Confusion looms as solar, lunar calendars clash

This 13th-century temple town known for its ‘Krishna temple’ and Ashta Mutts begs to differ with the rest of India in celebrating Krishna Janmashtami.

Published: 14th August 2017 07:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2017 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

A file photo of various chariots of Krishna temple in Udupi

Express News Service

MANGALURU:This 13th century temple town known for its ‘Krishna temple’ and Ashta Mutts begs to differ with the rest of India in celebrating Krishna Janmashtami.Thanks to the glaring Almanac changes, this year Udupi will celebrate Krishna Janmasahtami on September 13 and 14 while the rest of India will celebrate it on August 14 and 15.

Why this confusion? When asked, Almanac (Panchanga) scholars in Udupi explained reasons to Express.
“There is no meaning in celebrating Janmashtami without all star signs coinciding as per the Krishna Panchanga. According to it, Krishna Janmashtami can be celebrated in the confluence of Simha Maasa, Krishna Paksha and Rohini Nakshatra and Ashtami Thiti has to coincide as per the Souramana (Solar Almanac) which is what the accurate ‘Ghalige’ (moment of Lord Krishna’s birth,” said Vedic scholar Prof Gopalacharya.

However, in other places, Krishna Janmashtami will be celebrated on the basis of ‘Chandramana Panchanga’ (Lunar Alamanac) where only Ashtami thithi will suffice, he added.
Vishnu Acharya, a scholar from Sanskrit college in Udupi,told Express that this time, the Ashtami Thiti in Simha Maasa (Leo) comes along with Rohini Nakshtra and Krishna Paksha will coincide on September 13 and September 14 which creates Ghaliges of Rohini Nakshatra.

This means at Udupi, Janmashtami can be celebrated in September and is a rare juncture, he observed. This juncture was due to fact that Simha lagnam extends into second week of September by at least 12 days, scholars observed.  However, all other places, right from Guruvayoor in South to Mathura in North, will celebrate Krishna Janmashtami on August 17.  According to the Almanac, Janmashtami of Krishna will complete only when the right combination of celestial signs coordinate on one day. “To complete the celestial sequence that existed when Krishna was born thousands of years ago, there must be ‘Simha Maasa’(Leo), Rohini Nakshatra, Krishna Paksha and Ashtami should come together within 24 hours. This sequence was acquired through calculations on September 8 which spills over into September 9 for two hours,” says vedic scholar Madhwaraya Bhat.

“There are two celebrations as per two different calendars. The first one being ‘Krishnashtami’ as celebrated by followers of Lunar calendar on August 14 when the rest of the world had observed Ashtami which is generally mistaken as Janmashtami, but how can one celebrate the Lord’s birthday without the right signs,” asks Vedavyasa Acharya, a scholar.

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