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Pancanga for the year 1871/2 from Rajasthan

Library of Congress, Asian Division


Amsha - Varga


[five components]

Panchang - Pangchange



Five - panch - panj

arms - anga

components - working-parts

5 Expressions of Chandra

Traditional Jyotisha Calendar - Almanac, Ephemeris

for Determination of Timing of Actions and Events

Five items (usually) listed for each Day in the Panchanga:
  1. Day * di * Weekday

  2. Nakshatra * ruler and details

  3. Tithi * Lunar day of the Shukla Paksha or Krishna Paksha

  4. Yoga * auspicious moment

  5. Karana * Activities


paJcAGga =

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

cognates: paJcan (Panch) = Five = (Lat. quinque; Germ. funf; Angl. Sax. fif; Eng. five)

having 5 parts or subdivisions

A calendar or almanac, treating of 5 things:

  1. solar days

  2. lunar days

  3. Nakshatra

  4. Yoga

  5. Karana

Karana of Panchanga, from:

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

" these Karanas are eleven, viz.

  1. vava
  2. valava
  3. kaulava
  4. taitila
  5. gara
  6. vaNija
  7. viSTi
  8. zakuni
  9. catuSpada
  10. kintughna
  11. nAga

two being equal to a lunar day

the first seven are called a-dhruvANi or movable, and fill, eight times repeated, the space from the second half of the first day in the moon's increase to the first half of the fourteenth day in its wane

the four others are dhruvANi or fixed, and occupy the four half-days from the second half of the fourteenth day in the wane of the moon to the first half of the first day in its increase."

vava = bava

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

a particle laying stress on the word preceding it, especially in relative clauses

just, indeed, even

Name of the first Karana or astrological division of the day


~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

Name of the second Karana or astrological division of the day

kaulava = kaulaba

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

Name of the third Karana or astrological division of the day


~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

a rhinoceros

a god

a pillow

name of the 4th Karana (in astr.)


~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon


any drink, beverage, fluid

a noxious or poisonous beverage

a factitious poison (an antidote)

a kind of disease, attended with difficulty of swallowing

disease in general

the fifth of the eleven Karanas (in astron.)

sprinkling, wetting

vaNija = banija

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

a merchant, trader

the zodiacal sign Libra

traffic, commerce

the submarine fire (supposed to be at the south-pole)


~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

service, (esp.) forced service, compulsory work, drudgery (also collectively, servants, slaves, bondsmen"')

N. of one of the seven Rishis in the 11th Manvantara

changing, alternatively, by turns

zakuni = shakuni

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

a bird (esp. a large bird ... accord. To some, a cock)

(in astronomy) N. of the first fixed karaNa

name of a Naga

of an evil demon (son of Duhsaha)

of an Asura (son of Hiranyaksha and father of Vrika)

a female bird

a hen-sparrow

name of a female demon (sometimes identified with Durga) causing a partic. child's disease

a bird-catcher

an augur

catuSpada = chatushpad

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

4 partitions or divisions


consisting of 4 Padas

consisting of 4 words

comprising 4 partitions or divisions

(in alg.) tetranomial

a kind of coitus

certain zodiacal signs = meSa, vRSa, siMha, makara- pUrvArdha, dhanuH-parArdha

name of a particular Karana

a metre of 30 + 4 + 4 syllabic instants.

the chapter treating of the 4 parts of medical science

a number of 4 feei

conjunction of the 4 parts of medical science

complete knowledge of the 4 parts of medical science

kintughna = kimstughna

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

nAga = nag

~~ Koeln Digital Sanskrit Lexicon

a Naga or serpent-demon (the race of Kadru or Su-rasa inhabiting the waters or the city Bhoga-vati under the earth; they are supposed to have a human face with serpent-like lower extremities; their kings are Sesha, Vasuki, and Takshaka )

name of the numbers 7 or 8

a cruel man

one of the 5 airs of the human body (which is expelled by eructation)

an elephant

the best or most excellent of any kind



tin, lead

a kind of talc

a kind of coitus

name of the 3rd invariable Karana

of the effects of that period on anything happening during it

formed of snakes, relating to serpents or serpents-demons, snaky, serpentine, serpent-like

belonging to an elephant, elephantine (as urine)

Panchang in Jyotisha = somewhat equivalent to the Ephemeris tables published for Western astrology.

  • The English language version of Lahiri National Panchang in India is called Lahiri Ephemeris .

Panchanga uses look-up tables similar to tables in a tropical ephemeris.

  • However Panchang uses Jyotisha sidereal positions

Panchanga are issued in regional editions in India which generally conform to the Indian National Panchangam of Lahiri Committee but...

  • Culturally localized nomenclature and event details such as which festivals should start at what auspicious time will vary by regional practice

Q: Dear Barbara,

I was looking through your website and I notice that you have not written much in your Panchanga section. Do you feel as if it is not an important part of a chart?

I am asking as I just recently discovered the implication of being born during Vishti Karana.

I was wondering how much importance should be given to that, and whether it is true that on top of career it affects both houses lorded by Saturn.


A: Thanks your question.

Panchangam is an interesting topic. There has not been much time to write much on the subject of Muhurtha, Panchangam - Panjika, Surya-Siddhanta, Grahalaghava, etc. However, it would be recommended not to place too much weight on any one single predictive factor.

Vishti Karana regarding career is a summary result astronomical factors which may or may not bear any relationship to the core outcomes map which is the radical kundali.

Panchang predictions based on eleven sloganized results of general astronomical geometry are perhaps entertaining for newspaper readers and parlor chat. Yet, until the graha are understood in context of the kundali and varga, a single karaka (karana) or a summary item like Vishti Karana is only a superstition.

Everything in Jyotishavidya is contextual . Every factor must be evaluated in the context of other factors. To assess career attributes and timeline, first study the 10th-angles in your birth charts and timing of 10th factors in the Vimshottari dasha (and other dasha systems if you have the skill). Then assess the popular predictions about career via Vishti Karana from panchanga.

Vishti = servitude. Within the entire nativity, do a majority of 10th-amsha / 10th-from factors point to servitude? Or, do they possibly point to ministries of service instead? Ministries of service = the high-consciousness level of service found in professional medicine, military, legal defense, and social work, including elite governance roles of Minister and Administrator which are usually well-paid and highly respected.

Likely one may find that the former is essential while the latter is trivial.

The panchanga karana are one relatively small and IMO optional consideration in reading a full Jyotishavidya nativity.

As the English idiom goes, it is not wise to put the cart before the horse. In other words, a detailed study of the nativity should lead Jyotisha enquiry, and simplistic summaries like Vishti Karana should trail behind in the cart. Sadly, many so-called astrologers know nothing more about the samayavidya than a memorized list of the attributes of the 11 panchanga karana and the supposed remedies for these conditions.

This is false astrology but clever business. There is a tidy profit to be had in historically superstitious cultures via the selling of supposed remedies... bits of cloth and iron rings, images of snakes, magical jars to be cracked open to release // evil karma // , secret mantra, services of pujari to perform exotic rituals, and every kind of foolish device to avoid taking personal responsibility for the reality of one's life.

Panchanga calendars are easy to understand -- 11 simple divisions -- and thus like western"sun-sign astrology" it is accessible to those with a limited worldview. Unfortunately in the modern day, the main utility of the 11 karana is to perpetuate the disempowerment of the victim-class -- those who attribute their reality to forces outside the self.

Rarely can panchanga muhurtha - finding the perfect moment for a wedding or ground-breaking ceremony - counteract negative intentions of the people constructing the event. It is the height of folly to think that by simply choosing a magical moment, the great complexity of consensus-reality can be erased.

That is not to assert that the 11 panchanga-karana are invalid. They are ancient typological categories popular since the medieval days. The calculations are indeed astronomically valid (presuming that the local panchangam has followed the 1957 recommendations of the Lahiri Committee) and the attributes may be valid as well in context.

Placing the panchanga-karana into context is essential. Otherwise, blanket statements attributing this-or-that outcome to birth in a particular panchanga-karana - as if the world were divided into 11 simple sections - is the merest superstition. However, when not trivialized into cookbook astrology, panchanga-based attributes may recover their value -- so long as the 11 karana are interpreted in context of the full nativity.

Wishing you and your family every happiness, healing from sorrow, guidance by inner light, and success in all of life's endeavors,

Sincerely, BPL, Jyotishavidya


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