Hindu units of measurement
- 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 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 trasarenu is the combination of 6 celestial atoms.
- a truti is the time needed to integrate 3 trasarenus, or 1/1687.5th 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 8 seconds.
- a laghu is 15 kashthas, or about 2 minutes.
- 15 laghus make one nadika, which is also called a danda. This equals the time before water overflows in a six-pala-weight [fourteen ounce] pot of copper, in which a hole is bored with a gold probe weighing four masha and measuring four fingers long. The pot is then placed on water for calculation.
- 2 dandas make one muhurta.
- 6 or 7 muhurtas make one yamah, or 1/4th of a day or night.
- 4 praharas or 4 yamas are in each day or each night.
- 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 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.
- 12 months of the Devas = 1 year of the Devas = 1 divine year.
- 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 Krita Yuga
- 3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 divine years = 1 Tretá Yuga
- 2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 divine years = 1 Dwápara Yuga
- 1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 divine years = 1 Kali Yuga
- 12,000 divine year = 4 Yugas = 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:
|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|
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
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 = 1.973 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 + 2010 = 5112 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.
So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is
155.52 x 1012 + 1.973×109 + 0.00012053302 = 155.52 Trillion Years
The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.