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Re: About Thirunakshatthiram

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan (vidya_at_cco.caltech.edu)
Date: Wed May 21 1997 - 14:45:29 PDT

On 21 May 1997, Satyan, Nagu (MSMAIL) wrote:

> 

[..]

> 
> I have relatives who are Madhavas who observe their birthdays based on 
> Thithi.  However, most Sri Vaishnavas follow thithis for Ceremonial 
> rites and observances.  The reason I use the word "most" is that I 
> have noticed that depending on the state that they are settled in 
> India, the local traditions have and continue to influence.  One 
> example is the start of the New Year.  Since my parents follow Solar 
> calendar (Suryamana), we observe New Year in mid April.  However some 
> SVS from Karnataka and Andhra observe in March on Ugadi Day.  Again, 
> Smarthas from Tamil Nadu observe in mid April where as Smarthas from 
> Karnataka and Andhra celebrate Ugadi which is based on Chandramana 
> calendar.

This might be because observing the New Year cuts across sampradAya lines,
whereas the birthday of an AcArya is specific to a given sampradAya. All
Tamil speaking people, irrespective of their affiliations, seem to observe
the solar calendar, while all Kannada and Telugu speaking people follow
the lunar year. However, note that the solar calendar of the Tamils is
actually a lunar calendar adjusted on a yearly basis to a solar reckoning.
Thus, the new year always falls in mid-April, but the beginnings of months
follow the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar followed in Karnataka
and Andhra is also adjusted to a solar calculation, but in a different
way, by the addition of an adhika mAsam periodically. 

> individual's name, gothram and star.   I have not yet been asked what 
> thithi I was born.  May be one of you can expound on this subject.

Again, across most sampradAyas, birthdays of living human beings are
observed by nakshatra. If all mAdhvas celebrate the birthday on the tithi,
then that is probably an exception. 

Vidyasankar