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Friday, November 27, 2009

Time Measurement In Ancient India.

Time measurement is an extremely important component of astronomy and astrology. Without the knowledge of accurate date and time it is not possible to make an accurate horoscope. The ancient treatises on astrology and astronomy give detailed information to calculate both.

In Vedic Astrology the measurement of time is as given below.
60 Tatpara=1 Para
60 Para=1 Valipta
60 Valipta = 1 Lipta or Vipal
60 Lipta =1 Vighati or Pala                  
60 Vighati=1 Ghati = 24 minutes             
60 Ghatis=1 Day = 24 hours.

One can see that in the Hindu system a day is divided into 46656000000 Para while in the western system, a day comprises of  86400 seconds.

Hindu calendar is based on the movement of Moon. A lunar month has 30 lunar days and is measured from new Moon to the next new Moon. Each Lunar day is called a Tithi. There are 15 Tithis in the dark and 15 in the bright half of the month.

The lunar month is constantly adjusted against creeping errors. If in a given lunar month, Sun does not change Rashi (sign), then that month is considered as an extra month. This extra month is Called Mal Maas. If however Sun traverses two Rashi (signs) between the above-mentioned period then there is a decay of one month in that year. This decayed month is called Kshay Maas.

The lunar year of twelve lunar months has only 354 days, 22 Ghati, 1 Pal and 23 Vipal. The solar month is defined as the time taken by Sun to move in one Rashi (sign). The solar months comprises of 365 days, 15 Ghati, 31 Pal and 30 Vipal. There is thus a difference of 10 days, 53 Ghati, 30 Pal and 7 Vipal between the two.

The names of the Indian months are Chaitra, Baisakh, Jyeshta, Ashadh, Shravan, Bhadrapad, Ashwin, Kartik, Margshirsh, Paush, Magh and Phalgun. As one can see there is a relationship between the names of the Nakshatra and the names of the months.

All festivals and other important events can only take place on specific lunar dates. This is the reason why all major festivals keep changing dates each year.
The dates change due to the lunar year being shorter than the solar year by about eleven days.

To be continued. . . .

Rajiv Sethi

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1 comment:

  1. I am really to read your excellent blog about hidden treasures of astronomy.


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