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Hora In Hindu Astrology

Hora is used with different meanings in Hindu astrology. It is taken to be an abbreviation of ahoratra. The treatise Saravali has devoted a chapter to it.

Hora Shastra – As an alternative for astrology, where hora is derived from ahoratra by dropping ‘a’ and ‘tra’, indicating previous and future births. The word hora in Sanskrit stands for time. ‘Horoscope’ and ‘hour’ are also derived from hora.

Hora – used for ascendant (lagna). Parasara has used it for both lagna and half or a rashi. Mantresha has also adopted the same concept, and thus all the significance of lagna is attached to it.

Hora Varga – a half division of a rashi is hora. Thus for twelve rashis there will be twenty four horas. The hora gods are the sun and the moon for odd rashis and the reverse holds for even rashis. All odd rashis follow the order of Mesha rashi horas and even rashis follow the order of Vrishabha. However, the first view is commonly accepted.

Hora Lagna – Hora Lagna is based on equal time as 2.5 ghati (1 hour) for each rashi. It is calculated for Janmeshta kala, expressed in horas equalizing with rashis, which are added to Ravi Sphuta (Parasara). According to Jaimini, for an even lagna the addition is not to rashi but to udaya lagna (i.e. at sunrise), and it is used as an important factor to determine longevity.

Kala Hora – The total duration of day and night is 24 hours; each hour is called kala hora. God of kalahora starts with the day lord from sunrise. The kala hora are Ravi, Shukra, Budha, Chandra, Shani, Guru, Mangala for Sunday, in the order of kaksha (orbit) with respect to the earth. A day contains 3 hora cycles (3 X 7 = 21) plus 3 horas, hence the 25th hora will be of the next day Lord. It is believed that the order of days comes from the kala hora concept. In fact, the kala hora duration will change from place to place and from season to season. Hence it is determined from true dinamana (measure of the day) and ratrimana (measure of night). Kala hora is used for the determination of muhurta, and kalabala.

Thus hora is used in astrology for ascendant, half rashi, hora lagna and kalahora.