Why are Vedic rituals done at a particular time of day? Read on for a deeper understanding of how and why doing Vedic rituals can transform your life for the better, and when you should do them to maximize results.

When to Do Vedic Rituals - The Power of Sunrise

In Vedic texts the day starts with Sunrise. The Sun is given great prominence, both as a giver of light and energy, and as a supreme deity and divine power. The Vedic scholar, David Frawley, has noted that “The Vedas laud the Sun as the source of life, intelligence and consciousness within us and as the very core of our own being, with each soul being a spiritual sun of its own.”

There are many forms of the Sun God – Surya, Aditya, Mitra and many more – each with their own specific role. In honor of the Sun’s importance as both an outer and inner source of energy and light, Vedic rituals align with the key moments of the Sun’s transformation through the day. The renowned Gaytri Mantra is chanted as part of the Sandhya Vandanam ritual at Sunrise, Sunset and when the Sun is at its peak at midday. Arghya, a ritual done for the Sun, is done during the first rays of light, as ideally is Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations. Waking up before the Sun rises and doing morning practices such as yoga and meditation during Sunrise itself is particularly powerful.

Our day to day routines operate based on the movement of the Sun, since generally we sleep through the night and are awake through the day. Similarly, many Vedic Rituals are centered around this incredibly important being, the Sun, without which life wouldn’t exist on the planet, and from which the rhythms of nature take their cue.

The Moon Calendar - Timings of Auspicious Moments and Festivals

The timings of Indian festivals are based on the lunar calendar, according to the Tithi, or lunar day, and the date changes every year. In the lunar calendar a new month is marked by Amavasya (New Moon). The first half of the month which corresponds to the waxing Moon is called Shukla Paksha, and the second half of the month which corresponds to the waning Moon is called Krishna Paksha.

Auspicious timings are calculated by the Panchang, the traditional Vedic calendar which takes into account five parts; Vara (day of the week according to the Sun), Tithi (day of the week according to the Moon), Nakshatra (lunar mansion), Yoga (auspicious and inauspicious period calculated by the angle of the Sun and Moon) and Karan (half of a Tithi).

However in addition to the Panchang it’s also important to take into account local timings. Due to the world having many time zones and the earth being round, the length of a day can vary from place to place, and will depend on the time of Sunrise. A solar day is what falls in between the two Sunrises. The Tithi of the day is usually determined based on the Tithi that prevails at Sunrise.

With the help of Panchang, the days of a festival can be determined, but it is possible that the festival may span over two days. So with the help of localized timings and the exact time of Sunrise, the true time of the festival can be determined based on the part of the world one is in.

When Festivals Span Over Two Days

Depending on where you live, occasionally auspicious festivals such as Diwali or Janmashtami will fall over two days.

In the case of Janmashtami, the birthday of the famous deity Lord Krishna, Krishna was born on Ashtami Tithi, the 8th waning lunar day, known as Krishna Paksha Ashtami, or the dark phase of the moon. Krishna had a desire to do good for society and was brave, victorious and able to overcome adversities. These are typical qualities of someone who is born on Ashtami Tithi, which is ruled by Lord Shiva, the all-pervading divine consciousness.

Lord Krishna was also born under the magnetic and bright star of Rohini, which is influenced by the creative energy of the Moon, bringing him charm, talent and attractiveness to others, particularly to his followers, or Gopis. Since Rohini nakshatra and Ashtami Tithi do not always fall on the same day, some communities celebrate when it is Ashtami Tithi and others celebrate when the Moon enters Rohini nakshatra.

During Janmashtami the Moon is at an angle with Mercury and the Sun, giving rise to Budha-Aditya Yoga, a powerful placement for receiving Lord Krishna’s blessings.

For any festival, the Panchang, Tithi and Nakshatra are the same for everyone, but the timings used can vary, the main difference being whether it is the solar or the lunar day that is taken into account.

The good news is you don’t need to be an expert in Panchang and analyzing never-ending tables of timings because the align27 app uses thousands of algorithms to calculate accurate, to-the-minute timings of festivals and auspicious days and moments for you.

Connect with the Celestial Sphere

No matter who we are, as human beings on the planet we face challenges. Along with life’s joys also come inevitable moments of frustration or sadness when we struggle to navigate what has been laid down in our path. When we analyze in retrospect, we often see how the challenges have made us stronger or more compassionate to others. But when you’re going through it, let’s face it – it’s not so easy.

Ancient people were aware of the concept of cosmic time – that the macrocosm of our individual lives is a reflection of the planetary movement in the heavens. In cultures all over the world, the Sun, Moon and planets were honored and their cycles studied so as to foresee challenges and face them head on, prepared with a pack of tools to smoothen the process. For every problem, there was a solution.

In Vedic astrology, these tools are the timeless rituals and remedies that were documented thousands of years ago in the ancient Vedic literature, and still apply to this day. Remedies bring a shift in our consciousness and this strengthens the positive vibrations of benefic planets and reduces the negative impact of malefic ones.

Although by doing rituals we may not be able to remove the karma that is making us go through the tough situation, what it can do is minimize the burden caused by the karma, reduce our suffering and help us move on.

You can find personalized daily rituals and remedies, based on your individual birth chart, in the ‘Rituals’ section of the align27 app.

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