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Friday, July 19, 2024

Significance of celebrating birthdays according to Janmatithi & Janma Nakshatra

Birthdays are important events in our lives. In earlier times, Hindus celebrated birthdays according to Janmatithis & Janma Nakshatras. While the English calendar has a fixed date, the Hindu system gives importance to Tithis and Nakshatras which fall on different dates every year.

The Hindu calendar or the Panchang has been in use for millennia. It attests to the advanced science, mathematics, and astronomy practised by Hindus. Importantly, it is standardized and ‘secular’ unlike western calendars that are arbitrary, religious and based on the whims & fancies of their originators (emperors or the pope).  

In essence, the Hindu calendar is based on the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, sun, and moon while the western calendar or the Gregorian calendar (brought in by Pope Gregory & widely in use today) is the Christian religious calendar.  

The nakshatra/constellation in which the moon is placed at the time of one’s birth is known as the person’s Janma Nakshatra. It is believed to influence a person’s attitude, physical appearance, thinking patterns, instincts, and is also said to govern the subconscious aspects of one’s personality. The prevalent tithi at the time of one’s birth is known as the person’s Janmatithi.

Tithi is a lunar day and the Hindu calendar is made up of 15 tithis which are repeated in two cycles known as Pakshas (Shukla & Krishna). Tithi is the 12-degree movement of the relative angle between the sun and moon seen from the earth or in simple words it is a lunar phase. Tithi begins with Prathama and ends with Purnima or Amavasya depending on the Paksha.

The Hindu calendar is a Luni-Solar calendar based on the elaborate Hindu concept of time. It must be highlighted that the Hindu calendar takes the male and female aspects of divinity into consideration. Sun represents the male aspect of Shiva while the female aspect of Shakti is represented by the moon.

One is born only when the male and female energies come together. Hence, the tithi assumes significance as it represents the unification of Shiva (sun) and Shakti (moon) making one’s birth possible. Every year when the same alignment or relationship between the sun and moon takes place, one becomes cosmically aligned.

The Vedic birthday is one’s actual birthday as it connects the individual with the cosmos. Since the vibrations match the tithi of one’s birth the most, blessings and good wishes are most effective when received on the Janmatithi/Janma Nakshatra day. Furthermore, while the English calendar birthday celebrates only the birth of the physical body, the Vedic birthday involves both the physical and subtle or subconscious body.

“Birthday is the day to enhance the ability of an individual to imbibe Chaitanya through the benevolent waves obtained through the blessings of Deities upon invoking them. The individual harmonizes with the external atmosphere that has become sattvic due to Chaitanya-based process, and thereby attains internal stability”, says the Sanatan Sanstha website.

The Hindu way of celebrating birthdays is unique as well. The birthday boy or girl should start their day with abhyanga snan (oil bath), taking blessings of parents and elders, and performing puja and abhishek of kuldevta and ishtadevta. Elders should perform aukshan (arati with a lamp lit with ghee) and bless the child or adult with akshata (unbroken rice with vermillion).

Adults should consider birthdays as a day of contemplation and an opportunity to thank Bhagwan for the past year. Lighting lamps, visiting temples, giving daana, feeding the poor, visiting gaushalas, and doing service in old age homes or orphanages are some of the activities one can undertake to celebrate their birthdays in a Dharmic way. Ganesh Puja, Navagraha Puja, and Rudrabhishek are some of the important pujas performed during birthdays.     

One can now easily find out one’s Janmatithi and Janma Nakshatra. Celebrating birthdays in tune with the cosmos as suggested and practised by our ancestors may be introduced to younger generations alongside the English date celebrations. However, it can’t be emphasized enough that Vedic birthdays give more importance to receiving blessings, doing daana-dharma, and the spiritual evolvement of the individual.

(Featured Image Source: Vedic Rishi)     

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A opinionated girl-next-door with an attitude. I'm certainly not afraid to call myself 'a proud Hindu' and am positively politically incorrect. A Bharatiya at heart who loves reading, music, sports and nature. Travelling and writing are my passions.


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