Monday, January 18, 2010


Much is being made of 2012 as the end of the world. In the Hindu literature, the perception of time is completely different. There are various accounts of time with slightly differing measurements, but here is presented what is probably the most accepted. I also consulted the book Puranic Encyclopedia by Sri Vettam Mani.

Carl Sagan in his hugely successful and influential book/TV Serial Cosmos, mentions about how the early Hindu sages were thinking in terms of billions, when the rest of the world did not yet begin to count numbers. Clearly, the table goes from 1/3600 of a second to several billion years.

For the end of Kali yuga in the current cycle, we have about 427,000 years to go! And we are in the 28th cycle of the 7th manvantara. For this manvantara to end, we have 43 cycles to go. And for this kalpa to end, we have about 7 more manvantaras. The current manu is vivaSvata. We will see the future manu-s in the next post.

At it does not end here. When the lifetime of current Brahma expires, a new Brahma takes over.

count of this is 1 equal to this of
in modern units Comments
30 alpakala truti 1/3600 second ~ 0.3 milli seconds
30 truti kalaa 1/120 second ~ 8.3 milli seconds
30 kalaa nimisha 1/4 second ~ 250 milli seconds
4 nimisha ganita 1 second
60 ganita vinadi 1 minute
60 vinadi ghatika 24 minutes
60 ghatika ahoratra 24 hours Day + Night
15 ahoratra paksha 15 days 1 Moon cycle
2 paksha chandramasa 1 month 1 Lunar month
12 chandra masa varsha 12 months 1 Solar year
1 varsha deva aho ratram 1 Deva day 1 Human year
360 varsha devavarsha 360 human years
4800 devavarsha kruta yuga 1,728,000 human years
3600 devavarsha treta yuga 1,296,000 human years
2400 devavarsha dvapara yuga 864,000 human years
1200 devavarsha kali yuga 432,000 human years
12000 devavarsha catur yuga 4,320,000 human years
71 catur yuga manu 306,720,000 human years
14 manvantara kalpa 4,294,080,000 human years Deluge
1 kalpa Brahma's night 4,294,080,000 human years No action
1 kalpa Brahma's day 4,294,080,000 human years Creation
2 kalpa Brahma ahoratra 8,588,160,000 human years Brahma's day + night
360 Brahma ahoratra Brahma varsha 3,091,737,600,000 human years 1 Brahma year
100 Brahma varsha End of Brahma 309,173,760,000,000 human years 100 Brahma years