# Yojana

(Redirected from Yojan)
Yojana
Unit system Arthashastra
Unit of length
Symbol Yojan
Unit conversions
1 Yojan in ...... is equal to ...
SI units    12300 m <-- based on standard used for the Kos (unit) wiki article -->
imperial/US units    7.64 mi
403408 ft

A Yojana (Sanskrit: योजन) is a Vedic measure of distance that was used in ancient India. A Yojana is about 12–15 km. (i.e. 4 Kosh = 1 Yojana and 1 kosh is 2 - 3.5 km)

## Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE)

Ashoka, in his Major Rock Edict No.13, gives a distance of 600 yojanas between India, presumably Pataliputra, and "where the Yona king named Antiyoga (is ruling)", identified as King Antiochus II Theos, whose capital was in Babylone.[1] Since Pataliputra and Babylone are at a distance of about 4000km, this would give a Yojana of about 7km.

....And this (conquest) has been won repeatedly by Devanampriya both [here] and among all (his) borderers, even as far as at (the distance of) six hundred yojanas where the Yona king named Antiyoga (is ruling), and beyond this Antiyoga, (where) four kings (are ruling), (viz, the king) named Tulamaya, (the king) named Antekina, (the king) named Maka, (and the king) named Alikyashudala, (and) likewise towards the south, (where) the Chodas and Pandyas (are ruling), as far as Tamraparni.

— 13th Major Rock Edict. Translation by E. Hultzsch (1857-1927). Published in India in 1925. Inscriptions of Asoka p.43. Public Domain.

## Yojana as per "Vishnu Purana"

Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows:[2]

### Clearly defined

Measurement Equals to... (in Hindu measurement) Notes
10 Paramanus 1 Parasúkshma Paramanu refers to atom.
10 Parasúkshmas 1 Trasarenu
10 Trasarenus 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust)
10 Mahírajas 1 Bálágra (hair’s point)
10 Bálágra 1 Likhsha
10 Likhsha 1 Yuka
10 Yukas 1 Yavodara (heart of barley)
10 Yavodaras 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size)
10 Yava 1 Aṅgula (finger-breadth) 1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch – here angula doesn't mean 1 inch rather 3/4 inch
6 fingers 1 Pada (the breadth of a foot) other sources define this unit differently: see Pada (foot)
2 Vitasti 1 Hasta (cubit)
4 Hastas [1] Dhanu
1 Danda 2 Nárikás equals 6 feet (1.8 m) [1] Paurusa (a man’s height)
2000 Dhanus 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) 12,000 feet (3.7 km)
4 Gavyutis 1 Yojana
1 Yojana 5 miles or 8 kilometers

## Variations on length

The length of the yojana varies depending on the different standards adopted by different Indian astronomers. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a yojana was equivalent to 8.0 km (5 mi),[3] and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya (499).[4] However, 14th century scholar Paramesvara defined the yojana to be about 1.5 times larger, equivalent to about 13 km (8 mi).[3] A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives the equivalent length of a yojana as about 13 km (8 mi)[5] throughout his translations of the Bhagavata Purana. Some other traditional Indian scholars give measurements between 6.4 km and 8 km (4–5 miles) or thereabouts.[citation needed] In The Ancient Geography of India, Alexander Cunningham says that a yojana is traditionally held to be between 8 and 9 miles and calculates by comparison with Chinese units of length that it could have been between 6.7 mi (10.8 km) and 8.2 mi (13.2 km).[6]