What is Tithi?
A Tithi is a lunar day. When the planet moon completes 12 degrees of its movement orbit around the Sun, it is called a Tithi. The first Tithi is 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun after Amavasya (New Moon) or Purnima (Full Moon). The second Tithi is the next 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun, 12 to 24 degrees, and the third is 24 to 36 degrees. Tithi's duration ranges from approximately 19 to 26 hours based on the Moon's movement and can start or end at any part of the day. Tithi consists of a dark and a bright fortnight called paksha. According to Vedic Astrology, a month comprises 30 Tithis (12X30=360 degrees); the waxing cycle is referred to as Shukla paksha, and the Waning cycle as Krishna paksha.
Several rituals and festivals are associated with Tithis. Moon exerts a strong influence on our moods, emotions, and perceptions; understanding the Moon's influence, Vedic sciences rely strongly on lunar movement. Vedic astrology believes in immense practicality in aligning ourselves with the cosmic world for a better life. Any activity performed during an auspicious time will bring positive results. Conversely, the same action initiated during an unfavorable astrological condition will most likely fail. Also, among various techniques for understanding time and energy, Vedic sciences employ great accuracy in the study of Tithis – or Lunar Days and its influence on human consciousness.
Pratipada: The presiding deity of this Tithi is Brahma. Its auspicious for all religious and auspicious ceremonies, festivals, journeys, weddings, installation, taking an oath, accepting honors. Shukla Pratipada- ruled by Kubera, God of wealth, and Krishna Pratipada is ruled by Durga
Dwitiya: This Shukla Tithi is ruled by Vayu, God of the wind. Its auspicious to lay the foundation for buildings, complexes, and houses, pilgrimage. Lord Brahmadev presides this tithi and is also called Vidya in Vedic astrology.
Tritiya: Auspicious tithi for housewarming, building a house, artistic endeavors. Its inauspicious for conflicts and litigations. Its highly preferred for the Tonsure ceremony. This Shukla tithi is ruled by Shiva and his consort Goddess Gauri. Krishna Tritiya is ruled by Lord Agni or Fire.
Chaturthi: This tithi is ideal for eliminating your opponents or enemies, strategic planning against competitors. Lord Yamraj and Lord Ganesh govern Shukla Chaturthi. Krishna Chaturti is also ruled by Lord Ganesh. This tithi is also known as Chauth.
Panchmi: This Tithi is ideal for surgery and medical consultancy; this will yield positive results on these aspects. Generally, auspicious for all ceremonies. Shukla Panchami was ruled by Lalitha Tripura Sundari. Krishna Panchami ruled by the Serpent deities, Nagas.
Shasti: Shasti tithi is favorable for celebrating an occasion, festival, or event, meeting new people and friends. Good for buying real estate and jewelry. Lord Kartikeya governs Shukla Shasti tithi. Krishna Shasti is ruled by Planet Mars.
Saptami: This tithi is good for planning for overcoming obstacles. Auspicious for wedding ceremonies. Shukla Saptami ruled by Surya, the Sun God. Krishna Saptami ruled by the Siddhas and Indra.
Ashtami: It’s not good for any auspicious ceremonies and activities, negotiations or medical treatments. It’s ideal for ancestor worship. Shukla Ashtami is ruled by Durga. Krishna Ashtami is ruled by Kala Bhairava, Avatar of Lord Shiva who rules Time,
Navami: This tithi is the least auspicious of all tithis. Auspicious functions or ceremonies should not be conducted on this tithi. Shukla Navami is ruled by Goddess Saraswati. Krishna Navami is ruled by Yama and Durga.
Dashmi: This Tithi is very auspicious for performing virtuous, religious, spiritual ceremonies and events and meeting influential people. Shukla Dashami is ruled by Veerabhadra. The lord of Krishna Dashami is Dharmaraj, also Planet Jupiter.
Ekadashi: Ekadashi tithi holds high significance in various cultures and is considered auspicious. Its auspicious for wedding ceremonies and for fasting, energy cleansing. Both Shukla and Krishna Ekadashi are ruled by Lord Vishnu, a wealth-giving archetype.
Dwadashi: This tithi is favorable for performing religious rituals and ceremonies. Good for donating food and money. Shukla Dwadashi is ruled by Vishnu. Krishna Dwadashi is ruled by Venus.
Trayodashi: This is ideal for writing books, bad karma removal rituals, and dancing to make friends and celebrate life. Lord Kamadeva rules Shukla Trayodashi. Krishna Trayodashi ruled by Nandi, Shiva’s vehicle.
Chaturdashi: This Tithi is best for spiritual quest or practices, getting rid of evil spirits, attempts towards enlightenment. Not ideal for a wedding or other auspicious ceremonies. Shukla Chaturdashi is ruled by Rudra, an ancient and fierce form of Shiva. Krishna Chaturdashi is governed by Maa Kaali.
Purnima: Purnima Tithi is appropriate for conducting the Homas and observing fasts and ruled by Planet Moon. Its highly auspicious for worshipping Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Parvati. Ideal for the manifestation of wishes and desires.
Amavasya: This Tithi is dedicated to forefathers and Gods that rule ancestral planes; it’s also good for meditation, feeding people and animals, and ancestral rituals-Tarpanam.
These fifteen Tithis are further broken down into five groups,
Nanda- Pratipada (Days-1, 16), Shashthi (Days-6, 21) Ekadasi (Days-11, 26)
Bhadra- Dwitiya (Days-2, 17), Saptami (Days-7, 22), Dwadashi (Days-12, 27)
Jaya- Tritiya(Days-3, 18) Ashtami (Days-8, 23), Trayodashi (Days-13, 28)
Rikta- Chaturthi(Days-4, 19), Navami (Days-9, 24), Chaturdashi (Days-14, 29)
Purna- Panchami(Days-5, 20) Dashami (Days-10, 25), Purnima,Amavasya (Days-15, 0)