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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The names of the days of the week and Vedic Astrology

The names of the week from Monday to Sunday are so common place for us that we completely ignore their importance. These names are however not given randomly and are a product of a civilization which at its peak was the epitome of learning and intellectual achievement.

Vedic astrology has always been an integral part of Indian way of life. No major event in India takes place without a sound astrological foundation. Whether it is the celebration of festivals or rituals connected to human life, astrology plays its role of guide and mentor.

The Sanskrit names for day and night are Aho and Ratra. A complete cycle of Aho-Ratra constitutes a day. By combining the letters printed in bold font we get Hora which is the Sanskrit name for 24th part of a day. From Hora is derived the word horology which is a science of the study of time. English term hour is thus a direct derivative of Hora of Vedic astrology.

So what does Hora have to do with names of the weekdays? Plenty, as we shall shortly find out. Each Hora is named after a planet and is an important segment of time connected to the traits of that planet.

The sequence of planets that will rule successive Hora is also a highly ordered one and is based on their orbital speed round the Zodiac. Saturn being the slowest comes first and is followed by Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon. Each of these planets rules a Hora in the order given above.

We start with Sun who is the father of our solar system. Remember there are 24 Hora in a day. The first Hora is ruled by Sun, the next by Venus, followed by Mercury and Moon. Then the cycle repeats itself. Here is the order. Sun is the soul of our universe so we start from there. The first Hora on this day is of Sun itself. The rest follow in sequence and it looks like this. Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. The first cycle ends here and then starts again from Saturn. We now have Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon. It is repeated once again because 24 hours are yet not covered and that takes care of first eighteen hours. In the final cycle we have Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and that ends our Sun day of twenty four hours.

The 25th Hora is of Moon and so the next day is called Moon’s day or Monday.

The same process is repeated and the last Hora on Monday will be of Moon herself. The 25th Hora will be of Mars and so the next is called Mars day and named after Teutates the Celtic god of war. Rest of the days are named in a similar fashion and are named after Greek, Roman or Celtic gods. In India the names of the day are actually the name of the ruling planet.

Hora is of special significance in Muhurta when we want to find the best time to begin something new. It could be anything from wearing new jewelry to invading a country. A new job will start best if joined in the Hora of the planet ruling the tenth house. A war or police action is best undertaken in the Hora of Mars. Intellectual pursuits will give best results in the Hora of Mercury etc.

Rajiv Sethi

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