This year too, like many times in the past, Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated on three days.
Painting by Ravi varma.
The reason for this is that the rules and rationale in fixing the birthday of
are differently followed by various schools of thought.
Some stick to the thithi while others to the birth star.
In this post let me look into some rationale from astrology point of view.
Thithi is not considered for birth days,
as thithi is connected with austerities or ritualistic practices to be done.
A thithi denotes the distance traveled by the moon.
At particular distances, it has been found to be beneficial for certain practices
to get maximum benefit.
In this way only, Amavasya is being reserved exclusively for pithru tarpaN.
is found to give maximum results for dana, japa or meditation.
Another occasion is Ekadasi vratha.
Yet another occasion is Gokulashtami.
Fasting done on Ashtami in the dark phase of the moon in the month of Shravana
will help one a realize all desires.
That is why Gokulashtami is celebrated
on the thithi in which
Since thithis will benefit ritualistic practices done with expectation of a fruit or benefit,
But birth day is not connected to thithis.
Birth day is that day when the moon passes through the star in the zodiac sign
that it did at the time of the birth of the person.
As such, the star in the month in which the person is born is the birth star
and the day on which this happens is the birth day.
and the day of this star in the month of Shravana is considered as the birthday of
Here again a dilemma comes –
whether to celebrate the birthday on the day
when Rohini is there for most part.
Here astrology gives a clarification.
According to astrological texts,
Savanamana calculation is to be used for the purpose of festivals.
This Savanamana takes into account sun-rise timing.
According to this system,
to identify a day with a particular star,
that star must be still traversed by the moon at sun rise.
The star may have started on the previous day – but after sun rise.
That star may have been present for most part of the day in the previous day.
But since that star was not present at sun rise of the previous day,
the previous day can not be identified with that star.
When the star is still present at the time of sun rise the next day,
as though sanctified by sun’s rays,
only the next day is said to be the day of the star.
This is referred to as ‘piccham’ – ‘the remaining part’,
and if the star remains the next day also to see the sun rise,
then the celebrations connected with the star must be done on the next day only.
That is how the Krishna Jayanthi has come to be celebrated
on the 3 rd day, to day this year –
with Rohini remaining today
and Rohini seeing sun-rise only today.
The star may have been present for a few hours today, compared to yesterday.
But yesterday, the star at sun rise was Krittika and not Rohini.
So yesterday can not be considered as day of Rohini.
Yesterday was the day of Krittika.
But those taking up Kaarthigai - vratham
would start at the time of start of Krittika,
and end it at the end of the Krittika.
That is why you will find almanacs mentioning that
krittikai vratha started day- before yesterday
when moon entered the asterism of krittika.
But in the case of Rohini, it is not Rohini vratha.
It is Krishna's birth day.
That is why it is celebrated on the day of Rohini, sanctified by sun-rise.
That is the rationale.
If we start considering the star depending on its duration in a day,
we may encounter practical problems in computing time based on star.
There are times when a star will see 3 sunrises –
This is called ‘Thri-dinasprik’.
There are times when a star may not see sunrise at all.
The star may rise (moon’s entry into it) after sunrise and
set before the next sun rise.
This is called ‘Avama’ or ‘Avamakam ‘.
One can notice these words in the almanac.
Thri-dinasprik and Avama are avoided for auspicious purposes.
In the case of birthdays, the day when the star is present at sunrise,
it is considered as the birth day.
In celebrating Krishna Jayanthi,
the different days are chosen with respective reasons.
Fasting is an important aspect of
Those expecting material benefits must fast on Janmashtami
and break their fast (pAraNai) at the end of the Ashtami thithi.
Those who are free from material desires, should fast
on the Birthday (birth star) of
do regular pooja followed by
They must Meditate on
Balarama, Vasudeva, Devaki, Nada gopa and Yashoda
till moon rise.
Once the moon appears in the horizon,
arghya of tender coconut water must be offered to moon.
Moon is prayed as the Milk of the ocean and
Moon with Rohini is offered the arghya.
Then they must continue
devotional services to
by offering food and fruits of the season.
Sleep is forbidden
and the fast is broken only on the next morning,
by taking food along with other devotees of Vishnu.
This kind of celebration is said to
remove all sins and fulfills all desires.
In this case, the moon may not be in the asterism of Rohini
But it was, when
The same condition can not happen every year.
But the same rationale is used in celebration of
This is explained in the astrological text “Kalaprakasika”
A separate chapter is devoted on Shree jayanthi and how to celebrate it.
(can be read in this link)
The fear of Ashtami – Navami
Generally Ashtami and Navami are the days meant for meditation.
On these two days, the moon is at right angles to the earth
in such a way that the combined effect of both the sun and the moon
on earth and our mind is nil.
Any thought force emanating from us can be free of celestial disturbance.
That is why these two days are reserved for spiritual thoughts.
Since no other time in a paksha (fortnight) is so free of Luni-solar pulls,
our elders thought it fit to forget the mundane activities and
concentrate on God’s thoughts on these two days.
But this was forgotten in course of time
and unfortunately these two days have become dreaded days now-a-days.
Medicinal astrology also recommends Ashtami for starting
any new treatment of medicines or surgeries.
The combined effect of the sun and the moon on the fluids in our body
will be minimal at this time.
Kalaprakasika also states the asterisms at
Brahma Samhita is quoted in which Pitamaha
(Pitamaha is generally considered as the Sun God or Brahma)
tells Narada the birth time asterisms of
This is almost to similar to Rama’s horoscope
with 5 planets in exaltation and two planets in own houses.
A very rare occurrence indeed.
But this is different from what BV Raman has presented.
(discussed in my post)
BV Raman arrived at the horoscope based on texts like
Srimad Bhagavatham and Harivanmdsam.
It is intriguing that he missed
Kalaprakasika (a well known book of astrology) information.
I am presenting the horoscope given by BV Raman here.
It is wished that someone with know-how in tracking the times
based on planetary positions, take note of the horoscopes given here
and help us know the dates accordingly
ands also to arrive at the accurate horoscope.