Since ancient times Panchang has been used to study time. It is an important part of Vedic astrology. The ancient studies done by the sages have laid the foundation of science along with the spirituality. Studying the planets, nakshatras and the stars, they have defined the effects of their particular time in the almanac. Panchang means five limbs. These five limbs are – Tithi, Var, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karana.
These five have great importance in Vedic astrology. The Panchang is prepared on the basis of these five elements.
- Tithi– Tithi is also called date in simple language. The Tithi is based on the arts of the Moon, it changes when the Moon crosses a certain distance. There are two sides of 15 days each in a month- Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha. The moon revolves around the earth in each cycle covering the angle of 3600. Amavasya occurs when the angular distance of Sun and Moon is 0 °. Moon is not illuminated on the Amavasya Tithi. As per Vedic astrology, the sun and the moon remain on the same bhava on the new moon event (Amavasya tithi). The light of the moon disappears in the light of the sun, causing the moon not to be illuminated, which ends the Amavasya tithi, and the Krishna Paksha ends. Then as the angular distance between Sun and Moon increases, the phases of the Moon increase, due to which the tithi also changes. And when the angular distance between the Sun and the Moon becomes 180 °, the Moon is fully illuminated, resulting the full moon tithi and the end of Shukla Paksha. The tithi’s are also ruled and influenced by the planets. Thus on the basis of ruling Auspicious and inauspicious planets tithi’s nature is determined.
- Var– In general var is known as day. They are seven in sequence. In Vedic astrology, the lord of every var is also a planet. Auspicious and inauspicious vars are determined on the bases of the ruling planet. Just as the person born on Monday will be under the influence of the moon, the moon falls in the category of auspicious planets, so Monday is placed in auspicious var. Tuesday’s lord planet is Mars, Mars is called cruel or inauspicious planet, hence Tuesday is considered inauspicious in Vedic astrology. The person’s birth var decides the influence of the planet on an individual.
- Karana– It is a type of combination, which is based on the angular distance between the Sun and the Moon. Sun is the factor of father and soul and Moon is the factor of mother and mind. Whenever someone is born, it is obvious to have parents (father and mother), similarly the union of Moon and Sun is also considered very necessary and important in the Vedic astrology. Each day is supposed to have two Karnas. Karana changes as the angular distance of the Sun and the Moon increases to the multiple of 6 °. Each Karna has its own energy influence on the life forms of the earth. They are said to affect our mind and soul. It is said that an individual is influenced by the Karna in which he/she is born. There are a total of 11 types of Karan in Vedic astrology. The first 7 Karana- Bava, Baalava, Kaulava, Taitil, Gar, Vanij, and Vishti are called Astral Karana or the Variable Karna and the other 4 Karana- Shakuni, Chatushpad, Naga and Kistubha are considered Stable Karna. By knowing one’s Karna we can predict the probable nature of an individual.
- Yoga– Yoga is also dependent on the positioning of the Sun and the Moon. According to Vedic astrology, there are 2 types of yoga- Nitya yoga and Tamil yoga.
- Nitya Yoga– It is calculated referencing the sun and the moon. There are a total of 27 Nitya yogas i.e. a yoga each day and each yoga is identified by the respective angular area in the multiple of 130 20’.
- Tamil or Anandadi Yoga– This yoga is based on the combination of Nakshatras and the Varas. Each Vara is said to have identical yoga. Such types of yogas are 28 in numbers.
- Nakshatra – The combination of moon and the identical group of stars in our solar system is termed as the Nakshatra. There are a total of 27 different types of Nakshatras. The revolution path of the moon decides the nakshatra, and each nakshatra has its own influence on the earth.