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Appendix:Hindu units of measurement

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The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.
George Eliot
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Old Indian measures are still in use today, primarily for religious purposes in Hinduism and Jainism. They also are employed in the teachings of Surat Shabda Yoga.

Time

The Hindu metrics of time (Kaala Vyavahara) can be summarized as below.

Hindu units of time on a logarithmic scale.

Sidereal metrics

An alternate system described in the Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III is as follows:

Small units of time used in the Vedas

Lunar metrics

Tropical metrics

  • a yaama (याम) is 7½ Ghatis (घटि)
  • 8 yaamas 1 half of the day(either day or night)
  • an ahoratram is a tropical day (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)

Reckoning of time among other entities

Reckoning of time amongst the pitrs.
  • 1 human year = 1 day of the pitrs
  • 30 days of the pitrs = 1 month of the pitrs
  • 12 months of the pitrs = 1 year of the pitrs
  • The lifespan of the pitrs is 100 years of the pitrs (= 36,000 human years)
Reckoning of time amongst the Devas.
  • 1 human year = 1 day of the Devas.
  • 30 days of the Devas = 1 month of the Devas.
  • 12 months of the Devas = 1 year of the Devas
  • The lifespan of the Devas is 100 years of the Devas (= 36,000 human years)

The Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III explains the above as follows:

  • 2 Ayanas (six month periods, see above) = 1 year or one day (day + night) of the devas
  • 360 days of the devas = 1 year of the devas
  • 12,000 years of the devas = 4 Yugas
Reckoning of time for Brahma.
  • 12,000 years of the Devas = 1 day of Brahma (4320,000,000 human years). This day is divided into 1000 parts called charanas. The charanas are divided as follows:
The Four Yugas
4 charanas (1,728,000 solar years)Satya Yuga
3 charanas(1,296,000 solar years) Treta Yuga
2 charanas(864,000 solar years)Dwapar Yuga
1 charanas(432,000 solar years)Kali Yuga
[7]

The cycle repeats itself so altogether there are 1000 cycles of yugas in one day of Brahma.

  • One cycle of the above four yugas is one mahayuga (4.32 billion solar years)
  • A manvantara consists of 71 mahayugas (306,720,000 solar years). Each Manvantara is ruled by a Manu.
  • After each manvantara follows one Sandhi Kala of the same duration as a Krita Yuga (1,728,000 = 4 Charana). (It is said that during a Sandhi Kala, the entire earth is submerged in water.)
  • A kalpa consists of a period of 1,728,000 solar years called Adi Sandhi, followed by 14 manvantaras and Sandhi Kalas.
  • A day of Brahma equals
(14 times 71 mahayugas) + (15 x 4 Charanas)
= 994 mahayugas + (60 Charanas)
= 994 mahayugas + (6 x 10) Charanas
= 994 mahayugas + 6 mahayugas
= 1000 mahayugas
as is confirmed by the Gita statement "sahasra-yuga paryantam ahar-yad brahmano viduH", meaning, a day of brahma is of 1000 (maha-)yugas. Thus a day of Brahma, kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma
  • 30 days of Brahma = 1 month of Brahma (259,200,000,000 human years)
  • 12 months of Brahma = 1 year of Brahma (3,110,400,000,000 human years)
  • 25 years of Brahma = 1 kalpa (77,760,000,000,000 human years)
  • 2 kalpas = 1 parardha (155,520,000,000,000 human years) [6]
  • 2 parardhas = 100 years of Brahma, the lifespan of Brahma (311,040,000,000,000 human years)

The Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III explains the above as follows:

  • 360 days of the gods = 1 year of the gods
  • 12,000 years of the gods = 4 Yugas
  • 1,000 sets of 4 Yugas = a day of Brahmá
  • 50 years of Brahma = 1 Pararddham
  • 100 years of Brahma = 1 Param
  • 4,000 + 400 + 400 = 4,800 years = 1 Krita Yuga
  • 3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 years = 1 Tretá Yuga
  • 2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 years = 1 Dwápara Yuga
  • 1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 years = 1 Kali Yuga
  • Alternately, the reigns of 7 Rishis, Indra and Manu = 1 Manwantara = 71x12,000+A (A is not given) = 852,000 years of the gods+A (A is not given)
  • 14 Manwantaras = a day of Brahmá


References

See also

External links