A karana is half of a tithi. To be precise, a karana is the time required for the angular distance between the sun and the moon to increase in steps of 6° starting from 0°. (Compare with the definition of a tithi above.)
Since the tithis are thirty in number, one would expect there to be sixty karana-s. But there are only eleven. There are four "fixed" karana-s and seven "repeating" karana-s. The four "fixed" karanas are:
The seven "repeating" karana-s are:
7. Vishti (Bhadrā)
- Now the first half of the first tithi (of the bright fortnight) is always Kimstughna karana. Hence this karana is "fixed".
- Next, the seven repeating karana-s repeat eight times to cover the next 56 half-tithi-s. Thus these are the "repeating" karana-s.
- The three remaining half-tithi-s take the remaining "fixed" karana-s in order. Thus these are also "fixed".
- Thus one gets sixty karana-s from eleven.
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