n this section a vast area of Hindu astrology known as Muhurtha, the choosing of auspicious times, is touched upon briefly. First is a simple summary of auspicious times for new ventures, followed by a description of the nature of the 27 nakshatras.
A WORD ABOUT AUSPICIOUS BEGINNINGS
Here it may be helpful to mention the idea behind auspicious beginnings. Just as each person has an astrological nature which is determined by the configu- ration of the stars and planets at his time of birth, so do buildings, businesses, countries and communities. In fact, each and every endeavor is influenced by the nature of the moment of its conception and continues to reflect that nature throughout its existence. With this in mind, it becomes clear why one would, for example, wish to wait for the “right day” to wear new clothing for the first time, to plant a tree or set a foundation stone for a new building.
MARRIAGE, HOME-BLESSINGS AND NEW VENTURES
Below are listed auspicious nakshatras, tithis and rasis for marriage, bless- ing a new home, starting a new business, and for gardening. Optimum timing oc- curs when a day that has all three—suitable nakshatra, suitable rasi and suitable tithi—for the desired activity.
BEST TIMES FOR MARRIAGE
SUITABLE NAKSHATRAS: Rohini, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarasadha, Uttara- prostapada, Anuradha, Mrigasira, Hasta, Svati, Magha. The first pada of Magha and Mula and the last quarter of Revati are inauspicious. Those not mentioned should be avoided.
SUITABLE TITHIS: Tithis 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 13 of the bright half are good. One should avoid the 1st, 6, 9, 14 and the full moon. Tithis not suitable during Krishna Paksha are 8, 11, 12, 13, 14 and the new moon (Amavasya).
SUITABLE RASIS FOR MARRIAGE: Mithuna, Kanya and Thula. OK are Vr- ishabha, Kataka, Simha, Dhanus and Kumbha. The rest are inauspicious.
BEST TIMES FOR NEW BUSINESS
BEST NAKSHATRAS: Asvi, Pushya, Uttaraphalguni, Svati, Ardra, Satab- hishak, Uttaraprostapada
BEST RASIS: Mesha, Mithuna, Simha, Thula, Makara, Meena
BEST TITHIS: Panchami, Saptami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Trayodasi
BEST TIMES FOR HOUSE WARMING
BEST NAKSHATRAS: Anuradha, Mrigasira, Revati, Punarvasu, Satab- hishak, Pushya, Hasta, Ardra Rohini, Uttarasadha, Uttaraphalguni, Uttara- prostapada
BEST RASIS: Vrishabha, Mithuna, Simha, Kanya, Thula, Dhanus, Kumbha, Meena
BEST TITHIS: Dvadasi, Panchami, Saptami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Trayodasi, Tritiya
BEST TIMES FOR GARDENING
BEST NAKSHATRAS: Planting seeds and plants: Rohini, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarashadha and Uttaraprostapada
Caring for an existing garden: Shravana, Dhanishta, Svati, Satabishak, Punarvasu
BEST TITHIS: Planting is best done during the tithis of shukla paksha, and weeding should be done during krishna paksha.
In this section, the nature of the nakshatras are described. One must keep in mind, of course, that nakshatra is only one of the factors involved in determin- ing the nature of a given day. Certainly, it is one of the most important elements. but for a complete picture, other influences must be considered as well.
NAKSHATRAS OF FIXED ENERGY
Rohini, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarasadha and Uttaraprostapada. These nak- shatras are auspicious times for permanent works—planting seeds, moving into a new home, house blessings, making vows, laying foundations, etc. Anything started at this time may have good and lasting results. Uttaraphalguni and Uttara- prostapada are especially good for starting a new business.
NAKSHATRAS OF SOFT ENERGY
Chitra, Mrigashira, Anuradha, Revati. These nakshatras are considered auspicious for the first wearing of new clothes, sexual union for conception, danc- ing, art, cultural performances and ceremonial rites. Mrigashira, Anuradha and Revati are also good days for house warmings. Mrigashira and Anuradha are suit- able for marriage ceremonies, but Chitra and Revati are not.
NAKSHATRAS OF LIGHT ENERGY
Asvi, Pushya, Hasta. When the Moon is in these stars, activities such as decorations, pleasure outings, sports, starting businesses, undertaking travels and administering medicines are recommended. Hasta is also suitable for marriage ceremonies. Asvi and Pushya are the best stars for starting new businesses. Pushya and Hasta are also good for house blessings.
NAKSHATRAS OF SHARP ENERGY
Mula, Jyestha, Ardra, Aslesha. When the Moon is in any of these stars, ac- tions like separating oneself from others, engaging in debate, and chanting of powerful mantras are more successful than at other times. These are good days for activities requiring a harsh or strong, cutting force. Ardra is also good for starting a new business or blessing a new home.
NAKSHATRAS OF MOVABLE ENERGY
Sravana, Dhanishta, Svati, Satabishak, Punarvasu. When the Moon is in these stars, gardening, travelling, acquisition of vehicles & good deeds of a non- permanent nature are recommended. Svati is also suitable for marriage cere- monies and good for starting a new business. Satabhishak is also good for starting a new business or house blessing. Punarvasu is good for house blessings.
NAKSHATRAS OF HARSH ENERGY
Purvaphalguni, Purvasadha, Bharani, Purvaprostapada, Magha These nakshatras are considered earthly in nature because they stir the mind in one way or another. They are not good days to begin something new. Purvaphalguni is a harsh nakshatra but lucky by nature. Its influence gives the ability to sway others; gives courage, fire and enthusiasm, but may cause the mind to become lusty. Pur- vasadha, earthly in quality, indicates an influence causing people to do what they like without considering others’ opinions. Bharani can cause the mind to become entangled in the material world. It can hide or eclipse insight, causing struggle. Purvaprostapada (also called Purvabhadrapada) may cause the mind to be pas- sionate, unstable and impetuous. It is a good time for penance.
NAKSHATRAS OF MIXED ENERGY
Krittika, Visakha. During these nakshatras, routine actions and daily du- ties may be performed but no new important works should be undertaken. These are excellent days for meditation and absorbing the shakti.
BEST TIMES FOR TRAVEL
To choose an appropriate day to begin a journey, look in the Calendar for a Siddha Yoga day or a Devaloka day. Avoid nakshatras followed by an asterisk in the Calendar. These are not good days to begin a journey. The time of your depar- ture is also important. Gulika Kala is best. Avoid leaving during the periods of Rahu and Yama. Begin with a puja to invoke the blessings of all three worlds.
Inauspicious yogas for beginning new things are: Vyaghat, Parigha, Vajra, Vyathipatha, Dhriti, Ganda, Athiganda, Shula, Vishakabha. These yogas are marked with an asterisk.
WISDOM, NOT SUPERSTITION; KARMA AND DHARMA
“The stars impel, they do not compel.” A crucial point of debate regarding astrology has always been that of free will verses predestiny. One of the paradoxes of Hinduism is that both theories are given great credence by our rishis. Each is a real force in life—one’s karma on the one hand, and his freedom of choice and power of decision on the other. Each individual enters physical life with his own unique bundle of karmas created through his actions in the past. We could visual- ize this bundle of karmas as a bag of seeds. Life progresses, decisions are made, and for certain seeds ideal conditions are created. These seeds begin to sprout, further affecting the course of life. Astrology plays a vital role, impacting the mind and emotion of the individual, thus helping to influence the fruition of karma. But the individual has the power of choice in each circumstance.
Satguru Yogaswami, the great sage who initiated Satguru Sivaya Subramu- niyaswami in 1949, chided those who place too much emphasis on astrology, “Every day is an auspicious day for the Sivanadiyar.” By this he meant that for the
true devotee, all days are good days because he lives in a high state of conscious- ness. From the mountaintop perspective the forces of karma take on new meaning as opportunities for advancement rather than stumbling blocks to personal com- fort. This reference point is maintained in a life of dharma, of right living. Then karma is naturally regulated. Fertile conditions are created for the emergence of positive karmas, while certain negative karmas (caused by harmful actions of the past) are atoned for, ameliorated or burnt up without even sprouting through good deeds, penance and austerity. In a life such as this karma is faced in the right spirit, accepted with the trust that all that happens is “Siva’s Will,” and with the knowledge that we grow spiritually through loving acceptance of all that comes to us. What astrology provides in tools such as Vedic Calendar and one’s personal horoscope is the knowledge of what each individual can expect to face as the days, years and decades go by and karma is played out in the events of life.
There was once a maharaja who was so perplexed by astrological indica- tions that he became caught in the middle of a staircase, not knowing whether to go up or down. Finally, he died there. Then there are those who will not get out of bed on certain days because their astrology indicates an accident might occur. As Sage Yogaswami recognized, the forces of the stars are real, but they are not the be-all and end-all of existence. Astrology can provide many useful keys to under- standing the forces at work in one’s life, lending a greater appreciation of the cos- mic scheme of things so we can maintain the mountaintop perspective. Our ad- vice is to use astrology, like any tool or body of knowledge, with wisdom and care. Its primary purpose is to enable you to begin ventures in “good timing,” when the forces are working with you rather than against you, and to provide you the knowledge of when the forces are “congested” so you can relax and not push too hard or become upset when this congestion manifests in daily activities.
HINTS FOR LEARNING TO USE THE CALENDAR
If you are just warming up to the Vedic Calendar, you will want to know where to start, as there are so many factors to consider. The best time to refer to the calendar to learn about the current day is in the morning, before you begin your morning worship or sadhana. Begin by asking yourself the following:
1) Which of the four yogas is indicated for the day, e.g. “Siddha Yoga—Creative Work”?
2) What is the nakshatra, and what is its nature?
3) What is the tithi and its nature?
4) What is the paksha (is the moon waxing or waning)?
5) What is the loka indication, e.g. Devaloka?
6) What are the most auspicious (Gulika Kala) and inauspicious times (Rahu and Yama) of the day?
Then intuitively put the answers together and pray to the Deities for guid- ance and blessings throughout the day. By becoming aware of and attuning your- self to these indicators, you will be better prepared for the energies you are likely to face. If all of the above factors are positive, you know this is is an exceptionally good day for beginning new ventures.
Observe how you feel and behave during different nakshatras. Keep a record on those days so you’ll know what to expect from your nature. Your nature will incline you to behave in a pattern. If you are aware of it, you can “catch” your- self and be able to monitor your behavior. By doing this you allow your soul na- ture to come forth. Panchangam helps us to look for those times when we need to work harder. What does that mean? We are aware of our outer nature, and we con- ciously make an effort to overcome it. We practice the qualities of the soul nature.
Amrtha yoga: These days can be very productive. Use them to push pro- jects ahead to completion or to start them. Watch for those rare periods when am- rita yoga falls over a period of several days.
Siddha yoga: These days are also good for moving ahead with projects. There may not be the zing present of the amrita yoga days.
Prabhalarishta yoga: Never begin new projects on these days without a lot of prayer and puja. Perform very routine work. Better yet is to take the day off and go to the temple. The inauspicious effects of the working yogas can be softened through prayer, archanas and specific pujas.
We set ourselves up at the beginning of the day according to the pan- changam. Just as we put on outer clothing according to the weather, we prepare ourselves to work with our own individual nature and its concomitant effect on those we live and work with during the day. This requires studying the glossary and being familiar with the meaning of the Sanskrit words.
It is also very helpful to become familiar with your own birth chart. The day is just one small but significant part of your own life pattern. Knowing your birth chart, just the simple and basic three things—lagna (rising sign), moon and sun signs—helps you to monitor your emotions, your reactions and habit pat- terns.
Rahu kala: Rahu is most important to be aware of. Windows are closed. Doors are closed—inwardly, that is. Be careful of confrontation, encounters, nego- tiations, deals, contracts and agreements during this time. For example, it may not be a good idea to have lunch with a client on Wednesday. Rahu Kala starts at noon. This is a time when karmas are intensified, whether good or bad, and the focus is on the karmas instead of the project at hand. A general formula to deter- mine rahu kala when you don’t have a calendar handy is to memorize the follow- ing jingle:“Mother saw father wearing the turban suddenly.”
Gulika is a good time to do business, call that vendor who wants to be paid. Hash over a business problem, talk to your son about his grades in school, or to your daughter about her role in the school play. Yama kala is noted as a good time for inauspicious events such as funerals.
Check the panchangam in the morning during puja. Note down what you think the day will be like. For example, “Prabhalarishta yoga—watch out! Bhuloka day—but a Devaloka time. Need to work with my emotions more diligently. Mula nakshatra—tendency here to be cross. Purple day—my good day for money mat- ters. Rahu kala: 10:45 to 12:15. Be careful, lunch with my new client. Pray that all obstacles will be removed.”
At the end of the day, review the day’s actual events. See if there were any rough spots which could use improving upon and note the various factors in- volved for future reference.
We wish you well with your use of Vedic Calendar. May it help you to al- ways be in tune with God Siva’s Cosmic Energy. We welcome your suggestions and comments on ways to improve the calendar next year and the next. (And don’t forget to order your calendar for the coming year well in advance, as they are made up individually for your particular time zone.)