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.
Significance of Shukla Paksha and Krishna Paksha in Vedic scripturesThe 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.
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.
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The story behind Krishna PakshaThere 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.
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The Legend behind Shukla PakshaAfter 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.
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Difference between Krishna Paksha and Shukla PakshaA 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 PakshaEkadashi 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|