This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
( Vibhu). It is eternal. It is an accessory to creation and dissolution of the manifest world. This time though existing both in Nitya vibhuti and Leela vibhuti ( which term includes all that lies below and including Brahma's Satyaloka) - is potent only in the latter. In Vaikunta, ' time stands still ', the Nityasuris and Muktas who enjoy eternal youth never go through the process of aging and are eye witnesses to the sight and enjoyment of the ' eternal day' - '21 "Sada pasyanti soorayah diveeva chakshur atatam' and "Ati Ratram Uttamam Ahar Bhavati " So, time has no value in Paramapada. In Leela Vibhuti, however, it keeps ticking, like a stop-watch constantly measuring the length of life of all living beings and insentient things that manifest and disintegrate at stipulated intervals as willed by Bhagavan. This time concept has been considered by Hinduism at two levels, Micro and Macro.. AT THE MICRO LEVEL ( as other religions have done) measuring has been done with the divisions and subdivisions familiar to human understanding. This has been done by Hinduism with an unparalleled precision. The Hindu astronomers could calculate the minutest division of time say from hours to minutes to seconds to what we now understand by such terms as nano seconds etc., AND PREDICT WITH RAZOR SHARP ACCURACY THE EXACTTIMINGS OF EVENTS SUCH AS THE ECLIPSES INCLUDINGTHEIR COMMENCEMENT, TOTALITY AND ENDINGSMILLIONS OF YEARS BACK FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS TOCOME. THAT THEY DID WITH ABSOLUTELY NO INFRASTRUCTURES, NO TELESCOPES NOR OTHER GADGETS BUT BY THEIR TRANSCENDENTAL VISION IS A FACT THATMODERN ASTRONOMERS BOASTING OF SOPHISTICATEDINSTRUMENTS CAN ONLY ADMIRE BUT ARE NOT ABLE TOEMULATE. AT THE MACRO LEVEL , the calculations spreading endlessly far beyond our imaginative faculties and comprehension are, therefore, mind boggling. But, recent scientific research on the Big bang and other phenomena seem to reaffirm our faith in the veracity and the validity of these macro level calculations also. Says Mr BASHAM: "The procession of equinoxes was known and calculated with some accuracy by the astronomers, as were the lengths of the year, the lunar month, and other
astronomical constants. These calculations were reliable for the most practical purposes and in many cases more exact than those of the Greco- Roman world. Eclipses were forecast with accuracy and their true causes understood"22 DR. RADHAKRISHNAN observes: "They measured the land, divided the year, mapped out the heavens, traced the course of Sun and planets through the zodiacal belt, analyzed the constitution of matter, and studied the nature of birds and beasts, plants and seeds".23 THUS, OUR ANCESTORS IN THE HINDU SOCIETY LEFT NOSUBJECT UNINVESTIGATED AND ACTUALLY ARRIVED ATTHE APPROPRIATE CONCLUSIONS WHICH MODERNRESEARCHERS ARE ONLY NOW TRYING TO GRAPPLE WITH. THE HINDU CALENDAR The Hindu Calendar is based on a ' Solar - lunar ' projection. The Thithi, Vara, Nakshatra, Yoga and Karana form the five fundamental considerations in the calculation of time. ( The names of these as well as those of months, seasons and years as per the Hindu almanac are given in Annexure 6) 1. Thithi: This is the distance between the Sun and the Moon in the stratosphere representing in terms of time to traverse as the lunar day approximately 30 of which make a lunar month. The month itself is divided into two fortnights of 15 Thithis each and called 'Paksha'. The period from the full moon day ( Pournami) to the New moon day (Amavasya) is called the 'Krishna Paksha' - dark fortnight. and the period from the New moon to the full moon is called 'Sukla paksha'- the bright fortnight.( Incidentally, the word 'Amavasya' means ' residing together' when the Sun and the moon rise and set about the same time. Ama means together and Vasya means residing.). The thithi can begin at any time during the solar day. The thithi that is current at the time of Sunrise ( Suryodaya) will be the thithi for that day. 2. Vaara: Vaara or Vasara refers to the day of the week. The days correspond to the days followed in the Western Calendar. 3. Nakshatra: the star ruling over any day is decided by the sojourn of the moon on its journey through the 12 zodiacal spheres in a cyclical manner. The moon sojourns in each sphere for approximately 2 1/2 days so that it would complete the 12 spheres in 30 days. There are 27 stars listed in the almanac, each having 4 quarters (Padas). Thus, there are 27 x 4= 108 Padas
which are positioned at the rate of 9 padas in each zodiacal sphere. The moon with its eternal movement traverses each Raasi (as the spheres are called) and comes into contact with the stars. And, for this duration of contact, the relevant star governs the day. 4. Yoga: This Yoga is different from the Yoga we discussed under Karma yoga, Gnana yoga , Bhakti yoga etc. Yoga here refers to the total distance traversed by the Sun and the Moon from any specified point. Like Nakshatra, 27 yogas have been listed 5. Karana : This represents half the period of Thithi which we saw earlier. There are 11 Karanas listed in the almanac. The Sun also moves through these zodiacal Raasis. The Sun sojourns in each Raasi for approximately one month. completing the round in one year. The other planets also move through these zodiacal stations taking varying lengths of time to traverse each ( e.g.) Jupiter, Rahu and Ketu take about one year while Saturn takes about 2 1/2 years . 6. MASA (MONTHS): There are 12 months as in the Western Calendar 7. RITU (Seasons): Unlike the Western calendar which has only 4 seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, the Hindu calendar has 6 seasons of 2 months' duration called 'Ritus': 8. AYANA ( Half - Years): The year is also divided into 2 half - years called Ayanas.: 1. The period beginning from Makara to the end of Mithuna is called Uttarayana to denote the Sun's movement from the tropic of Capricorn NORTHWARDS to the tropic of Cancer. 2. The period beginning from Kataka to the end of Dhanus is called Dakshinayana to denote the Sun's movement from the tropic of Cancer SOUTHWARDS to the tropic of Capricorn. This is just another way of saying what is recognized in Western thinking as the earth revolving round the Sun as to receive Sun's light alternatively between the two tropics in a period of 6 months. 9. CYCLE OF YEARS : The Hindu calendar lists a cycle of 60 years from Prabhava to Akshaya MACRO LEVEL COMPUTATIONS Now, let us take the Macro level computations. Several technical terms have been used to denote the mega computations of time. like 1. YUGAS, 2. MAHAYUGAS, 3. MANVANTARAS, 4. KALPAS, 5. PARARDHA.
6. PARAM. We shall try to understand what these mean in an attempt to comprehend the magnitude of the calculations adopted and followed in Hindu Cosmic time panorama. 1.YUGAS AND 2. MAHAYUGAS The time of one year for humans represents one day for the divine beings. 360 such divine days make one divine year. 12,000 such divine years makes a Mahayuga comprising the 4 yugas of Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali yugas. In terms of our human standards the measurement of a Mahayuga will look like this: Kali yuga 432,000 human years (We are said to be in the year 5098 as of 1997,the balance of Kali yuga being 426,902 years more as of April 1997) Dwapara yuga ( Dwa means 2 times, So twice of Kaliyuga ) 864.000 human years Treta yuga (Tre means 3 times, So thrice of Kali yuga) 1,296,000 human years Krita yuga ( 4 times of Kali yuga) 1,728,000 human years. Total for one Mahayuga = 4,320,000 Human years or 4.32 million years. THE LORD IN THE VARIOUS YUGAS Lord in the Krita Yuga : Lord Sri Ranganatha Lord in the Treta Yuga: Lord Sri Rama Lord in the Dwapara Yuga: Lord Sri Krishna Lord in the Kali Yuga : Lord Srinivasa 3. MANVANTARAS 72 Mahayugas constitutes one 'Manvantara' (i.e.) the life of a Manu, the law giver and also of Indra, the Lord of the Devas and 14 such Manvantaras make one day or Kalpa of the four faced Brahma or 72 x 14 = 1008 Mahayugas. This works out to 4.32m x 1008 = 4354.56 MILLION human years or 4.35456 BILLION human years. THE 'BIG BANG' SCIENTISTS AVER THAT THE BIG BANGMUST HAVE OCCURED SOME 15 BILLION YEARS BACK ,THAT THE SUN CAME INTO BEING ABOUT 5 BILLION YEARSBACK AND THE EARTH SOME 3 BILLION YEARS BACK.SCHOLORS THINK THAT THIS CONFORMS TO THE HINDUMYTHOLOGICAL RECKONING OF THE CREATION OFHEAVENLY BODIES AND THEIR DISSOLUTION. 4. KALPAS The Puranas mention the names of 30 Kalpas. We are said to live in the 'Sveta Varaha Kalpa' from the fact that Bhagavan appeared at the beginning of this Kalpa in the form of a white boar and saved the earth from the nether worlds to which an Asura had kidnapped her. The Kalpa just before the present was called 'Padma Kalpa'. In each of the Kalpas 14 Manus reign. In other words, a Manu holds sway for a period of 72 Mahayugas or Chaturyugas. Of the 14 Manvantaras, so far six Manus have had their reigns. WE ARE NOW IN 7TH MANVANTARA called 'Vaivaswatha Manvantara' after the name of the current Manu 'Vaivaswatha'. The names of the 6 Manus who ruled BEFORE Vaivaswatha and those who will SUCCEED him in
chronological order are as follows:1. Swayambhuva (H.V. 7.8) son of the self born 2. Swarochishta (Mark P.67.4) son of the self shining 3. Uthama ( Mark.P 73.13) son of the highest 4. Taamasa (Mark.P 73.13) son of Darkness 5. Raivatha (Mark.P 75,73,74) son of wealth 6. Chaikshusa( Mark.P 76.54) son of vision 7. VAIVASWATHA( (MARK.P 79.9&10) SON OF BRIGHTNESS 8. Arka Savarnika ( Mark.P 80.4) related to Sungod 9. Daksha Savarnika ( Mark.P 94.8) son of rituals 10. Brahma Savarnika (Mark.P 94.10 to 14 ) son of Brahma 11. Dharma Savarnia( Mark.P 94.19 & 20) relative of eternal law 12. Rudra Savrnika( Mark.P 94.25 )son of the destroyer 13. Deva Savarnika (Mark. P 94.30)son of the shining one and 14. Indra Savarnika (Mark.P 100.31) son of the mighty Indra In this Vaivaswatha Manvantara itself WE ARE IN THE 28TH MAHAYUGA and within that in Kaliyuga. Sri Rama's period is said to have been in Treta yuga of the 5th Mahayuga of this Manvantara. Krishna's period is said to be in the present 28 th Mahayuga itself almost at the end of Dwaparayuga and just immediately before the present Kaliyuga. THE PRESENT KALI YUGA IS DATED WITH STARTLINGCERTITUDE TO HAVE BEGUN ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18,3102 B.C WHICH SOME AUTHORITIES HOLD WAS THEBEGINNING OF THE GREAT MAHABHARATA WAR. The churning of the milky ocean is said to have happened during the Chaikshusa Manvantara and several other episodes have been identified to have occurred in the various time frames within this scheme. 5. PARARDHAM AND 6. PARAM Adding 1 day of 4.35456 BILLION human years and 1 night of equal length (i.e.) 4.35456 BILLION human years, Brahma's whole day works out to 8.70912 billion human years. 30 such days make one month for Brahma ( i.e.) 8.70912x 30 =261.2736 BILLION human years.12 months make one year and Brahma is supposed to live for 100 such years which when calculated works out to 261.2736x12x100=313528.32 BILLION human years. This is called 'Param'. Half of it is "Para Ardham" Brahma is supposed to have completed 50 years of his age and he is in his second 50 years or SECOND PARARDHAM ( DWITEEYA PARARDHAM) and has qualified to be enrolled as a divine 'Senior citizen'!. You may be tempted to ask whether all this is not a figment of imagination running riot and where is the proof? What is the proof that today is , say, SATURDAY? The only proof is that yesterday was FRIDAY. Even your date of birth is what your mother who gave birth to you told you so. Who is your biological father? He is the person whom your mother pointed out to be your father.
You have seen your father and / or mother; They were born out of their parents and these parents were born out of their parents and so on. If you go on tracing the genealogical tree without faltering, you can arrive at what the Hindus call 'Adhi Moolam" - the primordial origin of the species and with that the time in which they lived. This saga of time unfolding before you can also take you ' back to the future'. In a similar fashion - through your children, grand children, great grandchildren and great great grand children and so on to the times when they would live and there is nothing to be skeptical about it. If you still feel not convinced, listen to what these authors have to say on the matter: ROSS says "ANACHRONISTIC AS THIS LABYRINTHINE MYTHOLOGY MAY APPEAR TO THE FOREIGN MIND, MANY OF INDIA'S ANCIENT THEORIES ABOUT THE UNIVERSE ARE STARTINGLY MODERN IN SCOPE AND WORTHY OF A PEOPLE WHO ARE CREDITED WITH THE INVENTION OF THE ZERO, AS WELL AS ALGEBRA AND ITS APPLICATION TO ASTRONOMY AND GEOMETRY; A PEOPLE WHO SO CAREFULLY OBSERVEDTHE HEAVENS THAT, IN THE OPINION OF MONIER-WILLIAMS, THEY DETERMINED THE MOON'S SYNODICAL REVOLUTION MUCH MORE CORRECTLY THAN THE GREEKS" 24 And, ROSS continues "MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS BEFORE THOSE GREAT EUROPEAN PIONEERS, GALILEO AND COPERNICUS, HAD TO PAY HEAVY PRICES IN RIDICULE AND EXCOMMUNICATION FOR THEIR DARING THEORIES, A SECTION OF THE VEDAS KNOWN AS THE BRAHMANAS CONTAINED THIS ASTOUNDING STATEMENT: 'THE SUN NEVER SETS OR RISES. WHEN PEOPLE THINK THE SUN IS SETTING, HE ONLY CHANGES ABOUT AFTER REACHING THE END OF THE DAY TO WHAT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE. THEN, WHEN PEOPLE THINK HE RISES IN THE MORNING, HE ONLY SHIFTS HIMSELF ABOUT AFTER REACHING THE END OF THE NIGHT, AND MAKES DAY BELOW AND NIGHT TO WHAT IS ON THE OTHER SIDE. IN TRUTH, HE DOES NOT SET AT ALL'"25 KLOSTERMIER observes: "In the Manusmriti, we already find the idea of a periodical creation and destruction of the world, as well as all the divisions of time from the winking of an eye to the World ages. One day and night are made up of thirty muhurtas, each muhurta of thirty kalas, each kala of thirty Kastas, and each Kasta of eighteen nimeshas."26 " We reckon a light year as the distance light travels in a year's time, or 5,878,000,000,000 miles. The number is, of course, unimaginable; the mind cannot grasp it. To pictorialize a kalpa- that is the time between the initial condensation to the final conflagration of a world system.- an Indian sage of the sixth century BC., Siddharta Gautama, who became the Buddha, reduced this immense concept to singularly vivid terms. 'Imagine, he said, a mountain of the very hardest rock, a mountain much larger than any peak in the Himalayas, and suppose that a man, with the piece of
the very finest, sheerest silk gauze from Benares comes just once every hundred years to touch that great mountain with the gauze ever so lightly. The time it would take him to wear away the entire mountain would be about the length of a Kalpa"27 The Sun divides days and nights, both human and divine; A year is the day and night of the departed ancestors; That is why performance of annual Sradda ceremony is observed whereby the departed souls are fed and remembered- which is another way of saying their being fed and honored on ' THEIR daily basis ' WHATEVER THEIR FAILURES , IF ANY, IN OTHER FIELDS, INDIANS HAVE BEEN DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB IN TERMS OF KEEPING TRACK OF TIME AND DISTANCE. THIS, THEY DID BY KEEPING A SORT OF DIARY BASED ON THE ALMANAC. It may be noticed that any rituals which a Hindu performs on auspicious as well as inauspicious occasions always start with a fixation of the precise time, the star, the day, the Thithi, the fortnight, the month, the season, the half year , and the year on the micro side as also the quarter of the yuga, the name of the yuga , the name of the cycle, the Manvantara, and the Kalpa on the Macro side. In fact, orthodox Hindus do this reckoning daily in their ' Nitya karma Anushtana' the daily routine Puja ( honoring) of their Ishtadevata. In this way the formula for describing the exact time in the eternal cycle has been passed on from generation to generation. This is what we call the "Sankalpa' before commencing any rituals. This is also true of fixation of the exact location where the ritual is performed. as already discussed in the 'Section on ' Space'.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.