Panchangam, Vedic Astrology, Kundli
Can I use Indian Panchang outside India? (USA/Canada/London/Australia etc..)

Panchang Ganita, Panchanga Siddhanta, Panchang Author: Pundit Mahesh Shastriji, Seattle, WA USA
Inspiration: Late Pundit Maganlal Devshanker Shastriji

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Can I use Indian Panchang outside India? (USA/Canada/London/Australia etc..)

Can I use Indian Panchang / Hindu Panchangam (published in India) outside India?

The short answer is No. Maharishi Vashistha, Surya siddhanta, Bhaskaracharya, and Tithi Chinatamani all says one thing. Wherever you are, according to the time of that place, take the panchang as seen by drika ganitha as per that place. Indians are living in different parts of world like USA, UK, Canada, Europe, Gulf Countries, Australia and other places. They observe festivals / muhurthams according to the calendar / panchang which they used back in India. Most of time using the same Panchanga time found in the almanac or calendar prepared using the longitude and latitude of the Indian town. They do all the important functions like graha-pravesha, marriage, ayushya homam, shraadha tithi, ekadasi and all major Hindu festivals in their life observing the almanac of India.

The world is divided in many time zones and the earth is not flat. The length of day could vary from one place on earth to another. If you are more towards north pole and south pole your days and nights will be longer and sometimes, six months of day and six months of night. The Hindu festivals and tithis are observed according to different parameters such as local sunrise, sunset and they are different for every city. The festivals and certain tithis are observed on when the tithi prevails at certain time or duration of the day. The other factor will be the time zone. There are two things: Panchang Elements and local elements. local elements will depend on sunrise and hence festivals could change depending on the local elements with reference to the panchang elements -- as panchang elements end at the same instance all over the world, and hence time difference is applicable there but not to the local elements ... See Morelike sunrise, sunset, moonrise, lagna. These local elements govern 60% of the muhurtha and festivals. Panchang elements help us decides days as they can span over one or two days. but local elements helps us to narrow down. Even after subtracting the timezone difference, the tithi of the day is usually decided depending on the tithi prevailing at the sunrise. Hence local parameter is in place. This tithi of the day is important in festivals consideration, consideration for birthdays etc... same goes for nakshatra. The nakshatra and the day combination governs anandadi yoga, which inturn governs amritha, marana, siddha yoga. If nakshatra at the time of sunrise is different we will see Amrutha yoga in india, and Marana yoga in america. etc....

India is relatively smaller country then United States, The difference between sunrise and sunset times from one place to another is minimum hence the calendar / panchang prepared for one location in India can be used for the entire India (in most situations, but subtle differences in certain situations may arise between panchangam of Bombay and Kolkata) but not for outside geographic boundaries of India. This requires us to prepare the calendar/almanac for different cities in the world.

Let's take an example: The sunrise in Bombay on March 17 let's say will be at 6:36AM Indian Standard Time (IST), and the Hindu month Phalguna Amavasya on that day ends at 5:35PM IST, so the new Hindu month Chaitra will start on March 18th. The beginning of chaitra month also indicates the new year for most regions of India, as well as starting of new samvatsara. The observance of new hindu month Chaitra will be same for entire India but not for other parts of the world. The Sunrise in Seattle on March 17th is 7:17AM in the morning. The difference between Indian Standard Time (IST), and Pacific Daylight-Saving Time (PDT) is 12 hours 30 minutes. If we subtract the IST/PST time zone difference from amavasya ending time from 5:35PM IST gives us 05:05AM PDT in Seattle, WA USA. The sunrise on March 17th is at 7:17AM so amavasya ends before the sunrise and prathama prevails during the sunrise, hence Hindu month Chaitra in Seattle will start from March 17th not March 18th. This requires us to make panchangam for every major cities to observe festivals and other muhurthas correctly. Please also read this article.

Muhurtham:

People search panchangam for wedding muhurtham and other muhurtham, let me tell you one thing clearly. The wedding muhurtham and other good days found in panchangam are general good days. It doesn't mean they are good for you. You have to check if that day is good for your star. If housewarming then position of sun or moon in reference to your door's direction is also important. So, don't just blindly use good days found anywhere. Contact your local astrologer, and request to use the our drik panchangam published here (We have separate panchangam for 310+ cities around the world), or you can drop us an email at muhurtham at mypanchang dot com. We'll try to help you as per our bandwidth.

People always ask me about using muhurthams they get from India to use in Seattle, for performing their house warming and other things. I ask them further questions. How did you get it? How did they arrive it? They simply say they have subtracted appropriate time difference and we have the time. I say you cannot simply transfer from Indian muhurtha to here, and they want me to explain. Here is the explanation I give.

Transferring muhurtham from India:

I get this question quite often from various people who contact me to perform pooja in their homes:

Question: Even though I  don't live in India, can I use muhurtham prepared in India by my family astrologer/sastrigal? I have also been told its the most auspicious muhurtham according to mine and my wife's stars.

Muhurtham calculated in Chennai based on Chennai's longitude, latitude can't be used in New Delhi. Using them out of India will not work. The following example will explain why:

Muhurtham depends on panchangam that is five limbs: Tithi, Vaar, Nakshatra, Yoga, Karana.

Additionally it also depends on solar month name and lunar month name, As major solah samsakar (16 rites) are performed according to the solar calendar and graha pravesha and other muhurthas are prepared using lunisolar month.

The auspicious day needs to be found from the local calendar not from Indian calendar if you live outside India, as we have explained before in previous example. Once we fix the good day, we need to drill down to find most auspicious time. This time can be found by using hora, rahu kalam, lagna, chogadia and other factors. Most common practice is to use sthira lagna -- vrishabha, simha, vrischika, kumbha lagna. Now hora, rahukalam, and lagna are always dependent on local sunrise, not from Indian sunrise. for example sun will be always in ascendant during sunrise's chart, and during the madhyahana it will be always in the 10th house, during sunset it will be in 7th house, and during midnight it will be always in 4th house, in any part of the world. Most people use fixed rahukalam like on every saturday rahukalam willbe from 9:00 to 10:30 AM which is also completely wrong as sun never rises at 6:00 AM and sets at 6:00 PM on everyday.

Now let's say vrishabha lagna on April 7th in India (Bangalore) starts around 8:30 AM (Anuradha nakshatram), now if you subtract 12:30 mins for Pacific Daylight Saving time (Seattle) you'll get 8:00 PM on April 6th in Seattle. This time it will be Libra (Tula) lagna in Seattle, which is not sthira lagna or vrishabha lagna. Vrishabha lagna in Seattle starts around 8:08 AM on April 7th and by, the way at that time in Seattle nakshatra is jyestha not anuradha nakshatra as our family astrologer in India suggested a good time in India (Anuradha nakshastra and Vrishabha lagna combination). Anuradha nakshatra changes at 6:58 AM in the morning. So this changes the entire ball game. We need another lagna, may kumbha lagna for Seattle which is very early morning.

Someone argued that with tools available anyone can do the calculation, but in our experience, the number of calls we are getting every day even with the tools and knowledge people still have troubles calculating muhurthams for locations out of India. I am not saying all of the muhurthams prepared in India for locations outside of India are wrong, but some of them are. I have seen very good muhurthams prepared in India when brought to us for verification, and I know so many people in India who use appropriate tools and fix perfect muhurthams even for locations out of India. So, there is awareness but we need more, and we promise that we'll continue to generate more and more awareness about our rich tradition. We just want to provide tools to astrologers, and a common man so they can follow our rich tradition. This site is for everyone free to use.

BTW, we are not charging anything for using our panchangam. We just want to create awareness. Remember its your muhurthams, your event is in matter not astrologer's event or muhurthams. If you believe in muhurtham get the right muhurtham not off by minutes. A couple of minutes here and there are acceptable but not too much.

Rahu kalam, Yamagandam, Gulika kala timings are not fix like most panchangam shows. They show assuming sunrises at 6:00 AM and sets at 6:00 PM. They are calculated from sunrise to sunset. Please click here to learn more about rahu kalam, yamagandam, and gulika kala.
Chogadia, like hora, is also counted from sunrise. We have given the complete chogadia table on this page. Please scroll down to the bottom in calendar section and load calendar and you will find chogadia as a link in those panchangam.

The muhurthams cannot be transferred to another city from Indian muhurtham you need to calculate for that place. Transferring is wrong practice. Always use the panchangam of the local city not Indian panchangam. That's why always use www.mypanchang.com to find panchangam of the city you are interested in. We are actively working to add as many features as possible.

Differences in various panchangam: Someone brought to our attention about difference in one of the non-drika (vedic--Grahalagava, Surya-siddhanta and other systems) panchangam and drika panchangam including ours. This is because we use high precision algorithms based on NASA's JPL DE405 ephemeris and most modern panchangam are based on this technology, and it is very accurate compared to ancient Grahalaghava and other methods. We can assure you that the data contained in our panchangam is as accurate as possible based on modern technology but keeping old tradition alive. The difference between our high precise panchang and other panchang based on surya-siddhanta or grahalaghav could go up to couple of hours in the timings.

The "drik ganita. means calculations corresponding to observable reality. If someone is using surya siddhanta based panchang then their values will be off by 2 hours comapring to drik panchang. That is because they have to do observation and apply bija samskaram due to precession of the equinoxes. These observation has not been done in centuries and these formulas has become outdated.

Now a days Vedic panchang-makers don't do observation and apply appropriate bija samskar that's why vedic panchangam are way off compared to drik ganita panchang. In order to prove they are not wrong they silently copy the eclipse timings from drik panchangam, otherwise eclipse their calculation will be off by several hours, and you will not be able to observe eclipse using their timings, but you can observe eclipse correctly with the times specified in drik panchang. This really creates confusion in people's mind, about which panchang to follow? Our shastras are not wrong but people donot observe sun, moon and planets and do not apply appropriate bija samskara which creates differences in panchangam and creates confusion. Lokamanya Tilak advocated for Drik panchang as he was scholar and mathematician. Pundit Dhundiraj Shaastree Date is one of the pioneer in the field of drika ganita panchangam (Date Panchangkarte Solapur). I have used Date panchang a lot along with Nirnaysagar panchang, Janmabhoomi panchang etc.
Question: But we are indian, so Shouldn't we follow indian calender?

A Very short answer. No. Just because you are indian you can't use indian calender published in india outside of india. The reason. Location where you are is different. Please read above explantion.

Enough theories. Let's see concrete example for today's panchang for 5 cities in the world. These are the live data from mypanchang.com's live feed. You can notice the end timings for Tithi, nakshatra, yoga, karana, also sunrise, sunset and other parameters. This explains clearly what we want to say. If you're told your temple prepares calendar based on your city then you can verify their data with festival information with our website. Please insist them to use mypanchang.com data. This also means fixed rahukalam timings printed by most panchangams, and newspapers are completely wrong. The cities presented for comparisions are:

  1. Seattle, WA, USA
  2. New York, NY, USA
  3. London, UK
  4. Hyderabad, India
  5. Sydney, Australia


Notes:
T: Tithi, N: Nakshatra, Y: Yoga, K: Karana, RK: Rahukalam, YM: Yamagandam, GK: Gulikai, AJ: Abhijit Muhurtha, DM: Durmuhurtha, V: Varjyam, AK: Amritkalam. The Tithi, Nakshatra, Yoga, and Karana timings are end timings means they end at the time specified next to them. When the time is more than 24:00 hours it means they end after midnight. This is because the indian day doesn't end at midnight but from one sunrise to another. Hence 25:00 means 1:00 AM of the next date and 29:00 means 5:00 AM of next date but before the sunrise of the next date. The day -- Monday, Tuesday etc... changes at the sunrise as per the hindu calenderic system.

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yaj jagrato duram udaiti daivam tad u suptasya tatHaivaiti|
duramgamam jyotisam jyotir ekam tan me manaH shivasankalpam astu||
||shri shukla yajurveda vajasaneyi samhita (madhyandina sakha) 34.1||

The divine essence that goes far away, from the waking, and likewise from the sleeping, and that one far-traveling Light of lights, on that-the auspicious will of the divine-may my mind dwell.


.. sarve janA sukhino santu ..
kriShNa! kriShNa!! kriShNa!!!

I bow down to the supreme personality of godhead Lord kriShNa who makes incomplete complete.
___________________
Pundit Mahesh Shastriji
Seattle, WA, USA
shastrijii at mypanchang dot com
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Email: shastrijii at mypanchang dot com (shastrijii@mypanchang.com)
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