Interpreting The Panchānga Details Of Your Vedic Astrology Chart (and about Nakshatras)

Panchanga details of the stars
Parashara’s Light Jyotish Software provides “Panchanga details” as part of its Interpretation sub-menu. There are 3 sections to the page.

Avakhada Chakra section of the Panchanga details

Avakhāda means ‘a devourer, destroyer’ or ‘devouring , destroying’. We are told it is rooted in ‘khad’ which means ‘khid’ or ‘hindrance, annoyance’. So this section covers what will bring you annoyances and hindrances. The rest is positional information like the Lagna (rising sign or ascendent) of your chart.

What are Nakshatras?

Nakshatras are the asterism or constellation through which the moon passes. Some call this “the lunar mansion”.

According to ancient myths, the Moon had married all the 27 daughters of King Dakshan, so that’s why there are 27 Nakshatras in the sky. But the Moon loved to spend time with only one of his wives – Rohini Nakshatra and that’s why it is the exaltation point for the Moon.

The other wives complained to their father (King Dakshan) and because the Moon refused to stop doing this, finally King Dakshan got angry and cursed the Moon, causing it to wane in size.

But because this wasn’t good, all the Devas intervened and requested King Dakshan to withdraw the curse. And so after the Moon assured the King that he would visit all his wives, King Dakshan allowed the Moon to regain his strength for half a month.

So that’s why the Moon transits all 27 Nakshatras in a month and why there is Amavasya (inauspicious no moon day) and Poornima (auspicious full moon day).

The Rashi (Moon Sign) explains where the moon resides in your chart (i.e., which “Rashi” or “Sign” it resides in).

Rashi Lord explains which planet is Lord of that moon sign (meaning it has an influence over it).

Within this sign resides the Birth Nakshatra or birth star you were born under. There are 27:

  1. Ashvini – “wife of the Ashvins”:
    – Lord: Ketu
    – Symbol: Horse’s head
    – Deity: Ashvins, the horse-headed twins who are physicians to the gods
    – Description: Good-looking, well-mannered, intelligent, skilled at your work.
  2. Bharani – “the bearer”
    – Lord: Shukra (Venus)
    – Symbol: Yoni, the female organ of reproduction
    – Deity: Yama, God of death or Dharma
    – Description: Successful in your work, efficient, truthful, healthy, happy.
  3. Krittika – an old name of the Pleiades; personified as the nurses of Kārttikeya, a son of Shiva:
    – Lord: Surya (Sun)
    – Symbol: Knife or spear
    – Deity : Agni, god of fire
    – Description: Heroic, full of initiatives, sharp, protecting.
  4. Rohini – “the red one”, a name of Aldebaran. Also known as brāhmī:
    – Lord: Chandra (Moon)
    – Symbol: Cart or chariot, temple, banyan tree
    – Deity : Brahma or Prajapati, the Creator
    – Description: Great beauty, wealth, artistic.
  5. Mrigashīrsha – “the deer’s head”. Also known as āgrahāyaṇī:
    – Lord: Mangala (Mars)
    – Symbol: Deer’s head
    – Deity: Soma, Chandra, the Moon god
    – Description: Friendly, creative, a little fickle at times, growth of material comforts, Ojas, reproductive power.
  6. Ardra – “the storm god”:
    – Lord: Rahu (North lunar node)
    – Symbol: Teardrop, diamond, a human head
    – Deity : Rudra, the storm god
    – Description: Soft, stable, strong, willing to sacrifice a lot, a little prone to sickness, fear and anger.
  7. Punarvasu (dual) – “the two restorers of goods”, also known as yamakau “the two chariots” Castor and Pollux:
    – Lord: Guru (Jupiter)
    – Symbol : Bow and quiver
    – Deity : Aditi, mother of the gods
    – Description: Intellectual and spiritual wisdom, worldly prosperity, soft-spoken, amiable, patient.
  8. Pushya – “the nourisher”, also known as sidhya or tiṣya:
    – Lord: Shani (Saturn)
    – Symbol : Cow’s udder, lotus, arrow and circle
    – Deity : Bṛhaspati, priest of the gods
    – Description: Happy, respected, stable-minded, good-looking.
  9. Āshleshā – “the embrace”:
    – Lord: Budh (Mercury)
    – Symbol: Serpent
    – Deity : Sarpas or Nagas, deified snakes
    – Description: Courageous, sometimes angry or a little cruel, a traveller.
  10. Maghā – “the bountiful”:
    – Lord: Ketu (south lunar node)
    – Symbol : Royal Throne
    – Deity : Pitris, ‘The Fathers’, family ancestors
    – Description: Worship God and ancestors, do important work.
  11. Pūrva Phalgunī – “first reddish one”:
    – Lord: Shukra (Venus)
    – Symbol : Front legs of bed, hammock, fig tree
    – Deity: Aryaman – God of contracts and union, Sun as friend
    – Description: Attractive, generous, happy, well-mannered, lucky in relationships.
  12. Uttara Phalgunī – “second reddish one”:
    – Lord: Surya (Sun)
    – Symbol: Four legs of bed, hammock
    – Deity: Bhaga – the Sun as bliss
    – Description: Friendly, high-minded, amiable, successful, lover of luxury.
  13. Hasta – “the hand”:
    – Lord: Chandra (Moon)
    – Symbol: Hand or fist
    – Deity : Saviti or Surya, the Sun god
    – Description: Pure in your thoughts, words and deeds, self-controlled, active, resourceful.
  14. Chitra – “the bright one”, a name of Spica:
    – Lord: Mangala (Mars)
    – Symbol: Bright jewel or pearl
    – Deity : Tvastar or Vishvakarman, the celestial architect
    – Description: Good health, look younger, have stamina, muscular.
  15. Swāti – Su-Ati (sanskrit) “Very good”:
    – Lord: Rahu (north lunar node)
    – Symbol: Shoot of plant, coral
    – Deity : Vayu, the Wind god
    – Description: Soft spoken, compassionate, charitable, able to control your passions, skilled in trade.
  16. Vishakha – “forked, having branches”; also known as rādhā “the gift”:
    – Lord: Guru (Jupiter)
    – Symbol : Triumphal arch, potter’s wheel
    – Deity : Indra, chief of the gods; Agni, god of Fire
    – Description: Energetic, strong, powerful, good at making money.
  17. Anuradha – “following rādhā”:
    – Lord: Shani (Saturn)
    – Symbol : Triumphal archway, lotus
    – Deity : Mitra, one of Adityas of friendship and partnership
    – Description: Beautiful face, bright eyes, tender, soft.
  18. Jyeshtha – “the eldest, most excellent”:
    – Lord: Budh (Mercury)
    – Symbol : circular amulet, umbrella, earring
    – Deity : Indra, chief of the gods
    – Description: Analytical, cheerful, virtuous.
  19. Mula / Moola – “the root”:
    – Lord: Ketu (south lunar node)
    – Symbol : Bunch of roots tied together, elephant goad
    – Deity : Nirrti, goddess of dissolution and destruction
    – Description: Philosophical, curious, you like exploring the depths of any subject, wealthy, happy, not inclined to hurt others, opinionated.
  20. Purva Ashadha – “first of the āṣāḍhā”, āṣāḍhā “the invincible one” being the name of a constellation:
    – Lord: Shukra (Venus)
    – Symbol: Elephant tusk, fan, winnowing basket
    – Deity : Apah, god of Water
    – Description: Proud, attached to friends, compatible with spouse.
  21. Uttara Ashadha – “second of the āṣāḍhā”:
    – Lord: Surya (Sun)
    – Symbol : Elephant tusk, small bed
    – Deity : Visvedevas, universal gods
    – Description: Seeker of spiritual wisdom; deeply involved in your work, obey elders, virtuous, grateful.
  22. Shravana – “listening”:
    – Lord: Chandra (Moon)
    – Symbol : Ear or Three Footprints
    – Deity : Vishnu, preserver of universe
    – Description: Wealthy, learned, fame, liberal-minded spouse.
  23. Dhanishta – “most famous”, also Shravishthā “swiftest”:
    – Lord: Mangala (Mars)
    – Symbol : Drum or flute
    – Deity : Eight vasus, deities of earthly abundance
    – Description: Courageous, wealthy and a lover of music.
  24. Shatabhisha – “requiring a hundred physicians”:
    – Lord: Rahu (north lunar node)
    – Symbol : Empty circle, 1,000 flowers or stars
    – Deity : Varuna, god of cosmic waters, sky and earth
    – Description: Self-sufficient, harsh but truthful, your work may seem unnecessary to some.
  25. Purva Bhadrapada / Poorvabhadrapada – “the first of the blessed feet”:
    – Lord: Guru (Jupiter)
    – Symbol : Swords or two front legs of funeral cot, man with two faces
    – Deity : Ajikapada, an ancient fire dragon
    – Description: Intelligent scholar, and skilled at making money.
  26. Uttara Bhādrapadā – “the second of the blessed feet”:
    – Lord: Shani (Saturn)
    – Symbol : Twins, back legs of funeral cot, snake in the water
    – Deity : Ahir Budhyana, serpent or dragon of the deep
    – Description: Happy, a good orator, lover of your children and grandchildren, truthful and chaste.
  27. Revati – “prosperous”:
    – Lord: Budh (Mercury)
    – Symbol : Fish or a pair of fish, drum
    – Deity : Pushan, nourisher, the protective deity
    – Description: Well-mannered, deep knowledge, wealthy, you don’t covet the property of others.

Some also say there is a 28th which has special qualities:

  • Abhijit – “victorious”.
    – Lord: Brahma (creator)
    – Description: Lucky, beautiful, honest, spiritual, highly esteemed in society.

What is the Nakshatra Charana?

The Nakshatra “Charana” means it’s “pada” or “foot”. Each Nakshatra is said to have four feet (parts). So this will be a number 1, 2, 3 or 4. Note that this means there are 27 x 4 = 108 charanas in sky (note the auspicious number 108).

What does “first alphabet of name” mean?

This is the syllable which, if used say for your nickname, could bring you better luck in life. This syllable is derived from the Nakshatra or birth star you were born under.

What is the Rashi paya?

The quality / color / element of the sign is the Rashi paya (gold, iron, silver, or copper). Silver is considered auspicious.

What is the Nakshatra paya?

The Nakshatra paya is the element (gold, iron, silver, or copper) which can help by giving you more strength to walk your soul towards eternal truth.

What is Vāraṇa?

Vāraṇa is the same as “Varna” – the first factor in the Ashtakoot System Compatibility Report, so it relates to your mental approach to work and luck. It shows your basic potential and inherent skills and abilities according to four personality types. Some say it also indicates your spiritual development. You may see the names as the same as those referred to as “castes” in India, but I prefer not to interpret them this way. I prefer to think of them as:

  • A. Intellectual, philosophical, spiritual (Brahmin).
  • B. Leaders, protectors of society, courageous, decisive and doing battle with the world (Kshatriyas).
  • C. Business people and professionals (Vaishyas). They can be skilled in various crafts and professions.
  • D. Hardworking (Shudras). Enjoy doing physical work. They take responsibility for getting things done.

What is Vashya?

Vashya means to be under the control of or obedient to another’s will. This is the second factor in the Ashtakoot System Compatibility Report. So it describes how you react to others in terms of power and dominance. You are said to have one of 5 different personalities which reflects your power status.

  • A. Individualistic and likes to have control, with their own opinions and the power to discriminate (Manava/Nara).
  • B. Powerful and tends to dominate (like a lion) (Vanachara).
  • C. Less powerful (like a deer) (Chatushpada).
  • D. Has their own power but only within a smaller sphere of influence (like a whale) (Jalachara).
  • E. Brings balance and exerts a quiet power within a smaller sphere of influence (like a bee) (Keeta).

What is Nadi?

Nadi is the 8th factor in the Ashtakoot System. It shows your life force and health and your likelihood to have healthy progeny. These are your physiological and heredity factors. It describes your primary Ayurvedic mind/body type / dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) (what you were at birth not what you may currently be). Some also say this also indicates your spirituality and whether you are likely to live a long life.

There are three possible Nadis:

  1. Adi (Begin) (Vata dosha)
  2. Madhya (Middle) (Pitta dosha)
  3. Antya (End) (Kapha dosha).

The 27 constellations have been divided in three parts and each part is assigned to one Nadi.

What is Yoni?

Yoni is the 4th factor in the in the Ashtakoot System. It describes your physical and sexual tendencies in terms of certain animal. There are 14 different types of animals:

  1. Horse (Ashwa)
  2. Elephant (Gaja)
  3. Sheep (Mesha)
  4. Serpent (Sarpa)
  5. Dog (Shwana)
  6. Cat (Marjara)
  7. Rat (Mushaka)
  8. Cow (Gow/Gau)
  9. Buffalo (Mahisha)
  10. Tiger (Vyaghra)
  11. Deer (Mriga)
  12. Monkey (Vanara)
  13. Lion (Simha)
  14. Mongoose (​Nakula).

Sometimes animals can imitate another animal.

What is Gana?

Gana is the 6th factor in the in the Ashtakoot System and it describes your outlook on life. There are three types of outlook on life:

  • A. Lives life a bit more on the lofty or cosmic plane (Deva). Sometimes more spiritual than materialistic.
  • B. Evenly balanced between earthiness and loftiness (Manushya).
  • C. Down to earth (Rakshasa).Sometimes maybe a little wicked in either thoughts or actions. Sometimes more materialistic than spiritual (but not always).

Indian Calendar

The next section is the Indian Calendar. The Indian (or Vedic Calendar) begins the year when astronomically the Sun crosses from southern hemisphere to northern hemisphere and intersects the celestial equator and ecliptic. The Sun enters the first zodiac sign of Aries Rashi at this time.

Dates of Hindu Calendar (Vikram Samvat) are called Tithi and each relates to a particular state of the moon in a particular month. There are 15 Tithis in the waxing cycle of the moon (also called as Shukla Paksha), and 15 Tithis in the waning cycle of the moon (Krishna Paksha). The first Tithi is just after the no moon day (Amavasya) or full Moon Day (Purnima) of a month.

The Tithis are:

  1. Pratipada Tithi (First Day of Full moon or No Moon)
  2. Dwitya Tithi
  3. Tritiya Tithi
  4. Chaturthi
  5. Panchami
  6. Shashtami
  7. Saptami
  8. Ashtami
  9. Navami
  10. Ekadashi
  11. Dwadashi
  12. Trayodashi
  13. Chaturdashi
  14. Purnima
  15. Amavasay

If it is Shukla Paksha (waxing cycle), the last day of month will be the Full Moon and hence Tithi will be Purnima. If it is Krishna Paksha (waning cycle), last day of the month will be a New Moon and hence the Tithi will be Amavasya.

The days are calculated based on the actual longitudinal angular difference between the respective states of the moon and the sun. The Tithis vary in length and sometimes they are shorter or longer than our regular Western 24 hours, and this leads to certain auspicious days being celebrated across 2 days of our Western Calendar.

Your chart shows your lunar month. Roughly here are how the Lunar months correlate to those in our Western calendar:

Duration

  1. Chetar (Chaitra) March to April
  2. Visakh (Besakh) (Baisakh) April to May
  3. Jeth (Jestha) May to June
  4. Harh (Ashad) June to July
  5. Sawan (Shrawan) July to August
  6. Bhadon (Bhadhray) (Bhadra) August to September
  7. Asooj (Assun) (Ashwin) September to October
  8. Kattek (Kattun) (Kartik) October to November
  9. Maghar (Marga or Margsheersh) November to December
  10. Poh (Poush) December to January
  11. Maah (Magh) January to February
  12. Phaggan (Falgun) February to March

Panchānga is a Sanskrit word which means “having five limbs” or attributes of the day (calculated using the Moon because it doesn’t change its position as slowly as the other planets). They are:

  1. Birth Tithi – Ending Moment (EM) of elongation of the Moon. One Tithi equals a 12 degree difference in the position between the Moon and Sun when viewed from the Earth. Apparent Moon minus Apparent Sun.
  2. Nakshatra – EM of astarism of the day – the stellar mansion in which Moon. One Nakshatra equals 13 degrees:20 minutes. There are 27 Nakshatra in 360 degrees.
  3. Yoga – EM of the angular relationship between Sun and Moon. One Yoga equals 13 degrees:20 minutes. There are 27 Yogas in 360 degrees. Apparent Moon plus Apparent Sun.
  4. Karana – EM of half of a Tithi. One Karaṇa equals 6 degree difference between Moon and Sun.
  5. Var – weekday on which you were born. This is the “astrological” weekday (the day according to the Indian calendar). Depending on the time at which you were born, this can be different to the Western weekday.

Ghat Chakra

The lower part of the page shows the Ghat Chakra. Ghataka means danger (negative influence), so these are the months, days (and other parts of the Vedic calendar) where you need to take precautions. Some say these are the best days for you to conduct prayers and Yagyas to reduce these negative influences.

This contains a lot of other details. See our Vedic Astrology Basics page if you need help understanding it.