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Karana in Hindu Astrology and Panchang

A Karana is half a tithi. There are thirty tithis in a Hindu lunar month – thus there are 60 half tithis or Karanas in astrology and Panchang. Seven Karanas occur eight times during a lunar month. There are four Karanas that are constant. Thus there are a total of 11 Karanas.

The seven Karanas that occur eight times in a lunar month are Bava, Balava, Kanlava, Taitila, Gara, Vanija, Vishti. These Karanas recur from the second day of the waxing phase of moon till the first half of the 14th day of the waning phase of moon. These are known as chara or movable.

The four karanas that are constant (sthira) are:

Shakuni – it is assigned to the second half of the 14th day of Krishna Paksha in certain regions.

Chatushpada – assigned to the first of Amavasya

Naga – assigned to the second half of Amavasya in certain regions

Kimstughna – assigned to the first half of the first day of the Waxing phase of moon.

It must be noted that Shakuni and Naga are not used in certain regions.

Shakuni, Chatushpada, Naga, Kimstughna and Vishti are bad Karanas - no auspicious events are held when they are present.

In each tithi, the first half is one karana and the second half is the next karana, so that each karana is situated at 6 degrees of the angular distance between the sun and the moon.

In the particular four half-tithis viz., the second half of Krishna Paksha (bahula) chaturdashi, the two halves of amavasya and the first half of the pratipada are the sthira karanas - Shakuni, Chaushpada, Naga, Kimstughna, respectively.

Then from the second half of the pratipada of Shukla Paksha, we have the chara karanas namely Bava etc repeating the cycle of 7 karanas, eight times.

How is Karana Calculated in Hindu Astrology?

If the longitude of the moon is less than the longitude of the sun, then add 360 degrees to (Moon - Sun) degrees before dividing it by 6 degrees.

When (moon-sun) is divided by 6 degrees, if the quotient K is 57, 58, 59, 60 or ) then correspondingly the karana is Shakuni, Chatushpad, Naga or Kimstughna.

If (moon-sun) is less than 7, the let K be the quotient.

If (moon-sun) is greater than 7, then subtract the nearest multiple of 7 from that number, and in the resulting number, let K be the integral part. Then K represents the karana, counting from Bava in the list of Chara Karanas.

The longitude of moon on a certain day and time is 262 degrees and 10 minutes and that of sun is 336 degrees and 23 minutes. As the longitude of moon is less than sun, 360 degrees to the value of (moon - sun) that is 285 degrees 77 minutes.

moon - sun divided by 6 is 47.63

since this number is greater than 7, by removing the nearest multiple of 7 which is 42 we get 5.63, so K is 5. By counting 5 starting with Bava, in the 7 karanas, we obtain the running karana as Garaja.

Another example
moon is at 109.36 and sun is at 105.97. When moon-sun is divided by 6 we get 0.64. Now K is 0 and therefore the Karana is Kimstughna