January 14, 2009

Soura Masa and Ayanas - Uttara and Dakshina

Soura Masa (Solar Month) is the period between two successive sankranthi, or the time taken by the sun to pass completely through one sign of the zodiac is called a Soura masa or Solar month. A sankranthi on which a solar month commences takes its name from the sign-name of that month. The Mesha Sankranthi marks vernal equinox, the moment of the sun’s passing the first point of Aries (Mesha).There are 12 solar months in a year. The Soura months have the same names as that of Rashis. They also have Tamil equivalent names. They are tabulated under the Length of months.Dakshinayana and Uttharayana Punya kaalasThe Karkataka Sankranthi, three solar months after Mesha sankranthi is called Dakshinayana Punya kaala. The Sun will be directly over Tropic of Cancer (23 ½ degree “N” Latitude) at this time. [Tropic of Cancer passes through India at Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Durgapur etc.] Sun starts its southward movement from this moment. This will normally be on 16th of July.The Makara Sankranthi, 6 solar months after Karkataka sankranthi, is called Uttharayana Punya kaala. The Sun will be directly over Tropic of Capricorn (23 ½ degree “S” Latitude - it passes through Australia) at this time. Sun starts its northward movement from this moment. This will normally be on 14th of January. Around the Dakshinayana Punyakaala, 21st of June is called the Summer Solstice meaning the longest day (maximum Dinamana). Around the Uttharayana Punyakaala, 22nd of December is called the Winter Solstice meaning the shortest day (minimum Dinamana). Between the two dates 21st of March is called Vernal (Spring) Equinox and 23rd of September is known as Autumnal Equinox. On these two dates daytime will equal night time [Dinamana will be equal to Rathrimana]. All this is applicable to Earth’s Northern Hemisphere (where India is located).AyanaOne year consists of two ayanas. Each ayana is spread over six soura masas. Each ayana signifies the sun’s direction. Thus during Dakshinayana, Sun is moving South and during the Uttarayana, Sun is moving North.
Click here to read Why Different Sankramana s ?

Ayana can also be understood as passage of Sun to the North and South of the equator.Karkataka Sankramana marks the beginning of Dakshinayana and Makara Sankramana marks the beginning of Uttarayana.[Some say: Dakshinayana and Uttharayanas are now commencing on June 21 and December 22 and not on the days of Karkataka / Makara Sankramana. Further, the beginning day of Ayana is moving backwards by about 1 day for every 72 years.]Around June 21 and December 22, Karkayana and Makarayana occur. These are sankramanas as per Sayana reckoning. As the current value of Ayanamsha is about 22 1/20, Sayana sankramanas are occurring about 23 days earlier than the Nirayana ones. With increasing value of Ayanamsha, Sayana sankramanas will move backwards by about a day every 70 years.Other Punya KaalasVishuvath Punya kaalas: Mesha and Thula Sankramanas Vishnupada Punya kaalas: Vrushabha, Simha, Vrushchika and Kumbha Sankramanas.Shadashiti Punya kaalas: Mithuna, Kanya, Dhanus and Meena Sankramanas.Punya kaalas / Parva kaalas VarjyaGenerally, no auspicious events are to be celebrated during 16 ghatis before the Punya kaala and 16 ghatis thereafter (1 ghati = 24 minutes), roughly 6 ½ hours on either side.

Punya kaalas are also referred as Parva kaalas.However, for the Dakshinayana / Uttharayana and Vishuvath Punya kaalas, “Pakshini” should be observed. Pakshini means, two nights and a day or two days and a night depending on whether the Punya kaala occurs during day or night (middle of the Pakshini period). Entire Pakshini should be avoided for auspicious events.Vakya SankramanaSages have declared in one sentence (Vakya) the specific time duration between all the Sankramanas (between Mesha and Vrushabha, Vrushabha and Mithuna, etc.) in a year. Sankramanas determined based on this Vakya (sentence) is called Vakya sankramana.Soorya Siddhantha and Drigganitha sankramanas are determined based on the Soorya Siddhantha and drigganitha systems of calculations of the movement of Sun.

No comments: