shula, Druma, Ganda, Viyagatha, Vajra Viyathipatha, Parogha, Vidruthi
    IF Day = Sunday (1) and Nakshtra = Asvida (1) THEN Sidhi (Auspicious ) Condition = True go to check the => Day/Thithi Table ) If Thithi = Krishana Paksha Thithi 1 Then Condition = True (Amurtha)
    If Yoga is NOT EQUAL TO Vishkamba, Athiganda, Shula, Druma, Ganda, Viyagatha, Vajra Viyathipatha, Parogha, Vidruthi THEN Condition = True GO TO => Check the Karana
  3. Karana
    Vishti , Shakuna, Chatuspada , Nagha, and Kistunga are Bad
    IF Day = Sunday (1) and Nakshtra = Asvida (1) THEN Sidhi (Auspicious ) Condition = True go to check the => Day/Thithi Table ) If Thithi = Krishana Paksha Thithi 1 Then Condition = True (Amurtha)
    If Yoga is NOT EQUAL TO Vishkamba, Athiganda, Shula, Druma, Ganda, Viyagatha, Vajra Viyathipatha, Parogha, Vidruthi THEN Condition = True GO TO => Check the Karana, IF Karana is NOT EQUAL TO Vishti , Shakuna, Chatuspada , Nagha, and Kistunga Then Condition = True (Amurtha).
  4. Exceptions
    Sunday and Hasta Nakshtra with the Fifth thithi (Punchmi) is bad
    Tuesday and Rohini Nakshtra with 15th Tithi (Full Moon or No Moon) is Bad
    Thursday and Anuradha Nakshtra with 13th tithi are bad
    11th Tithi with Rohini Nakshtra Bad
    3rd with Uttaraphalguni (12th Nak.)Bad
    7th with Moola nakshatra is bad
    1tht with Hasta nakshatra is bad
    13th with Chitra nakshatra is bad
    2nd with Anuradha nakshatra is bad
    1st with Uttarashada nakshatra is bad
    3rd with Uttarashada nakshatra is bad
    8th tithi with the 25th Nakshatra (Purvabhadra) is bad

EXCEPTIONS
DAGDHA TITHIS TO AVOID ACCORDING TO THE SUN’S POSITION IN CONSTELLATIONS
1. When Sun is in Mesha (Aries) avoid 6th Tithi (Dagdha) – Usually Sun is in Aries (Mesha) from 14th April to 14th May and in between there are 26th Tithis. One is waxing and other is waning, even if the Panchanga Shuddhi occurs , those are invalid as it was cancelled due to Sun’s position.

ONE MUST ALSO ANALYZE THE OVERALL CHART FOR AUSPICIOUSNESS IN ORDER TO DETERMINE A GOOD TIME FOR THE ACTIVITY.

There is a lot of detail this week–don’t let it overwhelm you. If you need help, please ask for it.

Specialized Muhurtha techniques (continued)

Keep in mind that the following techniques are used in addition to regular chart interpretation techniques for determining the auspicious and inauspicious times to conduct activities.

Nadika

According to the late R. Santhanam, in the books Essentials of Predictive Astrology, divisions of time grow more powerful the smaller they are. He quotes Sage Bhrigu (Sukracharya), “Samvatsara (Year), Ayana (half year), Ritu (Season or 2 solar months), Masa (half a Ritu or one solar month), Paksa (fortnight), Dina (weekday), muhurtha (48 minutes) are stronger in ascending order and assume more and more importance…Nadika is the strongest of all the measurements of time and hence the most important.”

Abhijit (between Shravana and Dhanishta) is supposed to be a flawless nakshatra for electional purposes, yet an inauspicious nadika (ghatika) will over ride even the best nakshatra; likewise, a good nadika/ghatika will override all planetary difficulties (although, as Ernst Wilhelm has observed, the difficulties will be in play).
According to Bhrigu, “these Nadikas ware several in order (60 in all) and are calculated from Sun rise on all weekdays and are named after 27 nakshatras from Visakha to Swati and Jyotsna, Sandhya and Maitri-repeating twice till the next sun rise. These are rather sixty avasthas (states) of the transiting Moon.”
Here is a list of the Nadikas (24 minute segments) for each day of the week:

Sunday
1. Good for celebration of functions like marriage and signing partnership deeds
2. For gainful ventures
3. Loss through quarrels and disputes
4. Auspicious for income-oriented acts
5. Acquisition of money through commercial activities
6. To obtain articles which are not otherwise easily obtainable
7. Auspicious for affairs related to females
8. Work related to food grains
9. Good for travel
10. Good for eating and hosting’
11. For achievement in hatha yoga, physical exercise, etc.
12. To defeat enemies, filing legal suits, etc.
13. Matters related to quadrupeds (animals)
14. Coronation, authoritative work, etc.
15. Bad for entering a new house
16. Good for jobs related to construction of a town, village, house, etc.
17. Bad for travels
18. Good to commence a journey to see highly placed people, politicians, royal family members, etc.
19. Good for installation of a deity
20. Good to acquire army, bodyguards, etc.
21. Loss of money if deal is commenced
22. Defeat and negligence in litigations, fight, battle, etc.
23. Auspicious for making friends
24. Success in disputes, fights, etc.
25. Good for friendly and merry conversations
26. Gains in trading
27. Fruitful coition when progeny is desired
28. Good for auspicious functions
29. Obstructions to any work undertaken and huge losses
30. Good for long term and philanthropic jobs

Monday

1. Good for auspicious jobs
2. Meant for travels of short and long distances
3. Success in undertakings
4. Gains through undertakings
5. For bathing after illness (so that one does not fall ill again)
6. Success in any job undertaken
7. Good for agricultural work
8. Advent of money in gambling, bet, races, etc.
9. Good for attainment of position and kingdom
10. Good for eating, entertaining guests
11. Friendship with females
12. Success
13. Good for legal suits, fight, battle, etc.
14. Meant for acts of disrepute and those acts that are questionable in nature
15. Good to undertake acts in which success is an issue
16. Auspicious for medical treatment
17. Meant for jobs related to quadrupeds
18. Good to undertake acts in which success is an issue (see 15. above)
19. Good for entering in new premises
20. “Even poison consumed becomes nectar” (That is, all evils can be negated.)
21. Good for festive functions
22. Good for activities related to relating to organizational well-being
23. Good for activities related to sports, games, etc.
24. Good for marital negotiations and celebrations
25. Meant for entering new premises
26. Any work undertaken attains fruition
27. Good for planting, gardening, sapling, seeding, etc.
28. For serving guests
29. Leads to enmity and arguments
30. For any auspicious work

Tuesday

1. Grief from any work undertaken
2. Easy attainment of success
3. Good to establish one’s strength (like a physical duel)
4. To confine others
5. Gains
6. Good for developing friendship with other people
7. Good for jobs related to steed (vehicles)
8. Auspicious for jobs related to cows and bulls
9. Loss in travels
10. Good to propose for, or seek, a bride
11. For gains in marital proposals
12. For trading
13. Success in travels
14. If travel is commenced in this Nadika, there will be fear from animals, thieves, etc.
15. Loss through fire, weapons
16. Undertaking will result in poverty
17. Not good for ritual related to bringing rains; will bring in wholesale drought
18. Travels undertaken will bring loss of friendship
19. Auspicious effects will follow if relief measures are undertaken
20. Enjoyment of melodies
21. Increase of worries
22. Destructive results in legal disputes and the like
23. Effortless money
24. Win over enemies
25. Will lead to severance of ties
26. Loneliness will result
27. Bad for sexual acts
28. Happiness in any work undertaken
29. Success in auspicious jobs
30. Dissatisfaction on sexual union

Wednesday

1. Possibilities of hearing bad news and unpalatable words
2. Loss in undertaking
3. Sexual acts will lead to loss of love
4. Skill in artistic work
5. Efforts will be futile to secure employment
6. Carelessness will result in undertakings and there will be subsequent physical troubles
7. Quarrels in work
8. Removal of obstructions
9. Effortless honor in an undertaking
10. Destruction of enemies
11. Acquisition of money
12. Increase of wealth
13. Success
14. Success
15. Good for work related to kings
16. Good for romances
17. Effortless gain of position
18. Good for combating wicked people
19. Success
20. Cab get even the most unavailable thing
21. For destruction of enemies
22. Good for sexual union with a view to beget an offspring
23. To visit higher ups and destroy enemies
24. Cultivation of friendship
25. Positional strength (gaining advantage over others)
26. Favorable for friendship
27. Gains
28. Friendship
29. Gains (same as 27 above)
30. Negative results in any work started

Thursday

1. Success in financial undertakings
2. Recovery of lost articles/ wealth
3. Physical strain in undertakings
4. Good for acquisition of scented articles
5. Favorable for oratory skills
6. Grief
7. Success
8. Destruction of enemies
9. Success in attracting others
10. Gains
11. Acquisition of food grains
12. Good for journeys connected with gaining a superior position
13. Happiness in activities related to festivals, functions, etc.
14. Commencement of any work will end in inflicting a disease
15. Work undertaken will lead to fortunes
16. Loss of work
17. Hurt by weapons
18. Success
19. Loss of courage
20. Travel undertaken will end with total destruction of vehicle
21. Huge wealth in travel undertaken
22. Positional strength
23. Death of a relative will be the result of work undertaken
24. Courage
25. Enmity
26. Friendship
27. Success
28. Death or such evil results will follow the travel commenced in this nadika
29. Removal of fear
30. Success

Friday

1. Good for gains from females
2. Success
3. Effortless money
4. Unexpected friendship
5. If prayers to Varuna are recited in this Nadika, heavy rains will follow
6. Increase in agricultural output
7. Medical treatment commenced in this Nadika will lead to death
8. Good to become the head of an army
9. Loss
10. Gain
11. Removal of worries in litigation
12. Success in questionable and unusual acts
13. Good to commence education
14. Success in medical treatment received or given
15. Any work done in this nadika will have serious repercussions like danger, death, etc.
16. Huge gains through enemies
17. Loss of undertaking
18. Educational success
19. Consumption of food will lead to ill health
20. Wounds to relatives will occur
21. Good to acquire conveyances
22. Happiness in dialogues
23. Success
24. Happiness in travel
25. Loss of wealth
26. Grief
27. Odds
28. Comforts
29. Good for auspicious deeds
30. Loss of fortunes

Saturday

1. Good for legal matters
2. Huge gains through higher-ups
3. Increase of enemies
4. Good to deal with friends
5. Success in disputes
6. Good to acquire horses, etc.
7. Dissatisfaction in travel
8. Success
9. Removal of dissatisfaction
10. To combat evils
11. Good for sexual union
12. Danger to one’s child through work undertaken
13. Failure in matters related to disputes with relatives
14. Good for stupefying others
15. Good for efforts related to advancement
16. Acquisition of wealth
17. Auspicious for travels
18. Loss of undertaking
19. Need to put in more effort
20. Acquisition of various food grains
21. Increase of wealth
22. Good for sexual union
23. Penury
24. Courageous acts
25. Physical comforts
26. Worries
27. Success over enemies
28. Death will result an undertaking
29. Pacifying anger
30. Good for digging tanks, wells, etc.
TITHIS – Properties of the Lunar (phases) tithis.

1st Lunar Day – pratipat
The presiding deity of the first lunar day in Brahma and is good for all types of auspicious and religious ceremonies.

2nd Lunar Day – dvitiya
Vidhatr rules this lunar day and is good for the laying of foundations for buildings and other things of a permanent nature.

3rd Lunar Day – tritiya
Visnu is the lord of this day and is good for the cuttings of one’s hair and nails and shaving.

4th Lunar Day – chaturthi
Yama is lord of the 4th lunar day, which is good for the destruction of one’s enemies, the removal of obstacles, and acts of combat.

5th Lunar Day – panchami
The Moon rules this day, which is favourable for administering medicine, the purging of poisons, and surgery.

6th Lunar Day – sasthi
Karttikeya presides over this day and is favourable for coronations, meeting new friends, festivities, and enjoyment.

7th Lunar Day – saptami
The 7th lunar day is ruled by Indra; one may begin a journey, buy conveyances, and deal with other such things as a movable nature.

8th Lunar Day – astami
The Vasus rule this day, which is good for taking up arms, building of one’s defenses, and fortification.

9th Lunar Day – navami
The Serpent rules this day, with is suitable for killing enemies, acts of destruction, and violence.

10th Lunar Day – dasami
The day is ruled by Dharma and is auspicious for acts of virtue, religious functions, spiritual practices, and other pious activities.

11th Lunar Day – ekadasi
Rudra rules this day; fasting, devotional activities, and remembrance of the Supreme Lord are very favourable.

12th Lunar Day – dvadasi
The Sun rules this day, which is auspicious for religious ceremonies the lighting of the sacred fire, and the performance of one’s duties.

13th Lunar Day – trayodasi
The day is ruled by Cupid and is good for forming friendships, sensual pleasures, and festivities.

14th Lunar Day – chaturdasi
Kali rules this day suitable for administering poison and calling of elementals and spirits.

15th Lunar Day – amavasya and purnima
The Vasve-devas rule the New Moon suitable for the propitiation of the Manes and performance of austerities.
Benefic nakshatras for different activities (source: Muhurtha by B.V. Raman, Nakshatras by Dr. Dennis Harness; Brihat Samhita, Kalaprasideepika and Ernst Wilhelm)

Marriage: Rohini, Mrigisira, Magha (except first pada/quarter), Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Swati, Anuradha, Mula (except last part), Uttarashadha, Uttarashadrapada and Revati.
Medical Treatment: Asvini, Mrigasira, Punavasu, Pushya, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Satabisha; Revati
Politics (Swearing in): Asvini, Rohini, Mrigisira, Pushya, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Anuradha, Uttarashadha, Sravana, Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

Real Estate Purchases: Aswini, Rohini, Mrigasira, Punarvasu, Pushya, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Svati, Uttarashadha, Sravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak, Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

House Building: Rohini, Mrigasira, Uttaraphalguni, Anuradha; Uttarashadha; Uttarabhadrapada, Revati

Learning a Mantra: Rohini, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushya, Magha, Uttaraphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Jyeshta, Mula, Uttarashadha

Agriculture: Rohini, Mrgasira, Punarvasu, Uttaraphalguni, Chitra, Swati, Anuradha, Uttarashadha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak, Uttrabhadrapada, and Revati

Business Opening—Ashvini, Rohini, Mrigisara, Pushya, Uttaphalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Anuradha, Uttarashadha

Travel: Asvini, Mrigasira, Pushya, Hasta, Anuradha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Revati

Writing—Beginning: Mrigasira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Mula, Shravana, Dhanishta, Satabishak

With the availability of prashna and Muhurtha charts, an astrologer now has a wide array of astrological techniques as his or her disposal to provide predictions.

Interestingly enough, one can view every individual technique as a different orientation point towards divining the future.

The following distinctions exist:

  1. The natal chart shows the flow of karma or the activities that the individual will encounter in life, based upon the date, time and place of birth. It is the astral environment that starts life for an individual.
  2. A Prasna chart shows the astral environment at the time one wants to ask a question about a certain matter in life. A Prasna chart will never over ride the karma in the person’s birth chart—but it may give a more detailed view of a situation that can not be foretold just from the birth chart. As many astrologers do, I draw up a Prasna chart when a person asks me for any kind of a reading. One can tell the most important parts of the reading from this kind of chart. It is also a very useful tool to have if one does not have an accurate birth time (although it is my contention that you can still tell an individual a great deal about what is happening by looking at the querent’s Sun or Moon sign. Many people come to see astrologers when crises occur; these crises can be quite easily seen from the Sun or Moon, if one looks carefully.) But the Prasna chart allows you to pinpoint exactly what is occurring, fairly quickly.
  3. Breath, the direction of the individual when a reading is sought, the querent’s nervousness, inauspicious sounds, or unpleasant smells, sights, etc. will certainly not bode well for a question, just as pleasant or happy conditions will increase the chances of a favorable chart. (Anecdote: I can remember discussing a fundraising idea for an organization last year. As I mentioned it, my phone kept going dead and as the piece de resistance, my cats managed to topple a glass top table and smash it! The fundraising idea, despite my best intentions, is still swimming around in the ether—I just can’t seem to find the time to do it!) Why are these considered? Because an awareness of the natural world leads one to predict the future! The pattern in the world right now is always a predictor of the future. This is, in some ways, the essence of astrology—diving the future from the signs in the sky. The system of nimhitta just takes it into natural closer signs.
  4. Muhuttha is both a divinational tool, but is also an upaye, or a remedial measure. Basically, the Muhurtha chosen is intended to find the best possible time to do something—but it is quite difficult to get an optimal election with al elements working, and the 24 minute divisions, although helpful, are not well-known and also rather tricky.

Then. Why bother?

Simply put Muhurtha lessens the chance of disaster and increases the chance of success. By picking a time that optimizes one’s karma. There is a range of decision in a birth chart, and we choose these unconsciously all the time—this increases our limited range of conscious action, and puts us, for a brief moment, outside the chart.

Here are a few prioritization ideas for muhurtha

Most important–Tithi and Karana for start of activity

Yoga–Along with Nadika, this gives the best idea for whether the act will succeed. (Nadika is only, as I recall, in Ernst Wilhelm’s software)

Nakshatra for suitability of the activity

Vara, for support of nature of the activity (that is, which of the planets rule the day–this will give you an idea of whether the devas support the activity.

Finally, you need to look at the chart for the time of the election to see if the chart supports the election (for instance, you would not start education when the fourth house or its lord are afflicted).

Nadikas are by far my favorite, because they allow you to pick a good election any day, but Ernst Wilhelm’s Kala program is the only one that provides it, with descriptions for each nadika. They are not difficult to compute (24 minutes each from the start of sunrise and they start again twelve hours later.

If all else fails, fall back on the nakshatra; it is the best single indicator as to whether the energy exists in the chart to support the action.

All the best,

Gary Gomes

The following site will allow you to download free software that will provide tithis, karanas, yogas, etc. Please let me know if you need help using it.
http://www.vedicastrologer.org/jh/

Folks,

Here are a few prioritization ideas for muhurtha

Most important–Tithi and Karana for start of activity

Yoga–Along with Nadika, this gives the best idea for whether the act will succeed. (Nadika is only, as I recall, in Ernst Wilhelm’s software)

Nakshatra for suitability of the activity

Vara, for support of nature of the activity (that is, which of the planets rule the day–this will give you an idea of whether the devas support the activity.

Finally, you need to look at the chart for the time of the election to see if the chart supports the election (for instance, you would not start education when the fourth house or its lord are afflicted).

The following site will allow you to download free software that will provide tithis, karanas, yogas, etc. Please let me know if you need help using it.
http://www.vedicastrologer.org/jh/

With the availability of prashna and Muhurtha charts, an astrologer now has a wide array of astrological techniques as his or her disposal to provide predictions.

Interestingly enough, one can view every individual technique as a different orientation point towards divining the future.

The following distinctions exist:

  1. The natal chart shows the flow of karma or the activities that the individual will encounter in life, based upon the date, time and place of birth. It is the astral environment that starts life for an individual.
  2. A Prasna chart shows the astral environment at the time one wants to ask a question about a certain matter in life. A Prasna chart will never over ride the karma in the person’s birth chart—but it may give a more detailed view of a situation that can not be foretold just from the birth chart. As many astrologers do, I draw up a Prasna chart when a person asks me for any kind of a reading. One can tell the most important parts of the reading from this kind of chart. It is also a very useful tool to have if one does not have an accurate birth time (although it is my contention that you can still tell an individual a great deal about what is happening by looking at the querent’s Sun or Moon sign. Many people come to see astrologers when crises occur; these crises can be quite easily seen from the Sun or Moon, if one looks carefully.) But the Prasna chart allows you to pinpoint exactly what is occurring, fairly quickly.
  3. Breath, the direction of the individual when a reading is sought, the querent’s nervousness, inauspicious sounds, or unpleasant smells, sights, etc. will certainly not bode well for a question, just as pleasant or happy conditions will increase the chances of a favorable chart. (Anecdote: I can remember discussing a fundraising idea for an organization last year. As I mentioned it, my phone kept going dead and as the piece de resistance, my cats managed to topple a glass top table and smash it! The fundraising idea, despite my best intentions, is still swimming around in the ether—I just can’t seem to find the time to do it!) Why are these considered? Because an awareness of the natural world leads one to predict the future! The pattern in the world right now is always a predictor of the future. This is, in some ways, the essence of astrology—diving the future from the signs in the sky. The system of nimhitta just takes it into natural closer signs.
  4. Muhuttha is both a divinational tool, but is also an upaye, or a remedial measure. Basically, the Muhurtha chosen is intended to find the best possible time to do something—but it is quite difficult to get an optimal election with al elements working, and the 24 minute divisions, although helpful, are not well-known and also rather tricky.

Then. Why bother?

Simply put Muhurtha lessens the chance of disaster and increases the chance of success. By picking a time that optimizes one’s karma. There is a range of decision in a birth chart, and we choose these unconsciously all the time—this increases our limited range of conscious action, and puts us, for a brief moment, outside the chart.

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