Hindu units of time

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Hindu texts describe units of Kala measurements, from microseconds to Trillions of years.[1]According to these texts, time is cyclic, which repeats itself forever.[2]

Time units[edit]

Hindu measurements in logarithmic scale.

Various units of time are used across the Vedas, Srimad Bagwat Purana,Vishnu Puran, Mahabharata, Suryasidhanta etc.A summary of the Hindu metrics of time (kāla vyavahāra) follows.[3]

Sidereal metrics[edit]

Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Truti त्रुति Base unit ≈ 0.031 µs
Renu रेणु 60 Truti ≈ 1.86 µs
Lava लव 60 Renu ≈ 0.11 ms
Līkṣaka लीक्षक 60 Lava ≈ 6.696 ms
Lipta लिप्ता 60 Leekshaka ≈ 0.401 s
Vipala विपल
Pala पल 60 Lipta ≈ 24.1056 s
Vighaṭi विघटि
Vinādī विनाडी
Ghaṭi घटि 60 Vighaṭi ≈ 24 min
Nādī नाडी
Danda दण्ड
Muhūrta मुहूर्त 2 Ghaṭi ≈ 48 min
Nakṣatra Ahorātram (Sidereal Day) नक्षत्र अहोरात्रम् 60 Ghaṭī ≈ 24 h
30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h
Alternate system
Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Truti Base unit ≈ 35.5 µs
Tatpara 100 Truti ≈ 3.55 ms
Nimesha 30 Tatpara ≈ 106.7 ms
Kāṣṭhā 30 Nimesha ≈ 3.2 s
Kalā 30 Kāṣṭhā ≈ 1.6 min
Muhūrta 30 Kalā ≈ 48 min
Nakṣatra Ahorātram (Sidereal Day) 30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h

Small units of time used in the Vedas[edit]

Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Paramāṇu Base unit ≈ 26.3 µs
Aṇu 2 Paramāṇu ≈ 52.67 µs
Trasareṇu 3 Aṇu ≈ 158 µs
Truṭi 3 Trasareṇu ≈ 474 µs
Vedha 100 Truṭi ≈ 47.4 ms
Lava 3 Vedha ≈ 0.14 s
Nimeṣa 3 Lava ≈ 0.43 s
Kṣaṇa 3 Nimesha ≈ 1.28 s
Kāṣṭhā 5 Kṣaṇa ≈ 6.4 s
Laghu 15 Kāṣṭhā ≈ 1.6 min
Danda 15 Laghu ≈ 24 min
Muhūrta 2 Danda ≈ 48 min
Ahorātram (Day) 30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h
Masa (Month) 30 Ahorātram ≈ 30 days
Ritu (Season) 2 Masa ≈ 2 months
Ayana 3 Ritu ≈ 6 months
Samvatsara (Year) 2 Ayana ≈ 365 days[4]
Ahorātram of Deva

Lunar metrics[edit]

Tropical metrics[edit]

  • A Yāma = 1/4 of a day (light) or night [ = 7½ Gratis (घटि) = 3¾ Muhurtas = 3 Horas (होरा) ]
  • Eight Yāmas make half of the day (either day or night)
  • An Ahorātra is a tropical day (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)[11]
Name Definition Equivalence
Yama याम ¼th of a day (light) or night ≈ 3 hours
Sāvana Ahorātram सावन अहोरात्रम् 8 Yamas 1 Solar day

Reckoning of time among other entities[edit]

Among the Pitṛs (forefathers)[edit]

  • 1 day of pitras = 1 solar masa (month)
  • 30 days of pitras = 1 month of pitras
  • 12 months of pitras = 1 year of pitras

The Lifespan of the pitras is 100 years of pitras (3,000 Solar years).[12]

Among the Devas[edit]

The life span of any Hindu deva spans nearly (or more than) 4.5 million years. Statistically, we can also look it as:

  • 12000 Deva Years = Life Span of Devas = 1 Mahā-Yuga.[13]

The Viṣṇu Purāṇa Time measurement section of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa Book I Chapter III explains the above as follows:

  • 2 Ayanas (6-month periods, see above) = 1 human year or 1 day of the devas
  • 4,000 + 400 + 400 = 4,800 divine years (= 1,728,000 human years) = 1 Satya Yuga[14]
  • 3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 divine years (= 1,296,000 human years) = 1 Treta Yuga[15]
  • 2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 divine years (= 864,000 human years) = 1 Dvapara Yuga[16]
  • 1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 divine years (= 432,000 human years) = 1 Kali Yuga[17]
  • 12,000 divine year = 4 Yugas (= 4,320,000 human years) = 1 Mahā-Yuga (also is equaled to 12000 Daiva (divine) Yuga)[18]
  • [2*12,000 = 24,000 divine year = 12000 revolutions of sun around its dual][19]

For Brahma[edit]

  • 1000 Mahā-Yugas = 1 Kalpa = 1 day (day only) of Brahma

(2 Kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion human years)

  • 30 days of Brahma = 1 month of Brahma (259.2 billion human years)
  • 12 months of Brahma = 1 year of Brahma (3.1104 trillion human years)
  • 50 years of Brahma = 1 Parārdha (156,764,160,000,000 human years)
  • 2 parardhas = 100 years of Brahma = 1 Para = 1 Mahā-Kalpa (the lifespan of Brahma) (313,528,320,000,000 human years)

One day of Brahma is divided into 1000 parts called charaṇas.[20]

Four Yugas[edit]

Yugas can be understood easily by the Set theory. Satya Yuga is the largest set & other yugas are its subsets. It also implies that Satya/Truth exists in all Yugas. The charaṇas are divided as follows:

The Four Yugas
4 charaṇas (1,728,000 solar years) Satya Yuga
3 charaṇas (1,296,000 solar years) Treta Yuga
2 charaṇas (864,000 solar years) Dvapara Yuga
1 charaṇas (432,000 solar years) Kali Yuga
Source: [1]
Kalki Buddha Krishna Rama Parashurama Vamana Narasimha Varaha Kurma Matsya

The cycle repeats itself, so altogether there are 1,000 cycles of Mahā-Yuga in one day of Brahma.

  • One cycle of the above four Yugas is one Mahā-Yuga (4.32 million solar years)
  • as is confirmed by the Gītā Śloka 8.17 (statement) "sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ rātriṁ yuga-sahasrāntāṁ te 'ho-rātra-vido janāḥ", meaning, a day of brahma is of 1000 Mahā-Yuga. Thus a day of Brahma, Kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two Kalpas constitute a day and night (Adhi Sandhi) of Brahma.[21]
  • A Manvantara consists of 71 Mahā-Yuga (306,720,000 solar years). Each Manvantara is ruled by a Manu.[22]
  • After each Manvantara follows one Saṃdhi Kāla of the same duration as a Kṛta Yuga (1,728,000 = 4 Charaṇas). (It is said that during a Saṃdhi Kāla, the entire earth is submerged in water.)[23]
  • A Kalpa consists of a period of 4.32 Billion solar years followed by 14 Manvataras and Saṃdhi Kalas.[24]
  • A day of Brahma equals
(14 times 71 Mahā-Yuga) + (15 × 4 Charaṇas)
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + (15 * 4800)
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + (72,000 years)[deva years] / 6 = 12,000[deva years] viz. one maha yuga.
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + 6 Mahā-Yuga
= 1,000 Mahā-Yuga.[25]

Current Date[edit]

Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed. The last Kalpa at the end of 50th year is called Padma Kalpa. We are currently in the first 'day' of the 51st year.[26] This Brahma's day, Kalpa, is named as Shveta-Varaha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed[27] and this is the seventh Manvantara, named as – Vaivasvatha Manvantara (or Sraddhadeva Manvantara). Within the Vaivasvatha Manvantara, 27 Mahayugas[27] (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita,[28] Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. This Kaliyuga is in the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian Calendar.[29] Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, this is the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.

Calculating the elapsed time since current Brahma's creation[edit]

432000 × 10 × 1000 × 2 = 8.64 billion years (2 Kalpa (day and night))

8.64 × 109 × 30 × 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 × 1012 × 50 = 155.52 trillion years (50 years of Brahma)

(6 × 71 × 4320000) + 7 × 1.728 × 10^6 = 1852416000 years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa

27 × 4320000 = 116640000 years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara

1.728 × 10^6 + 1.296 × 10^6 + 864000 = 3888000 years elapsed in current Mahayuga

3102 + 2017 = 5119 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.

So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is

155520000000000 + 1852416000 + 116640000 + 3888000 + 5119 = 155,521,972,949,119 years

(one hundred fifty-five trillion, five hundred twenty-one billion, nine hundred seventy-two million, nine hundred forty-nine thousand, one hundred nineteen years) as of 2018 AD

Total age of Brahma is 100 (Brahma Years) which is equal to 313,528,320,000,000 Human years

The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar.[30] As per the information above about Yuga periods, only 5,119 years are passed out of 432,000 years of current Kali Yuga, and hence another 426,881 years are left to complete this 28th Kali Yuga of Vaivaswatha Manvantara.[note 1]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, The ascending phase of the Kali Yuga began in September 499 CE. Since September 1699, we have been in the ascending phase of the Dwapara Yuga. According to Sri Yukteswar, nobody wanted to announce the bad news of the beginning of the descending Kali Yuga, so they kept adding years to the Dvapara date (at that time 2400 Dvapara) only retitling the epoch to Kali.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 3. 
  2. ^ Dick Teresi. Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Baby. SimonandSchuster. p. 174. 
  3. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 4,5. 
  4. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5. 
  5. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  6. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  7. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  8. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  9. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  10. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6. 
  11. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 6. 
  12. ^ S.V Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 6. 
  13. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  14. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  15. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  16. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  17. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  18. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  19. ^ Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50. 
  20. ^ Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  21. ^ Swami Mukundananda. Bhagavad Gita The Song of God. 
  22. ^ Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  23. ^ Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  24. ^ Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  25. ^ Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182. 
  26. ^ Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 21
  27. ^ a b Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 22
  28. ^ Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 23
  29. ^ Burgess, p17
  30. ^ Burgess, Ebenezer Translation of the Sûrya-Siddhânta: A text-book of Hindu astronomy, with notes and an appendix Originally published: Journal of the American Oriental Society 6 (1860) 141–498 , p17"
  31. ^ Yukteswar 1949.
  • Victor J. Katz. A History of Mathematics: An Introduction, 1998.

External links[edit]