A tithi is a lunar day. There are 15 tithis in the waxing cycle of the moon (shukla paksha), and there are 15 tithis in the waning cycle of the Moon ( Krishna paksha). The tithi is based on a relationship between the Sun and the Moon. The first tithi is 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun after the new Moon (Amavasya) or full Moon (Purnima). The second tithi is the next 12 degrees of the Moon away from the Sun, 12 to 24 degrees. A particular day is ruled by the tithi at sunrise, but the tithi can change anytime of the day or night as it is not based on the solar day.

Tithis vary in duration from approximately 19 to 26 hours, according to the movement of the Moon. Each tithi has a name, a ruling planet, and can be used in muhurta (picking a proper time).

The names of the Tithis are given below:

1. Pratipada
2. Dwitiya
3. Tritiya
4. Chaturthi
5. Panchami
6. Shashthi
7. Saptami
8. Ashtami (Half Moon)
9. Navami
10. Dashami
11. Ekadasi
12. Dwadashi
13. Trayodashi
14 Chaturdashi
15. Purnima (Full Moon),
Amavasya (New Moon)


Waxing and Waning:

The waxing Moon is called Shukla Paksha, the waning Moon is called Krsna Paksha. Paksha is a half month or half lunar cycle. Each Paksha has 15 Tithis, so Shukla Pratipat is the first day of the waxing Moon and Krsna Pratipat is the first day of the waning Moon.

In the traditional Vedic calendar system the tithis are used as dates, so one’s birthday would be on the same tithi as they were born, the relationship between the Sun (Father) and Moon (Mother) would be the same on one’s birthday as it was the day of birth. In this way, the Gregorian dates have no astrological relevance.

This is a nice visual, so one can connect the meanings with the actual phases of the Moon.

In picking a Muhurta one must understand the difference between Nakshatra and tithi, both relate to the mind. The tithi is ruled by Jala Tattva (the water element/Venus) and shows the state of the mind; whether it is excited, bored, nervous, afraid, agitated or calm. The Nakshatra is ruled by Vayu Tattva (the air element/Saturn) and shows what the mind will experience; whether it is going to be a pleasant or painful experience. The tithi is used to see if an event will be successful. It also shows whether people will cooperate with the project or not.

When looking at the natal chart the tithi is ruled by Jala and connected to Venus. It shows things related to passions and desires. One should see the birth tithi and see how the planet lording that tithi is placed in the natal chart. If it is strong then relationships are smooth. If it is weak, then relationships are rough. The tithi will indicate the attitude towards relationships


Tithi Tithi


1 9





3 11
Mercury 4



5 13
Venus 6


Saturn 7


Rāhu 8



The rulership of the tithis is based on the days of the week; Sunday (Sun) rules the 1st day, Monday (Moon) rules the 2nd , Tuesday (Mars) rules the 3rd tithi, Wednesday (Mercury) rules the 4th tithi, etc.Fasting on Ekadashi will get one over anger, because Mars rules it. Krsnas fast on the 11th tithi to be perfect peaceful Vaisnavas. No one will fight with the one who has done this fast for some time. Fasting on Ashtami will make it so you never cheat anyone, so will not get cheated. Fasting on the full Moon will give you truth as it removes the negative effects of Saturn.

These fifteen tithis are also broken down into five groups given below:


Nanda Fire 1, 6, 11
Badra Earth 2, 7, 12
Jāya Ākāśa 3, 8, 13
Ṛkta Water 4, 9, 14
Pūrṇa Vāyu 5, 10, 15


Trittya tithi (3rd ) is ruled by Mars but as it is Jaya (ruled by akash/Jupiter) so it will bring two people together, as akash is the binding force (that keeps the jiva in the body). Ekadasi tithi (11th ) is ruled by Mars and it is Nanda (ruled by fire-Mars) so the fighting is very strong. Mars is passionate, energetic, and creates conflict, it is not good for marriage, though it is good for war and leadership.

For a person born in Nanda tithi, see what’s placed in Aries and Scorpio, look at the planets, and Arudhas. Tithi is about relationship, if Rahu is in Aries the person will have trouble from a widow/foreigner/eccentric in relationships. It shows important learning experiences in life. If a person is born in Nanda tithi, and Venus is in Scorpio, then the person will be likely have relationships outside of marriage. If the A10 is there the person will likely come from their work, A9 and it will be with Gurus, teachers, educators, if the A11 is there it will be with friends, etc. The Arudha shows where the problem will come from or where the person comes from. The house will also have a connection.

Specifics on Muhurta:

1st day 2nd day 3rd day 4th day 5th day
6th day 7th day 8th day 9th day 10th day
11th day 12th day 13th day 14th day 15th-30th
Friday Wednesday Tuesday Saturday Thursday

When certain Tithis line up with specific Varas (days) they are considered auspicious and therefore work on those days is accomplished successfully. If Pratipat (1st ), Shashti (6th ), or Dwadashi (12th ) fall on a Friday, it is considered auspicious.


DAGDHA 12th 11th 5th 3rd 6th 8th 9th
VISHA 4th 6th 7th 2nd 8th 9th 7th
HUTASHAN 12th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th

In the same way there are certain combinations that are inauspicious, where there will be hurdles in accomplishing works. These inauspicious Days have been called Dagdha, Visha, and Hutashan.

Varahamihira connects each tithi to a deity. Understanding the significations of the deity will also give a deeper meaning to each tithi, so that it can be used better in Muhurta.

Planet Ruler
1, 16
2, 17
Vidhāṭṛ (Hari)
3, 18
4, 19
5, 20
6, 21
Agni (Subrahmaṇya)
7, 22
8, 23
9, 24
10, 25
Dharma (Aryamā)
11, 26
12, 27
Āditya (Savitṛ)
13, 28
Manmatha (Bhaga)
14, 29
15, 0


Lunar Time
Each tithi rises and sets at a different time. One can be aware of the Moon rise just by knowing the phase of the Moon. Below is a moon-rise-dial that lists the approximate moon rise times for each tithi. The calculation is for the equator, on the equinox (sunrise and sunset at 6:00), with no lunar anomaly. Local rise times will have variation up to an hour.     

Freedomjis tithi based moon rise calculator


To learn more about tithis, look inside the free vedic calendar.

Section added: The 15 Nityā

Tithi Tithi Name Nityā Bījā
S15 & K1 Pūrṇimā, K.Pratipad Kāmeśvarī Ka
S14 & K2 S.Caturdaśī, K.Dvītiyā Bhagamālinī Ī
S13 & K3 S.Trayodaśī, K.Tṛtīyā Nityaklinna Ai
S12 & K4 S.Dvādaśī, K.Caturthī Bherunda La
S11 & K5 S.Ekādaśī, K.Pañcamī Vahnivāsinī Hrīṁ
S10 & K6 S.Daśamī, K.Ṣaṣṭhī Vajreśvarī Ha
S9 & K7 S.Navamī, K.Saptamī Dutī Sa
S8 & K8 S.Aṣṭamī, K.Aṣṭamī Tvaritā Ka
S7 & K9 S.Saptamī, K.Navamī Kulasundarī Ha
S6 & K10 S.Ṣaṣṭhī, K.Daśamī Nityā La
S5 & K11 S.Pañcamī, K.Ekādaśī Nīlapātakā Hrīṁ
S4 & K12 S.Caturthī, K.Dvādaśī Vijaya Sa
S3 & K13 S.Tṛtīyā, K.Trayodaśī Sarvamaṅgala Ka
S2 & K14 S.Dvītiyā, K.Caturdaśī Jvālamālinī La
S1 & K15 S.Pratipad, Amāvāsya Citrā Hrīṁ
16th Ūrdhva Sadakhya (Tripura) Śrīṁ


We have the issue these days where people just copy each other online and so if the first source has an error, it is just repeated again and again. The Nityā Devis are ‘like’ the tithi. Some say they are the tithi, because calculation is the same, but the interpretation is very different. Though there are some South Indian traditions that do not differentiate tithi and Nityā. In general, Tithi run in a cycle of parivṛtti with the lunar cycle- where the first after the new and full moon go in a continuous cycle. The Nityā Devi are sampuṭa the new and full moon. You can see in the above circle diagram that the numbers go in order from 1 to 15, then repeat in the same ‘parivṛtti’ order. The Nityā Devi are in reverse order between the full and new moon. The tithi are about the numerology of an order and their interpretation is accordingly. Freedom Cole indicates that the Nityā Devi are indicative of a portion of the Moon (or a portion of Moonlight). The tithi timing calculations are the same, but the order is different, even if many websites (of non-practitioners) do not differentiate waxing and waning phases.
The below diagram created by Freedom Cole shows how the portion of the lunation is the focus of the Nityā cycle. Notice the portion of the Moon that is zero to 12 degrees from the Sun (K15 & S1) is the portion of light known as Citrā Nityā. The portion of the lunation that is 12-24 degrees from the Sun (K14 & S2) is the portion of light known as Jvālamālinī. The portion/shape of the lunation that is 24-36 degrees from the Sun (K13 & S3) is known as Sarvamaṅgala. While the tithi is a waxing or waning phase of the Moon within a cycle with the phases themselves mirroring each other relative to light and darkness, the Nityā is a physical shape of the lit face of the Moon.


First, we see Śukla Tṛtīyā and Kṛṣṇa Tṛtīyā side by side, both ruled by Mars. They mirror each other with the light portion of the waxing phase being the same size as the dark portion of the waning phase. Similarly, you can see the same display with Śukla Daśamī and Kṛṣṇa Daśamī side by side, with the light portion of the waxing matching the dark portion of the waning, and ruled by the Moon. For Nityā, Śukla Tṛtīyā is paired to Kṛṣṇa Trayodaśī to be ruled by the Nityā goddess Sarvamaṅgala. The amount of light on these two phases is the same. Similarly, you can see this with Śukla Daśamī and Kṛṣṇa Ṣaṣṭī both have the same amount of light and being ruled by Vajreśvarī.