‘Kaalamaana’ or the Calculations of Time are based (ref. Maha Bhagavata Purana) on Tritis-hundred Tritis or one Vedha-three Vedhaas one Lava-three Lavaas one nimesha-three nimeshaas one kshana-five nimeshas one kashtha or eight seconds - fifteen kaashthas one laghu or two minutes- fifteen laghus one danda-two dandas one muhutra and six/seven dandas one fourth of a day or night-four praharaas or yamaas [ a day or night has eight yaamaas and each yaama has seven and half ghadis]- one Paksha has a fortnight-two Pakshas or fortnights one Maasa or month-six maasaas one Ritu or Season- two Seasons one Ayana viz. Uttaraayana / Dakshinaayana- two Ayanaas one Varsha/ Samvatsara / Year. Each Year has five methods of calculations viz. Chaandra-Soura-Saavana-Naakshatra-Baarhaspatya. In Chandra Varsha: Beginning from Shukla Pratipaada Tithi upto Amavasya (viz. Prathama- Dwiteeya, Triteeya, Chaturthi-Panchami-Shashthi-Saptami-Ashtami-Navami-Dashami-Ekaadashi, Dwaadashi-Trayodasi-Chaturdashi-Amavasaya) and again from Prathama to Pournami, the Chaitraadi Maasaas (viz. Chitra-Vaishakha- Jyeshta-Ashaadha-Shraavana- Bhadrapada- Ashvijuja- Kartika- Margashira- Pushya-Maagha- Phalguna approximately corresponding to March-April-May-June-July-August-September-October-November-December, January and February) would sum up to twelve months ie. 354 days ; in ‘Mala Maasa’/ Kshaya Maasa or ‘Adhika Maasa’(Extra Month) there would be thirteen months. In Chandra Varsha as also in other ‘Pancha Vidha Maasaa Prakarana’ or the afore-mentioned month-wise calculations , there would be sixty years viz. Prabhava, Vibhava, Shukla, Pramodoota, Prajopatti, Aangirasa, Shrimukha, Bhava, Yuva, Dhaata, Ishwara, Bahudhaanya, Pramaati, Vikrama, Vrisha, Chitrabhaanu, Swayam -bhaanu, Taarana, Parthiva, Vyaya, Vrisha, Sarvajit, Sarvadhaari, Virodhi, Vikruti, Khara, Nandana, Vijaya, Jaya, Manmatha, Durmikhi, Helambi, Vilambi, Vikaari, Sharvani, Plava, Shubhakruth, Krodhi, Vishvaavasu, Paraabhava, Plavanga, Keelaka, Saumya, Saadhaarana, Virodhi- kruth, Paridhaavi, Pramaadeecha , Ananda, Raakshasa, Nala, Pingala, Kaala yukti, Siddhaarthi, Roudri, Duyrmati, Dundubhi, Rudhiraodgaari, Raktaakshi, Krodhana, and Akshaya. In the context of Soura Varsha, as Mesha and other Rashis (viz. Mesha or Aries, Vrishabha or Taurus, Mithuna or Gemini, Karaka or Cancer, Simha or Leo, Kanya or Virgo, Tula or Libra, Vrischika or Scorpio, Dhanu or Sagitarius, Makara or Capricon, Kumbha or Aquarius and Meena or Pisces) revolve a complete circle of a year, then 364 days are through. Saavana maana Varsha denotes time from one Sun Rise to another Sun Rise and thus the duration of Savana Varsha is 360 days. Naakshatra Varsha is 324 days based on the Nakshatra in which Moon would lie at the Sunrise of a day; the Nakshatraas are twenty seven in number viz. Ashwini, Bharani, Krittika, Rohini, Mrigashira, Ardra, Punarvasu, Pushyami, Ashlesha, Makha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swaati, Vishaakha, Anuradha, Jyeshtha, Moola, Purvaashaadha, Uttara Ashaadha- Abhijit a male Star for a very limited duration- Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabhisha, Purvaabhaadra , Uttaraabhaadra and Revati. Abhijit-literally meaning Victorious- is stated to be Shubha Muhurta for any auspicious Kaarya, irrespective the impact of the previous or following Nakshatras. Barhaspatya Vatsara is calculated on the basis of time period of Brihaspati or Jupiter’s motion through Madhyama(Mesha) Raashi thus totalling 361 days .However, all the Shrouta-Smaartha Karmaas are executed in the Chandra Varsha basis only.
Ayanaas are of two kinds viz. Dakshinaayana and Uttaraayana: Surya’s passage through six Raashis from Karka to Dhanu is called Dakshinaayana and the passage from Makara to Mithuna Rashis is called Uttaraayana. Ritus (Seasons) are counted both Soura-maana or of Surya’s passage and Chandra maana or Chandra’s passage-wise. Commencing from Meena / Mesha Raashis the passage of Surya through the subsequent two further Raashis is called Vasanta Ritu or Spring Season of pleasant weather roughly coinciding with Chaitra/Vaishaaka or March last to May last weeks when festivals like Ugadi, Shri Rama Navami, and Baishaakhi are celebrated. The subsequent Ritus are as follows: Greeshma Ritu or Summer coinciding with Jyeshtha-Aashaadha or the last portions of May-June being Summer and hot when festivals like Ratha Yatra and Guru Purnima are observed; Varsha Ritu or monsoon season coinciding with Shravana-Bhadrapada or the last portions of May-July being very hot observing Raksha Bandhana, Krishnma Ashtami, Ganesha Chaturthi, and Onam; Sharad Ritu or Autumn Season coinciding with Ashwin-Kartika Maasaas or last portions of September-November being mild weather celebrating Navaraatraas and Deepaavali; Hemanta Ritu or pre-winter Season coinciding with Margaseersha-Poushya of the last quarters of November-January celebrating Pongal and Samkranti; and finally Shishira Ritu or winter coinciding with Maagha-Phalguna Maasaas and the last quarters of January-March observing Vasanta Panchami, Shiva Raatri and Holi. The Chandra -maana procedure varies in the sense that the cycle of Seasons starts from the first day of Chaitra itself. In any case, the Shrouta-Smaarta Karmaas are re-emphasised and are better performed in Chaandra Ritus only.
Samkraanti Nirnaya : In the calculation of Mesha Samkranti, there occurs a Punya Kaala consisting of fifteen-fifteen ghadiyas before and after; there is an opinion that the Punya Kaala consists of ten ghadiyas. Before Vrisha Kaala Samkranti there would be a Punya Kaala of sixteen ghadiyas ; in Mithuna Samkraanti sixteen ghadiyas are counted before; thirty ghadiyas are counted before Karaka ; in Simha sixteen ghadiyas before; in respect of Kanya sixteen ghadiyas are counted after, in Tula there would be fifteen-fifteen Ghadiyas before and after; in Vrischika, sixteen ghadiyas are counted before; after Makara forty Ghadiyas; in Kumbha sixteen ghadiyas before; and for Meena the Punya Kaala is to be decided sixteen ghadiyas soon thereafter. Karka Samkraanti is stated to occur when the early morning hours ie. before two ghadiyas coincide with Vrisha-Simha-Vrischika- Kumbha and Karkaata Punya Kaala. If the Samkarana takes place before the mid night of that day then the previous day is taken as the Punya Kaala but if it is after the midnight, the Punya kaala is declared as on the following day. If Makara Samkranti takes place in the night then Punya kaala is observed as on the following day. Three ghadiyas after Suryaasta is called Surya Sandhya and if Makara Samkraanti occurs before that time then the Punya Kaala is reckoned as on the previous day. In case of Karka Samkrani, the Punya Kaala is slated for the next day. In Mesha Samkranti, daanas are to be offered in the form of sheep /goats; in Vrisha Samkranti, cows are offered; in Mithuna Samkraanti, Vasrta-Anna danaas are offered; in Karka ghrita-dhenu daana; in Simha Chhatra / Suvarna daana; in Kanyaa Samkramana, House/Vastra daana; in Tula Samkarana, cows or cow products like milk or ghee or curd besides Tilaas; in Vrischika Deepa daana; in Dhanu Samkranti, daana of Clothing- horse-bull-elephant carriages; in Makara, Agni or Indhana daana; in Kumbha, danna of cow-grass and water ; and in Meena Samkrani bhu daana or maalaa daana are prescribed. In respect of Ayana/ Mesha / Tula Samkrantis, fasting on three previous nights or at least the previous night and daanaas on the next morning are to be observed. Also, in respect of all Samkrantis, pinda-rahita shraaddha is prescribed. In both the Ayanaas viz. on Purnima and Amavasya days, nitya shraaddha and Annaadi daanaas are prescribed preceded by night-fastings. The Vrisha-Simha-Vrischika-Kumbha Sankrantis are stated to be of Vishnu Paada; Mithuna-Kanya-Dhanu-Meena are stated to be of ‘Shadsheeti Sanjna’; Mesha and Tula Samkrantis are of Vishu-Naama; and Karka-Makara Samkrantis are of Ayana-Naamaas. In respect of all these kinds of Samkrantis, observance of the prescribed regulations are stated of be of far-reaching significance. To undertake all Mangala Karyaas or Auspicious Deeds fifteen ghadiyas before and there after ought to be avoided. However, Raatrou samkramanopi , divaiva snaanaadikam na tu raatraaviti tu sarva sammatam/ (If Samkrantis take place in the nights, snana-daana-bhojanaadi karmas be performed on the following mornings.) In case, any person’s Janma Nakshatra (Birth Star) coincides with Surya Samkranti, there are indications of loss of money and therefore he or she would better take bath along with lotus leaves . If Samkranti enters in Mesha-Tula-Makara Karkatakas on day time /Vishu - Ayana days, then Vedaadhyana or abstaining from reading or teaching Vedas be avoided on the specific days as also on the follownig and previous days; that is why this Samkraanti is called Pakshini Samkraanti.
Mala Maasa/ Adhika Maasa and Kshaya Maasa: Mala Maasa is of two types viz. Adhika Maasa and Kshaya Maasa. In Adhika Maasa there would be no Samkrantis of any kind where as in Kshaya Maasa, there are double Samkrantis. Following the first Adhika Maasa, the second Adhika Maasa occurs in the thirtieth month and again on the following eighth or the ninth month thereafter. Kshaya Maasa happens only one and forty one years subsequently. That too it occurs in Kartika- Maarga sirsha /Agahana-Poushya Maasaas only. When Kshaya Maasa occurs there would be two Adhika Maasaas in the same year.The examples as to how Adhika Maasaas occur are: if there is Mesha Samkraanti from Chaitra Krishna Amavasya and there woud be no Samkranti from Shukla Praatipada to that Amavasya, then that Maasa is Adhika Vaishakha Maasa; again when Vrishabha Samkranti takes place then that Maasa would be called Shuddha Vaishaakha Maasa. The illustration of Kshaya Maasa is as follows: Suppose there is Kanya Samkraanti from Bhadrapada Krishna Amavasya- then Ashvyuja maasa would be Adhika maasa- Tula Sankraanti from Ashwiyuja Shuddha Praadipada- Vrischika Samkraanti from Kartika Shukla Paatipada- Dhanu Sankraanti from Margasirsha Patipada- Makara Samkranti from the same month’s Amavasya: in this illustration Kshaya Maasa is the combine of Dhanur-Makara Samkrantis. This combination of Margasirsha –Pousha maasaas is like that of Artha Naareeshwara; those who die in this Kshaya Maasa (the Purvaartha Margasirsha Month and the Uttaraartha of Poushya Month) need to perform Pratyaabdika Shraaddha. Then on Maagha Amavasya, Kumbha Sankraanti would occur which would be followed by Phalguna Adhika Maasa ; Meena sankraanti would take place on Shuddha Phalguna Shukla Pratipada. Thus, a year when a Kshaya Maasa happens between two Adhika Maasaas that year would have thirteen months short of a few days ie 390 days. The Adhika Maasa that preceeds Kshaya Maasa is called Samsarpa; this is the best time for performing all kinds of Karmas including Shubha karyas. The Adhika Maasa that follows the previous Kshaya Maasa called Samhaspati Maasa however is not good for any kind of Karmaas. Similarly, the Adhika Maasas occuring during the next three years also is not good for performing all kinds of Karmaas.
The Do’s and Don’t’s during Adhika Maasa and Kshaya Maasas are as follows: normal duties of performing nitya-naimittika-kaamya karmas should be continued unless there are unvoidable exigencies; Sandhya, Agnihotra, and such other normal karmas are nitya karmaas while grahana snaanaas and such occasional karmas are naimittika karmas and kaamya karmaas are those to ward off evils as also drishti-related tasks; indeed all such tasks should not be disturbed. However Jyotishtomas, Jyateshti and Putra Kaamekshi karmas should be postponed to Shudda Maasaas. Naveena Karmaas ( Fresh Intiatives) and Samaapti or Conclusive Karmas be avoided in the Mala Maasas. Yet, those tasks like Punah-Pratishtha of a Murti which need to be necessarily followed up by a Murti already set up as also tasks ranging from Garbhaadaana , Annaprasana, and such tasks need not be postponed. Jwara roga Shantis, Nitya-Unmaashika- Amavasya Shraddhas too should not be disturbed. However in respect of those who die in Mala Maasa , the Pratyaabhika be performed on the respective Tithis after the Mala Maasas. The Shraaddha of those who die in Shudda Maasaas should not be done in Mala Maasa but should be done in the following Shudda Maasa only. But if the Prathamaabdika falls in Mala Maasa, then it should be done in the Mala Maasa itself since the ‘Samvatsara Purthi’ occurs then. The Dwiteeya Shraaddas would however resume again on the concerned Tithis of the Shuddha Maasaas in the subsequent years. Again, twelve days after the death of a person requiring obsequies ought be executed even in a Mala Masa. If the dwiteeya Maasika falls in Mala Maasa again, the same should be repeated twice over. In that case, the Unaabdika be done and the dwiteeyaabdika be pushed forward and the Saamvatsarika Shraddha be performed in fourteen Maasaas. In the Mala Maasas, following tasks must not be resorted to viz. Upakarma, Utsarjana, Ashtka Shraadha, Griha Pravesha, Chudaakarana, Yagnopaveeta, Vivaaha, Tirtha Yatras, Griha Nirmaana, Devataa Pratishtha, renovation of wells and gardens, wearing of new clothes and tasks involving decoration of self or surroundings, Mahaa Danaas, Yagna Karmas, Darshan of Apurva Devata and Apurva Tirthaas, Sanyasa, Kaamya, Vrikshotsarga, Rajaabhisheka, Annapraashana, Nama Karmaadi Samskara, Pavitraaropana, Damanaarpana, Shravanaakarma, Sarpabali, Shayana-Parivartaadi Utsavaas, Shapadha-Divyaadi karma etc.
Tithi Nirnaya in Saamaaya Paribhaasha: Tithis are of two kinds viz. Purna and Sakhanda. Purna Tithi is called what obtains upto sixty ghadis after Sun Rise. Sakhanda Tithi is what obtains less than that time. Akhanda is divided in two parts viz. Shuddhaa and Viddha. Shuddha is the period of time occuring from Suryodaya to Suryaastama; however on Shiva Ratris the time from Sun Rise to Midnight past Sun Set is noted as Shuddha Khanda. The rest is called Viddha. Now the term Vedha - which means protrusion of one Tithi into another-is also of two kinds viz. Praatah -Vedha and Saayam Vedha. The duration from Suryodaya upto six ghadis later is called Praatarvedha and the subsequent six ghadis after Suryaasta and before the commencement of the next Tithi is called Saayam Vedha. In respect of certain Tithis, the Vedha is of longer duration; for instance, Shashthi’s Panchami Vedha is of twelve ghadis; Ekaashi’s Dashami Vedha is fifteen ghadiyaas; Pournami’s Chaturdashi Vedha is eighteen ghadiyas. Now, this Vedha is applicable to different karmas as they could be ‘nishiddhaas’ or ‘graahyaas’, ie. acceptable or not. In any case, application of approval for a Karya is clear on Sampurna Tithis / Shubha Tithis.
Karma Visesha Nirnaya: Karma is of two types: Daiva and Pitravya. Daiva Karma is related to six kinds of Bhojana viz. Eka bhukta (eating on mid-day once) Nakta (eating at the pradosha time in the night ie three muhurtaas following Suryasta), Ayaachita bhukta (unsolicited and unscheduled fasting or carry forward meal of previous day), Upavaasa (day and night fasting), Vrata or fasting on account of performing a Vrata and Daana ( restraint of bhojan on account of providing charity). Additionally, fasting due to regular Ekaashi Tithi or on specified days is also observed by one’s own volition; such fastings could be at the hours of individual choice say as per the five parts of a day viz. Pratah kaala, Sangava, Madhyahna, Aparaahna and Pradosha. Eka Bhukta or one meal a day is relevant to Madhyahnika Tithi or of the Tithi of the half day past thirty Ghadiyas and thereafter the time upto Sunset is called Gaula kaala. Nakta vrata is to consume a single meal three muhurtas after Sunset called Pradosha kaala; after the Nakta Bhojana, and there after there would be no futher eating, sleep, sangama and reading; this kind of Nakta Vrata is normally observed by Yatis, Putraheenaas, widows and widowers. Ayaachita bhukta is related to the different situations like Pitru-related fastings or bhojana as case that might be.
Upavaasa is restricted maximum to two nights for women . Without the permission of husband, no house wife can observe Vratas and Upavasa. On the days of Upavasa or the Shraddha days, house wives are forbidden of teeth-cleaning with kaashtha or ash of firewood as on normal days and ‘danta dhaavana’should be done with ‘neem’twigs or leaves. On the Upavaasa or Vrata days, Sankalpa or Invocation should be performed in the early morning using with water filled in copper vessels by Uttaraabhi mukha or facing northward. Newly initiated Vratas or Udyaapanas of Vratas should not be performed in Mala Maasaas, Amavasyaas, or khanda tithis or of carry forward thithis. Khanda Tithi is denoted by the same tithi of the pratha kaala which lasts at least upto the madhyaahna. Also, the commencement of a Vrata and its termination on the same Tithi is called Satya Vrata. The common and dharmaas to perform a Vrata involve Kshama, Satya, Daya, Daana, Shoucha, Indriya nigraha, Deva Puja-Japa-Dhyaana-Kathaa Shravana-Samkeertana and Havana of that particular Deva targetted, Santosha, self-discipline and Bahyaantara Shuchi are normal expectations.