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Re: Ramanuja's Tirunakshatram

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan (
Date: Tue May 20 1997 - 15:17:38 PDT

> 2. I have noted the use of the word "tirunakshatram" (in a variety of
> spellings). Does this indicate that the birth of an acharya, etc, is
> celebrated on the day of his birth *nakshatra*? (This would explain the

Not always. Different customs are prevalent in India. For example, Sankara
Jayanthi is observed on Vaisakha Sukla Pancami, i.e. tithi, not nakshatra.
This year, Sankara Jayanthi coincided more or less with Ramanuja's

> difference from my Bengali calendar, where the date is supposedly based on
> *tithi*.) If so, why is this? -- for I note that most other memorial days,
> such as Rama Navami, Vijaya Dasami, etc, are based on tithi. And if not,
> what is the reason for the term tirunakshatram?

A general rule of thumb is that birthdays are observed by tithi for the
gods, whereas the nakshatram is observed for humans. Death anniversaries
of human beings are always observed according to tithi. However, again
these rules need not always hold true, and specific sampradAyas can have
their own variations.