mahA shiva rAtri

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Feb 24 06:39:18 CST 1998

On Mon, 23 Feb 1998, Anand Hudli wrote:

>   That is correct. The Mahaashivaraatrii is to be observed on the
>   night when the krishna chaturdashii of the lunar month Maagha
>   prevails at midnight (nishiitha kaala). As per the ephemeris,
>   the krishna trayodashii (13th tithi) ends at about 6:30 PM EST
>   on the 24th (tomorrow). This time, then, marks the beginning of
>   the chaturdashii (14th tithi) and it prevails through the night
>   of the 24th, at least as far as North America is concerned. So
>   the Mahaashivaraatrii must be observed on the night of the 24th
>   in this area. (The charurdashii ends at about 3:40 PM EST on the
>   25th.)
>   In India, however, the krishna trayodashii ends at approximately
>   5 AM IST on the 25th and the chaturdashii will prevail in the night
>   until about 2:10 AM IST on the 26th. So, in this case, people in
>   India will observe the Mahaashivaraatrii on the 25th, which is the
>   specified date in  many calendars "imported" from India.
>   The Hindu population has spread throughout the world, but the
>   makers of the calendars often pay little attention to the fact
>   the dates of observances may be different at different places
>   across the globe. Some traditional "panchaanga's" such as the
>   one by Daate (in Marathi) do give the change in dates for most
>   of the important observances in different parts of the world.

I once asked a learned Jyotishi about that and he said that as our sages
didn't know about time zones it wasn't neccessary to make any corrections
and that even people outside Bharat should use whatever the tithi is in
Avantika (Ujjain) as the date for utsavs.  I don't know if that is the
majority view but I'll be celebrating Shivratri Wednesday night.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

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