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The Concept of Time - Kala

Srimad Bhagavatam, 3rd skandam, 11th Adhyaaya (Chapter).. “swasthe nare samaaseene yaavathspandhathi lochanam| Thathra thrinshathm...


The Concept of Time - Kala
Srimad Bhagavatam, 3rd skandam, 11th Adhyaaya (Chapter)..
“swasthe nare samaaseene yaavathspandhathi lochanam|Thathra thrinshathmo baaga: thathpara: parikeerthitha: |Tathparasya shathaanshasuthu dhrutisthiyabigiiyathe|| “
The time taken for blinking the eye lids once by a man who is in ‘swasthi’ (without any ailments) state is called as ‘Nimesha’.
  • 1/30th of a Nimesha is called a ‘Tharpara (thathpara)
  • 1/100th of a tharpara is called a ‘dhruti’
Our ancestors have calculated ‘time’ better than anybody else in the world, without having any of the modern day computing assists and capabilities. The following is the list of time units as defined per our ‘Jyothisha’ sasthra.
  • 60 kooshvaas – 1 tharpara (thathpara)
  • 60 tharparas – 1 vinaadi
  • 60 Vinaadia – 1 Naalika
  • 60 Naalikas – 1 day
Mapping these to the modern day ‘English’ time units:
  • 1 hour - 2-1/2 naalikas
  • 1 naalika – 24 minutes
  • 1 Vinaadi – 24 Seconds
  • 1 tharpara – 6/15 of a second
  • 1 kooshvaa – 1/150 of a second
The Hindu Dharma practices mathematics in everyday life. Another example from a simple ‘sankalpa’ mantra that is recited before any pooja or a good intended event as part of our Dharma would show us how much Hinduism is not a religion but a Dharma – to be practiced.
  • “Adhya Brahmana; dvithiya praarthe
  • Swetha varaaha kalpe
  • Vaivasvatha manvanthre
  • Ashtavimsathi thame
  • Kaliyuge prathame paathe
  • Jambuthveepe
  • Bharatha varshe
  • Baratha: kande
  • Meroho: dhakshine paarshve
  • Saalivaahana sahaapte
  • Asmin varthamaane vyavahaarike
  • Prabhavaathi sashti samvathsaaraanaam madhye
  • ‘sarvajit’ naama samvathsare
  • Dhakshinaayane; Sharad rithou;
  • Kaarthika maase; sukla pakshe
  • Panchamyaam Subha thithou
Vaasara: sthira vaasara yukthaayaam
… nakshathra ….”

Before understanding this sankalpa, some brief on how Hinduism calculates ‘time’! Hinduism explains the time calculation in relative terms to the life time of ‘Lord Brahma’ – the birth God!

What is the ‘Life time’ of Brahma?
His ‘Life time’ is defined as – 100 ‘Brahma’ years with 360 days per year – equivalent to 432 crore ‘earth’ years; His ‘night’ also constitutes of such 432 crore ‘earth’ years;

The end of a ‘DAY’ of brahma, is the universe’s end (the d-day!). Then ‘Lord Brahma’ sleeps for his ‘night’ time (another 432 crore years!). When his next DAY starts, the universe again starts a new cycle of life and evolves for the next 432 crore years!

Every ‘day’ of Brahma is split into 14 parts – each called as a ‘Manvanthra’. There is a head for every ‘Manvanthra’ called ‘The Manu’. The current time frame comes under the ‘Seventh Manu’ named ‘Vaivasvatha’.

Every Manvanthra constitutes of 71 Maha Yugas; 4 yugas constitute one Maha-yuga. The following are the yuga calculations;
  1. Krutha yuga – 17,28,000 Years
  2. Thretha Yuga - 12,96,000 Years
  3. Dwapara Yuga- 8,64,000 Years
  4. Kali Yuga - 4,32,000 Years
A above total of 43,20,000 years constitute a ‘Maha-yuga’.

Each Manvanthra has 71 Maha Yugas; and there are 14 Manvanthras; So
14 X 71 = 994 Maha-Yugas;

6 Maha-yugas are given for the transition period of every Manvanthra to the next; so:

994 Maha-Yugas + 6 Maha-yuga makes to 1000 Maha-Yugas. This is called a ‘Kalpa’ and constitutes Bhrahma’s One DAY. Currently we are in ‘Swetha varaha kalpa’.

To understand better, if we start from the lowest denomination:
  • 1 Maha-Yuga = 43,20,000 Years;
  • One Manu’s period (Manvanthra) consists 71 Maha-Yugas: 71 X 43,20,000 = 30,67,20,000 Years
  • There are 14 Manvanthras: 14 X 30,67,20,000 = 429,40,80,000 Years;
  • 6 Maha-Yugas for Manvanthra’s transition:6 X 43,20,000 = 2,59,20,000 Years;
  • Add the above for 14 Manu’s period: 429,40,80,000 + 2,59,20,000 = 432,00,00,000 (432 crore) Years; which equivalent to BRAHMA’S ONE DAY!
With the above information as a background for our understanding, going back to the Sankalpa Manthra:
  • “Adhya Brahmana: - During Current Brahma’s 51st year 
  • dvithiya praarthe – in the First Day
  • Swetha varaaha kalpe – in Swetha Varaha Kalpam
  • Vaivasvatha manvanthre – In the times of ‘Vaivasvatha’ Manu
  • Ashtavimsathi thame; Kaliyuge prathame paathe – In the first part of Kaliyuga that comes for the 28th time;
  • Jambudhveepe – In a place called ‘Jambudhveepam’ that is a part of earth’s seven parts’
  • Bharatha varshe – In the land called ‘Bharatha Varsham’
  • Baratha: kande – In the Baratha kandam (continant)
  • Meroho: dhakshine paarshve – To the south of Mount Meru
  • Saalivaahana sahaapte – In the times of king ‘Saalivahana’
  • Asmin varthamaane vyavahaarike – With such information
  • Prabhavaathi sashti samvathsaaraanaam madhye – from the list of 60 years that starts with ‘Prabhava’
  • ‘sarvajit’ naama samvathsare – in the year of ‘Sarvajit’
  • Dhakshinaayane; Sharad rithou; - During the time when Sun traverses facing South; in so & so weather time (Spring, summer etc)
  • Kaarthika maase; sukla pakshe – in so & so month; moon ascending or descending phase;
  • Panchamyaam Subha thithou – in so & so day ….
Vaasara: sthira vaasara yukthaayaam
… nakshathra ….”

For those who do not know about Hindu calender:Vedic lunar calendar. 
In its cycle of 60 years, the names of successive years are :
1. Prabhava 
2. Vibhava 
3. Sukla 
4. Pramoodotha
5. Pajothpatthi 
6. Agnirasa 
7. Srimukha 
8. Bhava
9. Yuva 
10. Dhata 
11. Eswara 
12. Bahudhanya
13. Pramadi 
14. Vikrama 
15. Vishu 
16. Chitrabhanu
17. Swabhanu 
18. Tharana 
19. Parthiva 
20. Vyaya
21. Sarvajittu 
22. Sarvadhari 
23. Virodhi 
24. Vikriti
25. Khara 
26. Nandana 
27. Vijaya 
28. Jaya
29. Manmatha 
30. Durmukhi 
31. Havilambi 
32. Vilhambi
33. Vikari 
34. Sarvari 
35. Plava 
36. Shubhakritu
37. Sobhakruthu 
38. Krodhi 
39. Vishwavasu 
40. Paridhavi
41. Plavanga 
42. Keelaka 
43. Sowmya 
44. Sadharana
45. Voridhikrutu 
46. Paridhavi 
47. Pramadicha 
48. Ananda
49. Rakshasa 
50. Nala 
51. Pingala 
52. Kalayukti
53. Siddharthi 
54. Roudri 
55. Durmati 
56. Dundubhi
57 Rudhirodgari 
58. Rathakshi 
59. Krodhana 
60. Akshaya

Months :
1. Chaitra 
2. Vaishakha 
3. Jyeshta 
4. Aashadha 
5. Shravana 
6. Bhadrapada 
7. Ashwin 
8. Kartika 
9. Margasheersha 
10. Pausha 
11. Maagha 
12. Phalguna

Stars :
1. Ashwini 
2. Bharani 
3. Krutika 
4. Rohini 
5. Mruga 
6. Ardra 
7. Punarvasu 
8. Pushya 
9. Aslesha 
10. Magha 
11. Poorva 
12. Uttara 
13. Hastha 
14. Chitra 
15. Swati 
16. Vishakha 
17. Anuradha 
18. Moola 
19. Jyeshta 
20. Poorvashadha 
21. Uttarashadha 
22. Shravana 
23. Dhanishta 
24. Satabhisha 
25.Poorvabhadra 
26. Uttarabhadra 
27. Revati

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