Almost every Hindu looks forward to find an auspicious day to start something new. This is usually done by looking up the Hindu calendar (Panchanga), which was designed by the ancient Indian astronomers. This deciphers the five major elements of time division. These include the Vaara, Tithi, Nakshtra, Yoga and Karana. Of these, the first three have a great use in our day to day life. Here is some information about them:
Vaara (Week Days): It is a Sanskrit term used by the ancestors to represent the days in a week.
Tithis (Lunar Days): These are the phases of the moon in a given time and are also known as the dates on a lunar calendar. It is based on the waning and waxing phases of the moon for a total of 30 days. The waning phase i(from Full Moon to New Moon is a 15-day period) is called the Krishna Paksha where as the waxing phase, (the next 15-day period from New Moon to Full Moon) is called the Shukla Paksha. There is also the reversal of the Tithis during the waxing phase or Shukla Paksha. Following are the Tithis in the Hindu calendar
Padyami/ Pratipada, Vidiya/ Dvitiya, Tadiya/ Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashthi, Saptami, Ashtamai, Navami, Dasami, Ekadasi, Dwadasi, Trayodasi, Chathurdasi, and Purnima (Full Moon) or Amavasya (New Moon).
Nakshatras (Constellation): The moon comes close to the heavenly bodies during the path of its motion. These celestial bodies are known as starts or the Nakshatras.
27 such Nakshatras were identified, and their significance is studied in the Vedic astrology. The moon travels through these stars, and are used to map the phases of the Moon in the sky.
They include, Ashwini, Bharani, Krithika, Rohini, Mrugashira, Aarudra, Punarvasu, Pushyami, Aslesha, Magha, PurvaFalguni, UttaraFalguni, Hasta, Chita, Swathi, Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyeshtha, Mula, PurvaAshada, UttaraAshadha, Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabhisha, Purvabhadra, UttaraBhadra, and Revathi.
Each of these Nakshatras holds significance and a functional use according to Vedic astrology. They are classified into
Soft or gentle Stars: Mrigasira, Chitta, Anuradha and Revathi are the soft or gentle Nakshatras. These stars are considered good for fine arts, marital unions or even for the auspicious ceremonies.
Fixed or steady Stars: Rohini, UttaraFalguni, UttaraAshadha and UttaraBhadra are regarded as the best ones for activities that need a lasting or a permanent effect.
Light Constellations: Ashwini, Pushyami and Hasta are the lighter Nakshatras. Deeds related to sports, industrial establishments are ideal to start on such days.
Dreadful Stars: Arudra Aslesha, Jyeshtha and Mula are the bad stars that suit the best for warfare and destructive acts.
Temporary Stars: Punarvasu, Swathi, Shravana, Dhanishta and Shatabhisha are the temporary Nakshatras. Excellent for travel or any other temporary activities Mixed Constellation: Krithika and Vishakha favor the daily routine.
Cruel Stars: Bharani, Magha, PurvaFalguni, Purvabhadra and PurvaAshada are the most unfavorable stars, and it is recommended to avoid any auspicious activity on a day that has one of these stars.