Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Karunanidhi's tryst with calendar!

It was indeed very revolutionary of Mr Karunanidhi

to have made an emotional appeal to the people of Tamilnadu,

to celebrate the new Tamil New year's day like Deepavali!

In his speech on the occasion of thanks-giving by poets of the Tamil Sanga-p-pEravai

for his revolutionary changing of Tamil New year's day from 1st of Chitthirai to 1st of Thai,

Mr Karunanidhi - apparently worried by the lack of positive response to his revolution,

made an appeal to the people that they must celebrate this New Tamil New Year's day

with all the grandeur with which they used to celebrate Deepavali.


Forget the comments by his minister that

Tamils must not celebrate Deepavali, as it is an Aryan festival.

(To know the opinion of AMR of Kumudam jothidam about this,

click the following links


http://www.kumudam.com/magazine/Jothidam/2008-02-15/pg1.php )

Fortunately Mr Karunanidhi is not for any comment

on whether

we must celebrate Deepavali or not

or whether Deepavali is Aryan festival or not.

He only wants us to celebrate the new Tamil New Year’s day

like Deepavali.

Isn’t it revolutionary to celebrate like Deepavali?

The last Deepavali saw the record highest sales in meat and liquor in Tamil nadu

-something that was truly unprecedented.

Does he want people to once again pitch up their craving for meat and liquor

on the New Tamil New Year's day too?

It means the vegetarian Pongal will be served with non-vegetarian dishes too.

And crackers would be burst replacing the near non-existant Bhogi parai!

If these were to be done by the people of Tamil Nadu,

then that would indeed make Mr.Karunanidhi truly revolutionary.

No one is going to question him even if he says that he has ordered the east to shift to west

and from now onwards people must recognize western direction as east

and eastern direction as west.

It would be all the more revolutionary if he passes such an order.

No one in the history of human beings have ever done that revolution.

No one can claim, as he himself would

that the sun rises in the west in his country

and sets in the east by his order!

He can even claim that the sun never sets at west in his country!

No one in this Tamil nadu will oppose him for such an order, if he passes it.

Because we are all Hindus and are well known for our tolerance and patience.

We in Tamilnadu are a special breed in extreme submissiveness,

that is the result of Karmic belief

that nothing is in our hands.

Mr karunanidhi is of the opinion that

Tamils must not accept the existing calendar

because it was formed by Aryans and written in Sanskrit.

If we are to reject anything written

by those other than Tamils,

or formulated in another language


Sethu Samudram Project is the first one that must be scrapped,


it was conceived by Englishmen 150 years ago.

No Tamilian asked for it.

No Tamilian dreamed of it.

No Tamilian living now, ever heard of this project as a 150-year dream,

but for the talks spread by politicians now.

The only Tamil who spoke about it was Mahakavi Bharathi.

But he wanted the Sethu to be bridged well

and not to be broken.

("sinhala theevinukkOr paalam amaippOm,

Sethuvai mEdurutthi veedhi samaippOm"

“let us construct a bridge to the island of Sinhala.

Let us construct a road on Sethu” )

To say that we don’t accept something because

it was conceived by someone of another race

and written in a language other than Tamil,

is akin to saying

that we do not accept the Theory of Gravitation

because it was found out by an Englsihman

and written initially by an Englishman!

The Calendars also come under the same category.

They are based on Universal truth,

conceived at a time in antiquity

and handed down the generations,

but are written in local languages.

The purpose of this post is not to find fault with new order of Mr Karunanidhi.

But to bring to the notice of the people how Mr Karunanidhi

is helping Hindus in perpetuating the Eternal Truth of Hinduism

that is contained in his revolution.

As a Hindu, I am also amazed at the way

the concepts of Sanata Dharma are working silently yet precisely on mankind-

here in this case on Mr Karunanidhi,

as per the rules contained in it

and also as told in different texts.

First it is about the ingenious way the Lord's assertion (16th chapter of Bhagawad Gita)

is working on a person (here on Mr Karunanidhi).

Whatever is one's interest or passion or character,

the Lord will push him further into it.

This works psychologically and scientifically.

This is happening with Mr Karunanidhi.

We know how he is seriously doing Yoga, the Surya namaskar and breathing exercises

mixed with appropriate recitals of praise on Sun God (gyaayiru pOttrudum – praise unto Sun)

Worship of the Sun God is as old as mankind itself

and Hindusim revolves around this worship as salutations to Surya Narayana.

One of the manifestations of Sun’s blessings on mankind is exhibited in the Hindu Calendars.

Hindu Calendars are made as per rules laid down in Siddhanthas.

There are 18 Siddhanthas, of which Surya siddhantha is the oldest.

No one can ever say its antiquity.

Many sages and scholars have adopted the tenets of Surya Siddhantha

along with other siddhantic notions in their works

The latest to do it was Varahamihira in the 6th century AD!

The Siddhantic literature is a part of the 3 segments of Jyothisha or astrology,

known as GaNitha Skanda.

This is based on calculation in astronomy and planetary systems and the measuring of time.

Measurement of time is possible or done only on the basis of the movement of the Sun.

Surya siddhatha has listed 9 types of measurement of time (maana),

of Brahma (kalpa), of the Gods, of the fathers (pitrus), of Prajapathi (manvanthra),

of Jupiter (Brihaspathya maana), of solar, civil (saavana maana), lunar and sidreal time.

Of these only 4 are for practical use for humans, says this Siddhantha.

They are Solar (sauramaana),

Lunar (chandramaana)

civil (saavana maana)


sidreal (nakshthra maana).

Based on these only calendars are made and New Year is fixed.

Two calendars, one based on moon and

another based on sun are in popular use for Hindus

in different parts of the globe.

The Solar calendar commences on the entry of the sun in the first zodiac sign, called Aries.

The lunar calendar commences on the day after New moon just before the sun enters the first zodiac.

All these are based on sound rationale.

They have been conceived by sages who have had no barrier of race, language or region.

The rationale is universal like the laws of Nature.

They have been conceived for the benefit of mankind.

The Siddhantha is based on pure science

and with reference to the location of the people on the globe.

As such this is meant for people living in the Northern Hemisphere.

The sun makes a half-revolution from Capricorn (Thai) to the beginning of Cancer (Aadi),

in the Northern hemisphere, giving light to Devas

(deva is derived from the root ‘div’ which means light.

The people in the northern hemisphere are the devas receiving light during this half-revolution).

The other half from Cancer to Capricorn is time of less light for those in the north

But it is bright period for those in the South.

The peak of brightness starts in the North when the Sun enters Aries.

The peak of brightness starts in the South when the sun enters Libra.

These two points are the equinoxes when the day and night are the same.

From Aries to Cancer the days are exceeding (more daylight) for those in the north.

Between solstice to solstice (Cancer to Capricorn),

Deficiency or excess of day or night is less than 60 nadis (nazhigai)

The Surya Siddhantha further proceeds to say,

“The Sun when situated in Sagittarius, Capricorn, Scorpio and Aquarius,

is not seen in the hemisphere of Gods (in the North)”

The Aries is the mid-point of exceeding brightness in the North

while Libra is the mid-point of exceeding brightness in the South.

Midway between these two points lie two entrances

called as the two feet of Vishnu, by Surya Siddhantha.

These points are the solstices, or beginning of ayana.

The first Vishnu padam or Vishnu’s foot is

at the beginning of Uttharayana

at Maker shankaranthi

(Sankaranthi means entering – here the sun entering Makar raasi, or Capricorn)

When brightness starts to grow in the Northern hemisphere,

the foot of Vishnu appears at the first entrance at the beginning of Capricorn.

From Capricorn the sun’s movement grows and reaches mid-heavens at Aries.

That is where Vishnu raises his foot and places his foot in the heaven.

That point is celebrated as Vishuvat – from when the New year starts for all Hindus.

That is the point of conquer of heavens by the 2 nd step by the Lord as Vamana.

After that, Vishnu’s foot comes down and is stamped on the ground

at the other entrance at the beginning of Cancer.

At this point the demon (of darkness) is pressed below.

The second half of revolution of the sun from this point to Capricorn

is night time for those in the North,

that is, the time of less brightness from the sun.

Thus the Sun’s movement in Uttharayana itself

is metaphorical of Vamana avathra!

Mr Karunanidhi has wanted to make this Siddhantha truly metaphorical,

for it is more apt to glorify the first foot of Vishnu as the start of the New year.

Siddhantins have also given a thought over it (discussed in Surya Siddhantha)

But they could not favour Makar sankaranthi as the beginning of New year,

because Sankaranthi may happen at any time, even at odd hours at night.

So they thought it is not advisable to start the New year with Sankaranthi.

Instead the Siddhantham favours Saura maana or Solar year that starts with Sun rise!

“Solar year is sidereal, not tropical.

It commences whenever the sun enters the first sign of the immovable sidereal zodiac

or when it is 10 minutes east of the longitude from the star Piscium (Revathy)”

This is for practical use by humans.

“By solar (saura) time,

are determined the measure of the day and night,

the shadacithi mukha, the solstices (ayana),

the equinox (vishuvat) and

propitious period of Sun’s entrance into a sign (sankaranthi).”

From sun rise to sunrise day is calculated.

(This can not be done if Makar sankaranthi is taken as the starting point of the year)

The shadaciti is calculated beginning with Libra.

This is used to ascertain the time to do sacrifices to Pithrus.

“ Beginning with Libra,

the shadacitimukha is at the end of periods of 86 (shadaciti) days in succession.

There are four of them,

occurring in the signs of double character. (dwiswabhava or upaya raasi).


At the 26 the degree of Sagittarius,

At the 22nd of Pisces,

At the 18th of Gemini

And 14th of Virgo.

From the latter point,

the 16 days of Virgo, which remain suitable for sacrifices,

anything given to pithrus is inexhaustible.

In the midst of the zodiac (bhachakra) are the two equinoxes (vishuvat)

Situated upon the same distance (samasutraya).

And like this two solstices (ayana)

These four are well known.

Between these are, in each case, two entrances (sankranthi)

From the immediateness of the entrances

are to be known the two feet of Vishnu”

Mr Karunanidhi’s tryst with Yoga seems to have fixed him in the greatness of Vishnu

(as assured by Krishna in Gita)

and has made him treat this first foot of Vishnu with reverence

by introducing this as the beginning of the New Year!

He seems to have unconsciously accepted and glorified Vamana avathara,

-the only avathar mentioned by Thiruvalluvar (kuraL 610) too (in whose name he swears).

It may not be long before he accepts

that the sweeping of the heavens by Vishnu at Vishuvat

is the glorious moment in Vamana avathara.

Until then, I am sure the Lord will fix him in revelations pertaining

to the purpose of starting the New Year with a calendar,

that the New Year

is not a festival like Pongal (harvest festival)

or Deepavali (celebration of victory over evil).

It is a poignant moment of planning for the year ahead

by knowing the times that are to come,

the times when works have to be done –

works of material and spiritual and religious nature-

and pray to God asking for a mind of equanimity


we accept both good and bad

by symbolically offering Him the Mango pacchadi

mixed with all tastes including the bitterness of neem!


vid said...

Excellent points, very educational and extremely well written in a tongue-in-cheek humor style. A pleasure to read. Thanks a bunch.

Unknown said...

Very interesting.

For the following the picture at link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_calendar.
The figure under title "Months and approximate correcspondence" refers.

Could you kindly explain why the that in the Vikrami calendar (see row 1) it is Vaisakha and in the Tamil calendar it is Chithirai in April-May?
Why are they different?

Also why is Chaitra of Vikrami calendar falling in March-April and Chaitra (Chithirai) of Tamil calendar falling in April-May?

Thank you kindly.

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Its given in the table itself - as lunar and solar. Tamil calendar follows solar month with each month starting from zero degree of each zodiacal sign. The lunar month starts from the day after New Moon and after Full Moon in some regions. Why the discrepancy happens is given in that article itself, below the table.

Unknown said...

Thank You Jaysree Ji.

Sorry I did not get myself clear. What I meant was I was comparing the solar month. E.g. see Drik Pachang Sankranti in April 2019 falls on 14-April. In the Odia (Oriya) Panchang (https://www.drikpanchang.com/oriya/oriya-panji.html?date=14/04/2019) it is start of BAISAKHA and in the Tamil Panchang (https://www.drikpanchang.com/tamil/tamil-month-panchangam.html?date=14/04/2019) it is the start of CHITHRAI. Both are solar months but there is one month difference.

This was really what I meant but did not get across clearly. My humble apologies.

Why do you think is this discrepancy of one Sankriti month between the Odia and the Tamil calendars?

Jayasree Saranathan said...

I have not seen Odiya panchang, but the link you sent clubs Odiya year under Lunar, not solar. Kindly check whether Odiya is actually following solar. Easy way to know this is whether they begin the year on Partipat after New Moon or on Mesha sankramana. By what is given in the link, it appears they begin the New Year after New Moon. That is lunar year.

Unknown said...

Jayshree Ji.

The Odiya (Oriya) Panchang (in the link given) marks 1, Byisakha on 14-April, 2, Byisakha on April 15, .... 17 Byasakha on 30 April; and 30 Chyatra on 13-April; 22 Chyatra on 5-April (which is new moon). So Odiya seems to be using Solar month (Sankriti). I be happy to communicate via email to discuss where I can also post snapshots. My email is hksikh13@gmail.com.

Thank you,