Samay represents the most infinitesimal part of time that cannot be divided further. The blink of an eye, or about a quarter of a second, has innumerable samay in it. For all practical purposes a second happens to be the finest measurement of time. Jainism however, recognizes a very small measurement of time known as samay, which is an infinitely small part of a second.
The following are measurements of time as adopted by Jainism: Indivisible time = 1 samay
Innumerable samay = 1 avalik
16,777,216 avalik = 1 Muhurt
30 Muhurtas = 1 Day and night
15 Days and nights = 1 Paksha (fortnight )
2 Pakshas = 1 Month
12 Months = 1 Year
Innumerable years = 1 Palyopam
10 millions of millions of Palyopams = 1 Sāgaropam
10 million of millions of Sāgaropams = l Utsarpini or 1 Avasarpini
1 Utsarpini + Avasarpini = 1 Kālchakra (One time cycle).
Samay was the basic unit of time in ancient Hindu mythology. Currently, it is used synonymously with time.
Samay in music
In Gandharva-Veda the day is divided into three-hour-long intervals: 4-7 a.m., 7-10 a.m. etc. The time concept in Gandharva-Veda is more strictly adhered to than it would be, for example, in Carnatic music.
- Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, sv. "samay."