- 1. What is meant by muhurt?
- 2. Objective behind initiating the tasks only after finding the auspicious time
- 3. Elements that are taken into consideration in deciding the muhurt
- 4. What should one do if it is not possible to perform the desired task during an auspicious time ?
- 5. Saints are beyond time and space
Since ancient times, it has been customary to perform important tasks at an auspicious time in India. Muhurt (Auspicious time) is even associated with various occasions in our day-to-day life. Let us now understand preliminary information about muhurt.
1. What is meant by muhurt?
As per astrology, muhurt means a duration equalling 48 minutes. However, the prevailing meaning is ‘auspicious or inauspicious time period’. So for the purpose of this article, muhurt would mean auspicious time. In India, since Vedic times it has been a tradition to perform important tasks during auspicious times. Shrout, Gruhya and Dharmasutra scriptures prescribe the auspicious times during which religious rites and Vedic rituals which create subconscious impressions should be performed. There are several holy texts specifically for muhurts and they elaborately describe which important tasks should be performed on which muhurts. Astronomy is the science of measuring and describing time, and is one of the six auxiliary disciplines of Vedas. Because only when one understands time, can the actions mentioned in the Vedas be performed.
2. Objective behind initiating the tasks only after finding the auspicious time
Every event happening in the universe occurs in a specific place and at a specific time, which means that every event is bound by space and time. For any task to be successful, the time and the place must be favourable. The following verse from Mahabharat is a guide in this regard.
‘नादेशकालेकिञ्चित्स्यात्देशकालौप्रतीक्षताम्।’ – (महाभारत, वनपर्व, अध्याय २८, श्लोक ३२)
nādeśakālekiñcitsyātdeśakālaupratīkṣatām।’ – (mahābhārata, vanaparva, adhyāya 28, śloka 32)
Meaning : If time and place are not favourable, nothing can be achieved. Therefore, one must take them into consideration.
It is not that Hindu Dharma prescribes only to perform important tasks by looking at favourable times, rather it also elaborates aspects such as, ‘Which spiritual practice should be performed in which era, during which stage of life one should follow one of the four basic pursuits of life, At what time during the day one should perform their daily chores, etc. In short, Hindu Dharma teaches us to live in accordance with the time.
3. Elements that are taken into consideration in deciding the muhurt
For calculating muhurt, the five main aspects such as tithi (Lunar date), nakshatra (Lunar asterism), day, Yog (Relationship between one planet, sign, or house to another by placement, aspect, or conjunction) and karan (Partial frame of tithi) are considered. Based on the need, month, solstice (summer or winter solstice) and year are also considered. While deciding the muhurt, elements such as tithi, nakshatra etc. are selected which have properties that complement the nature of the task to be performed. For example, while embarking on a travel, Ashwini, Mruga, Punarvasu nakshatra which are related to Absolute Air Principle (denoting speed) are useful. New-moon day and tithis that denote inferiority (fourth, ninth and fourteenth lunar day) are to be avoided for marriage ceremony. For gaining knowledge divine nakshatras (with sattva component) such as Ashwini, Pushya, Hasta, Revati are appropriate. For instating idols of Deities, summer solstice is preferable.
4. What should one do if it is not possible to perform the desired task during an auspicious time ?
Sometimes it is not in one’s control to initiate tasks on an auspicious time e.g.,in case of giving exams, embarking on a long-distance journey through a public transport etc. In such case one should pray to one’s Deity of worship with spiritual emotion to remove the obstacles that may occur while performing the tasks and for the task to be completed without any issues.
5. Saints are beyond time and space
If a Saint has directed us to perform a task at a given time, then there is no need to find an auspicious time to perform that task. Saints are the form of God and God is beyond time and space. Since the time prescribed by the Saints for a given task has the backing of Their resolve, that prescribed time itself is a muhurt.
– Shri Raj Karve, Jyotish Visharad, Goa (10.12.2022)
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