- Vara – day of the week according to the Sun (Solar Day from Sunday to Saturday)
- Tithi – lunar day
- Nakshatra – constellations, or lunar mansions
- Yoga – auspicious and inauspicious period calculated by the angle of the Sun and Moon
- Karan – half a day (half of a Tithi)
Panchang is typically used by a Vedic astrologer to select a suitable day and time to perform auspicious activities, like marriage, starting a new business, signing contracts, or traveling. It helps you get in sync with your best, most auspicious days and times, and to avoid the negative or unfavorable ones. This is done by matching the current position of the planets with the position of planets in your individual astrological chart to determine your personal powerful moments.
Even if you aren’t an astrologer you can use Panchang in align27 to calculate the ideal times for your activities. There you have easy access to these auspicious and inauspicious timings, which have been calculated for you. For those who’d like to go deeper you can look in the Cosmic Insights app, where you will find the Birth Panchang, Advanced Panchang and Gowri Panchang Add-Ons.
Since ancient times, this method has been used to help align our actions with good times so that obstacles in our path are reduced and our chance for success is increased. When you know in advance that a particular day or time is unfavorable for you astrologically, then you can plan your important tasks at other, more favorable, times.
Here time is treated like an energy, with its own unique qualities which we can learn to harness in our lives. This ability to understand the nature and quality of a day or time in advance makes Panchang a helpful and practical way of applying Vedic astrology in your life.
Aside from the five main parts of the Panchang, traditionally other details were also shared such as the time of sunrise and sunset, moonrise and moonset, the Lagnas in a day and the waxing and waning phase of the Moon. Traditional astrologers use these elements to construct birth charts and look at the transit of planets.
The five key elements of the Panchang, as well as daily timings of detailed phases such as Brahma Muhurta, GuliKal, Abhijit and Yamagandam can be found in the Panchang section of the align27 app. Let’s take a look at what each of these phases is about.
Brahma Muhurta - The Creator’s Time
Brahma Muhurta literally means ‘the time of Brahma, the Creator’. Brahma represents the ultimate knowledge and Muhurta means ‘time period’. Brahma Muhurta is the period of time that is considered perfect to perceive the ultimate knowledge.
One Muhurta is 48 minutes, and Brahma Muhurta starts exactly 2 Muhurta before sunrise. So it begins 1 hour and 36 mins before sunrise, and ends 48 mins before it. Since the exact time of sunrise varies from place to place and with the seasons, the timing of Brahma Muhurta also varies accordingly.
Ancient texts such as the Ayurvedic textbook, Ashtanga Hridaya, and the writings on law and conduct in the Dharmashastras place importance on Brahma Muhurta as the best time to practice yoga, meditate, be in nature and honor the divine. Work that is strenuous, mentally or physically, should be avoided. The prana (life force energy) is particularly strong during this time, making it the ideal time for spiritual practises.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life and health, the Vata dosha (bio-energy) is dominant during Brahma Muhurta. Vata is a combination of the air and space elements, and is the energy of lightness and movement, which is why Ayurveda considers Brahma Muhurta to be the best time to get up in the morning.
Once you have woken up from sleep and done your sadhana (spiritual practises) it is best not to go back to sleep again as that dissipates the energy that you have accumulated. Instead it is good to sleep early and ensure you get the rest required for your body, and after doing your practises you can put the energy you have acquired into action through the day.
Rahu Kaal refers to an inauspicious time period that lasts for around 90 minutes every day, between sunrise and sunset. Unlike the seven main planets of Vedic astrology which each have a day of the week dedicated to them, Rahu, the lunar node, rules this daily phase of Rahu Kaal, or Rahu Kalam. Its timing depends on the Sunrise and Sunset timings, so differs according to location.
Rahu Kaal is considered inauspicious for starting new ventures or doing any important activities. However, any tasks that were previously begun during an auspicious time can be continued during Rahu Kaal.
Rahu is the shadowy North Node of the Moon, often depicted as a severed dragon’s head with an insatiable appetite for the material world and a tendency to lead us astray if we let his influence get out of hand. One way to honor Rahu and keep the peace is by meditating during Rahu Kaal. Contemplating, reflecting and engaging in spiritual practices is the best use of this time.
Rahu is associated with Durga, the protective warrior and peace keeping Goddess of nine forms. That is why if you are unable to avoid starting important tasks during Rahu Kaal then you can honor Durga by chanting the mantra, ‘Aum Dum Durgaye Namaha.’
GuliKal - What You Do Repeats Itself
A lesser known Muhurta that occurs daily is Gulika Kalam, or GuliKal. Like Rahu and Ketu, Gulika is an Upagraha, or shadow planet. Shadow planets don’t have a physical mass, but have their own effects. Gulika is considered to be the son of the malefic planet Saturn, and itself is considered to be highly malefic. Though it may not be studied as widely as the nine planets of Vedic astrology, the placement of Gulika in a birth chart also has an impact.
Gulikal is a 90 minute period, and it is believed that whatever you do during this period repeats itself. So it is important to make sure you do positive things and avoid negativity at all costs.
Abhijit - Invincible Victory
Abhijit Muhurta is extremely powerful. Its meaning is ‘victorious,’ reflecting its power as one of the most auspicious times of the day. It brings positivity and good vibrations, making it a highly favored time of day for starting a new project or business venture, financial investments or performing a ceremony, Puja or ritual.
This Muhurta has the power and blessings of Lord Vishnu, the Sustainer. Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is renowned for his virtues and is said to have been born during Abhijit. It is also believed that Lord Shiva, the Rejuvenator, killed the demon Tripurasur during this phase.
Yamagandam - The Death of Work
Yamagandam, or Yama Kaal, is not considered a good time to conduct important tasks. Yama is the Lord of Death, so this phase implies the death of any work that is begun during this time. Yamangandam is connected with the shadowy lunar node, Ketu, which in Vedic astrology is a malefic planet which destroys material wealth.
As much as possible, plan to start your important tasks during auspicious periods. But if you can’t avoid starting something new, setting food on a journey, or doing key tasks during this inauspicious time of Yamagandam, then simply pray to your favorite deity, and proceed with confidence.
In align27, these Muhurtas are all taken into account in the calculation of your Golden Moments. For all calculations in our Panchang we follow the Chitrapaksha Ayanamsa, popularly called Lahiri Ayanamsa.
If you don’t currently have the Panchang add-on in align27 you can go to ‘Add-Ons’ in the main menu and choose to add it to your homepage. Whether you want to wake up early and do you morning yoga routine in Brahma Muhurta, start a new project during Abhijit, or avoid doing your most important tasks in Rahu Kaal, you’ll be able to find the exact daily timings of those phases simply at the click of a button when you open the align27 app.
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