From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Lagnanirṇaya literally means ‘deciding a suitable lagna for initiation into a mantra’.

The zodiac has been divided by the astrologers into twelve rāśis[1] like Meṣa (Aries), Vṛṣabha (Taurus) and so on. Every day, the sun as viewed from the earth appears to pass through all the twelve Rāśis from Meṣa (Aries) to Mīna (Pisces). The rāśi at the time of sun-rise is said to be the ‘lagna’ for that day. This has an important bearing on the astrological calculations.

When spiritual aspirants desire to receive a mantra through initiation from a qualified guru, different lagnas have been prescribed for different deities. For instance:

  • The lagnas Vṛṣabha (Taurus), Simha (Leo) and Dhanus (Sagittarius) are auspicious to receive mantras of Viṣṇu.
  • Mesa (Aries), Karkāṭaka (Cancer) and Tulā (Libra) are good for receiving Śivamantras.
  • Mithuna (Gemini), Kanyā (Virgo) and Mina (Pisces) are considered good for imparting or receiving Śakti or the Devī mantras.
  • Inauspicious moments can be known by a study of the lagnakuṇḍali[2] and they must be avoided.


  1. Rāśis are the special signs comprising certain groups of stars.
  2. Lagnakuṇḍali is the chart based on lagna.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore