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Muhurtas described in Ramayana

Muhūrt (मुहूर्त) is a vedic unit of measurement for time. A 24 hour day+night consists of 30 muhurtas. Each Muhurta is about 48 minutes of duration.

Abhijit Muhurta by Rama
Each Muhurta is further divided into 30 Kalā ≈ 48 minutes.
Brahmanas and Rig Veda define Muhurta as “muhu” (moment/immediate) + “ṛta” (order).
So, it is the moment which occurs in an order every day.
In Ramayana, few muhurtas and their importance are described.
Yuddha Kanda, 4th Sarga describes a scene where Rama picks auspicious Muhurta to start towards Lanka with Vanara army.
After Hanuman burns Lanka and returns, he describes Ravana’s palace in detail along with his army.
He confirms that Seetha is alive and is in Lanka.
Rama decides to leave for Lanka and destroy it as soon as possible.
“अस्मिन् मुहूर्ते सुग्रीव प्रयाणम् अभिरोचये |
युक्तो मुहूर्तो विजयः प्राप्तो मध्यम् दिवा करः || ६-४-३”

Translation : Be pleased to approve our march at this moment, a suitable moment for success. The sun reached the mid-day.
Abhijit Muhurta occurs at mid-day, when Sun is exactly on our heads and shadows are minimal or invisible.
This muhurta is also called as Vidhi (विधि), which spans around 12pm each day.
Rama also picks a suitable nakshatra for his travel.

“उत्तरा फल्गुनी हि अद्य श्वस् तु हस्तेन योक्ष्यते || ६-४-५
अभिप्रयाम सुग्रीव सर्व अनीक समावृताः |”
Translation : This northern planet of Phalguni will be in conjunction with the Hasta star tomorrow. Hence, let us depart today itself with all the troops accompanying us, Oh, Sugreeva!
He picks initial part of Uttara-Phalguni nakshatra, which is 6th nakshatra when counted from his Punarvasu (his birth nakshatra).
6th nakshatra is regarded as Sadhana-Taara, where a person will achieve great success with some effort.
As next day, Hasta nakshatra will start at mid-day, and hasta becomes his Naidhana-Taara (7th) and inauspicious day, he wanted to start same day.
Abhijit Muhurta in Ramayana

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa describes a muhūrta as 1/15th portion of a day ( here day means the time from sunrise to sunset).
Assuming Sunrise at 6AM :

No.

Daily Period

Name (मुहूर्त)

Translation

Quality, or Guṇa (गुण)

1 06:00 – 06:48 (sunrise) Rudra (रुद्र) “Cryer”, “Howler” Inauspicious
2 06:48 – 07:36 Āhi (आहि) “Serpent” Inauspicious
3 07:36 – 08:24 Mitra (मित्र) “Friend” Auspicious
4 08:24 – 09:12 Pitṝ (पितॄ) “Father” Inauspicious
5 09:12 – 10:00 Vasu (वसु) “Bright” Auspicious
6 10:00 – 10:48 Vārāha (वाराह) “Boar” Auspicious
7 10:48 – 11:36 Viśvedevā (विश्वेदेवा) “Heavenly Lights in the Universe” Auspicious
8 11:36 – 12:24 Vidhi (विधि) or Abhijit “Insight” Auspicious – except Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
9 12:24 – 13:12 Sutamukhī (सतमुखी) “Goat/Charioteer-Face” Auspicious
10 13:12 – 14:00 Puruhūta (पुरुहूत) “Many Offerings” Inauspicious
11 14:00 – 14:48 Vāhinī (वाहिनी) / Vinda “Possessed of Chariot” Inauspicious
12 14:48 – 15:36 Naktanakarā (नक्तनकरा) “Night Maker” Inauspicious
13 15:36 – 16:24 Varuṇa (वरुण) “All-Envoloping Night Sky” Auspicious
14 16:24 – 17:12 Aryaman (अर्यमन्) “Possessed of Nobility” Auspicious – except Sundays
15 17:12 – 18:00 Bhaga (भग) “Share”/”Stake” Inauspicious
16 18:00 – 18:48 (sunset) Girīśa (गिरीश) “Lord of the Mount” Inauspicious
17 18:48 – 19:36 Ajapāda (अजपाद) “Unborn Foot”/”Goat Foot” Inauspicious
18 19:36 – 20:24 Ahir-Budhnya (अहिर्बुध्न्य) “Serpent at the Bottom” Auspicious
19 20:24 – 21:12 Puṣya (पुष्य) “Nourishment”/”Blossom” Auspicious
20 21:12 – 22:00 Aśvinī (अश्विनी) “Horsemen” Auspicious
21 22:00 – 22:48 Yama (यम) “Restrainer” (Death) Inauspicious
22 22:48 – 23:36 Agni (अग्नि) “Fire”/”Ignition” Auspicious
23 23:36 – 24:24 Vidhātṛ (विधातृ) “Distributor” Auspicious
24 24:24 – 01:12 Kaṇḍa (क्ण्ड) “Ornament” Auspicious
25 01:12 – 02:00 Aditi (अदिति) “Destitute”/”Boundless” Auspicious
26 02:00 – 02:48 Jīva/Amṛta (जीव/अमृत) “Life”/”Immortal” Very Auspicious
27 02:48 – 03:36 Viṣṇu (विष्णु) “All Pervading” Auspicious
28 03:36 – 04:24 Dyumadgadyuti (द्युमद्गद्युति) “Resounding Light” Auspicious
29 04:24 – 05:12 Brahma (ब्रह्म) “Universe” Very Auspicious for Mantra Japa or Prayer
30 05:12 – 06:00 Samudram (समुद्रम) “Ocean” Auspicious

(1) Swati, (2) Visakha, (3) Anuradha, (4) Jyestha, (5) Magha, (6) Poorva Phalguni, (7) Uttara Phalguni are 7 muhurtas ruled by 7 Nakshatras before Abhijit and these are called first Prahara.
20 Nakshtras after Abhijit constitutes 20 muhurtas. This way 28 Nakshtras constitute 28 Muhurtas Rest 2 Muhurtas are devoted to creator itself and these two Muhurtas are called as Brahma Muhurtas.
Abhijit Muhurta Mid-day in Ramayana
Upon saying so, Rama along with Vanara army marched towards Lanka.

Earlier in Aranya Kanda, Rama and Lakshmana meet the big vulture, Jatayu, who described about Ravana kidnapping Seetha and also tells details about inauspicious time (bad muhurta) in which the incident happened.
Jatayu describes Vinda Muhurta to Rama

येन याति मुहूर्तेन सीताम् आदाय रावणः |
विप्रनष्टम् धनम् क्षिप्रम् तत् स्वामि प्रतिपद्यते || ३-६८-१२
विन्दो नाम मुहूर्तो असौ स च काकुत्स्थ न अबुधत् |

Translation : In which spell of time (Muhurta) named Vinda, Ravana has gone taking away Seetha. If any riches are lost during that spell, the original possessor of those riches will repossess them very quickly. Oh Kakutstha (Rama), Ravana is unmindful of that fact and stole Seetha only to loose her quickly.
Ravana kidnaps Seetha in Vinda Muhurta
The 11th Muhurta is the list above, is Vāhinī or Vinda, which is inauspicious.
Ravan, being an astrologer himself and despite writing books like Ravana Samhita, ignored the time (muhurta) and paid the price.

It should be noted that Abhijit Muhurta is not suitable on Wednesday as it forms a malefic Muhurta on this weekday. Abhijit Muhurta is also not suitable for Manglik activities like Marriage and Upanayana ceremonies.
But these days people are prefering Abhijit Lagna, especially on saturdays and sundays for marriage, as it is easy for guests to attend the event, followed by Lunch after 12:30pm.

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