Ancient Time measurement
One more year will be passing by soon. Today we have
precise time measuring instruments but in ancient times there were no such
means. Nevertheless ancient sages of India developed their own vocabulary and
time measuring system. In present times we may find their way too primitive but
their efforts are worth taking a note. Whether to believe on their time
measurement system or not is a matter of personal choice but we can, for the
sake of curiosity or fun, certainly look at the passing year through the eyes of their
system. Here is their idea of
time measurement on the basis of Shiva Purana and several other scriptures.
- Time taken to blink eyes is called Nimesh.
- Fifteen Nimesha together makes one Kashta.
- Thirty Kashta makes one Kalaa.
- Thirty Kalaa makes one Muhurat.
- Thirty Muhurats make one day and night.
- Fifteen day and nights form one Paksha.
- Two Pakshas (Shukla and Krushna) make one
- One man-month makes one day-night for Pitras.
Pitras are ancestors who are dead. Shukla Paksha is day for Pitaras
and Krushna Paksha is their night.
- Such six man-months make one Ayan.
- Two Ayans (Uttarayan and Dakshinayan) constitute an
- One man-year makes one day and night of deities.
Uttarayan is day for deities and Dakshinaayan night.
- Thirty man-years makes one month of deities and 360
man-months make their one year. One year of god-heads is called Divya
- Further time measurement is done on the basis of
- Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kali are the four Yugas.
- Every Yuga has a beginning portion called Sandhya and
an ending portion called Sandhyansha. Thus the sequence is Sandhya - Main
Yuga - Sandhyansha.
- Satyayuga consists of Sandhya of 400 Divya
years, main Yuga of 4000 Divya years and Sandhyansha of 400 years.
- Similarly Tretayuga consists of 300 - 3000 - 300
- Dwaparyuga consists of 200 - 2000 - 200 Divya years.
- Kaliyuga consists of 100 - 1000 - 100 Divya years.
- Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kali together makes 12000
- These four yugas together are called Chaturyuga
and 1000 such Chaturyugas make one Kalpa.
- If we convert divya years into man-years the above
figures will be as follows :
|Total years in one
- One Kalpa contains 14 Manwantaras.
- One Manwantar is equivalent to 71 Chaturyugas.
- One such Kalpa makes one day-night of Brahma.
- During Brahma's day creation begins and during his
night dissolution takes place.
- As per this day Brahma has life span of 100 years.
- Life span of 1000 Brahmas make 1 Ghatika of
- Such 1000 Vishnus make 1 Pala of Rudra.
- Such 1000 Rudras make 1/2
Pala of Adimaya or Mahashakti.
- Whoever has birth also has death but Mrutyunjaya, Mahakala
or Param Shiva always remains above all as an Absolute Truth.
- Now a bit confusing part. This cycle of kalpa after
kalpa is beginning and endless. Ordinary mind may find it difficult to
understand this concept of "infinite time" but those who have spent
considerable efforts in sadhana can understand to some extent how time is
dependent on mind.
If we think of this time frame we realize how tiny human
beings are. Why do, then, people nurture egoistic attitude based on their wealth,
education and countless other things? Anyways...
One final note before I stop. Currently 28th Kaliyuga is
going on from the present Kalpa. We would be completing approximately 5112
man-years of current Kaliyuga on 31 December2010!
I take this opportunity to wish all the readers a very happy
and spiritually uplifting new year! May Mahakal Lord Shiva bless you
with health and happiness.
Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant, trainer, author, yoga mentor, and meditation teacher with over 24 years of experience in classical form of Yoga. He is an internationally published author and has authored or co-authored more than twelve books on .NET technologies. He has been awarded as a Most Valuable Professional by Microsoft. He has also written a few Marathi books including Devachya Davya Hati and Natha Sankentincha Danshu. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he also teaches Ajapa Yoga to selected individuals.
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