[Advaita-l] विशिष्टतिथयः Special days

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Mon Jul 11 23:03:17 CDT 2011

Most of these topics are treated in detail in the dharma shAstra granthas
such as the dharmasindhu and the nirNayasindhu. The usual approach is to
take every month, beginning with Chaitra, and explain all the important
observances during that month. In many cases, the texts also briefly
describe the observance procedure (prayoga), or refer to a different prayoga
grantha. The correspondence of the Hindu calendar with the Gregorian
calendar is well known. For example, Chaitra falls sometime in March-April
and so on. One must, however, be aware of the difference between the
PUrNimAnta and amAnta calendars. In the PUrNimAnta system, which is followed
mostly in Northern India, as the name indicates, a month ends with a
pUrNimA, full moon. In the amAnta system, followed in Southern and Western
India, the month ends with an amAvAsya, new moon. The pUrNimAnta calendar
begins with Chaitra Krishna Paksha Pratipada, while the amAnta calendar
begins with the Chaitra shukla Pratipada, fifteen tithis later. The result
is that the day following the full moon of Chaitra is the first day of a new
month, VaishAkha in the PUrNimAnta calendar, but it is Chaitra Krishna
Pratipada in the amAnta system. This causes many festivals and observances
to be listed under different months, but, fortunately, the Gregorian dates
do not change and all people, regardless of whether they follow the
PUrNimAnta or amAnta celebrate a particular festival on the same day. For
example, in the nirNayasindhu, which follows the pUrNimAnta system, the
Krishna JanmAShTamI is described under BhAdrapada Krishna aShTamI, whereas
the dharmasindhu treats the same festival as shrAvaNa Krishna aShTamI.
According to both calendars, the date for Krishna JanmaShTamI in India is
August 21.


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