The Hindu Unit of Time

Every day when practising Brahmins do their Sandhyavandana (or Japa, in short), they perform what is called as Sankalpa. This is a “declaration” at the beginning about doing the activity. As part of the sankalpa, one identifies oneself temporally and spatially (time and space, I should say). In the Hindu system, the concept of time is a little more elaborate (more defined, really) than our current way of saying, for example, 24 Jun 2008 A.D. So, here are some details about where we stand in time as per our culture…

The main reference for our time is Brahma, the cosmic creator. The life of one Brahma is 100 years after which a Maha Pralaya (Armageddon??) takes place and another cycle of life is initiated by GOD. This 100 years in terms of our scale is calculated as follows…

  • We are currently in Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga lasts for 432,000 human years.
  • Dwapara Yuga is twice as long as Kali Yuga.
  • Treta Yuga is thrice Kali Yuga’s length.
  • Satya Yuga is 4 times Kali Yuga.
  • The four yugas combined together are called as Mahayuga which lasts for 43,20,000 years.
  • 71 such mahayugas together form one Manvantara.
  • There are 14 manvantaras. Each manvantara has a head called Manu.
  • 14 manvantaras together constitute one day (kalpa) in the life of Brahma.
  • A day is followed by a night of equal duration.
  • 360 such day-night kalpa combinations constitutes one year in the life of Brahma.
  • Brahma’s lifetime constitutes 100 such years.

Currently, in Brahma’s time scale, we are in the 51st year, 1st day, 1st day (out of day-night), in the 7th manvantara (whose head is Vaivasvata manu), 28th mahayuga (out of 71), Kali yuga and in the first quarter of Kali Yuga.


2 thoughts on “The Hindu Unit of Time

  1. Time period for brahma is as follows

    1 manvantara = 43,20,000 * 71 = 306720000 human years

    14 manvanatars = 306720000 * 14 = 4294080000 human years

    1 day of brahma (Day + night) = 4294080000*2 = 8588160000 human years

    1 year for Brahma = 8588160000 * 365 = 3134678400000 human years

    So Brahma lives for 100 years = 3134678400000 * 100 = 313467840000000 human years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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