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Definition as in Oxford Dictionary:

An auspicious time for an enterprise to begin or for a ceremony to take place

From Sanskrit muhūrta ‘a division of time’ (approximately 48 minutes, one thirtieth of a day).

Muhūrta (Sanskrit: मु हर्त


ू ) is a Hindu unit of measurement for time in the Hindu calendar.
In Taittiriya Brāhmaṇas, muhūrta denotes a division of time: one-thirtieth of a day, or a period of forty-
eight minutes

Means 24 hours in a day are divided into 30 muhurtas

So 1Day = 24 hours (60 Ghati)

and 1Day is also = 30 muhurtas

This means 30 muhuratas = 24 hours ( 60 Ghati)

1 muhurta = 48 minutes (2 Ghati)

The term Muhurta appears as early as the Ṛig Veda

Taittirīya-Brāhmaṇa mentions the names of 15 muhūrtas:

(1) saṁjñānaṁ (2) vijñānaṁ (3) prajñānaṁ

(4) jānad (5) abhijānat (6) saṁkalpamānaṁ

(7) prakalpamānam (8) upakalpamānam

(9) upakḷptaṁ (10) kḷptam (11) śreyo

(12) vasīya (13) āyat (14) saṁbhūtaṁ (15) bhūtam

citraḥ ketuḥ prabhānābhānt saṁbhān |

jyotiṣmaṁs-tejasvānātapaṁs-tapann-abhitapan |

rocano rocamānaḥ śobhanaḥ śobhamānaḥ kalyāṇaḥ |

darśā dṛṣṭā darśatā viṣvarūpā surdarśanā |

āpy-āyamāṇāpyāyamānāpyāyā su-nṛterā |

āpūryamāṇā pūryamāṇā pūryantī pūrṇā paurṇamāsī |

dātā pradātā’nando modaḥ pramodaḥ || III.10.1.1 ||

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa describes a muhūrta as 1/15th portion of a day ( here day means the time from
sunrise to sunset)

Polar Axis.
No. Daily Period Name (मु हूर्त ) Translation Quality, or Guṇa (गु ण)
1 06:00 – 06:48 Rudra (रुद्र) “Cryer”, “Howler” Inauspicious
(sunrise)
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 (विश्वे देवा) “Heavenly Lights in the Auspicious
Universe”
8 11:36 – 12:24 Vidhi (विधि) “Insight” Auspicious – except Mondays
and Fridays
9 12:24 – 13:12 Sutamukhī (सतमु खी) “Goat/Charioteer-Face” Auspicious
10 13:12 – 14:00 Puruhūta (पु रुहत
ू ) “Many Offerings” Inauspicious
11 14:00 – 14:48 Vāhinī (वाहिनी) “Possessed of Chariot” Inauspicious
12 14:48 – 15:36 Naktanakarā “Night Maker” Inauspicious
(नक्तनकरा)
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 Girīśa (गिरीश) “Lord of the Mount” Inauspicious
(sunset)
17 18:48 – 19:36 Ajapāda (अजपाद) “Unborn Foot”/”Goat Foot” Inauspicious
18 19:36 – 20:24 Ahir-Budhnya “Serpent at the Bottom” Auspicious
(अहिर्बुध्न्य)
19 20:24 – 21:12 Puṣya (पु ष्य) “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 “Life”/”Immortal” Very Auspicious
(जीव/अमृ त)
27 02:48 – 03:36 Viṣṇu (विष्णु ) “All Pervading” Auspicious
28 03:36 – 04:24 Dyumadgadyuti “Resounding Light” Auspicious
(द्यु मद्गद्यु ति)
29 04:24 – 05:12 Brahma (ब्रह्म) “Universe” Very Auspicious[10]
30 05:12 – 06:00 Samudram (समु दर् म) “Ocean” Auspicious
Diurnal muhurta, the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 15th are inauspicious while in nocturnal
muhurtas the 1st. 2nd, 6th and 7th are inauspicious.

Significance of Muhurta:

It is said that Well begin is half done – means any work started in good muhurta is said to produce
good results
Astrology says while judging a muhurta it is important to consider the combinations of a weekday with
Ascendant and nakshtra. Muhurta of auspicious and
placid nakshtra is apt for carrying out a good job.

To get a desired muhurta, purification of Ascendant is also required. So, fair attention must be given
to the status of the Ascendants. A person receives
double benefits if his navamsha is also auspicious.

Muhurta in astrological terms means defining the quality of time and it varies based on sunrise,
sunset

The Eight Muhurta of the day is called as Abhijit Muhurta and is very auspisious as it maps into the
Abhijit nakshatra which is ruled by Hari

(1) Svati, (2) Visakha, (3) Anuradha, (4) Jyestha, (5) Magha, (6) Purva Phalguni, (7) Uttara Phalguni
are 7 muhurtas before Abhijit and these are called
first Prahara And 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 Brahm Muhurtas