Future Point | 01-Jan-2014

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What is Panchang?

Vedic Astrology divides time into five fundamental parts together called the Panchang. The Panchang is used by Vedic Astrologers to judge the auspiciousness of the time and is also used to calculate the vedic birth chart or Janam Patrika of a person. The word panchang is derived from the Sanskrit word panchangam (pancha, five; anga, limb), which refers to the five limbs of the calendar or the five parameters – day/vaar, tithi, star/nakshatra, yoga and karana corresponding to that day. It is called by different names in India - Tamil panchangam, Telugu Panchangam, Kannada Panchangam, Gujarati Panchang, Marathi Panchang, Hindi Panchang, Bengali Panchang etc. Hindu Panchang or the Indian calendar is basically based on Nakshatra.

How is Panchang Calculated?

Hindu Panchang is an ancient Indian Calendar system based on Astrological facts and astronomical data. Calculations are done based on the position and movement of the planets, stars, nakshatra and constellations. The actual casting of a Panchang involves elaborate mathematical work involving high level of spherical geometry and sound understanding of astronomical phenomena, such as sidereal movements of heavenly bodies. The calculations in the Panchang are used to determine the most ideal or auspicious vaar, tithis, yogas, nakshatras and karan commonly called the Muhurat, for carrying out various activities like vivah muhurat or marriage, grihapravesh, starting a puja etc. Even ayurvedic remedies and herbs when administered under a particular nakshatra are most effective. The Panchangam/Ephemeris is also a readymade guide that gives us the dates of important hindu festivals, daily nakshatras and Moon’s transit. A Panchang gives the exact time when a particular task can be undertaken to reap maximum benefits.

The time between two consecutive sun rises is the Solar day and the time between two consecutive moon rises is Lunar Day or Tithi. The panchang measures time in lunar months whose names are based on stars and constellations. The new moon is called "Amavasya" and it ushers in the new month. The first fortnight of the full moon is known as Shukla paksha or "the bright half" as the moon waxes; while the dark half fortnight of the month is called Krishna paksha during which the moon wanes. Poornima marks the end of Shukla paksha.

Months in the Hindu Panchang

The twelve months of the lunar year in Hindu Panchang correspond to the following and their names derived from the nakshatras are:

Indian Month Name Of Month Derived From Nakshatra
Chaitra (March - April) Chitra Nakshatra
Vaisakh (April - May) Vishakha Nakshatra
Jyeshta (May - June) Jyeshtha Nakshatra
Aashaadh (June - July) Ashaada Nakshatra
Shravan (July - August) Shravana Nakshatra
Bhadra (August - September) Purva and Uttara Bhadrapada Nakshatra
Ashwin (September - October) Ashwini Nakshatra
Kartik (October - November) Kritika Nakshatra
Margasheersh (November - December) Mrigshira Nakshatra
Paush (December - January) Paush Nakshatra
Maagh (January - February) Masha Nakshatra
Phagun (February - March) PurvaPhalguni and UttaraPhalguni Nakshatra

Is Panchang a necessity?

A Panchang tells about the five elements – Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karan. Any new venture started on an shubh tithi/muhurat will fetch prosperity, a deed done on the right day of the week – shubh vaar will enhance longevity. Any deed done on a day with a favorable star or shubh nakshatra will destroy all sorts of ill effects on the person; diseases will disappear if deeds are performed at a time of shubh yoga and objectives will be achieved without hurdles if started during a shubh karan.

  • Panchang is an online astrological diary, based on placement of planets in the zodiac, daily moon position and nakshatra.
  • Panchang is an ancient science that helps in knowing when to synchronize your actions with good times and helps you increase your chances for success.
  • Panchang is a ready reckoner to know what days and times are good for you, and which ones may cause problems.
  • Panchang is ancient Vedic astrology applied to the practical needs of your day-to-day life.
  • The following 2010 Panchang shows the five elements of Hindu Panchang – Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karan.