you should find this chapter very interesting. It contains explanations for the many esoteric and mystical notations found on the calendar, including the kalas, yogas, gem of the day, color of the day, festivals and other special days.
EIGHT DAYTIME PERIODS—THE KALAS
The period between sunrise and sunset each day is divided into eight pe- riods. Each period, or kala, lasts approximately one and one-half hours, depending on the total duration of sunlight. Three of the eight kalas are considered most im- portant—Rahu Kala, Yama Kala and Gulika Kala—known collectively as the trini samayam. Rahu Kala is considered malefic for commencing new undertakings. Yama is also an interfering current, but is less influential than Rahu. Yama Kala is considered an auspicious time for antyesti (funeral) rites. Gulika is the most auspi- cious time of the day for commencing new activities.
Each kala occurs at approximately the same time on each particular day of the week. Thus, Gulika Kala occurs at approximately 7AM every Friday. If you’ve ever wondered why Monday mornings are so infamous, note that Rahu Kala is generally between 7:30 and 9AM every Monday. The trini samayam are listed at the top of column three for each day.
THE TWENTY-SEVEN YOGAS
A yoga is a planetary configuration, union or relationship. In Vedic Calen- dar, two types of yogas are listed. The first yoga is listed in the sankalpam (the two lines at the top of each day’s entries). It is the second item in the second line. This particular yoga, like the tithi, is an angle of the sun and the moon (the earth being the point of the angle). Yogas are another factor in determining the auspiciousness of the day. Just as there are twenty-seven nakshatras, there are twenty-seven yogas, known as the Yoga Taras of Nakshatras. They are:
Vishakambha, Priti, Ayushman, Saubhagya, Sobhana, Atiganda, Sukarma, Dhriti, Sula, Ganda, Vriddhi, Dhruva, Vyaghat, Harshana, Vajra, Siddhi,Vyatipatha, Variyan, Parigha, Siva, Siddha, Sadhya, Subha, Sukla, Brahma, Indra and Vaidhriti.
ROUTINE OR CREATIVE WORK DAYS—AMRITADI YOGAS
The resultant of the waves propagated by the planets and the stars on the human psyche are indicated in four degrees. In the Vedic Calendar, this esoteric yoga is listed in bold type in the left column of each day’s designations.
AMRITA YOGA—CREATIVE WORK: Very good for creative types of work and auspicious undertakings.
SIDDHA YOGA—CREATIVE WORK: Good for creative types of work and auspicious undertakings.
MARANA YOGA—ROUTINE WORK: Should be avoided for new under- takings and beginning travel. Routine work only.
PRABALARSHTA YOGA—ROUTINE WORK: Should be absolutely avoided for new undertakings and beginning travel. Routine work only.
MOOLEAMNEA—MATHEMATICAL CODE OF THE SIVA ERA SYSTEM
On each day’s notation in column three is the mooleamnea (the Shum word for astology) of the day, which is generally a nine-digit number. This is an es- oteric code representing the calculations of the astrology of the day according to the Siva Era system, which was founded at Kauai’s Hindu Monastery and used for special readings along with a traditional Hindu astrology system. Several of the items listed on Vedic Calendar are derived from this system, including the color of the day, the Deity clothing colors, the gem of the day and the general auspicious- ness of the day. Though we will not go into depth in describing this solar-based system, it will be interesting to note that each number, among its other meanings, represents a color: 1 = clear, 2 = white, 3 = bright yellow, 4 = royal blue, 5 = Chi- nese red, 6 = emerald green, 7= bright orange, 8 = light blue, 9 = purple.
THE COLOR OF THE DAY
Each day has a color (listed in the fifth column), indicating the general subconscious or astral vibration of the day. This is the vibration caused by the moon rasi. (The color of the day is the second digit in the nine-digit mooleamnea number of the day.)
DEITY CLOTHING COLORS
Each day lists the appropriate color of clothing for dressing the Deity images of Lord Siva, Lord Muruga and Lord Ganesha in temples and home shrines. The colors of Lord Siva and Lord Ganesha generally change about every three days, while Lord Muruga’s color changes about once a month.
THE GEM OF THE DAY
Gems, known in Sanskrit as ratna, are the most potent representatives of the mineral world and are frequently objects of great veneration. Gems are the congealed influences of the planets and heavenly bodies, the crystallized products of invisible rays operating within the crust of the earth. They, therefore, retain the powers of the planets in a highly concentrated form. Gems are believed to have the power to cure diseases, to increase strength and counteract negative influ- ences. They are worn as amulets against sickness and are sometimes (though rarely) powdered and imbibed in liquid concoctions. On each day of Vedic Calen- dar a gem is indicated. The gem of the day can be used to adorn the Deities in the temple or the home shrine. There is one gem for each day of the week as follows: Sunday—ruby, Monday—pearl, Tuesday—coral, Wednesday—emerald, Thurs- day—topaz, Friday—diamond, Saturday—sapphire.
FESTIVALS AND OTHER SPECIAL DAYS
Festivals and other special days are indicated in bold type at the bottom of the daily designation area. All of the major Saivite festivals are listed, generally by their Tamil name. These are indicated according to local time, which usually coin- cides with each festival’s celebration in India. (Because of the International Date Line, festivals are often listed one day prior to their date listed in Indian pan- changams so they will be celebrated locally at the same actual time that they are observed in India.)
PRADOSHA VRATA DAYS
One of the special days noted on your calendar is the Pradosha Vrata, liter- ally “evening vow.” This is a traditional observance among devout Saivites, a day of fasting, worship and meditation.
Pradosha is a daily 3 hour period from 11/ 2 hours before sunset until 11/ 2 hours afterwards, considered one of the most auspicious times for meditation, as day dissolves into night. Pradosha time on Trayodasi (the 13th tithi) is especially sacred, hailed for Siva worship and meditation. If the 13th tithi ends before sun- set, then the pradosha vrata begins on the 12th tithi. For example, if you look at your panchangam and it says: “Wednesday, Trayodasi (tithi 13) until 3:19 PM” you can see that it ends before sunset on Wednesday. Therefore the Pradosha vrata begins the previous day (Tuesday) as the 13th tithi will actually begin sometime Tuesday evening.
If you wish to fast once each month, observe the vrata on the Krishna Pak- sha Pradosham. If you wish to fast twice each month, then you may observe this fast on both pradosha days—one during each paksha. The most orthodox devotees will fast on water all day and only take light temple prasadam or fruits and milk in the evening. No cooked food is taken until the following day. A less strict ob- servance is to fast during the day on just water, herb teas or fruits and milk and then take one’s normal food in the evening after the temple pujas and your medi- tations are finished. The strictness of one’s fasting will depend entirely on one’s inner goals, health and daily activities.
For those interested in integrating their yoga sadhana with the pan- changam, the pradosha days of both pakshas are considered very auspicious for intensification of meditation. After fasting all day and observing the auspicious worship of God Siva at sunset, a vigil is kept in the evening, at which time one performs Raja Yoga, meditating on inner light and Lord Siva. The pradosha day of the Sukla Paksha is especially conducive to good meditation. The pradosha day of the Krishna Paksha is considered the last day of the Krishna Paksha when the moon will help you in your yoga. It is advisable to do a vigil then to absorb the last of the moon’s power.
ARDRA AND SIVA ABHISHEKAMS
The Siva Nataraja Deity at Kadavul Hindu Temple was installed on the Ardra nakshatra, March 12, 1973. Ardra is said to be Lord Siva’s favorite star, and Ardra was the birth star of the child Saint Jnanasambandar. In the life of Narasin- ga Munaiaraiyar, a Saiva saint who brought up Saint Sundaramurthi, he invari- ably performed Siva puja on the Ardra day and distributed liberally one hundred pieces of gold to the Siva bhaktas. At Kadavul Hindu Temple, an abhishekam is performed each month on Ardra. These sacred days are noted on this pan- changam. Also indicated in Vedic Calendar are the six days per year when ab- hishekam is performed to the Siva Nataraja Deity at Chidambaram temple in South India.
FAMILY HOME EVENING
In the fast pace of today’s modern world many families rarely gather to- gether as a family unit other than, perhaps, to watch television. This lack of closeness and dearth of communication often leads to estrangement. With no forum for discussing problems, situations go unresolved which should be faced promptly. Ultimately, as distances magnify, families break apart, husband and wife divorce and children are disillusioned. Recognizing the seriousness of this trend, Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami created “family home evening.” Devotees now faith- fully observe this custom in their homes every Monday (the day held sacred to Lord Siva in North India.) First, they gather for a fine dinner—no guests, no tele- phone calls, no television, no radio, just themselves. They sit down together and after a prayer, enjoy a meal together amidst friendly conversation. After dinner, they retire to another room for puja and discussion of inner things. One member reads the daily lesson from the Master Course (Himalayan Academy’s home-study text). Questions come up and are discussed. After the lesson, conversation turns to family matters, to family welfare, and each member speaks of the positive qual- ities he or she sees in the others. Concerns of the family are brought up and looked at through the wisdom of Saivism. This is Family Home Evening, a pre- cious time, a looked-forward-to-time, a time of closeness with Siva and with one another. This special day falls on Monday of each week and is denoted in bold type along with the festivals and other special days.
ASHRAM SADHANA DAYS
At Kauai’s Hindu Monastery, cleaning is “the first sadhana.” It merits this designation from the knowledge that spiritual energies flow smoothly and harmo- niously in a clean, uncluttered environment. Creativity and abundance arise natu- rally. Whereas clutter and dirt attract confusion, misunderstanding and error. In the monastery, cleaning is called “ashram sadhana.” Every day the monks spend 30 minutes in ashram sadhana in their assigned areas before the noon meal is taken. Periodically an entire day is set aside for cleaning and maintenance, and all residents participate. This is called Ashram Sadhana Day. Many families and indi- viduals observe this day in their own homes, gathering with other residents to scrub, clean, paint and renew in preparation for the month ahead.
SIVALOKA, DEVALOKA AND BHULOKA DAYS
The overall auspiciousness of a particular day is determined by the ease of communication between the First World (Bhuloka), Second World (Devaloka) and the Third World (Sivaloka). Through the years we have found this esoteric indica- tor to be a tremendous aid by keeping us alert to the periods when the “working together of the three worlds” is the easiest. You will find the designation of auspi- ciousness located at the bottom of the second column for each day, just opposite the Sakti color. Five notations are used—Bhuloka Day, Devaloka Day, Sivaloka Day, Subha Sivaloka Day or Subha Subha Sivaloka Day. This determination is made according to the mooleamnea of the day, indicated as the fourth item in the third column for each day.
NARAKA AND BHULOKA DAYS
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami has compared the inter-world com- munication to a series of phone lines to illustrate the degree of clarity that might exist on any given day. Imagine that there are five telephone lines to the inner worlds. Occasionally, all of the lines are down, and the Devaloka and Sivaloka can- not contact us at all. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we will have a bad day, but we may have to put forth more effort to stay out of the instinctive nature and avoid the influence of the lower worlds. It is a time to pay closer attention to religious disciplines, the yamas and niyamas (ethical restraints and practices) and carry on with our daily routine. Days on which this condition persists are called Naraka days.”
Because we do not have the full connection with and help of the inner worlds on a Naraka day, it is best not to make changes or start anything new. If a new project must be instigated on a Naraka day, it is advisable to first have an archana in the temple and inform the devas of your plan in a written note. On Naraka days we have to work with ourselves to feel religious, whereas on a De- valoka and Sivaloka days the devas and Gods can easily inspire us. On a Naraka day, the devas can often only be reached through good puja, intense prayer and burning of the written note. It is a good time to work on projects in progress.
On Bhuloka days the inner astrology indicates that one line opens up be- tween the Bhuloka and the Devaloka during a unique three-hour period, while the rest of the day all lines of communication are down. This three-hour “clear time” is called a “Devaloka time” and is noted just below the “Bhuloka Day” nota- tion on the panchangam. During this period it is easier for the devas in the Second World to see the First World and thus better assist us in our religious life.
Fortunately, we find that we have two telephone lines up and working be- tween the Bhuloka and the Devaloka on the majority of the days of most years. (Remember that we are using the analogy of telephone lines for the sake of expla- nation only, and in actuality what is happening is something quite different.) It is said that when two lines are open, “the Devaloka abides with you. On Devaloka days the devas can read the mind of the devotee.”
SIVALOKA DAYS AND BEYOND
Occasionally three “phone lines” are open and the Sivaloka is in full con- tact with the Bhuloka. Such days are called “Sivaloka Days,” and are ideal times to begin new ventures, as the devas and Mahadevas are aware of our activities and can assist us, if asked, in many unseen ways.
Then there are those very special days when, we might say, four lines of communication are open. At these times the arrangement of magnetic forces be- tween the three worlds is such that the veil separating one from another is stretched very thin. Such a day is noted on the panchangam as a “Subha Sivaloka Day.” The devas say “these are extremely auspicious for us. We can plan together, band together, and influence with you throughout the world.”
When all five lines are open, we have a very rare occurrence, indeed. Such a day is called a “Subha Subha Sivaloka Day.” The last Subha Subha Sivaloka Day was February 12, 1979, and the next one will be March 1, 1993. But from 1993 on- ward, our computer print-outs tell us, there will be many Subha Subha Sivaloka Days, heralding the dawn of the Sat Siva Yuga.
In conclusion, the “loka” notation indicates whether or not a particular day will be naturally religious and conducive to spiritual sadhana and temple rites. By tracking this factor in the calendar, we can learn to “tune into the day” and establish positive patterns as we learn from the past and plan for the future.