The Hindu almanac or Panchang holds great significance among all Hindus, especially when referring to the auspicious and inauspicious days to conduct auspicious activities. The Panchang provides details on a daily and monthly basis. The daily Panchang provides information about the Tithi (day), Nakshatra, the auspicious and inauspicious timings of the day, etc. The monthly Panchang shows 30 days, and these 30 days are further divided into two Pakshas—Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha. While one Paksha of 15 days are called Shukla Paksha the remaining 15 days come under the Krishna Paksha.

Understanding the difference between Shukla and Krishna paksha is significant both religiously and astrologically. According to Hindu tradition, certain specific dates, called as Tithi, are designated as auspicious times to perform various religious acts. In the context of auspicious timings or Shubh Mahurat, Shukla Paksha Tithi and Krishna Paksha Tithi are extremely important.

What is Paksha?

Every lunar month is divided into two Pakshas. A Paksha is the lunar fortnight. It is approximately 14 days. The literal translation of the word Paksha is “side.”

From the perspective of astrological occurrences, Paksha refers to lunar phase of the month. Every moon phase lasts 15 days and thus we have two Moon phases in a month.

Astronomical calculations indicate that the Moon travels 12 degrees in a single day. It covers one complete revolution around the Earth in thirty days. This moon phase that occurs every two weeks is beneficial for a variety of religious events.

Read शुक्ल पक्ष (Shukla Paksha) और कृष्ण पक्ष (Krishna Paksha) in Hindi

Significance of Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha in Vedic scriptures

The Vedic scriptures considered Paksha to be a significant factor when it comes to commencing any auspicious events or work. Since the pakshas depend on moon phases, it also determines the success or failure of a particular event or work. Hence a date is fixed for auspicious activities only after considering both aspects.

Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha

What is Krishna Paksha?

Krishna Paksha commences between the Full Moon (Poornima) to the New Moon (Amavasya) when the Moon starts waning in its form. Krishna Paksha is named after Lord Krishna as Lord Krishna possesses a dull skin complexion and hence the fading of the Moon is referred to as Krishna paksha. Krishna Paksha lasts for a period of 15 days beginning with Poornima, Pratipada, up to Chaturdashi.

Read about Purnima Vrat

The story behind Krishna Paksha

There are several stories associated with Krishna Paksha. One such legend mentioned in the scriptures indicate the story of Daksha Prajapati and Moon. Daksha Prajapati had twenty-seven daughters who were all married to the Moon. These twenty-seven daughters were in fact the twenty-seven nakshatras, and among these Nakshatra’s it was Rohini who was loved the most by Moon. The Moon was indifferent towards the rest of his wives which annoyed them. They complained to their father regarding Moon’s indifference towards them. Daksha then reprimanded Moon and asked him to change his attitude towards others. Despite this Moon’s attitude towards his other wives did not change and he began ignoring them. Seeing Moon’s obstinance in obeying Daksha’s request, Daksha then cursed Moon that he would decrease in his size and brightness and would slowly lead to his end. Thus began the phase of Krishna Paksha.

What is Shukla Paksha?

We call the period from the New Moon (Amavasya) to the Full Moon (Poornima) Shukla Paksha. In other words, the Shukla Paksha period is described as the period of the waxing moon or the bright moon. When Shukla Paksha ends with the full moon, we see the brightest and fullest Moon in the sky. Shukla in Sanskrit means bright. It is also one of the names of Lord Vishnu. The Shukla Paksha lasts for 15 days with every single day commemorating a festival or event. These 15 days are called Amavasya, Pratipada, Dwitiya, Tritiya, Chaturthi, Panchami, Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami, Dashami, Ekadashi, Dwadashi, Trayodashi, and Chaturdashi.

Read more about Amavasya: The Time of Spiritual and Emotional Correction

The Legend behind Shukla Paksha

After Daksha Prajapati cursed Moon, he began to fade and near his end. To seek a release from the curse, Moon worshipped Lord Shiva and performed a strict penance for a long time. Pleased with Moon’s penance, Lord Shiva placed him on his hair. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, the moon started regaining its brightness; however, the curse of Daksha could not be stopped and hence the cycle of waxing and waning of the moon was divided into 15 days each. Thus, Moon began its phases from Shukla Paksha to Krishna Paksha and vice versa.

Which Paksha is considered Auspicious?

In terms of lunar illumination and energy, Shukla paksha is favourable for conducting auspicious ceremonies and events, while Krishna Paksha is unfavourable. Therefore, any work conducted during the Shukla Paksha reaches a successful completion as opposed to those commenced during the Krishna Paksha. Occasions like marriage, and other auspicious rituals such as housewarming, house constructions, etc. are thus performed during the Shukla Paksha.

Astrologically, the period between the tenth day of Shukla Paksha and the fifth day of Krishna paksha is auspicious. During this time, the moon’s energy is at its peak, and this is crucial in predicting the auspicious and inauspicious timings or Muhurtas.

Get Free Marriage Predictions in Hindi

Difference between Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha

A Shukla paksha begins with the new moon and ends with the full moon, while Krishna paksha begins with the new moon and ends with the full moon.

Ekadashi Dates for Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha

Ekadashi is considered a significant fast worshipping Lord Vishnu and is observed twice in a month, one during the Shukla Paksha and the second during the Krishna Paksha. Given below are the Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha Ekadashi dates for the year 2022.

Month Paksha Ekadashi Timings in 2022
January Shukla Paksha Pausa Putrada Ekadashi Jan 12, 4:49 pm – Jan 13, 7:33 pm
Krishna Paksha Shat Tila Ekadashi Jan 28, 2:16 am – Jan 28, 11:36 pm
February Shukla Paksha Jaya Ekadashi Feb 11, 1:52 pm – Feb 12, 4:27 pm
Krishna Paksha Vijaya Ekadashi Feb 26, 10:39 am – Feb 27, 8:13 am
March Shukla Paksha Amalaki Ekadashi Mar 13, 10:22 am – Mar 14, 12:05 pm
Krishna Paksha Papamochani Ekadashi Mar 27, 6:04 pm – Mar 28, 4:15 pm
April Shukla Paksha  Kamada Ekadashi Apr 12, 4:30 am – Apr 13, 5:02 am
Krishna Paksha  Varuthini Ekadashi Apr 26, 1:38 am – Apr 27, 12:48 am
May Shukla Paksha  Mohini Ekadashi May 11, 7:31 pm – May 12, 6:52 pm
Krishna Paksha  Apara Ekadashi May 25, 10:32 am – May 26, 10:54 am
June Shukla Paksha Nirjala Ekadashi Jun 10, 7:26 am – Jun 11, 5:45 am
Krishna Paksha  Yogini Ekadashi Jun 23, 9:41 pm – Jun 24, 11:12 pm
July Shukla Paksha  Shayani Ekadashi Jul 09, 4:39 pm – Jul 10, 2:14 pm
Krishna Paksha  Kamika Ekadashi Jul 23, 11:27 am – Jul 24, 1:46 pm
August Shukla Paksha  Sravana Putrada Ekadashi Aug 07, 11:51 pm – Aug 08, 9:00 pm
Krishna Paksha  Aja Ekadashi Aug 22, 3:36 am – Aug 23, 6:07 am
September Shukla Paksha  Parsva Ekadashi, Vaishnava Parsva Ekadashi Sep 06, 5:54 am – Sep 07, 3:05 am
Krishna Paksha  Indira Ekadashi Sep 20, 9:26 pm – Sep 21, 11:35 pm
October Shukla Paksha  Papankusha Ekadashi Oct 05, 12:00 pm – Oct 06, 9:40 am
Krishna Paksha  Rama Ekadashi Oct 20, 4:05 pm – Oct 21, 5:23 pm
November Shukla Paksha Prabodhini Ekadashi, Devutthana Ekadashi Nov 03, 7:30 pm – Nov 04, 6:08 pm
Krishna Paksha  Utpanna Ekadashi Nov 19, 10:30 am – Nov 20, 10:41 am
December Shukla Paksha  Mokshada Ekadashi, Vaishnava Mokshada Ekadashi Dec 03, 5:39 am – Dec 04, 5:34 am
Krishna Paksha  Saphala Ekadashi Dec 19, 3:32 am – Dec 20, 2:32 am

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