Panchang or Panchangam is an ancient Vedic calendar in a tabulated form that helps to plan for travel, work, money, love, etc, well in advance. It is simply an Indian Vedic almanac. It has evolved for the past 5000 years or so. The theories found in the two scriptures namely , Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava form the basis for the panchang. In English Panchang is termed as Ephemeris.
Panchang published is the most accurate one on the net with calculations based on Indian Astrological Computations. You can get to know the panchang of the current day as well as the past and the future days. This panchang has been calculated for Indian standard time and works for Chennai, 5:30 AM timing.
The word Panchang is derived from “Panch” meaning five and “ang” meaning aspect. Panchang gives you the auspicious and inauspicious timings of any day. It gives the Day, the Tithi, the Nakshtra, the Yoga, and the Karana of the Day. Hence the name Panchang.
The calculations for the panchang are based on the position of the various planets and constellations. In short it is a ready reckoner to find out if any day is suitable for activities like getting married, going on a trip, entering a new house, starting something new, etc. You need not totally rely on an Astrologer if you are well versed with the panchang.
The Vara or Days
A group of seven days is called vara or week. The days are named after the planets excluding Rahu and Ketu. Days change at sunrise. The Days in a Lunar year are as follows:
The angular relationship between Sun and Moon is known as Tithi. One Tithi equals 12 degree difference between Moon and Sun.. In all there are 30 tithis. In fact, there are sixteen tithis in a month. The fourteen in each half go on changing throughout the month. The reigning tithi at sun rise should be taken as the tithi of the day. Every tithi has its own ruling deity as well.
Nakshatra refers to the stellar mansion in which Moon is located. One Nakshatra equals 13 degrees and 20 minutes. There are 27 Nakshatra in 360 degrees.
One Yoga equals 13 degrees and 20 minutes. There are 27 Yogas in 360 degrees. Yogas change every day. Yogas start with Vishkambha yoga and Vyateepata and Vaidhriti yogas have great importance.
Karana is half of a Tithi. One Karana equals 6 degree difference between Moon and Sun.Karanas are eighteen in total. The first seven are called as Sthira Karanas and the last four are called as Chara Karanas.
The chara karanas begin on the second half the brighter side of the moon and continue to rule till the fourteenth day of the darker of the moon and recur regularly.
Uses of Panchang