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CHAPTER SEVEN THE PANCHANGA SOLI-LUNAR JYOTISH It seems inevitable that the Sun and the Moon, the

two most striking objects in the sky, should have evolved into time markers. The advent of the Sun against certain fixed stars heralded the return of the seasons of the year, and the changing phases of the Moon served to segment this lengthy period into more wieldy portions (the word month is derived from the word moon, which is related to a Sanskrit word meaning to measure). Lunar calendars likely predated solar ones, particularly because marking time's passage by watching the Moon's movement through the star-sprinkled vault of the night sky is easier than following the Sun's motion through the invisible stars of the blue sky of day. Many ancient cultures besides that of India, including those of Babylon, China, Israel and Arabia, incorporated the Moon into their calendars. When timing certain events in Jyotish, it is essential to do so in the context of an Indian calendar. While some of modern India's many regional calendars are based on the Sun and others on the Moon, almost all employ the five measurements which are collectively known as the panchanga (five limbs). These measurements the varana, nakshatra, tithi, karana, and yoga are central to Jyotish, for they effectively define an Indian calendar. Despite the common misconception that Jyotish is a purely lunar astrology, it was the Sun's movement which inspired jyotishis to use the twelve rashis, the twelve bhavas, and the time-unit day (varana). The Moons movement along its path in the heavens inspired the use of the twenty-seven bhas or nakshatras (lunar asterisms). The thirty tithis (phases or days of a lunar month), their halves (the karanas), and the twenty-seven soli-lunar yogas (combinations) are all generated from the positions of the Sun and Moon relative to one another. Days can be either lunar o solar. A lunar day is the time it takes the Moon to traverse either one tithi or one nakshatra, and a solar day is the time between one sunrise and the next. The solar year is either the time it takes the Sun to pass from one vernal equinox to the next (a period of 365.2422 days, known as a tropical year) or the time it takes the Sun to pass through all the twelve constellations of the zodiac (a period of 365.2564 days, known as a sidereal year). The sidereal year is some twenty minutes longer than the tropical year, a time variance which is central to one of the major differences between Jyotish and Western astrology, the ayanamsha. A lunar month is either the time it takes the Moon to pass through all the twelve constellations of the zodiac (a period of 27.3117 days, known as a sidereal month) or the time it takes the Moon to go from one new Moon to the next (a period of 29.5306 days, known as the synodic month). It may well be that the zodiac was divided into twelve constellations because a year consisting of twelve synodic months averages 354.3672 days, which is only 10.9 days less than a year measured by the Sun. Calendar makers realized that the lunar and solar years could be synchronized, for the cumulative difference between 36 synodic months and three solar years amounts to roughly 29 days, or approximately one synodic month. In the same way that the Gregorian calendar is synchronized with other observed celestial cycles by making every fourth year a leap year, Indian jyotishis add one additional or intercalary lunar month (a month which was originally dedicated to spiritual practices) every two and two-third years or so to synchronize the cycles of the Sun and Moon. This elegant modification makes Jyotish irrevocably soli-lunar, rather than either entirely solar or entirely lunar. SVARODAYA In the world of Tantra, where male and female tend to mirror one other, the Sun represents the universal male or Shiva principle, and the Moon the universal female or Shakti principle. The new and full Moons represent to the month roughly what the solstices mean to the year, for during one synodic month the Moon covers the same 360 of sky that the Sun covers during one sidereal year. However, while the Sun's 360 cycle is divided into 12 months of 30 each, the Moon's cycle is divided into 30 days of 12. This makes the lunar month a sort of mirror image of the solar year. Tantric Jyotish contributes yet another important alignment of the solar and lunar cycles in the form of a system of breathing patterns called Svarodaya. Like most of Tantric Jyotish's unique methods, Svarodaya, which has been preserved principally by oral transmission from a guru to an initiated disciple, provides some fascinating insights into the profundity of Tantric thought; Svarodaya was disclosed by Lord Shiva, one of India's principal deities, to his divine spouse Parvati, intending that she keep it secret. The great yogi Matsyendra Nath, the first head of the Nath lineage of immortal yogis, took the form of a fish and, listening carefully, stealthily absorbed the vidya into himself. He then taught it to his disciple Gorakh Nath, who taught it to his disciples. Thus, it was transferred era by era, until today. Svarodaya's basic principles make use of the difference of effect between the functioning of the Lunar Nadi (the left nostril) and the Solar Nadi (the right nostril). Healthy humans do not normally breathe out of both nostrils simultaneously. Instead, one nostril alone breathes at a time, usually for ninety minutes; then the other nostril takes over, again for about ninety minutes. Only occasionally, particularly around sunrise and sunset, do both nostrils work together. One of the most fundamental and widespread tenets of the Indian world view is that everything which exists outside the human body in the cosmos (the macrocosm) also exists, in altered form, within it (the microcosm). This principle, known as the Law of Macrocosm and Microcosm, is India's statement of the old Hermetic doctrine: As above, so below. Svarodaya implies that, among other things, those who know the movements of the Sun, the Moon

and the other planets can use this knowledge to predict the nature of the movement of the breath in their bodies, or in other bodies. Likewise the movements of breath in the microcosm can be used to determine the positions the planets in the macrocosm. One way in which this can be done is to use the time unit nadi (literally, a channel, tube, or hollow stem) to correlate the movements of the breath, the pulse, and the prana (the life force). The nadi, which represent 24 minutes of time (half of one muhurta), is also defined in the Surya Siddanta to be equal to 360 respirations (also called prana), each respiration being defined as the time it takes clearly to enunciate ten long syllables. 24 minutes of time is 1/60 of a day, and during one day (of approximately 24 hours) the entire 360 of the zodiac pass over the horizon. This same nadi which measures time, breathing and cadence therefore also measures space: one nadi = 1/60 360 = 6 = 360 minutes of arc. Since one nadi = 360 respirations, one respiration (or ten long syllables) covers a distance in the sky equal to one minute of arc. By standardizing the internal time-units of recitation and breathing in terms of the external time-unit day, the seers of old succeeded in transplanting external time into the internal cosmos of the jyotishi. Such a standardized jyotishi functions as a sort of living clock whose breathing patterns can be used for divination. Modern science creates new words to represent new units of measurement, and as this new terminology proliferates the awareness of how to relate these units together often recedes. Sanskritic science, which concentrates on relationships, prefers to re-use the same word to represent similar units in different contexts. That the rishis chose the word nadi when they named their science Nadi Jyotish also suggests that Svarodaya assisted them in that work. THE YARDSTICK OF JYOTISH Jyotish began as the eye of the Veda, the means through which one sees to the correct performance of Vedic ritual. While those seers who were living calendars could see to their rituals without external aids, those ritualists who lacked such knacks relied on Jyotish for scheduling assistance. Accordingly, ever since the Vedic era (or before) Jyotish's chief function in society has been to construct and maintain the calendar, the time schedule which enables prediction of cyclical celestial phenomena for ritual purposes. Calendarical material, including especially the five measurements known as the panchanga, has for ages in India been compiled into a type of astrological almanac that is also called Panchanga. Almanacs have a venerable history, the earliest yet discovered being, it seems, a set of markings recorded on mammoth bones about 30,000 years ago which appear to chronicle the phases of the Moon. Written almanacs may have originated in the eighth century B.C. in the form of Babylonian clay tablets which list equinoxes, solstices, eclipses and lunar phases. Most learned jyotishis of today, who still need to be well versed in calendarical matters in order to select appropriate times for religious and social functions, continue to rely on the Panchanga as their source of celestial data. In addition to providing precise planetary positions, the Panchanga predicts the weather, as well as the local, national and global political, economic and social climate. It combines detailed information on religious holidays and how to observe them with advice on how to select auspicious moments and avoid inauspicious times for any action, form marriage to the commencement of journeys according to direction. A Panchaga's pages may also list mantras meant to ward off the undesirable effects of each graha, together with the prescribed number of recitations of each and a short description of the rituals involved in their recitation. Ordinary Hindus revere the Panchanga as a verbal embodiment or sourcebook of the sacred Jyotish, and many people literally worship it accordingly. The essence of the Panchanga remains however the basic astronomical information codified into its five limbs. A Panchanga is a Panchanga only if it lists the daily starting and ending times of all five of these soli-lunar limbs, which reflect the Panchanga's role as juxtaposer of the rhythms of the two luminaries. It performs this role by applying appropriate correctional factors (like the intercalary lunar month) to keep the solar and lunar cycles properly aligned with each other. Jyotishis, who typically use the Panchanga in the context of electional astrology, do not rely heavily on the meanings of the days, tithis, karanas and yogas in the practice of natal astrology because, unless these factors are clearly supported by the greater context of the whole chart, they tend to be too general. Examples of some uses of these factors appear in Chapter Twelve. THE VARANAS (WEEKDAYS) The Origin of the Seven Days of the Week While the Chaldeans are usually credited with originating our seven-day week, India has for many centuries had its own seven day week. 28 = 7 4, 7 being the number of visible grahas and 4 being the four phases of the Moon (the new Moon, the full Moon, and the two quarters). The number 28 is particularly important here because the average of the lengths of the synodic month of 29.5 days and the sidereal month of 27.3 days is approximately 28.4 days, a number which is not too far from the 30 days of the solar month. Because each of the seven visible planets can own one day of a seven-day week, the system of rulerships thus formed can correlate the grahas with the 28 nakshatras. The system of 28 Yogas in Shripati's Ratnamala, which connects the nakshatras with the days of the week to determine auspicious moments for activity, is evidence of just this sort of astrological thinking. The question of how the grahas, the bright gods of the heavens, divided these seven days among themselves is the subject of another teaching tale. After the twelve constellations of the zodiac had been assigned their lords, the

time came to distribute the lordship of the days of the week. The life-giving Sun, the most important body in the heavens, naturally took the first unit, which became Sunday. The Moon accordingly took possession of the next unit, which became Monday. The two regents then turned their attention to apportioning the remaining weekdays to their followers. After pondering over the problem, the Sun and Moon agreed that while the constellations are divisions of space, days are divisions of time. Day rulerships were then allocated according to the speed at which the planets move. Based on their averaged rate of daily proper motion, as seen from the Earth, the Moon is the fastest planet, followed in descending order by Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The Sun therefore awarded rulership of the next day (Tuesday) to Mars, the planet next in order of decreasing speed from his regal self. Moon then bestowed Wednesday on Mercury, the planet next in order of decreasing speed from the Moon. Jupiter, the planet next fastest after Mars, was assigned Thursday, and Venus, the next fastest after Mercury, obtained Friday. Finally, when the Sun gifted Saturday to Saturn, the scheme was complete.

The Hours of the Day (Horas) A day is divided in Jyotish into twenty-four units called horas (our modern hours). An interesting comparison exists between this system and the other system that is commonly used for time division in Jyotish. Just as the day can be divided into twenty-four hours of sixty minutes each, it is also divisible into sixty nadis (which are often called ghatikas) of twenty-four minutes each. These two systems complement each other in the same sort of way that the 30 tithis of 12 each complement the 12 rashis of 30 each. The first hora (hour) of each day is ruled by that days planetary ruler. Since the day in India is taken to start from sunrise, the first hour after sunrise on a Sunday is ruled by the Sun, the first hour after sunrise on a Monday belongs to the Moon, Mars rules Tuesdays first hour after sunrise, and so on. After the ruler enjoys his hour, the other planets then rule in the sequence of their increasing averaged rate of daily proper motion. After each planet has ruled an hour, the process begins again from the day lord. Thus on Sunday the order is: Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars; on Monday it is Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus and Mercury and so on. Note also that the cycles flow uninterruptedly from one day to the next, creating thereby the rulerships shown in Table 7.1.

Hora 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 22 23 24

Domingo Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio

HORAS (HORAS PLANETARIAS) Lunes Martes Mircoles Jueves Luna Marte Mercurio Jpiter Saturno Sol Luna Marte Jpiter Venus Saturno Sol Marte Mercurio Jpiter Venus Sol Luna Marte Mercurio Venus Saturno Sol Luna Mercurio Jpiter Venus Saturno Luna Marte Mercurio Jpiter Saturno Sol Luna Marte Jpiter Venus Saturno Sol Marte Mercurio Jpiter Venus Sol Luna Marte Mercurio Venus Saturno Sol Luna Mercurio Jpiter Venus Saturno Luna Marte Mercurio Jpiter Saturno Sol Luna Marte Jpiter Venus Saturno Sol Marte Mercurio Jpiter Venus Sol Luna Marte Mercurio Venus Saturno Sol Luna Mercurio Jpiter Venus Saturno Luna Marte Mercurio Jpiter Saturno Sol Luna Marte Jpiter Venus Saturno Sol

Viernes Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna

Sbado Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte Sol Venus Mercurio Luna Saturno Jpiter Marte

An approximation of the time of sunrise can be obtained from the weather section of a big-city newspaper. While the hora is commonly taken to be one hour long, it is precisely one hour long only at the equator, or on

equinoctial days (when day and night are of equal length). Most of India is sufficiently near to the equator that its days and nights are nearly equally long; but in very northerly regions, such as Canada and northern Europe, the difference may be significant. In Toronto, for example, a winters day may last less than nine hours. It is more precise to calculate separate horas for day and for night by dividing the length of the day (the span of time from sunrise to sunset) by 12 and the length of the night (from sunset to sunrise) by 12 respectively. Horas in Toronto will thus be less than forty-five minutes long on some long winter nights. A good jyotishi relies on intuition to determine whether to use the uniform or the precise hora on any particular occasion. How to Use the Seven Days and the Planetary Hours The seven days of the week are used calendarically, of course, but Jyotish also uses them to help select appropriate days on which to commence actions for maximum effect; to aid in deciphering the outcome of questions; to enhance understanding of omens; and to predict results from the natal chart. The most useful astrological principle involving the days is this: Each days nature is akin to that of its ruler. Jupiter infuses Thursday, its day, with many of the qualities and rulerships assigned to it in Chapter Two. This makes Thursday a generally benefic day (since Jupiter is a generally benefic graha), a day which is good for prayer, children, money, meeting gurus, and all the other things which Jupiter rules. Saturday, the day of Saturn, is similarly imbued with Saturn's qualities. This makes it generally malefic in nature, like its ruler, a day that brings delays, obstacles and disappointments to almost everyone. Although these generic traits are subject to modification by every other astrological factor influencing a situation, since Jyotish eternally strives to reach a holistic reading of reality, this does not make them any less true. Our Jyotish guru said one day, in all seriousness, No wonder everyone in this country gets divorced. They all marry on Saturday! Most Indians try to avoid choosing Saturday for any sort of auspicious function, because of its association with disappointment. Many religious Indians prefer to commence their journeys only on Thursday because its ruler, Jupiter, is a benefic who resonates with their values and purposes. Journeys on Tuesdays are often illstarred, because Tuesday is ruled by the troublesome Mars. Here is one example of how days are used in Jyotish: a woman who presided over board meetings held once a month on a Tuesday complained of how confrontational and stressful these meetings became. The participants were consistently uncooperative, quarrelsome, dictatorial and vengeful (all Martian qualities) Shouting matches would break out and people would frequently be reduced to rears o to rage. Absenteeism grew, which interfered with the board's functioning. While many companies are of course able to hold peaceful Tuesday board meetings, this woman's experience of Tuesdays was particularly painful because her Mars was debilitated in Cancer in her eighth house and was subject to a number of afflictions. Because her natal horoscope had a Sagittarius ascendant with a well-placed Jupiter, it was recommended that she move the board meetings to Thursdays. Since then she has reported a colossal and lasting improvement in the flow of the meetings and the attitude of the participants over two years of Thursday board meetings. The above example of an astrological judgment uses the days of the week for a selection (muhurta) in the context of a person's natal chart. For an example in which the days are used in the context of Svarodaya, horary astrology (prashna) and omenology (nimitta), consider that a jyotishi may choose an answer to a question based on the nostril which dominates on a particular day. If a woman asks a question regarding pregnancy on the day of a benefic (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday o Friday), and if the jyotishi's breath is active predominantly in his left nostril, and if the questioner is standing on the jyotishi's left, then she is indeed pregnant. The same will be the case if on a malefic's day (Sunday, Tuesday or Saturday) the questioner is standing on the jyotishi's right side and the jyotishi's breath flows more freely in his right nostril. Here is one application of day lordship which correlates muhurta with the birth chart: The good results of a bhava are more plentifully experienced if a work is started in an ascendant ruled by the lord of that bhava, or when the lord thereof is in an upachaya house, or on the weekday, hour, year o month ruled by that bhava lord. The desirable effects will be 25 per cent by year-lord, 50 per cent by month lord, 75 per cent by the lord of the weekday and 100 per cent by the lord of the hour (Saravali 7:5-7). Horas (hour-lords) are used in much the same ways as day lords are, except that horas are more specific. One popular principle involving horas which combines horary with natal astrology states that: the matters that are activated in the natal chart by the planet that rules the hora that operates at the time a natal chart is read will be the matters of greatest interest to that chart's owner at that time. If, for example, the hora at such a time is ruled by the Sun, the houses occupied and ruled by the Sun will be the primary reasons that the horoscope's owner requested the reading. Another method widely used in prashna is this: a question asked implies a favorable outcome when the lord of the hora is the same as (or is friendly to) the lord of the day; but if the hour-lord is an enemy of the day-lord, the outcome will be unfavorable. Both of these principles have been elaborated by jyotishis into detailed systems.