System of Time in Ancient India

The System of Time in Ancient India

 Astrology is the study of planetary science, zodiac signs, cosmic forces and their effects on humans.  The happening of all events on Earth are fully controlled, by gravitational forces of planets and cosmic forces of celestial bodies. Astrology is an esoteric subject divided in two parts” Ganit Jyotish” and “Phalit Jyotish “, it is mandatory to estimate micro to subtle time for the accurate predictions so knowledge of Ganit Jyotish is also compulsory for the Predictive Astrology.

The Knowledge of time (kala) is described as eternal in Hindu cosmology, is described in Vedas, Manusmriti, Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Surya Siddhanta, Mahabharata which is astonishing. The system of time measurement starts from twinking of an eye and the time taken to pierce lotus petal to Yugas, Manvantaras, Kalpas, the age of Brahma.

 According to Skanda Purana, after 3,000 years of Kaliyuga, there was a very glorious king named Vikramaditya in Ujjain who defeated Saka in 56 B.C. He followed the tradition and to commemorate his victory, established Vikrama Samvat Era. This is the Lunisolar calendar which is 56.7 years ahead of the Solar Gregorian calendar. The Vikram Samvat Calendar is being accepted as Indian Official National calendar on 26 November 1949. All the Hindu Sanatan Dharma festivals, months, tithis are decided through Vikram Samvat.

 In Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana, the sage Maithreya describes the smallest unit of time to Paramanu. It is mentioned in Sri Bhagvatam the time is based on the action of atoms, so that’s the starting point

2 Paramanu= 1Anu(atom)
3Anu = 1Trasarenu
3Trasarenu =1Truti
100 Truti = 1Vedha
3Vedha =1Lava
3lava = 1Nimesha or a blink
3Nimeshas = 1 Kshana
5 Kshanas = 1 Kashthas or about 8 seconds
15Kashthas =1Laghu  or 2 minutes
15 Laghu = 1 Nadika or Danda
2 Dandas = 1 Muhurta
6 or 7 Dandas   =1 prahara

The system of time indicated in Vishnu Purana gives an extremely subtle department of time that is equal to two moments is called an Truti.

100 Truti  – 1 lava
30 lava – 1 Nimesh
27 Nimesh – 1 Guru Akshar
10 Guru Akshar – 1  Prana.
6 Prana  – 1 Vighati
60 Vighati  – 1 day n  night
15 days = 1 Paksh
30 Days = 2 Paksh =1 month (maas)
6 maasa (month) = 1 Ayana
2 Ayana = 12 months = 1 Year (human) or 1 day+1night of Gods

There are 17496000000 Trutis in a day according to Indian Vedic texts.

According to another system of time.

60 Tatpara –  1  Para
60 Para – 1 Vilipta
60 Vilipta – 1 Lipta
60 lipta – 1 Vighati
60 Vighati – 1 Ghati
 60 Ghati – 1 day n night= 24 hours. 
1 Ghati = 24 min ;  2 Ghati = 1Muhurta


Samvatsara means year in Sanskrit .There are 60 Samvatsaras and once the cycle is over, it starts again. Every 60 years both Jupiter and Saturn reach the 0- degree of Zodiac sign Aries and this combination has strong impact on Samvatsaras and the individuals. The 60 Samvatsaras are divided into 3 groups of 20 each

1-20 samvatsaras assigned to Brahma

20-40 samvatsaras assigned to Vishnu

40-60 samvatsaras assigned to Shiva

According to Vishnu Purana

The Brahma creator of Universe, created 14 Manu in 1 Divine day   (called Kalpa of Brahma) to control the World. The process of creation begins with the Udaya Kalpa (day) of Brahma while he rests during Kshaya Kalpas (nights). The life of each Manu is called Manvantara.


  • Swayab
  • Sawosisha
  • Audhama
  • Thaamasa
  • Raivatha
  • Sakshusha
  • Vaivasvata
  • Savarni daaksha
  • Savarni brahma
  • Savarni Dharma
  • Savarni rudra
  • Savarni rouchya
  • Bowdhya

In Hindu texts, lifespans for humans, Pitris (forefathers),Devas(Gods),Manus(progenitors of mankind) and Brahma(creator of God ) are described differently .The division of a year for each is 12( months or 30 day)or 360 days . A day is divided into 12 hour dawn and 12 hour dusk .The traditional 360 day-year is equivalent to a modern 365.24 day solar year.

Unit                Human year

Divine year = 360 year  

Pitri year = 30 year

Human    =      1 year


1 MANVANTARA = 1000/14 = 71.42 CHATURYUGAS = 4320000 *71 = 306,720,000 human years

TOTAL PERIOD OF 14 MANVANTARA = 71 *14= 994 CHATURYUGAS =994+6= 1000 Chaturyugas.

(The fractional part 0.42 is the Sandhikaal or transition period between  two Manvantara ,it is believed that in the beginning of and end of the during each manvantara sandhi,  Earth is  submerged in the water so this period is devoid of creation ,There are 14 Manvantras ,so total number of junctions will be 15 so 0.42*15 = 6)

So, Pralaya kaal or Sandhikaal = 1728000*15 =25920000 human years.


All these four yugas together is called Chaturyugas or Mahayuga. The Mahayuga constitutes of 12000 Divine years (1 Divine year = 360 human years)


  • Satyuga – 1200*4 =4800 Divine years
  • Treta Yug- 1200 * 3= 3600 Divine years
  • Dwapara Yuga- 1200 * 2 = 2400 Divine years
  • Kali Yuga -1200 * 1 = 1200 Divine years. (These years are inclusive of Sandhikaal)

Thus, 1 Mahayuga = 4800 (SATYUGA) +3600(TRETA YUGA) +2400 (DWAPAR YUGA) + 1200(KALI YUGA),


Age of Earth = 4.32 million human years.


 Brahma day = 4.32million human years = (During the Brahma’s day life exists in Universe but in night time there is no life exists).

Brahma’s (day& night) = 8.64 million human years.

Brahma’s 1 Month         = 30*8640, 000,000 = 259200,000,000 human years.

Brahma’s 1 Year             = 12*259200, 000,000 = 3110400,000,000 human years.

BRAHMA’S AGE (100YRS) = 3110400,000,000 *100 = 311,040,000,000,000 HUMAN YEARS.

Brahma’s age = 1 Param = 2 Prardha =311,040,000,000,000 human years

Prardha = 155,520,000,000,000 human years.

In Hindu, Sanatan Dharma before starting any divine work or religious ritual, we do Sankalpa, is a wish, desire or resolution to ourself and to the God seek blessings for safe completion of divine work. 


दाहिने हाथ में जल अक्षत और द्रव्य लेकर निम्न संकल्प मंत्र बोले:)
ऊं विष्णुर्विष्णुर्विष्णु: ।

अद्यैतस्य ब्रह्मणोह्नि द्वितीये परार्धे

श्रीश्वेतवाराहकल्पे वैवस्वतमन्वन्तरे अष्टाविंशतितमे युगे कलियुगे कलिप्रथमचणे भूर्लोके भारतवर्षे जम्बूद्विपे भरतखण्डे  ……….

According to the Vedic Sankalpa mantra, how current age of Universe can be calculated.

Let us understand the first lines of Sankalpa mantra –    

  • Brahmanohni – Present Brahma deva
  • Dwitiya Praharardhe – means 50 years of age of Brahma completed and 51 year is in continuation
  • Shweta Varahe -Kalpe – First day of 51st year of Brahma
  • Vaivasvata Manvantara -7th manvantara out of 14 is in continuation and 6 Manvantara completed.
  • Ashta Vinshatitame Kali Yuge- 27 out of 71 mahayuge passed, now we are in 28th Mahayuge.
  • Kali Pratham charane- 1st charan of Kali yuge
  • Bharat Varshe – in Bharat Varsha (there are nine Varsha in universe )
  • Jambu Dweepe – Out of seven islands we are on the Earth Bhumandala surrounded by Oceans.
  • Bharat Khande – Land ruled by the King Bharata.

Presently, we are in second half of Brahma’s life cycle (Maha-Kalpa)

 He has entered first day of his 51st year, 1st month out of 12months, 1st day (Kalpa) Shweta -Varaha Kalpa of 30 and 7th Vaivasvata Manvantara out of 14, 28th Maha -yuga out of 71 Maha -yugas in First Charan of Kali yuga (4th Yuga).According to Puranic sources, Kali yuga was started from the time when Bhagwan Sri Krishna left this Earth. The Kaliyuga began at midnight 17/18 February in 3102 BC of the Julian calendar.

Calculation of Current year as follows-

 Current year + Kaliyuga start year – Year zero

 =2021+3102-1= 5122 year

=Chatur yuga -Kaliyuga +Elapsed Kaliyuga +27 Chatur yugas + 7 Manvantara Sandhyas +6 Manvantaras +36000 Kalpas /Pralayas

 =4320000 – 432000 +5122 +4320000*27 + 1728000*7+ 306,720,000*6+ 4320,000,000 *36000

=3893122 +116640000 + 12096000 +1840320000 +155520000000000

= 155521972949122 years.

 According to Vedic texts, our Sages knowledge of time was incredible but due to circumstances, we have lost most part of original Vedic scriptures. Most widely used, Vikram Samvat for all whether it is beginning of our new year on Shukla paksha of Chaitra Maas, Tithi, Nakshatra, festival dates or when unfolded the calculation, astonishingly the age of Universe comes around 155.52 trillion human years old and the total life span of Universe is 311.04 trillion human years (which is equivalent to 100 years of Brahma Maha-Kalpa).

According to scientists, the Big -Bang theory which is widely accepted all over the world, states that all of the current and past matter came into existence at the same time. All the matter was compacted into a very small ball with infinite density and intense heat called singularity ,suddenly the singularity began expanding and the universe as we know began roughly 13.8 billion years ago .Thus considered to be the age of Universe i.e. 13.8 billion years ago.

The results are roughly same surprisingly, according to scientist and our sages. The system of knowledge of time in ancient India was incredible.  

Talk to FPT renowned Astrologers Ms Dimple Babbar and Mr Yashkaran Sharma for detailed analysis of Janam nakshatra, Tithi, Vaar, Karan, yoga and your future prediction.

Written by Ms. Dimple Babbar

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