[Advaita-l] (no subject)

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 3 23:25:48 CST 2010

Siva Senani Nori <sivasenani at yahoo.com>wrote:


Thanks for posting details from the dharmashAstra texts. I too had on several occasions 

wanted to post  details on how to determine the ekAdashI accurately. For several 

reasons, I had put it off. First, the rules to determine the ekAdashI are not easy to 

understand for the lay person. It is somewhat similar to reading an IRS tax manual to

figure out how much tax you should pay. Only, in this case, the tax you 

have to pay is in the form of fasting! Sometimes, there could be two fasting days for 

the ekAdashI! And occasionally, you could even have an extra fast due to the shravaNa

nakShatra coinciding with the dvAdashI tithi. Second, even if the rules are properly 

understood, there is the vexing question of what method of (astronomical) calculation 

should be followed for calculating the ending times for tithis, or in other words, what 

kind of panchAnga should be followed. The traditional maThas and temples in the

South have mostly followed the sUrya siddhAnta panchAnga. This is based on an 

ancient method of determining the celestial positions of the sun and moon, 

and the planets too. The mathematician Parameshwara from the Kerala school

(1370-1460 according to Wikipedia) introduced the driggaNita system of astronomy.

This system has gained acceptance among many panchAnga makers who say that for 

astrological purposes the driggaNita may be used, although they maintain that for 

religious observances, the sUrya siddhAnta must be used. Other panchAnga makers use

other methods, such as the AryabhaTIya, or even the modern astronomical calculations.

And they maintain that for all purposes, astrological as well as dhArmic, we should 

be using the modern methods which are more accurate, in the sense they give the 

positions of the sun, moon, and the planets with a greater degree of accuracy. However,

there is no consensus among the panchAnga makers on what method or 

methods to use. The result is that there could be different dates for the same 

observance at the same place! Some vaiShnava maThas follow the AryabhaTIya

method for the ekAdashI. Others follow the sUrya-siddhAnta method. For example, 

if there are two people X and Y residing in Bangalore, X could be fasting on one 

date and Y could be fasting on another date, depending on what panchAnga 

each follows.


Why I write all this is to point out that the ending times of the tithis could differ by as 

much as a few hours depending on the panchAnga method used. For example, on 

some day, the dashamI tithi could end 5 ghaTikAs before sunrise if you used the sUrya

siddhAnta method or 1 ghaTikA after  sunrise if you used a more modern method. Here

one ghaTikA is 24 minutes.  Now, in the first case, Vaishnavas fast on the day in 

question. In the second case, they would fast on the next day, because it becomes 

a viddha-ekAdashI. So the question becomes: what method should they follow?


In my next post, I will address the specific question regarding Feb 24. One quick 

observation. If you follow the sUrya siddhAnta, the ending times of the tithis are:

Feb 24 - dashamI ends at 9:45 AM, Feb 25 - ekAdashI ends at 7:46 AM, *and*

the dvAdashI ends at 5:32 AM on Feb 26. But note that sunrise on Feb 26, in Bangalore,

does not happen until 6:37 AM. Therefore, the dvAdashI becomes a kShaya tithi, ie. 

a tithi that does not prevail at sunrise on any day. Feb 26 has a trayodashI which ends

 at 3:11 AM on Feb 27. 



For the same dates, if you follow a modern method, (I chose Date panchang which 

is available online at datepanchang.com, the ending times now are:

Feb 24- dashamI ends at 2:32 PM, Feb 25- ekAdashI ends at 11:59 AM, *and*

Feb 26 - dvAdashI ends at 8:56 AM. Here it is clear that we have a viddha-ekAdashI

on Feb 24, followed by ekAdashI and dvAdashI on two successive days. Clearly, the 

fasting for smArtas and Vaishnavas alike is on Feb 25. 


I will present some material from the dharmashAstra texts to address the sUrya siddhAnta

case above, in my next post.







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