- Hindu units of measurement
Vedic and Puranic units of time span from the Paramáńu (about 17 microseconds) to the mahamanvantara (311.04 trillion years). Hindu theology considers the creation and destruction of the universe a cyclic process.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Time
- 3 Our current date
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
Ancient Hindu units of measurement measures are still in current use in present day Hindu and Jain way of life. Hindu units of measurement are used for teaching yoga practices such as Surat Shabda Yoga for well being. Rishi Kanada, the Hindu seer, first described the constant flux of moving (and falling) objects in his [vaisheshika sutra]. Hindu units of measurement for Mass range from subparticulate (aNuAMsha) and particulate (aNu) to macro-sized (guru).
Surya Siddhanta is a Sanskrit account of the Astronomy knowledge of (MAYA ASURA). The concepts and units of measurements are similar to those in the Veda and is consistently used in Vaidik Astrology to this day. The earliest English Translation of Surya Siddhanta is TRANSLATION OF THE SURYA SIDDHANTÀ BY PUNDIT BA'PU' DEVA SASTRI, AND OF THE SIDDHÀNTA SIROMANI BY THE LATE LANCELOT WILKINSON, ESQ., C. S., REVISED BY PUNDIT BAPU DEVA SASTRI, FROM THE SANSKRIT.
Surya Siddhanta describes Time to be of two kinds; the first is continuous and endless which destroys all animate and inanimate things (which is also the cause of creation and preservation). The second kind is that which can be known. The latter form can be further sub-divided into two kinds:[MU'RTA] (meaning measurable) and [AMU'RTA] (meaning immeasurable), by reason of being macro and micro respectively. MU'RTA begins with [PRA'NA] (the duration of four seconds) and [AMU'RTA] begins with [TRUTI].
(12). And sixty nādis make a sidereal day and night. Of thirty of these sidereal days is composed a month; a civil month (sāvana) consists of as many sunrises.
(13). A lunar month, of as many lunar days (tithi); a solar (sāura) month is determined by the entrance of the Sun into a sign of the zodiac; twelve months make a year. This is called a day of the devas or demi-gods.
(14). The day and night of the devas and of the asuras are mutually opposed to one another. Six times sixty of them are a year of the devas, and likewise of the asuras.
(15). Twelve thousand of these divine years form a chaturyuga (chatur = Four; yuga = Age/Era); of ten thousand times four hundred and thirty-two solar years.
(16) The difference of the krtayuga and the other yugas, as measured by the difference in the number of the feet of Dharma in each, is as follows :
(17). The tenth part of a chaturyuga, multiplied successively by four, three, two, and one, gives the length of the krta and the other yugas: the sixth part of each belongs to its dawn and twilight.
(18). One and seventy chaturyugas make a manvantara (Rule of one Manu); at its end is a twilight which has the number of years of a krtayuga, and which is a pralaya (catastrophic end of creation).
(19). In a kalpa (æon) are reckoned fourteen such Manus with their respective twilights; at the commencement of the kalpa is a fifteenth dawn, having the length of a krtayuga.
(20). The kalpa, thus composed of a thousand chaturyugas, and which brings about the destruction of all that exists, is a day of Brahma; his night is of the same length.
(21). His extreme age is a hundred, according to this valuation of a day and a night. The half of his life is past; of the remainder, this is the first kalpa.
(22). And of this kalpa, six Manus are past, with their respective twilights; and of the Patriarch Manu son of Vivasvant, twenty-seven chaturyugas are past;
(23). Of the present, the twenty-eighth chaturyuga, the krtayuga is past; from this point,reckoning up the time, one should compute together the whole number.
The Hindu metrics of time (Kālm Vyavahara) can be summarized as below.
- a Paramaanus (परमाणु) is the normal interval of blinking in humans, or approximately 4 seconds
- a vighati (विघटि) is 6 paramaanus, or approximately 24 seconds.
- a Pal (पल) is 60 Vipal. It is equal to 1 vighati (विघटि)
- a ghadiya (घटि) is 60 vighatis, or approximately 24 minutes
- a muhurta (मुहूर्त) is equal to 2 ghadiyas, or approximately 48 minutes
- a nakshatra ahoratram (नक्षत्र अहोरत्रम्) or sidereal day is exactly equal to 30 muhurtas (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)
An alternate system described in the Vishnu Purana Time measurement section of the Vishnu Purana Book I Chapter III is as follows:
- 10 blinks of the eye = 1 Kásht́há
- 35 Kásht́hás = 1 Kalá
- 20 Kalás = 1 Muhúrtta
- 30 Muhúrttas = 1 day (24 hours)
- 30 days = 1 month
- 6 months = 1 Ayana
- 2 Ayanas = 1 year or one day (day + night) of the gods
Small units of time used in the Vedas
- a Paramáńu (about 16.8 microseconds)
- a Ańu is 2 paramáńus
- a Trasareńu is 3 Ańus
- a truti is 3 trasarenus, or about 1/3290th of a second.
- a vedha is 100 trutis.
- a lava is 3 vedhas.
- a nimesha is 3 lavas, or a blink.
- a kshanas is 3 nimeshas.
- a kashthas is 5 kshanas, or about 4.1 seconds.
- a laghu is 15 kashthas, or about 1 minute.
- 15 laghus make one nadika, which is also called a danda.
- 2 dandas make one muhurta.
- 6 or 7 muhurtas make one yama, or 1/4 of a day or night (according to the Bhágavata and the Brahma Vaivartta Purana. The actual number would have to be slightly less than 6 muhurtas per yama for consistency (6 times 35/36ths).)
- 4 praharas or 4 yamas are in each day or each night. (8 in a full day)
- a tithi (or thithi ) or lunar day is defined as the time it takes for the longitudinal angle between the moon and the Sun to increase by 12°. Tithis begin at varying times of day and vary in duration from approximately 19 to approximately 26 hours.
- a paksa (also paksha) or lunar fortnight consists of 15 tithis
- a masa or lunar month (approximately 29.5 days) is divided into 2 pakshas: the one between new moon and full moon (waxing) is called gaura (bright) or shukla paksha; the one between full moon and new moon (waning) krishna (dark) paksha
- a ritu (or season) is 2 masa
- an ayanam is 3 rituhs
- a year is 2 Aayanas 
- 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 (ancestors)
- 1 human fortnight (14 days) = 1 day of the pitrs
- 30 days of the pitrs = 1 month of the pitrs = (14 x 30 = 420 human days)
- 12 months of the pitrs = 1 year of the pitrs = (12 months of pitrs x 420 human days = 5040 human days)
- The lifespan of the pitrs is 100 years of the pitrs (= 36,000 pitr days = 504,000 human days)
Reckoning of time amongst the Devas
- 1 human year = 1 day of the Devas.
- 30 days of the Devas = 1 month of the Devas. (= 30 human years)
- 12 months of the Devas = 1 year of the Devas = 1 divine year (= 360 human years)
- 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 human year or 1 day of the devas
- 4,000 + 400 + 400 = 4,800 divine years (= 1,728,000 human years) = 1 Krita Yuga
- 3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 divine years (= 1,296,000 human years) = 1 Tretá Yuga
- 2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 divine years (= 864,000 human years) = 1 Dwápara Yuga
- 1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 divine years (= 432,000 human years) = 1 Kali Yuga
- 12,000 divine year = 4 Yugas (= 4,320,000 human years) = 1 Mahayuga (also called divine yuga)
Reckoning of time for Brahma
- 1000 Mahayugas = 1 kalpa = 1 day (day only) of Brahma
(Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma)
- 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 Pararddha
- 2 parardhas = 100 years of Brahma = 1 Para = 1 Mahakalpa (the lifespan of Brahma)(311.04 trillion human years)
One day of Brahma is divided into 10,000 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 Source: 
The cycle repeats itself so altogether there are 1,000 cycles of mahayugas in one day of Brahma.
- One cycle of the above four yugas is one mahayuga (4.32 million solar years)
- as is confirmed by the Gita statement "sahasra-yuga paryantam ahar-yad brahmano viduh", meaning, a day of brahma is of 1000 mahayugas. Thus a day of Brahma, kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma
- 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
- = 1,000 mahayugas
Our current date
Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed and we are in the first Day of the 51st year. This Brahma's day, Kalpa, is named as ShvetaVaraha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed and we are in the seventh Manavatara, named as - Vaivasvatha Manvantara (or Sraddhadeva Manavatara). Within the Vaivasvatha Manavantara, 27 Mahayugas (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita, Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. We are in the Kaliyuga of the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian Calendar. Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, we are in the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.
The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as
432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )
 8.64 x 109 x 30 x 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 x 1012 x 50 = 155.52 Trillion Years (50 years of Brahma)
(6 x 71 x 4320000 ) + 7 x 1.728 x 106 = 1.852 billion years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa
27 x 4320000 = 116.640000 million years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara
1.728 x 106 + 1.296 x 106 + 864000 = 3.888 million years elapsed in current Mahayuga
3102 + 2011 = 5113 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.
So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is
155.52 x 1012 + 1.973x109 + 0.00012053302 = 155,521,972,949,113 Years
- Age of the universe
- Hindu astronomy
- Hindu calendar
- Indian mathematics
- Indian science and technology
- List of numbers in Hindu scriptures
- Vedanga Jyotisha
- Ebenezer Burgess. "Translation of the Surya-Siddhanta, a text-book of Hindu Astronomy", Journal of the American Oriental Society 6 (1860): 141–498.
- Victor J. Katz. A History of Mathematics: An Introduction, 1998.
- Dwight William Johnson. Exegesis of Hindu Cosmological Time Cycles, 2007.
- Alaska Mark. Surya Siddhanta, Chapter I with Commentary and Illustrations, 2005.
Chronology Main articles Eras and epochs Astronomic time Geologic timeConceptsStandardsMethods Archaeological
Genetic methods Related topics Time in religion and mythology Systems of measurement Metric systems Natural units Conventional systems Customary systems
Avoirdupois · Apothecaries' · British Imperial · Burmese · Canadian · Chinese · Cornish · Danish · Dutch · English · Finnish · French · German · Hindu · Hong Kong · Irish · Japanese · Maltese · Norwegian · Pegu · Polish · Portuguese · Romanian · Russian · Scottish · Spanish · Swedish · Taiwanese · Tatar · Turkish · Troy · United States
Ancient systems Other systems Hindu cosmology TimeKalpa (day or night of Brahma) · Pralaya · Manvantara (age of a Manu) · Mahayuga or Yuga (4'320'000 years) · Satya Yuga (1,728,000 years) · Treta Yuga (1,296,000 years) · Dwapar Yuga (864,000 years) · Kali Yuga (432,000 years) · Manvantara (life of Manu )= 71 * by 4,320,000 years · Vaivasvata Manu · Vivasvan
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Units of measurement — Weights and measures redirects here. For other uses, see Weights and measures (disambiguation). The former Weights and Measures office in Seven Sisters, London A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a physical quantity, defined and… … Wikipedia
Dutch units of measurement — Relief on the gable of De Waag at the Markt in Gouda The Dutch units of measurement used today are those of the metric system. Before the 19th century, a wide variety of different weights and measures were used by the various Dutch towns and… … Wikipedia
Chinese units of measurement — A Traditional Chinese scale Chinese units of measurement (Chinese: 市制; pinyin: Shìzhì; literally market system ) are the customary and traditional units of measure used in China. In the People s Republic of China, the units were re standardised… … Wikipedia
Maltese units of measurement — In modern usage, metric is used almost exclusively in commercial transactions. These units are mostly historical, although they are still used in some limited contexts and in Maltese idioms and set phrases. Many of these terms are directly… … Wikipedia
Danish units of measurement — The Danes started with a system of units based on a Greek pous ( foot ) of 308.4 millimetres (1.012 ft) which they picked up through trade in the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age. Some early standards of measure can be recovered from measured… … Wikipedia
Norwegian units of measurement — As in the case of the Danes the Norwegians earliest standards of measure can be derived from their ship burials. The 60 foot long Kvalsund boat (18.29 m) was built ca. 700 AD and differs from the Danish boats less than it does from the… … Wikipedia
List of unusual units of measurement — For units of measure primarily used in countries where English is not the main language, see the article specific to that country, a list of which can be found in the systems of measurement article. An unusual unit of measurement is a unit of… … Wikipedia
Obsolete Polish units of measurement — The traditional Polish units of measurement included two uniform yet distinct systems of weights and measures, as well as a number of related systems borrowed from neighbouring states. The first attempt at standardisation came with the… … Wikipedia
Biblical and Talmudic units of measurement — Biblical and Talmudic units of measurement, such as the Omer, used primarily by ancient Israelites, appear frequently within the Hebrew Bible as well as in later Judaic scripture, such as the Mishnah and Talmud. These units of measurement are… … Wikipedia
Hong Kong units of measurement — is based on the measurement units of Chinese of Qing Empire, British Imperial and metric. Both British Imperial and Chinese units were used until recently. In 1976 Hong Kong started the conversion to the metric system. This has now been almost… … Wikipedia