04. KAALA VYAVAHARA (Time-Matters)



Time is Kaala Devan (Devan is "God") who has no beginning and no end. Kaalaa is eternal.

Kaalam, the 'time' we normally talk about, is the 'interval' between two 'positions' of the sun with respect to an 'observer'. Any particular position or situation repeats at regular intervals depending on the speed of the revolution and the speed of the circuar motion. So Kaalam is a cyclic quantity.

Mahakaala & Khandakaala
This unending Kaala with no beginning or no end is said to be 'infinite or Mahaakaala'. The time whose beginning and/or end we can know is called Khandakaala (finite). This khandakaala is divided into two: real and unreal.

Kaala Vyavahaaraa [Time-matters]
Based On Surya Siddhantha
Like Numbers and Number Systems, Kala Vyavahara also is very basic and essential to every aspect of life and sciences. Bharaths excelled in kala vyavahara also. They had very advanced concepts of time and measuring time. Vedas and Puranas describe a massive range of units of Kala measurements, spanning from few microseconds (Paramanu) to trillions of years (Para). There are many different scales to meet many different needs. Even today these units are used in Bharath for various traditional, personal and 'religious' activities by 'Hindus', Budhiests and Jains.

Real time is measured by praanaa
Praanaa means respiration and praanaa is also used as an unit of time -time taken by a normal healthy person for one breath (to inhale and exhale once). Other units of time are vinaadi, naadi, ahoratra and so on.

1 praana (time for 1 respiration)4 seconds
1 vinaadi6 praanaa24 seconds
1 naadi60 vinaadi24 minues
1 ahoratra (day)60 naadi24 hours
1 maasa (month)30 ahoratra30 days
1 year12 maasa360 days

Human Day
Note that our (human) day is the time interval between two successive sunrise's (i.e. sun rising above our horizon for a person standing on or near our equator.)

A word about the measure, praana.
Earth makes one complete rotation in one day;

3600 in 24 hours.
150 in 1 hour.
10 in 4 minutes.
1' in 4 seconds.

Earth turns 1' in 4 seconds.
That is Earth turns 1 second of angle in 4 seconds of time. And our Praanaa is this 4 seconds. See how beautifully the unit blends with nature!

(For non-maths people) The units we use today:
1 hour = 60' (minutes) and  1' (minute) = 60" (seconds)
10 (degree) = 60' (minutes) and  1' (minute) = 60" (seconds)

Life-span of Humans
Human's life-span is totally un-predictable.
In a sense, humans are the heroes of the whole creation.

Devas' Day
Devas' day is the time interval between two successive (Devas') sunrise's (i.e. sun rising above Devas' horizon). Devaloka is above the North Pole of the earth and so for a Deva, our equator is the horizon. The time interval between two successive sun-rise's - sun rising above our equator (entering the Northern Hemisphere) - is a Devas' day, which equals 1 human year.

Devas' 1 Day = Humans' 1 Year

Note that sun climbs above our equator into the northern hemisphere); this happens once a year during the middle of Uthraayanaa (sun's 'northward' motion).

Asuralok (World of Asuras) and Pitrulok (world of dead humans) are 'below' the South-pole. So their one day also is one human year. Note that their day-time is night-time for Devas and their night-time is day-time for Devas.

Devas' 1 year = Devas' 360 days = Humans' 360 years

Chathur Yuga, which is also known as Maha Yuga, is a very important and interesting unit of time from our human point of view. It repeats, almost perennially, whenever Brahma, the Creator, is 'active'.

There are two other units: (1) Charana and (2) Manvanthara

1 Charana = 432,000human years
10 Charanas = 1Chathur Yuga
1 Manvanthara = 71Chathur Yuga

The Chathur Yuga is divided into 4 yugas:
Kritha-yuga, Tretha-yuga, Dwaapara-yuga and Kali-yuga (in that order).

One Chathur-Yuga or Maha-Yuga
Kritha41 728 000100%0%
Tretha31 296 00075%25%
Dwapara2864 00050%50%
Kali1432 00025%75%
Total:104 320 000 years

Dharmic Levels
Another very important aspect is the Dharmic/Adharmic levels in the 'creations'. These yugas differ in the amount of dharma (virtue) that prevails. The cycle starts perfectly with full (100%) dharma and so the first yuga (Krithayuga) is also known as Sathya-yuga or Golden-yuga. Then the system starts to decay and dharma levels drop to 75%, 50% and 25% for the subsequent yugas. Incidentally we are now in a Kali-yuga with only 25% dharma and 75% adharma (sinful ways, lack of dharma).

Sandhi (Twilight Period)
Every yuga is sandwiched between two twilight periods each of which equals one-sixth of the yuga itself. These twilight periods are in fact the sandhya and sandhyansha.

The chaturyuga keeps repeating itself. 71 chaturyugas make a Manvanthara (= 710 charanas). The manvantharas are sandwiched between twilight periods (like sandhis), each of which equals 4 charanas. 14 manwantharas (0 (with the necessary twilight periods) make a Kalpa.

So one Kalpa consists of 14 Manvantharas and 15 twilight periods

Length of One Kalpa equals:
14 Manvantharas = 994 Maha Yugas
15 twilights (= 60 charanas) = 6 Maha Yugas
1 Kalpa = 1000 Maha Yugas
= 4,320,000,000 years

So one kalpa equals 10,000 Charanas or 4,320,000,000 years.

Brahmaa's Life-span
1 Kalpa is Brahma's 1 Day-time and this is immediately followed by an equally long Brahmaa's night-time. So Brahmaa's one complete day (including night) equals 2 kalpa. For Brahmaa, 30 days is a month; 12 months is a year and 100 years is his 'life', called a Para or MahaKalpa.

Brahmaa's Life = 1 Para = 1 MahaaKalpa = 72,000 Kalpaas

Brahmaa's Time
1 Day of Brahmaa2 Kalpas8,640,000,000 years
1 Month of Brahmaa30 B's Days 259,200,000,000 years
1 Year of Brahmaa12 B's Months 3,110,400,000,000 years
1 Life of Brahmaa100 B's Years 311,040,000,000,000 years

A Brahmaa's life-span = 1 Para = 1 Maha-Kalpa = 311.04 trillion yrs.

Life-span of our earth = Life-span of a Brahmaa = 311.040 trillion years.

Measures of Time-spans
Let us take the paramanu, the smallest particle of material substance, which has not yet combined with any other similar particles, (a sub-atomic particle of matter). The amount of time it takes the sun to pass across this paramanu is also called paramanu. One paramanu is close to 0.000 026 337 ... secs..

A combination of two paramanu's constitutes an anu (atom); and three anu's make one trasarenu. Trasarenu's are visible [to the naked eye] when seen floating upward in the air while viewed through rays of sunlight which enter a room through a latticed window.

Three trasarenus is called a truti, which is a measure of time it takes (the sun) to travel across three trasarenus. We have truti, vedha, lava, nimesha, ksana, kastha, laghu, danda, muhurtha and ahoratra.

1 paramanu1 x paramanu128/4,860,000 sec.0.000 026 337 ... secs.
1 anu2 x paramanu128/2,430,000 sec. 
1 tasarenu3 x anu128/810,000 sec.(0.000 158 024 7 sec.)
1 truti3 x tasarenu128/270,000 sec. 
1 vedha100 x truti128/2,700 sec. 
1 lava3 x vedha128/900 sec. 
1 nimesha3 x lava128/300 sec. 
1 ksana3 x nimesha128/100 sec. 
1 kastha5 x ksana128/20 sec. 
1 laghu15 x kastha96 sec. 
1 danda15 x laghu24 min. 
1 muhurtha2 x danda48 min. 
1 ahoratra30 x muhurtha24 hrs.1 day

Month & Year
1 maasa30 days1 month
1 ritu2 maasa2 months
1 ayana3 ritu's6 months
1 samvatsara2 ayana1 year

6 Ritu's (Seasons)
1. Hemanta  Dec/FebPre-Winter
2. ShishiraFeb/AprWinter
3. VasanthaApr/JunSpring
4. GriishmaJun/AugSummer
5. VarshaAug/OctRainy
6. SharatOct/DecAutumn