Practical Guides

Astaṅga

Śrī vidyā sādhaka use a calendar called aṣtāṅga based on Śrī vidyā tatvas. At the very beginning, from dimensionless Bindu this Universe evolved, due to a movement (spanda) in that bindu. Time and space got evolved almost together. Hence, Time and Space are interrelated and one cannot exist without the other (avinābhāva sambanda). The subtle element time always co-exists with physical space. The subtle element space has its aspect as ‘sound’, from which all alphabets evolved (Mātṛkā akṣarā). The tatvas for this visible universe are thirty-six according to traipura siddhānta and are represented by these Mātṛkā akṣarā. Space is defined as existence between two intervals of time, thus this aṣtāṅga focuses on time only. 

The initial day is taken as kali yuga’s first day and eight limbs- aṣtāṅga- are calculated

The basic formulations are:

One week has nine days (Vāsara) – they are named after nava nātha:-prakāśa, vimarśa, ānanda, Śrījñāna, Śrīsatya, Śrīpūrṇa, svabhāva, pratibha and subhaga.

–eg. Vimarśānandanātha vāsara

There are four weeks in a month (māsa), so from the above, there will be thirty-six days (dina) in a month. These days are named after thirty-six tatvas along with a Mātṛkā akṣarās, which are the vowel ‘a’ and thirty-five consonants from “ka” to “kṣam”. am śiva tatva, kam śakti, kham sadāśiva, gam īśvara, gham śuddha vidyā, Ṅgam māya, cam kalā, cham avidyā, jam rāga, jham kāla, njam niyati, Tam puruṣa, Tham prakṛti, Dam ahamkāra, Dham bhuddhi, ṇam maṇa, tam śrotra, tham tvak, dam cakṣus, dham jihvā, nam ghrāṇa, pam vāk, pham pāṇi, bam pāda, bham pāyu, mam upastha, yam śabda, ram sparśa, lam rūpa, vam rasa, śam gandha, ṣam ākāśa, sam vāyu, ham vahni, Lam jala and kṣam pṛthvi.  -eg. Kham sadāśiva tatva dina

There are sixteen months (called māsa) in a year named after the nityās or soma mandala kalā or sadāśiva kalā.  Hence, we can find five hundred and seventy-six days in a devi māna year. e.g., Om sarvamaṅgalā nityā / prīti kalā / jñānāmṛtā kalā māsa

There are thirty-six years (called varṣa) named after the thirty-six tatvas, already said above. e.g., jam rāga tatva varṣa

A cycle of thirty-six years is called a parivṛtti, which are also named after the thirty-six tatvas which will have 576 months and 20736 days. (Roughly 57 and odd years) e.g., pam vāk tatva parivṛtti

A cycle of thirty-six parivṛtti is called a yuga, also named as above

-eg. Kham sadāśiva tatva yuga.

Another aspect is called ghaṭikā. A time interval of twenty-four minutes is called a ghaṭikā. Thus, there are sixty ghaṭikās in a day. Each ghaṭikā is assigned with Mātṛkā akṣara. The visarga (aḥ) is left out in the vowels. So, fifteen vowels and thirty-five consonants are taken in order for naming ghaṭikā. Only fifty ghaṭikās will be named thus, the rest ten are repeated again from the first ghaṭikā. On day one, if we start with ‘a’ as udaya ghaṭikā akṣara then as per the above guidelines we will end up in the ‘ḹ’ ghaṭikā, next day udaya ghaṭikā will be ‘e’. Similar calculation will result in third day udaya ghaṭikā as ‘ca’, fourth day as ‘ta’ and fifth day as ‘ya’, sixth day will be again ‘a’ and this cycle will repeat. 

One more aspect called dina nityā is also there. They are the fifteen nityās, who are named in our Saparya, they are taken in the same order for śukla pakṣa and in reverse order for the kṛṣṇa pakṣa. The main and only difference is they are not dependent on lunar calendar, one per day in the said order is taken. Thus, we find thirty in a cycle, e.g., em śukla nīlapatākā dina nityā, or im kṛṣṇa nityaklinnā dina nityā. 

In total from the above, we find eight limbs – aṣta aṅga – viz., yuga, parivṛtti, varṣa, māsa, dina, vāsara, ghaṭikodaya, dina nityā. 

Aṣṭāṅga calculations

Let’s see how it is calculated for –1st Jan 2024, this corresponds to the lunar calendar as the year called ‘Śobhakrt’, with the day as Mārgaśīrṣa Bagula pañcami. 

Find the kali yuga year from the almanac, ‘Śobhakrt’ varṣa is the 5125th year, so the years passed is 5124.

Convert this into months =5124 x 12 = 61448 months

Add extra months which were introduced by multiplying the above number with 939/911 and taking the whole number out of this result.

61448*939/911 = 63377.862 => take this as 63378 months. 

We are calculating for the ninth month (Mārgaśīrṣa), the next step is to add the past months of this year 63378+8 = 63386

Convert this into tithis by multiplying with 30

63386 x 30 = 1901580 tithis.

Add past tithis of this month = 19 

 1897980+19 = 1901599 tithis.

Deduct a correction for the tithis by multiplying the above tithis with 11/703 and taking the whole number thus got.

1901599*11/703 = 29754.749 => take as 29754.

Thus 1901599-29754 = 1871845

This is the Kali śuddha dina. (KSD)

Now the Aṣṭāṅga calculations start as below: – 

KSD divided by 5: – 1871845/5 = 374369 leaves a remainder of 0, which indicates the past ghaṭika, so today is First ghaṭika ‘A’.

KSD divided by 9: – 1871845/9=207982 leaves a remainder of 7, which indicates the past vāsara so today is the eighth vāsara ‘yam Pratibhānandanātha vāsara’.

KSD divided by 30: – 1871845/36=62394 leaves a remainder of 25, which indicates the past dina nityā so today’s dina nityā is the twenty-sixth ‘um kṛṣṇa vahnivāsini nityā’.

KSD divided by 36: – 1871845/36=51995 leaves a remainder of 25, which indicates the past dina. So, today is the twenty-sixth dina ‘mam upastha  tatva dina’. 

The above quotient (51995) is called dina phala when divided by 16: – 51995/16= 3249 leaves a remainder of 11 which indicates past māsa, so today is twelfth masa ‘aim Vijayā nityā (twelfth of the nityās) OR aim Śrī kalā māsa’ (twelfth candra kalā). 

The above quotient (3249) is called māsa phala when divided by 36: – 3449/36 =90 leaves a remainder of 9 which indicates past year so this is ‘jham Kāla tatva varṣa’.

The above quotient (90) is called varṣa phala when divided by 36: – 90/36 =2 leaves a remainder of 18 which indicates past parvritti so this is ‘dam cakṣus tatva parivṛtti’.

The above quotient (2) is called parivṛtti phala when divided by 36: – 2/36 =0 leaves a remainder of 2 which indicates the past yuga so this is ‘kham sadāśiva tatva yuga’.

So, compiling the above data in a single line will be for 1st Jan 2024 – 

Kham sadāśiva tatva yuga- dam cakṣus tatva parivṛtti- jham Kāla tatva varṣa- aim vijayā nityā (OR aim Śrī kalā māsa)- mam upastha tatva dina- yam Pratibhānandanātha vāsara- ‘A’ kāra ghaṭika- um kṛṣṇa vahnivāsini dina nityā

With the help of this aṣtāṅga there are four pārāyaṇās to be done daily. They are nātha pārāyaṇa, ghaṭikā pārāyaṇa, tatva pārāyaṇā and nityā pārāyaṇa. There is a unique syllable called the dina nityā vidya to be chanted along mūla mantra in each pārāyaṇā. Dina nityā vidyā as seen in tantra rāja tantra. 

It is varṣākṣarā +māsākṣarā, dinākṣarā+ā+ī+hamsah.

we can now derive dina nityā vidyā for above said as “jha+ aim+ ma+ ā+ ī+ hamsah”, which will be “jhai-mā-ī-hamsah”’. We have fixed three aspects in the eight limbs, the rest will fall in line, since this is a totally mathematical equation. 

There is a specific order to of these eight angas be said saṅkalpa in this aṣtāṅga for pūja and pārāyaṇa: 

For daily pūja: 

आदि गुरोः परशिवस्याज्ञया प्रवर्तमान देवी मानेन षट्-त्रिंशत् तत्त्वात्मक सकल प्रपञ्च सृष्टि स्थिति संहार तिरोधान अनुग्रह कारिण्याः श्रीपराशक्त्याः ऊर्ध्वभ्रू विभ्रमे खं सदाशिव तत्त्व युगे दं चक्षुः तत्त्व परिवृत्तौ ___ वर्षे___ नित्या/कला मासे ___ तत्त्व दिने___नाथ वासरे __घटिकोदये __ दिन नित्यायां __ तिथि नित्यायां श्रीमहात्रिपुर सुन्दरी प्रीत्यर्थं यथा सम्भवद्द्रव्यैः यथा शक्ति सपर्या क्रमं निर्वर्तयिष्ये तेन परमेश्वरं प्रीणयामि.

ādi guroḥ paraśivasyājnayā pravartamāna devī mānena ṣat trimśat tattvātmaka sakala prapanca sṛṣṭi sthiti samhāra tirodhāna anugraha kāriṇyāh parāśaktyāh Ūrdhva bhrū vibrame kham sadāśiva tatva yuge dam cakṣuḥ tatva parivṛttau ___ varṣe___ nityā/kalā māse ___ tatva dine__ nātha vāsare __ghaṭikodaye __ dina nityāyām __ tithi nityāyām Sri Mahā tripurasundarī prītyartham yathā sambhavad-dravyaih yathā śakti saparyā kramam nirvartayiṣye tena parameśvaram prīṇayāmi.
For daily pārāyaṇa:

आदि गुरोः परशिवस्याज्ञया प्रवर्तमान देवी मानेन षट्-त्रिंशत् तत्त्वात्मक सकल प्रपञ्च सृष्टि स्थिति संहार तिरोधान अनुग्रह कारिण्याः श्रीपराशक्त्याः ऊर्ध्व भ्रू विभ्रमे ___नाथ वासरे __घटिकोदये ___ तत्त्व वर्षे___ नित्या/कला मासे खं सदाशिव तत्त्व युगे दं चक्षुः तत्त्व परिवृत्तौ श्रीमहात्रिपुरसुन्दरी प्रीत्यर्थं ___ पारायणमहं करिष्ये. 

ādi guroḥ paraśivasyājnayā pravartamāna devī mānena ṣat trimśat tattvātmaka sakala prapanca sṛṣṭi sthiti samhāra tirodhāna anugraha kāriṇyāh parāśaktyāh Ūrdhva bhrū vibrame ___nātha vāsare __ghaṭikodaye ___ tatva varṣe___ nityā/kalā māse kham sadāśiva tatva yuge dam cakṣuḥ tatva parivṛttau Sri Mahā tripurasundarī prītyartham ___ pārāyaṇamaham kariṣye.
Special Parvas on the conjunction of the syllables (means the same syllable is occurring in the above said aspects of the calendar)

The rarest one is the conjunction of all the eight syllables which is called Ati rātrī which is the only syllable ‘a’. This is possible once in five Mahāyugas, Since, this current yuga started with Am Shiva tatva yuga and Akāra ghaṭikodaya, will end on Akāra, the next set of thirty-six yuga will start with Ekāra ghaṭikodaya. So, after five sets of these thrity-six yugas are over the sixth yuga starting day will have this special parva of having all the eight syllables together. This was envisaged as the start of this yuga.  

The next one, is the conjunction of seven syllables which is called Kālarātrī. Here, we find this occurs in every five yugas. 

The next one is conjunction of six syllables which is called Sūrya parva, which will occur once in every five parivrtti in every yuga. 

The conjunction of five syllables is called Aindava or Candra parva which will occur once in five years in every parivrtti. 

The conjunction of four syllables is called Śrī Parva which will occur once in every five months in a year.

The conjunction of three syllables is called Devī parva.

These all are rare Parvas. All these are with the syllable ‘a’ only. 

There are more common parvas which is the conjunction of two syllables, are six parvā (special days). They are called Puṣpiṇī, Mohinī, jayinī, kumārī, vimalā and Śrīkarī. The conjunction (same syllable occurring) of  varṣākṣara with masākṣara will be first, varṣākṣara with dinākṣara will be second, and varṣākṣara with udayaghaṭikā will be third respectively. Conjunction of māsākṣara with dinākṣarā will be fourth; māsākṣara with udayaghaṭikā will be the fifth. Similarly, dinākṣarā and udyaghaṭikākṣarā will last conjunction respectively.

The first- puṣpiṇī- is possible once in a parivṛtti, while it is starting, in ‘am’ śiva tatva year, this is possible for that whole month, which will be ‘am’ kāmeśvari nityā māsa, for 36 days. The frequency will be once in roughly 57 odd years. 

The second-mohinī- will be there once a month, with sixteen in a year. Since year and dina akṣaras are same this is sure to happen once in a month. For eg, in kham sadaśiva tatva varṣa, the third day of any month, kham sadaśiva tatva dina will be this parva, in all sixteen months. 

The third-jayinī- is possible in am śivatatva, cam kalātatva, tam śrotra tatva, yam śabda tatva years in a parivṛtti, with the akāra, cakāra, takāra and yakāra ghaṭikodaya respectively.

The fourth-kumāri- is the first day of every year, where we find am kāmeśvari māsa and am śiva tatva dina, hence this will be in prakāśānandanātha vāsara.

The fifth-vimalā- will be in the first (am) and eleventh (Em) month every year, with the ‘a’kāra and ‘E’kāra ghaṭikodayās respectively.

The sixth-Śrīkarī- will be there in once in a month, in the ‘a’, ‘ca’, ‘ta’, ‘ya’ dinas in four successive months respectively on ‘a’kāra, ‘ca’kāra, ‘ta’kāra and ‘ya’kāra ghaṭikodaya and then will skip a month. 

On these days special pūjas can be done, esp. the guru mandala pūja said in Tantra rāja tantra. 

Let us now start to practice this aṣtāṅga calendar for our daily use with this knowledge which is an outcome of Sri Guru’s grace.

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