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an elephant can substitute a

measuring system !!!!!

Once a peasant wins over Akbar with his
loyalty,
Akbar ask peasant to make I wish

Peasant asks for food grains equal to that
of an elephant

but disallows to weigh the elephant
????????
• Birbal asks mahout to take elephant
to river

• Takes elephant over a boat

• Marks the water level upto which
boat sinks

• Then replaces elephant with
foodgrains

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Elephant !!! Not at all
• Use of elephant as measurement unit
• Was it standard – yes ….but was
circumstantial
• Today the need is of a unit which
will measure the magnitude of
the concerned entity and also a
more physible replacement of
elephant

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Simplifying the
measurement
• Thus measuring a thing is
nothing but converting it into
some tangible unit.
 in example it was an elephant
• It is nothing but a mode of
communication
• Defination – “Measurement is
determination of the magnitude of
a quantity by comparing with a
standard for the same.”
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Measurement system

A definite set of standardized units having
consistent inter-relation , used to
determine the magnitude of an entity can
be called as measurement system
Why do we need a
measurement system?
• For the same reason we need an
alphabet - so we can effectively use a
form of communication
• It’s a type of vocabulary to convey the
magnitude of observation
• When experiments are performed there
are always some observations where
questions like "how fast", "how far",
or "how much" must be answered.
The only way to answer these
questions is through measurement.
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Main objective- Quantifying
observation
• Thought is simply a process of
gaining knowledge without
quantification
• quantifying that observation is
science
• Hence the thought process ultimately
has to be quantified suitably, using
appropriate units of measurement
so as to call that subject 'science',
 
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
History
• The history of measurement
systems in India
Indus Valley Civilization with the
earliest surviving samples dated to
the 5th millennium BCE.
• Since early times the adoption of
standard weights and measures has
reflected in the country's
architectural, folk, and
metallurgical artifacts. etc
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Ancient Units of
Measurement

• Measurements were generally
derived from human body part eg
The foot unit of measure was used
widely across the Roman Empire. It
is now estimated to be about 295
mm (11.6")
• The basic unit of measurement for
the Egyptians was the royal cubit
of "meh" which was about 524
mm GAURAV GUPTE/2010
• The People of the Biblical period
generally used a composite of the
neighbouring regions in the methods
of measurement : the digit or "esba"
(18.75 mm)
• The Maya employed a measurement
system involving what we are calling
a zapal= 144 xoot, which was 147
± 5 cm long : the ancient Maya, and
that multiples of 3, 4, and 12 are
involved.
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
• In ancient china measurement units
were somewhat standardized by
using celebrities’ limb lengths, which
were set as legal units.
 eg : length of a finger was considered
as one cun.

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
characteristics of
measurements
• they must not vary with place and time
• should be easily reproducible
• should be well-defined
• should be of proper size
• should not change easily with the
changing physical conditions like
temperature, pressure etc.
• should be accessible, i.e. not too small
when compared to the quantities to
be measured.
 GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Cornerstone…. “Ganita”
• natural numbers ,whole numbers–
contributed by Indians
• Indians gave the system of decimal
place value: ref-Taittiriya-Samhita
and the Valmiki Ramayana
• Mahaviracarya (A.D. 850) says in his
Ganita-Sara- Sangraha “Whatever
there is in all the three worlds, which
are possessed of moving and non-
moving beings, cannot exist apart
from Ganita”
• All entities are dependent upon Ganita
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Kalinga system -- magadha
system

• ancient India – cluster of kingdoms
• Two mighty kingdoms—Kalinga and
Magadha
• Two prevalent measuring systems of
the above rules
• Wide acceptance of Magadha system
of measurement

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Measurement systems adopted
in ayurveda

• Time measurement (kala
maana )
• Linear measurement (payvya
maana)
• Mass measurement (pautava
maana)
• Volume measurement (druvaya
maana) GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Time
• Ancient Indians devised a detailed
terminology for minute intervals of
time.Units of
Ancient
Time
•18  nimesas (winks) 1 kashta (3.2 seconds)
30 kashtas 1 kala (1.6 minutes)
15 kalas 1 nadika or 1 nalika
30 kalas or 2 nadikas 1 muhurta or kshana (48
minutes?)
30 muhurtas 1 aho-ratra (1 cycle of
day and night, 24
hours)
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Vedic system
1 Tatpara 9000 seconds
60 Tatpara 1 Para
60 Para 1 Valipta
60 Valipta 1 Lipta or Vipal
60 Lipta 1 Vighati or Pala
60 Vighati 1 Ghati = 24 minutes

60 Ghatis 1 Day = 24 hours

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
6 prana 1 vinadi = 60 nadi

60 nadi sidereal day n
night
30 sidereal 1month ( savanna )
days
12 lunar month 1 year
( tithi )= 12 360 day n night =
soura solar 1 year of gods or
month = demons
12000 years chaturyuga ( 4 yuga )
= 10000 ( 432 ) solar
years
170 chaturyuga = manvant
ara
1000 chaturyuga 1 kalpa
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
small units of time-Recent
findings
leekshaka 1/60 parmaanu 1/15th second

lava 1/60 1/900th second
leekshakamu
renu 1/60 lavamu 1/54000th second

truti 1/60 renuvu 1/324000th
second

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Payya maana

• System of measurement of length

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Sharangdhara samhita

1 angula 8 yava
12 angula 1 vitasti
22 angula 1 aratni
24 angula 1 hasta
1 hasta 1 vyoma

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Visvakarma
8 riksa ( lit . a nit ) 1 yuka ( a louse )
8 yuka 1 yavam ( a barley
8 yavam grain )
1 angula ( a finger )
12 angula 1 Vitasti
24 angula 1 hasta ( hand ) = 2
4 hasta nal
1 dhanurdanda
2000 dhanurdand 1 kosh
2 kosh 1 Gabhyuti
2 Gabhyuti 1 Yojana

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Conversion into prevalent
units

• The smallest unit - anu =0.000053
cm

• 1 angula = 1.763 cm

• The largest unit -1 yojana =
1353984 cm

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
pautava maana

• Ancient measurement system of
measuring mass of a substance

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
pautava maana-
rasaratnasamuchhaya

• 2 Karsha= 1 shukti
• 6 Anu = 1 Truti • 2 shukti = 1 Pala
• 6 Truti = 1 Liksha • 2 Pala = 1 Prasruta
• 2 Prasruta = 1 Kudava
• 6 Liksha = 1 Yuka
• 2 Kudava = 1 Manika
• 6 yuka= 1 Raja • 2 Manika = 1 Prastha
• 6 Raja = 1 Sarshapa • 2 Prastha = 1 shubha
• 6 Sarshapa = 1 Yava • 2 shubha = 1 Adhaka
• 6 Yava = 1 • 4 Adhaka = 1 Drona
Gunja(Raktik¡) • 100 Pala = 1 Tula
• 2 gunja= 1 nishpava • 40 Tula = 1 Bh¡ra
• 3 Gugunja= 1 Valla • 4000 Pala = 1 Bh¡ra

• 2 Valla = 1 masha
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
• 2 Masha = 1 Dharana
Recent findings
• The actual weight of one ratti = 120
mg is confirmed by an experiment
 Based on the same one
• 1 anu = 0.000428 mg
• 1 tola =11.52 gms
• 1 Bh¡ra =18,4320.00 gms
• 1 karsha = 72 ratti =720mg. in
Rasashastra; whereas
1 karsha = 96 ratti =960mg. in
Kalinga or Magadha system.

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Druvaya mana
A llfo rm s o f scie n tific m e a su re m e n t,
in fa ct, ca n b e re d u ce d to
fu n d a m e n ta l p ro p e rtie s : le n g th ,
m a ss , tim e .

A n cie n t se e rs w e re co g n iza n t w ith
th is tru th

E x te n d e d u se o f p a y y a m a a n a
a n d p a u ta v a m a a n a fo r
ca lcu la tin g th e v o lu m e
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Measuring volume
Mushti 61 Lt

Cudava 244 Lt

Prastha 976 Lt

Drona 15,616 Lt

Cumbha 312,320 Lt

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Smallest druvya maana
units

8 bindu 1 shaan

4 shaan 1 shukti

2 shukti 1 panishukti

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Limitations of ancient
measuring systems

• vary from one person to the next, so
if you need accuracy or
repeatability, they’re not the best
choice.
• The subjective interpretation on
one's senses and so usually varies
• They are not easily reproducible
• Inexpedient compared to modern
measuring
 systems GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Steps to overcome
limitations
• Manusmriti, sets out the following
as being among the duties of a
king: “The king should examine
the weights and balances every
six months to ensure true
measurements and to mark
them with the royal stamp.”

• Thus, the need to standardize and
authenticate weights and measures
was felt in India at a very early
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
How to standardize??
• determination of the magnitude of a
quantity by comparison with a
preset standard
• For convenience, such a standard
must be marked off both in
multiples and in fractions of the
basic unit.
• The new standards must be widely
used and universally accepted

GAURAV GUPTE/2010
SI
• Among the prevalent systems of units
the SI units is a new,
comprehensive and rationalized
system of units, accepted by the 11th
conference of weights and measures
in 1960
• The current international standard
metric system is the international
system of units evloved from metric
system
• It is an system based on the metre,
kilogram and second as well as the
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
Advantages of
standardized units
• The units are more logical and
coherent.
• The units are more easily reproducible.
• The units do not change with time as
they are based on the properties of an
atom.
• The units are more comprehensive,
covering all disciplines of science and
technology.
• The units are convertible into CGS
system very easily, whenever needed.
• The units are a metric system in
GAURAV GUPTE/2010
 I can surely conclude that
measurements which are
standardized can be more helpful
than an elephant!

 Thank you

GAURAV GUPTE/2010