[Advaita-l] Query on the role of ‘karaNam’ – the 5the anga of ‘paMcaaa~Nka’

Krishnan S krishnan.sankara at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 08:01:06 CST 2010

On the five elements of the paMcaaa~Nka, I am not quite clear about the role
of karaNam’ in defining the timings of the ‘utsavams’ (celebrations) or
‘vratams’ (observations) or auspiciousness of that timings?

What I know of karaNam’ is as follows:

Half a lunar ‘Tithi’ constitutes a ‘karaNam’. This is the time taken for the
sun and moon to travel by 6°. There are 11 karaNams. They are* ‘*Bhava,
Balava, Kaulava, Taitula, Garija, Vanija, Visti, Sakuna, Chatuspada, Naga,
Kimstughna’. The first seven come by rotation eight times in a lunar month,
commencing with the second half of the first lunar day. The last four are
‘permanent’ karaNam and occur in that order with the second half of the 29th
lunar day.

Thus I understand that a ‘karaNam’ refers either to the first or the second
half of a ‘Tithi’.

Hence is there an ‘utsavam’ (to be celebrated) or ‘vratam’ (to be observed)
say in only in the first half or only in the second half the ‘Tithi’?

Or is it that ‘auspiciousness’ of timings an event characterized by a
particular combination (of Varam and/or Tithi/Nakshetram and/or Yogam) gets
enhanced, if it gets combined with a particular ‘karaNa’?

In this connection I remember reading an article on Sri Kanchi Mahaswamy.
There HH refers to the often-quoted vakya ‘*aayuShmaan bhava saumya*’. There
He mentions that this vakya in addition being benedicite has an interesting
combination of the names of a yogam, karaNam and vaaram


S. Krishnan

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