Hindu units of time

Hindu texts describe units of Kala measurements, from microseconds to Trillions of years.[1] According to these texts, time is cyclic, which repeats itself forever.[2]

Time units

Hindu measurements in logarithmic scale.

Various fragments of time are used in Hindu Scriptures like Vedas, Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Puran, Mahabharata, Suryasidhanta etc. A summary of the Hindu metrics of time (kāla vyavahāra) follows.

Sidereal metrics

Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Truti त्रुटि Base unit ≈ 0.031 µs
Renu रेणु 60 Truti ≈ 1.86 µs
Lava लव 60 Renu ≈ 0.11 ms
Līkṣaka लीक्षक 60 Lava ≈ 6.696 ms
Lipta लिप्ता 60 Leekshaka ≈ 0.401 s
Vipala विपल
Pala पल 60 Lipta ≈ 24.1056 s
Vighaṭi विघटि
Vinādī विनाडी
Ghaṭi घटि 60 Vighaṭi ≈ 24 min
Nādī नाडी
Danda दण्ड
Muhūrta मुहूर्त 2 Ghaṭi ≈ 48 min
Nakṣatra Ahorātram (Sidereal Day) नक्षत्र अहोरात्रम् 60 Ghaṭī ≈ 24 h
30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h
Alternate system
Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Truti Base unit ≈ 35.5 µs
Tatpara 100 Truti ≈ 3.55 ms
Nimesha 30 Tatpara ≈ 106.7 ms
Kāṣṭhā 30 Nimesha ≈ 3.2 s
Kalā 30 Kāṣṭhā ≈ 1.6 min
Muhūrta 30 Kalā ≈ 48 min
Nakṣatra Ahorātram (Sidereal Day) 30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h

Small units of time used in the Vedas

Unit Definition Relation to SI units
Paramāṇu Base unit ≈ 26.3 µs
Aṇu 2 Paramāṇu ≈ 52.67 µs
Trasareṇu 3 Aṇu ≈ 158 µs
Truṭi 3 Trasareṇu ≈ 474 µs
Vedha 100 Truṭi ≈ 47.4 ms
Lava 3 Vedha ≈ 0.14 s
Nimeṣa 3 Lava ≈ 0.43 s
Kṣaṇa 3 Nimesha ≈ 1.00 s
Kāṣṭhā 5 Kṣaṇa ≈ 6.4 s
Laghu 15 Kāṣṭhā ≈ 1.6 min
Danda 15 Laghu ≈ 24 min
Muhūrta 2 Danda ≈ 48 min
Ahorātram (Day) 30 Muhūrta ≈ 24 h
Masa (Month) 30 Ahorātram ≈ 30 days
Ritu (Season) 2 Masa ≈ 2 months
Ayana 3 Ritu ≈ 6 months
Samvatsara (Year) 2 Ayana ≈ 365 days[3]
Ahorātram of Deva

Lunar metrics

Tropical metrics

  • A Yāma = 1/4 of a day (light) or night = 7½ Ghatis (घटि) = 3¾ Muhurtas = 3 Horas (होरा)tely 26 hours.[6]
  • Eight Yāmas make half of the day (either day or night)[6]
  • An Ahorātra is a tropical day (Note: A day is considered to begin and end at sunrise, not midnight.)[6]
Name Definition Equivalence
Yama याम ¼th of a day (light) or night ≈ 3 hours
Sāvana Ahorātram सावन अहोरात्रम् 8 Yamas 1 Solar day

Reckoning of time among other entities

Among the Pitṛs (forefathers)

  • 1 day of pitras = 1 solar masa (month) [6]
  • 30 days of pitras = 1 month of pitras[6]
  • 12 months of pitras = 1 year of pitras[6]

The Lifespan of the pitras is 100 years of pitras (3,000 Solar years).[6]

Among the Devas

The life span of any Hindu deva spans nearly (or more than) 4.5 million years. Statistically, we can also look it as:

  • 12000 Deva Years = Life Span of Devas = 1 Mahā-Yuga.[7]

The Viṣṇu Purāṇa Time measurement section of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa Book I Chapter III explains the above as follows:

  • 2 Ayanas (6-month periods, see above) = 1 human year or 1 day of the devas
  • 4,000 + 400 + 400 = 4,800 divine years (= 1,728,000 human years) = 1 Satya Yuga[7]
  • 3,000 + 300 + 300 = 3,600 divine years (= 1,296,000 human years) = 1 Treta Yuga[7]
  • 2,000 + 200 + 200 = 2,400 divine years (= 864,000 human years) = 1 Dvapara Yuga[7]
  • 1,000 + 100 + 100 = 1,200 divine years (= 432,000 human years) = 1 Kali Yuga[7]
  • 12,000 divine year = 4 Yugas (= 4,320,000 human years) = 1 Mahā-Yuga (also is equaled to 12000 Daiva (divine) Yuga)[7]
  • [2*12,000 = 24,000 divine year = 12000 revolutions of sun around its dual][7]

For Brahma

  • 1000 Mahā-Yugas = 1 Kalpa = 1 day (day only) of Brahma

(2 Kalpas constitute a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion human years)

  • 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 Parārdha (156,764,160,000,000 human years)
  • 2 parardhas = 100 years of Brahma = 1 Para = 1 Mahā-Kalpa (the lifespan of Brahma) (313,528,320,000,000 human years)

One day of Brahma is divided into 10000 parts called charaṇas.[8]

Four Yugas

The four yugas which come one after the other are as follows (along with their durations):

The cycle repeats itself, so altogether there are 1,000 cycles of Mahā-Yuga in one day of Brahma.

  • One cycle of the above four Yugas is one Mahā-Yuga (4.32 million solar years)
  • as is confirmed by the Gītā Śloka 8.17 (statement) "sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ rātriṁ yuga-sahasrāntāṁ te 'ho-rātra-vido janāḥ", meaning, a day of brahma is of 1000 Mahā-Yuga. Thus a day of Brahma, Kalpa, is of duration: 4.32 billion solar years. Two Kalpas constitute a day and night (Adhi Sandhi) of Brahma.[9]
  • A Manvantara consists of 71 Mahā-Yuga (306,720,000 solar years). Each Manvantara is ruled by a Manu.[8]
  • After each Manvantara follows one Saṃdhi Kāla of the same duration as a Kṛta Yuga (1,728,000 = 4 Charaṇas). (It is said that during a Saṃdhi Kāla, the entire earth is submerged in water.)[8]
  • A Kalpa consists of a period of 4.32 Billion solar years followed by 14 Manvataras and Saṃdhi Kalas.[8]
  • A day of Brahma equals
(14 times 71 Mahā-Yuga) + (15 × 4 Charaṇas)
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + (15 * 4800)
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + (72,000 years)[deva years] / 6 = 12,000[deva years] viz. one maha yuga.
= 994 Mahā-Yuga + 6 Mahā-Yuga
= 1,000 Mahā-Yuga.[8]

Current date

Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed. The last Kalpa at the end of the 50th year is called Padma Kalpa. We are currently in the first 'day' of the 51st year.[10] This Brahma's day, Kalpa is named as Shveta-Varaha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed[11] and this is the seventh Manvantara, named as – Vaivasvatha Manvantara (or Sraddhadeva Manvantara). Within the Vaivasvatha Manvantara, 27 Mahayugas[11] (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita,[12] Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. This Kaliyuga is in the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian Calendar.[13] Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, this is the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.

Calculating the elapsed time since current Brahma's creation

432000 × 10 × 1000 × 2 = 8.64 billion years (2 Kalpa (day and night))

8.64 × 109 × 30 × 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 × 1012 × 50 = 155.52 trillion years (50 years of Brahma)

(6 × 71 × 4320000) + 7 × 1.728 × 10^6 = 1852416000 years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa

27 × 4320000 = 116640000 years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara

1.728 × 10^6 + 1.296 × 10^6 + 864000 = 3888000 years elapsed in current Mahayuga

3102 + 2017 = 5119 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.

So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is

155520000000000 + 1852416000 + 116640000 + 3888000 + 5119 = 155,521,972,949,120 years

(one hundred fifty-five trillion, five hundred twenty-one billion, nine hundred seventy-two million, nine hundred forty-nine thousand, one hundred twenty years) as of 2018 AD

Total age of Brahma is 100 (Brahma Years) which is equal to 311,040,000,000,000 Human years

The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BCE in the proleptic Julian calendar.[14] As per the information above about Yuga periods, only 5,120 years are passed out of 432,000 years of current Kali Yuga, and hence another 426,880 years are left to complete this 28th Kali Yuga of Vaivaswatha Manvantara.[note 1]

See also


  1. ^ According to Sri Yukteswar Giri, guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, The ascending phase of the Kali Yuga began in September 499 CE. Since September 1699, we have been in the ascending phase of the Dwapara Yuga. According to Sri Yukteswar, nobody wanted to announce the bad news of the beginning of the descending Kali Yuga, so they kept adding years to the Dvapara date (at that time 2400 Dvapara) only retitling the epoch to Kali.[15]


  1. ^ S.V. Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 3.
  2. ^ Dick Teresi. Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science--from the Baby. SimonandSchuster. p. 174.
  3. ^ S.V. Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5.
  4. ^ a b c d e f S.V. Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 5,6.
  5. ^ Kumar, Ashwini (2005). Vaastu: The Art And Science Of Living. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 50. ISBN 81-207-2569-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g S.V. Gupta. Units of Measurement: Past, Present and Future. International System of Units. Springer. p. 6.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Hans Kng. Tracing The Way: Spiritual Dimensions of the World Religions. A&C Black. p. 50.
  8. ^ a b c d e Bryan E. Penprase. The Power of Stars. Springer. p. 182.
  9. ^ Swami Mukundananda. Bhagavad Gita The Song of God.
  10. ^ Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 21
  11. ^ a b Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 22
  12. ^ Burgess, Chapter 1, Verse 23
  13. ^ Burgess, p17
  14. ^ Burgess, Ebenezer Translation of the Sûrya-Siddhânta: A text-book of Hindu astronomy, with notes and an appendix Originally published: Journal of the American Oriental Society 6 (1860) 141–498 , p17"
  15. ^ Yukteswar 1949.
  • Victor J. Katz. A History of Mathematics: An Introduction, 1998.

External links

Before Present

Before Present (BP) years is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred in the past. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date of the age scale, reflecting the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. The abbreviation "BP" has alternatively been interpreted as "Before Physics"; that is, before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered the proportion of the carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, making dating after that time likely to be unreliable.In a convention that is not always observed, many sources restrict the use of BP dates to those produced with radiocarbon dating.


Chronostratigraphy is the branch of stratigraphy that studies the age of rock strata in relation to time.

The ultimate aim of chronostratigraphy is to arrange the sequence of deposition and the time of deposition of all rocks within a geological region, and eventually, the entire geologic record of the Earth.

The standard stratigraphic nomenclature is a chronostratigraphic system based on palaeontological intervals of time defined by recognised fossil assemblages (biostratigraphy). The aim of chronostratigraphy is to give a meaningful age date to these fossil assemblage intervals and interfaces.


Circa (from Latin, meaning 'around, about') – frequently abbreviated c., ca. or ca and less frequently circ. or cca. – signifies "approximately" in several European languages and as a loanword in English, usually in reference to a date. Circa is widely used in historical writing when the dates of events are not accurately known.

When used in date ranges, circa is applied before each approximate date, while dates without circa immediately preceding them are generally assumed to be known with certainty.


1732–1799: Both years are known precisely.

c. 1732 – 1799: The beginning year is approximate; the end year is known precisely.

1732 – c. 1799: The beginning year is known precisely ; the end year is approximate.

c. 1732 – c. 1799: Both years are approximate.

Era (geology)

A geologic era is a subdivision of geologic time that divides an eon into smaller units of time. The Phanerozoic Eon is divided into three such time frames: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic (meaning "old life", "middle life" and "recent life") that represent the major stages in the macroscopic fossil record. These eras are separated by catastrophic extinction boundaries, the P-T boundary between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic and the K-Pg boundary between the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic. There is evidence that catastrophic meteorite impacts played a role in demarcating the differences between the eras.

The Hadean, Archean and Proterozoic eons were as a whole formerly called the Precambrian. This covered the four billion years of Earth history prior to the appearance of hard-shelled animals. More recently, however, the Archean and Proterozoic eons have been subdivided into eras of their own.

Geologic eras are further subdivided into geologic periods, although the Archean eras have yet to be subdivided in this way.


Floruit (UK: , US: ), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Fluorine absorption dating

Fluorine absorption dating is a method used to determine the amount of time an object has been underground.

Fluorine absorption dating can be carried out based on the fact that groundwater contains fluoride ions. Items such as bone that are in the soil will absorb fluoride from the groundwater over time. From the amount of absorbed fluoride in the item, the time that the item has been in the soil can be estimated.

Many instances of this dating method compare the amount of fluorine and uranium in the bones to nitrogen dating to create more accurate estimation of date. Older bones have more fluorine and uranium and less nitrogen. But because decomposition happens at different speeds in different places, it's not possible to compare bones from different sites.

As not all objects absorb fluorine at the same rate, this also undermines the accuracy of such a dating technique. Although this can be compensated for by accommodating for the rate of absorption in calculations, such an accommodation tends to have a rather large margin of error.

In 1953 this test was used to easily identify that the 'Piltdown Man' was forged, almost 50 years after it was originally 'unearthed'.

Geologic Calendar

The Geologic Calendar is a scale in which the geological lifetime of the earth is mapped onto a calendrical year; that is to say, the day one of the earth took place on a geologic January 1 at precisely midnight, and today's date and time is December 31 at midnight. On this calendar, the inferred appearance of the first living single-celled organisms, prokaryotes, occurred on a geologic February 25 around 12:30pm to 1:07pm, dinosaurs first appeared on December 13, the first flower plants on December 22 and the first primates on December 28 at about 9:43pm. The first Anatomically modern humans did not arrive until around 11:48 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and all of human history since the end of the last ice-age occurred in the last 82.2 seconds before midnight of the new year.

Geological period

A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place.

These periods form elements of a hierarchy of divisions into which geologists have split the Earth's history.

Eons and eras are larger subdivisions than periods while periods themselves may be divided into epochs and ages.

The rocks formed during a period belong to a stratigraphic unit called a system.

Hinduism in Nepal

Hinduism is the largest religion of Nepal. In the 2011 census, approximately 81.3 percent of the Nepalese people identified themselves as Hindus, although observers note that many of the people regarded as Hindus in the 1981 census could, with as much justification, be called Buddhists. According to 2011 census, the Hindu population in Nepal is estimated to be around 22.1 million which accounts 81.3% of country's population. The national calendar of Nepal, Vikram Samvat, is a solar Hindu calendar essentially the same to that widespread in North India as a religious calendar, and is based on Hindu units of time.

The geographical distribution of religious groups revealed a preponderance of Hindus, accounting for at least 87 percent of the population in every region. Among Tibeto-Burman-speaking communities in Nepal, those most influenced by Hinduism are the Magars, Sunwar, and Rai peoples.

Holocene calendar

The Holocene calendar, also known as the Holocene Era or Human Era (HE), is a year numbering system that adds exactly 10,000 years to the currently dominant (AD/BC or CE/BCE) numbering scheme, placing its first year near the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch and the Neolithic Revolution, when humans transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and fixed settlements. The year 2019 in the Holocene calendar is 12019 HE. The HE scheme was first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993 (11993 HE).

Indian New Year's days

There are numerous days throughout the year celebrated as New Year's Day in the different regions of India. Observance is determined by whether the lunar calendar is being following or the solar calendar. Those regions which follow the Solar calendar, the new year falls on Sankranti of the first month of the calendar, i.e., Vaishakha. Generally, this day falls during 14th or 15th of the month of April. Those following Lunar calendar consider the month of Chaitra (corresponding to March-April) as the first month of the year, so the new year is celebrated on the first day of this month. Similarly, few regions in India consider the period between consecutive Sankarantis as one month and few others take the period between consecutive Purnimas as a month.


Kalpa may refer to

Kalpa (Vedanga) "proper practice", "ritual", one of the six disciplines of Vedanga in Hinduism

Kalpa (aeon) a Sanskrit word referring to a great length of time (Aeon) in Buddhist and Hindu cosmology

Kalpa, Himachal Pradesh, a town in Himachal Pradesh, India

KalPa, a Finnish ice hockey team

Law of superposition

The law of superposition is an axiom that forms one of the bases of the sciences of geology, archaeology, and other fields dealing with geological stratigraphy. It is a form of relative dating. In its plainest form, it states that in undeformed stratigraphic sequences, the oldest strata will be at the bottom of the sequence. This is important to stratigraphic dating, which assumes that the law of superposition holds true and that an object cannot be older than the materials of which it is composed.


Limmu was an Assyrian eponym. At the beginning of the reign of an Assyrian king, the limmu, an appointed royal official, would preside over the New Year festival at the capital. Each year a new limmu would be chosen. Although picked by lot, there was most likely a limited group, such as the men of the most prominent families or perhaps members of the city assembly. The Assyrians used the name of the limmu for that year to designate the year on official documents. Lists of limmus have been found accounting for every year between 892 BC and 648 BC.

During the Old Assyrian period, the king himself was never the limmum, as it was called in their language. In the Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian periods, however, the king could take this office.

New Earth Time

New Earth Time (or NET) is an alternative naming system for measuring the time of day. In NET the day is split into 360 NET degrees, each NET degree is split into 60 NET minutes and each NET minute is split into 60 NET seconds. One NET degree is therefore equivalent to four standard minutes, and one standard hour is equivalent to 15 NET degrees.

NET is equivalent to the UTC read from a 24-hour analog clock as the clockwise angle past midnight of the hour hand. For example, noon is 180°0'0" NET and at that time the hour hand is pointing straight down forming a 180° angle when measured from the top, at midnight. A full circle is 360 degrees and one NET day.

Nitrogen dating

Nitrogen dating is a form of relative dating which relies on the reliable breakdown and release of amino acids from bone samples to estimate the age of the object. For human bones, the assumption of about 5% nitrogen in the bone, mostly in the form of collogen, allows fairly consistent dating techniques.Compared to other dating techniques, Nitrogen dating can be unreliable because leaching from bone is dependent on temperature, soil pH, ground water, and the presence of microorganism that digest nitrogen rich elements, like collagen. Some studies compare nitrogen dating results with dating results from methods like fluorine absorption dating to create more accurate estimates. Though some situations, like thin porous bones might more rapidly change the dating created by multiple methods.

Proleptic Gregorian calendar

The proleptic Gregorian calendar is produced by extending the Gregorian calendar backward to dates preceding its official introduction in 1582. In countries that adopted the Gregorian calendar later, dates occurring in the interim (between 1582 and the local adoption) are sometimes "Gregorianized" as well. For example, George Washington was born on February 11, 1731 (Old Style), as Great Britain and its possessions were using the Julian calendar with English years starting on March 25 until September 1752. After the switch, that day became February 22, 1732, which is the date commonly given as Washington's birthday.


A stratotype or type section is a geological term that names the physical location or outcrop of a particular reference exposure of a stratigraphic sequence or stratigraphic boundary. If the stratigraphic unit is layered, it is called a stratotype, whereas the standard of reference for unlayered rocks is the type locality.

Terminus post quem

Terminus post quem ("limit after which", often abbreviated to TPQ) and terminus ante quem ("limit before which", abbreviated to TAQ) specify the known limits of dating for events. A terminus post quem is the earliest time the event may have happened, and a terminus ante quem is the latest. An event may well have both a terminus post quem and a terminus ante quem, in which case the limits of the possible range of dates are known at both ends, but many events have just one or the other. Similarly, terminus ad quem ("limit to which") is the latest possible date of a non-punctual event (period, era, etc.), while terminus a quo ("limit from which") is the earliest. The concepts are similar to those of upper and lower bounds in mathematics.

The Four Yugas
4 charaṇas (1,728,000 solar years) Satya Yuga
3 charaṇas (1,296,000 solar years) Treta Yuga
2 charaṇas (864,000 solar years) Dvapara Yuga
1 charaṇas (432,000 solar years) Kali Yuga
Source: [1]

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