mahA shiva rAtri

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 24 09:34:31 CST 1998

Jaldhar wrote:

>I once asked a learned Jyotishi about that and he said that as our
>didn't know about time zones it wasn't neccessary to make any
>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.

 I have heard the view that an observance/festival (vrata/utsava)
 should be celebrated according to Indian dates. This view has the
 advantage of simplicity. That way we wont have to worry about
 recalculating these dates.

 But from a Jyotisha perspective, it seems more appropriate to
 actually start from the fundamental rules of calculation of dates
 for any given place on the earth and compute the dates. There are
 elaborate manuals/books written just for panchaanga-makers so
 that they can use them in their panchaanga preparation. A good
 panchanga maker always computes his dates from these rules, for
 a _particular_place. That is why we see, for example, that Daate's
 dates are for Sholapur, which is the place where he resides. There
 is another panchaanga which comes out of Mysore, Karnataka, and the
 dates therein are strictly speaking good for Mysore. Now, because
 of the proximity of Sholapur and Mysore, there will be no change in
 dates for most cases. But occasionally, one does see a change in
 dates even within India, say if you consider Bombay and Calcutta,
 which are a considerable distance apart. I even remember that once
 Ganesha Chaturthi fell on different date in Bombay than in Bangalore.

 I am writing all this because I was up to my ears in all this
 Jyotish stuff and much more, involving astrology, horoscope matching
 for marriages and all that, about 10 years  ago. I wrote software
 to do all that for Wipro Systems in India. Of course, they sold
 the software for a handsome sum of money, giving me only a fraction
 of their profit :-). Actually, I did the project just because I
 wanted to become knowledgeable in Jyotish, not for the money. (You
 should believe me about this one.) My grandfather was well versed
 in Jyotish, and that is how I got into it. There was also an
 astrologer that Wipro had hired for checking my work. I learnt many
 things from him.

 Jyotisha and predictive astrology is a vast field and one can
 easily spend a lifetime in it. I personally made the choice of
 studying Vedaanta rather than Jyotisha. Nowadays, I dont spend
 much time on Jyotisha.  From a Vedaantic/bhakti perspective one
 can glorify Shiva at any time, regardless of time and place. So it
 is OK to worship Shiva on the 24th or 25th or any other day when
 you feel like doing so.


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