Muhurta By Pt. Vijay Shrikrishna Jakatdar, India

Vijay S Image

One of the seniors most authorities in Maharashtrian Astrology. He hails from a parampara family and has advocated scientific temperament among his students. Known for his out of the box thinking, he has been an author of many works. Saptarishis Astrology expects a lot from him in time to come in this space. He is the President & Director of Phal Jyotishya Abhyas Mandal Sanstha, Pune.

It’s a common observation that human mind gets haunted by the word ‘Muhurta’ whenever a season of marriages approaches and families commence the marriage procedures. It’s a practical experience that, to decide a marriage date by co-ordinating number of factors such as Muhurta given by an astrologer, availability of community halls and several other family complications is very difficult.

To illustrate this fact, let’s consider an example. A chap is working in USA and his family back in India, trying to fix his marriage. Even though a guy appreciates the independence (of individual) in USA, he prefers to get married to an Indian girl from a well cultured family. His parents slog to finalize a bride with matching horoscopes, and one day they get the bride of their expectations. After this exercise, they go to an astrologer for

‘Muhurta’ of marriage. An astrologer has been given lot of background information (constraints in true sense) for Muhurta calculations. These constraints comprise of many factors such as, availability of marriage hall which family likes on 17th, 20th and 25th, groom will be coming to India for 1 month i.e. 10th December to 10th January, immediately after marriage couple has to complete visa formalities, etc. So considering all these factors 20th is most suitable for all of us. Moreover as per caterers asking to choose the timing around 11 o clock and that is also comfortable for our guests.

After briefing this background, parents asks astrologer to judge a ‘Muhurta’ which will be beneficial to both bride and groom. How can an astrologer reach to a ‘Muhurta’ in perfect unison with astrology after getting restricted / constrained from all directions? And then a question arises, why should a formality of ‘Muhurta’ is to be followed at all?

So, in the modern era of time, work and speed, we have to follow the concept of Muhurta which is contemporary. In my opinion, in the current period of scientific influence, we have to change ourself in order to keep pace with time.

In order to study the word ‘Muhurta’ when ancient scriptures were browsed, I found this word used twice in ‘Rig-Veda’ (3.33.5 and 3.53.8). At both places, it means ‘some time or some moments’.

‘Shathapatha Brahmana’ defines Muhurta as fifteenth part of the day (, Moreover, in Taittariya Brahmana 15 names of Muhurta of day and night have been given.

In the ‘Vedang Jyotishya’ part of Rig-Veda, its been specified that, a Muhurta is formed by ‘two nadika (ghatika)’. A difference of 6 Muhurta or 12 ghatika is observed among a longest and the shortest day. Even Manu and Kautilya (Arya Chanakya) has revealed the same meaning in their respective texts.

Gradually the names of the Muhurtas got shuffled and in the period of Varahamihira only the names of deities of 30 Muhurtas (of day and night). It is specified in Brihatsamhita (98.3) that if we carry out / perform some work on deity of particular nakshatra then success is assured. For example, if the work is to be completed on Ardra nakshtara, then it is better if carried out on the first  Shivamuhurta of that day. This is because the deity of both nakshtra and Muhurta is same i.e. Rudra.

On the contrary, there is the citation in ‘Aatharvan Jyotisha’ (2.1.11 and 3.3.6). (There) It is decided that some of the Muhurtas in ahoratri (each of 2 ghatikas) are auspicious, giving rise to the new meaning of the word Muhurta. That meaning is ‘a proper period to perform / carry out an auspicious task’. And today, the word (Muhurta) is used in the same context.

In the same text (of Aatharvan Jyotisha, at 7.12 and 16) a general rule is given. It states that the one should see whether the tithi, nakshatra, karan, Muhurta are beneficial for carrying out particular work. And among all of them, importance is to be given to the ‘Muhurta’. Further it gives the names of 8 Muhurtas as:

  1. Roudra-Sandyak
  2. Swet-Sandyak
  3. Maitra-Sandyak
  4. Sarbhat-Sandyak
  5. Saki-Sandyak
  6. Bairaj-Sandyak
  7. VishvaVasu-Sandyak
  8. Abhijeet-Sandyak

In addition to them, there are other popular methods of reckoning Muhurtas like Shivalikhit Tables, Chaughadiya Muhurtas, Mahedra-Sandyak wela (times), Goraksha Gamanat Muhurta, Hora Tables, Rahu Kalam, Yamaganda Kala, Gulika Kala, etc.

In old times, people gone crazy for performing different activities right from Shmashru (removing hairs), wearing a new clothing to Marriage. Its to our surprise that in ‘Muhurta Muktavali (verse 42)’, auspicious Muhurta for burglary is also specified, which is very comical.

After such a brief discussion on the concept and definition of Muhurta, layman will certainly get puzzled and will ask whether it is possible to frame the easy definition of Muhurta compatible to today’s fast and busy modern life.

So as per my opinion, this new definition could be:

“(Whenever) you have a (better) mood, it’s a Muhurta”.

Then we may assume this (better) mood can be of ‘planets’ and ‘jataka (subject)’. Also as Samartha Ramdas Swami[1], ‘Man Kara Re Prasanna, Sarva Siddhiche Karan’ . This Marathi line literally means, make your mind cheerful that is what will make (all your tasks) achievable.

Here arises the next obvious question.  What is meant by mood? How to decide it (whether it is good or bad)?  Nice mood is cheerful mind and in astrology we Moon and its state (bal-power) is considered to decide the condition of mood (mind).

In Rajmartand (page 39 A, Verse 611,612) the importance of Moon in context with Muhurta is given. And to illustrate this they have given following facts regarding the functions like marriage:

“For tithi its 1 times influential, for day its 4 times influential, for nakshtra its sixteen times influential, for yoga its 100 times, for Sun its thousand times influential and for Moon its one tenth of million (1 lack) times influential.” And that’s why it is told to give attention to moon rather than considering other factors.

In Muhurta Chintamani, lot of significance is given to Jupiter for performing the ‘thread ceremony’ and ‘marriage’. And for recknoning the Muhurta, information is presented in following manner for consideration of tithi, day, Nakshtra, yoga, moon and tarabala:

  • Jupiter from moon-sign:
  • 2, 5, 7, 9, 11 – Very Auspicious
  • 1, 3, 6, 10 – Moderate
  • 4, 8, 6 – Inauspicious
  • Consideration of Moon and Tarabala:
  • Moon: (In any either waxing or waning period)

(For Waxing period (Shukla paksha)): From moon sign- 1, 3,6,7,10,11.

                                                  In waning period: 2, 5, and 9.

  • Tarabala: (For Waning period (Krishna paksha)):

Count nakshtras from birth-nakshtra till the nakshtra of the day (on which function is to be performed). Divide that number by 9. If the remainder is 3, 5 or 7 then no tarabala exists. Else exists.

  • Auspicious Tithis: 1, 2,3,5,7,10,12,13.
  • Days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
  • Auspicious Nakshtras: Rohini, Uttarashadha, Uttarabhadrapada, Ashwini, Pushya, Hasta, Mruga, Chitra, Anuradha, Revati, Shravan, Dhanishtha, Shata-taraka, Punarvasu, Swati.
  • Varjya (to be avoided) yogas: Vyatipat, Vaidhruti, Kshaya-tithi, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Moon in waning period (Krishna paksha).

There is an general indication given in Atharvan Jyotish (7.12 and 16) that, if we wish to make an function (event) or ritual to be successful, one should consider beneficial Tithi, var (day), Nakshtra, Karan. And if, these four things are (together) not coming along, Muhurta should be given prime importance. Even then, either of the four (even Muhurta) is not available, then an announcement should be made from learned Brahmin that, ‘this day is auspicious’. If this is done, then event is successful. In Rajmartand, as per Bhrigu auspiciousness of planets and a day is to be considered in stable situations only. It should not be thought upon in the situations of calamity (problematic situations) [Rajmartand page no. 25 A, Shloka 388].  In the same book, a general law of practical wisdom is given (page 24 B, shloka 397 / 8). It says that, if the country is ruled by other king, in the event of battle, or if parents have the threat of life then adult unmarried (virgin) girl (kumarika) should not wait for auspicious period (for her marriage). Even if it is not pure (this implies period is not favourable), and power (bala) of moon and ascendant (lagna) is not available, (her) marriage (ceremony) should be carried out. (Reference: Dharmashastracha Itihas (Histrory of Religion-science) by De. Kane, pg. no. 283). At the same place, next citation is from ‘Bhujbal’ (udvah-tatva, pg. no. 124) which says that, for all un-married girls up to 10 years, planets, year, month etc should be considered (for events related to them).

In short, this is a very complicated affair. Thus the easy wayout of ‘Go-Dhuli’ or ‘Gorajas’ [Go means cow and Dhuli means dust thus it literally means dust created by cows] was invented. When Sun is about to set, it appears like ‘saffron’ or ‘red sandal wood paste’. Due to (such) lighr, there are no stars shining at that time. And almost a cloud created by dust formed by cows those are returning to their stable covers the sky. It’s a ‘Go-Dhulika’ Muhurta. And its to be noted that, at such Muhurta any planet, tithi, stars or nakshtra don’t create any hindrance (Rajmartand pg. no. 34, 35 A). In some of the books (Muhurta MArtand), its prescribed for ‘shudras’. Though, its been accepted by upper caste people nowadays.

If we think of all facts comprehensively I feel, that the use of Muhurta is to be considered just to make mind cheerful and not for altering (changing) future. This is because man’s effort is also important. That’s why Yadyavalka (1, 349, 351) has said that,

chart 300

This means, without human effort, luck cannot succeed. Luck is nothing but the fructified human efforts of previous incarnation.

I am still tempted to give few illustrations in this regards.

In political elections, two rivals submit their forms at ‘good’ Muhurta, still one of them is always defected (while other wins).

Everybody gets married on ‘good’ Muhurta, still we see divorces are happening in our society. This is because marriages are beyond time while divorces are results of human efforts.

Ancient and respected astrologer Bhaskaracharys had made use of ‘good’ Muhurta, in order to avoid ‘widow’ combination (Vaidhavya Yoga) in her chart. Though at the instance of Muhurta, rice grain obstructed the ‘ghatika-patra’. This had avoided (lapsed) the Muhurta but not the ‘Vaidhavya yoga’.

As far as my opinion is concerned, I feel that Muhurta is the concept which should be used (applied) by individual (native / subject) in his life, with his own wisdom, discretion and intellect. Because, one of the initial researcher of Astrology has mentioned in ‘Brihad-Yoga Yatra’ has given an influential statement:

“If all auspicious-inauspicious signs, omens are on one side and purity of mind is on other side, then purity of mind will have a victory and it will be influential.” 

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