August 01, 2014

Lunar months and Lunar signs

The moon goes around the earth once in a lunar month. Like other planets, its moves from west to east along the zodiac although the rotation of the earth makes it appear to be moving in the reverse direction. One revolution of the moon around the earth produces what is called a lunar month.

Lunar months and Lunar signs
Paksha:
A Paksha consists of fifteen lunar days and two pakshas (Shukla & Krishna) make a lunar month. A Shukla paksha extends from New moon to Full moon, where as a Krishna paksha extends from Poornima (or full moon) to Amavasya (or New moon). Following the amavasya in the month of Meena (from Prathama tithi to till next Amavasya) the period is called the first lunar month (Chaithram). Then the amavasya in the month of Mesha to next Amavasya in Vrishabha is called the second lunar month (Vaisakham).

The time from Prathama tithi to Amavasya after the Amavasya in the month of Meena is called Chaitram and the period from Prathama tithi to Amavasya after the Amavasya in the month of Mesha is called Vaishakham.

  1. Chaitram
  2. Vaisakham
  3. Jyeshtam
  4. Ashadham
  5. Sravanam
  6. Bhadrapadam
  7. Aashwinam
  8. Kartika
  9. Margashirsham
  10. Pousham
  11. Maagham
  12. Phalgunam
are the 12 lunar months that make a lunar year according to Hindu Calendar.

From 22nd March 1957, the official almanac of the Government of India contains these names of months. It is recorded as Sakavarsham in the government calendar.

There are 12 signs in the zodiac. Every star has a time length of 60 Nazhika (Ghati) or 13 degrees 20 minutes of arc. The star is divided into 4 Padas (quarter) of 15 Nazhika or 3 degree 20 minutes. In one zodiac sign, there are 9 star Padas or 2 ¼ stars. The sign in which moon exists is called Moon Sign or Birth Rasi. (27 divided by 12 = 2 ¼ stars in one sign). This means that the moon passes all the 12 signs during its revolution around the earth. Moon will stay for 2 ¼ days in a sign. (2 days 6 hours 38 minutes and 34 seconds).

Lunar signs:
Stars and their divisions
Lunar Sign
Aswini, Bharani, Krittika ¼ Mesha
Krittika ¾, Rohini, Mrigasira ½ Vrishabha
Mrigasira ½, Aridra, Punarvasu ¾ Mithuna
Punarvasu ¼, Pushyami, Aslesha Karkata
Maka, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni ¼ Simha
Uttara Phalguni ¾, Hasta, Chitra ½ Kanya
Chitra ½, Swati, Vishakha ¾ Tula
Vishakha ¼, Anuradha, Jyeshta Vrischika
Moola, Poorvashada, Uttarashada ¼ Dhanu
Uttarashada ¾,, Sravana, Dhanishta ½ Makara
Dhanishta ½, Satabhisha, Poorvabhadra ¾ Kumbha
Poorvabhadra ¼, Uttarabhadra, Revati Meena


Note: Every star is divided into 4 parts, which are also known as padas or padams. In the above table, as per the order given, ¼ refers to the first or last padam of a particular star,  ½ refers to the first or next two padas of a particular star and ¾ refers to the first or next three padas of a particular star. Stars indicated without any fraction refer to all 4 padas, indicating that all 4 padas of a particular star correspond to a lunar sign.

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