Appendix:Hindu units of measurement

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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[edit]

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

Hindu units of time on a logarithmic scale.

Sidereal metrics[edit]

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[edit]

Lunar metrics[edit]

Tropical metrics[edit]

  • a Yaama (याम) = 1/4th of a day(light) or night [ = 7½ Ghatis (घटि) = 3¾ Muhurtas (मुहूर्त) = 3 Horas (होरा) ]
  • 4 Yaamas 1 half of the day (either day or night)
  • 8 Yaamas 1 day (day + 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[edit]

Reckoning of time amongst the pitrs.
  • 1 human month = 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 (= 3,000 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[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]