Lessons in Vedic Electional Astrology – Part 2
V K Shridhar, India
Editor: Maurício Avila, Brazil
Tithi – lunar day – is a fundamental and important component of Hindu Panchanga. No election is thought possible without considering its suitability; it lays down the foundation of a selected Muhurta. Tithi is related to lunar’s energy, and lunar energy represents mental energy and the status of the mind. Samhita Pradeep opines that Tithi personifies the body, the Moon personifies the mind, Lagna the soul and the other elements are also considered as body parts of the Muhurta. Sanctified Tithi forms the basis which supersedes even a strong Ascendant, Moon or Nakshatra. Tithi inculcates its nature of increasing/expanding the work done in an election, consistent to the increasing rays of the Moon in Bright Half and vice versa.
Tithi indirectly refers to Moon’s strength, and this strength acts as a foundation on which other planets’ structure their own power and give their effects (Vasist Samhita). In general, the 1st to 5th Tithi of Bright Half (Full Moon) and the 11th to 15th Tithi (New Moon) of Dark Half are considered malefic in nature. From 6th to 10th of both Bright and Dark Half of Moon gives medium effect; and rest of the Tithis are considered as benefics/auspicious in good elections.
Poorna Tithis (viz. 5th, 10th, 15th tithis with New Moon tithis practically not included) are the most beneficial for Manglik types of activities. Jaya Tithis (3rd, 8th and 13th) bestow victory and advancements. Nanda Tithis (1st, 6th and 11th) grant prosperity and happiness while Bhadra Tithis (2nd, 7th and 12th) are middling. Rikta Tithis are used for crushing enemies and similar activities. In general, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 11th and 13th tithis of Bright Half and the 1st tithi of Dark Half are considered benefics/auspicious tithis. Based on the activity, the tithis prevailing at the time of Sunrise, Mid-day or the activity itself are selected.
Paksharandhra/Chidra Tithis (viz. 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 14th of both the halves), Galgraha Tithis (1st, 13th, 14th and 30th), Parva Tithis (Full Moon, New Moon, 14th and 8th of Dark Half), Anadhayaya Tithis (study of Vedas are prohibited), Maas Shunya Tithis, Manvadi Tithis, Yugadi Tithis, Tithi Shunya Nakshatra, Tithi Shunya Lagna, Dagdha Tithis, Kshaya Tithis, Vridhi Tithi, Pradosha Tithis, Ghaat Tithis for various Janma Rashis and Ashtak Tithis are some which are avoided in various elections. Readers can obtain details of these Tithis and their respective prohibited activities in election treatises.
The length of time during which the difference of increment between longitudes of the Sun and the Moon amounts to the multiple of 12 degrees is called a Tithi. From the exact time of New Moon, the first Tithi starts and ends when the difference between the Sun and the Moon reaches 12 degrees. Tithi is a celestial phenomenon, starting and ending moments of Tithis are the same at all places in the world. But Kshaya (diminutive) and Vridhi Tithi (intercalary) is a regional phenomenon based on the local sunrise. If a Tithi starts after the Sunrise of one day and ends before the Sunrise of the next day (same day), it is called Kshaya Tithi (diminutive), while in a Vridhi Tithi, the tithi starts before the sunrise of one day and ends after the sunrise of the next. During a Vridhi Tithi there are two sunrises, while during the currency of a Kshaya Tithi there is no sunrise. If in a lunar half two Kshaya Tithis occurs, then that full half becomes unsuitable for any auspicious activity. Similarly, a lunar half hemmed by two eclipses must be shunned.
Each Tithi has its own nature, electional significance, tutelary lord, poisonous part and a host of other factors forming the basis for the selection of initiation of a particular activity. A work prescribed for starting during a specific Nakshatra can also be done in a Tithi if the lord of the Nakshatra and the Tithi is the same or they have a harmonious relationship. For instance, a work allocated to Ardra Nakshatra, ruled by Lord Shiva, can be also initiated in the 3rd Tithi (ruled by Goddess Gauri), 4th (ruled by Lord Ganesh) or 9th tithi (ruled by Goddess Durga). Tithis are further sub-divided in 15 parts called Kshana Tithis: First part is ruled by the Tithi itself – a work prescribed in a specific Tithi can also be initiated in its sub-division. Furthermore, for each activity, a specific set of Tithis, Nakshatras and Weekdays have been separately prescribed. A luminous and expanding Moon during Bright Half signifies expansion and developments, subject to a host of factors.
Muhurt Yogas are formed through the combination of Tithi and Weekday; Tithi and Nakshatra; and Tithi, Weekday and Nakshatra. Such Yogas are the hallmark of Vedic Electional Astrology. Tithis get sanctified when favourable Muhurta Yogas are present. However, when the intensity of malefic factors is very high then a favourable Yoga does not act as antidote. Like when Vishti Karana and Rikta Tithi coincide, even if favourable Yogas formed by Tithi-Weekday-Nakshatra combinations are prevailing, the doer dies on initiating auspicious (shubha) works (Brp.S.-3/24).
On 4th (of Brighter Half) and 14th (of Darker Half) tithis, Rikta and Bhadra Tithis coincide, moreover, the 14th tithi of Dark Half is held as the most malefic Tithi (Moon is combust). Thus, the first half of 14th Tithi (Dark Half) must always be avoided in all benefics elections. During malefics Weekdays coinciding with Rikta (viz. 4th, 9th and 14th tithis), 6th or 12th tithis, and when malefic Ascendant are rising in Rashi or Navamsha chart, no auspicious work should be initiated (Brp.S.-3/43). Starting 24 minutes of Nanda Tithis and beginning 24 minutes of Poorna Tithis should also be avoided, being Sandhi Kaal (junction point).
The following activities are prohibited on various Tithis:
- Neem paste (Melia azad-dirachta) should not be applied on 2nd, 10th and 13th Tithis;
- Amla (Emblicmyrobalam—Phyllanthusemblica) on 7th, 9th and the New Moon days;
- Applying oil on 1st, 8th, 14th and the New Moon;
- Eating meat on 8th;
- Hair cutting on 14th;
- Sex on the New & Full Moon;
- Travel & Annprashan (First feeding) on 12th Tithi;
- Lending money during 5th Tithi and shun all Punya related works during 8th
Selection of Tithis for Elections
The election of different components of Panchanga (Hindu ephemeris) is a holistic approach. Aspirants may consider the following criteria in its selection with the aim of selecting an auspicious/sanctified Tithi:
- Selection of Bright or Dark Half of Moon: For progressive and expanding works, Bright Half is better than Dark Half. Also check if the selected half is favourable for the aspirant in transit.
- Allocation: Works which especially fructify in specific Tithis have been prescribed, and also those to be avoided. Favourable /suitable Tithis for specific Muhurta should be selected profitably.
- Muhurta Yoga: Even a malefic Tithi becomes benefic or highly benefic when concurrent with specific Weekdays or Constellations. Select a suitable Muhurta Yoga with a suitable Tithi consistent with the work’s nature.
- When the Moon has high luminosity the Tithi augers beneficence.
- Natural beneficence: From the prescribed Tithis for the Muhurta, select a Tithi which is in the auspicious/benefic triad. Rikta Tithis are the least effective for auspicious works while Poorna Tithis bestow
- Janma Rashi of the doer: Based on the sign occupied by the Moon in the Rashi chart of the doer, favourable groups (Nanda, Bhadra and so on) for the native may be preferably selected and others should be avoided, like Ghaata, Ghaata Maas Tithis, etc.
- Name of the doer: Based on first consonant of the doer’s name (Maatra Swar), certain groups of Tithis (Nanda, Bhadra and so on) are Baal (Infant), Kumar (Young), Yuva (Adult), Vridth (Old) and Mrityu (Dead). Their increasing order of beneficence is: Dead, old, infant, young and adult.
- Tutelary Lords: When tutelary lords of a Tithi are the same as that of the Constellation/Weekday/Yoga, then works prescribed for these can be conducted in the said Tithi.
- Malefic Tithis: Tithis like Chidra, Maas-Shunya, Galgraha, etc. should be shunned or avoided depending on their malefic nature and type of work.
- Transit: When the Moon is benefic in transit regarding sign, constellation, Navamsha, AshtakaVarga, etc. for the native, then coinciding Tithi becomes favourable in election.
- Sarvatobhadra Chakra: This unique system reveals when a particular Tithi is afflicted (Vedha) by transit of benefics or malefics planets, making a particular Tithi auspicious or unfit for election.
- Unfavourable durations: Aspirants must shun Vish Ghatis, prohibited periods, Gandanta (SandhiKaal – junction point), Pradosha for selecting a Tithi.
- Kshana Tithi: A suitable selection of a favourable Sub-Tithi on the guidelines strengthens the election.
- Emergency requirement: Provision has been made to use certain malefic Tithis ignoring their poisonous/prohibited portions in situations of emergency. They should be chosen provided the presence of antidotes and a fortified election chart.
- Finally, after selecting a Tithi ensures that the election Ascendant is not Ghaat Lagna for that selected Tithi.