The Detailed History of Time

From Multiverse to Quantum

The most valuable asset of any advanced nation is supposed to be the chronology it maintains. Quite obvious, because, all the technological peaks, cultural wonders, scientific breakthroughs – whatever the nation has managed to accomplish in its tenure, can be summarized there. A chronology carries the legacy of a nation. Usually, the span of existence of any nation is determined based on their chronicles; and durability of a nation is proportionate to its advancement. Our modern history starts from roughly 20000 years earlier. Aztecs could not go beyond a mere 4000 – 5000 years. The empire of Sumerians recorded up to 250000 years. Babylon was a little further, maintaining a journal of 400000 years. Legendary Egyptians reached their limit at 100000 years. Ancient Mayans stands apart from this list, who had the concept of cyclic time and a mechanism to measure a billion year long cycle. But all of them combined, is dwarfed by enormity and complexity of the ancient Bharat almanac. This unparalleled model deals with huge iterations of time ranging as far as hundreds of quadrillions (1026 ) of years, with every major unit being exclusively defined and related with specific cosmic event. On the other hand, the same model crafted the idea of an “absolute base unit” of time. Even with all the latest discoveries, modern science is far from implementing another fully functional cosmic model. The cosmologist, Carl Sagan expressed his amazement – “The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which time scales correspond to those of modern scientific cosmology.

According to the cosmic model of ancient Bharat, “Time” is something that is beyond the universe itself. The ancient wisdom tells us that there always is and will be a cause and an effect of every action; that is what keeps this universe together. That is where time comes in. “Time” is used to maintain the continuity of all the events that takes place.

Solar and Lunar Days

To avoid getting overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of cosmological or quantum time units, let us start with the most common time period we experience in our life – A solar day. Today, we used to keep track of our daily activities using customized machines, which are built on concept of mechanics – popularly known as “Clockwork Mechanism”. Actually, we are not keeping track of time here. We have set up a relative point to indicate the start of a day (12:00 PM of previous day), and then we are counting how many rotations the clockwork gears are completing. The only way one can decide whether one specific clock is working correctly or not, is by comparing it with another clock. Needless to say that, not only it is entirely influenced by cultural dominance instead of a strong scientific base, but this procedure is also highly sensitive to mechanical imperfections. Contrasting to this, each and every time measurement unit of ancient Bharat used to be directly derived from astronomical phenomena. From day-to-day calculations to massive cosmic predictions, everything is perfectly synchronized with the universe – that clarifies why they are able to manage a logbook of zillions of years; which easily predates our very existence.

Unlike the popular concept, “Rashi”, “Nakshatra” or “Tithi” are actually astronomical units, they have nothing to do with fortune-telling.

Long before the introduction of a 24-hour system starting from midnight, in ancient Bharat, the span of a solar day was decided starting from one sunrise until the next sunrise. A “Sunrise” is determined by when the upper edge of solar disc becomes visible from surface. Calculations used to be performed to nullify the effect of refraction caused by atmosphere. The said system still exists to a large extent in modern India; during the time of any Hindu festival, the priests used to determine the timing based on such calculations (the same system is followed even today which was present billions of years ago – Amazing, isn’t it?). One solar day is further divided into eight “Prahara” -s: Purvanhaa, Madhyanhaa, Aparanhaa, Sayanhaa, Prodasha, Nisheetha, Triyamaa, Usha. The first quadruplet are unfolded in between sunrise to the successive sunset; the rest of them are considered from the sunset to the next sunrise. Just like sunrise, a “Sunset” is determined by when the upper edge of solar disc becomes invisible from surface, after the effect of refraction being neutralized. Depending on the time of the year and position of the observer on the globe, the length of Day and Night varies, so does the length of the “Prahara” -s. To fine tune the timing further, one solar day is divided into 30 “Muhurta” -s. Unlike “Prahara” -s, the “Muhurta” -s are of equal duration. In case the length of day and night are of equal length, 15 “Muhurta” -s are considered for each. According to Vishnu Purana, customization is a common practice to cope up with varying proportion of day and night; formulating up to 18 “Muhurta” -s for day and 12 “Muhurta” -s for night, when days are longer than night; or vice-versa otherwise. Each of the “Muhurta” -s is divided into 30 “Kala” -s, each “Kala” into 30 “Kastha” -s and each “Kastha” is divided into 15 “Nimesha” -s. If we assume the difference between two consecutive “Sunrise” -s as exactly 24 hours as of modern day then the units would become as: one “Muhurta” = 48 Minutes, one “Kala” = 1.6 Minutes, one “Kastha” = 3.2 Seconds, one “Nimesh” = 0.2 Seconds. These fine-tuned measurements were calculated based on polar co-ordinates of the Sun relative to the ground (amount of angular traversal of the sun in the sky starting from the point of sunrise, as observed from ground). The process involves an application of Trigonometry. Some examples of actual machines which were used to carry out the calculation in the past, can be found in ancient astronomical observatories throughout modern India, like the “Jantan-Mantar” at the city of Jaipur.

Picture 1 – Detailed Calculation of Angular Displacement of Sun and Moon with respect to Earth:The relative displacement of Sun with respect to Earth in a solar day is approximately 1o. The relative displacement of Moon with respect to Earth in a solar day is approximately 13o.

The accuracy and astronomical base of the solar days of Bharat calendar to such an intense degree, is just the prelude. In addition to a solar day, Bharat calendars keep track of a lunar day also. According to the terms, a solar day is called as “Divash” , where as a lunar day is called as “Tithi” . Even today, the solar day is used for day-to-day activities for common men, where the lunar day is used for important religious ceremonies. This extraordinary system of timekeeping remained intact throughout millennia.

Measurement of lunar day or “Tithi” is not as simple as that of a solar day. A “Tithi” is calculated based on the Moon’s relative displacement with respect to the Sun. Usually, a delay occurs in Moonrise each successive day. The reason is, as viewed from Earth, Sun moves eastward by approx. 1o each solar day, whereas Moon moves eastward by approx. 13o . That means, the moon moves eastward from Sun by approx. 12o per solar day (see Picture 1 for the detailed calculation). During the waning and waxing phases of the Moon, whenever the angular distance of the Moon increases exactly by 12o from the Sun, it is called the start of a new “Tithi” i.e. a lunar day. That particular “Tithi” continues until the difference of longitudinal angle of Moon from that of Sun increases by further multiples of 12o . The initiation of a new “Tithi” can occur at any point of a solar day.

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TABLE 1 – Modern names of all 27 “Nakshatra”-s of Ancient Bharat Astronomy

Name of Nakshatra Modern Name of Star/Constellation Name of Nakshatra Modern Name of Star/Constellation Name of Nakshatra Modern Name of Star/Constellation
Ashwini
  • Sheratan (β Arietis)
  • Mesarthim (γ Arietis)
Bharani
  • 35 Arietis
  • Lilii Borea(39 Arietis)
  • 41 Arietis
Krittika
  • Pleiades (Messier 45)
Rohini
  • Aldebaran (α Tauri)
Mrigashira
  • Meissa (λ Orionis)
  • φ Orionis
Ardra
  • Betelgeuse (α Orionis)
Punarvasu
  • Castor (α Geminorum)
  • Pollux (β Geminorum)
Pushya
  • Asellus Borealis (γ Cancri)
  • Asellus Australis (δ Cancri)
  • θ Cancri
Ashlesha
  • δ Hydrae
  • ε Hydrae
  • η Hydrae
  • ρ Hydrae
  • Minchir (σ Hydrae)
Magha
  • Regulus (α Leonis)
Purva Phalguni
  • Zosma (δ Leonis)
  • Chertan (θ Leonis)
Uttar Phalguni
  • Denebola (β Leonis)
Hasta
  • Alchiba (α Corvi)
  • Kraz (β Corvi)
  • Gienah (γ Corvi)
  • Algorab (δ Corvi)
  • Minkar (ε Corvi)
Chitra
  • Spica (α Virginis)
Swati
  • Arcturus (α Boötis)
Vishakha
  • Zubenelgenubi (α Librae)
  • Zubeneschamali (β Librae)
  • Zubenelhakrabi (γ Librae)
  • ι Librae
Anuradha
  • Acrab (β Scorpii)
  • Dschubba (δ Scorpii)
  • Zubenelhakrabi (γ Librae)
  • Fang (π Scorpii)
Jyestha
  • Antares (α Scorpii)
  • Alniyat (σ Scorpii)
  • Paikauhale (τ Scorpii)
Mula
  • Larawag (ε Scorpii)
  • ζ Scorpii
  • η Scorpii
  • Sargas (θ Scorpii)
  • ι Scorpii
  • κ Scorpii
  • Shaula (λ Scorpii)
  • Xamidimura + Pipirima (μ Scorpii)
  • Jabbah (ν Scorpii)
Purva Asadha
  • Kaus Media (δ Sagittarii)
  • Kaus Australis (ε Sagittarii)
Uttar Asadha
  • Ascella (ζ Sagittarii)
  • Nunki (σ Sagittarii)
Sravana
  • Altair (α Aquilae)
  • Alshain (β Aquilae)
  • Tarazed (γ Aquilae)
Dhanistha
  • Sualocin (α Delphini)
  • δ Delphini
Shatabhisa
  • Sadachbia (γ Aquarii)
Purva Bhadrapada
  • Markab (α Pegasi)
  • Scheat (β Pegasi)
Uttar Bhadrapada
  • Algenib (γ Pegasi)
  • Alpheratz (α Andromedae)
Revati
  • ζ Piscium

The word “Nakshatra” does not mean Stars. It includes Stars, Constellations, Galaxies, Nebulae, Binary Stars: in one word, any observable body from Earth.

The third pillar of ancient Bharat calendar is the “Nakshatra” -s (the closest term in English would be ‘Stars’, not to be confused with zodiac sign. Here the word ‘Stars’ means the cosmic objects as described in modern science). The Moon takes approximately 27 solar days to complete one revolution around the Earth. As we have already seen in the Picture 1, Moon drifts by approx. 13o eastward each solar day. Accurate calculation shows this displacement as 13o 20′. However, the Stars and Constellations do not have any such apparent displacement, since they are really far away from Earth. So, daily displacement of Moon with respect to the stars/constellations in the sky also measures the same, as observed from Earth. The ancient astronomers of Bharat, divided the sky along Moon’s trajectory around Earth into 27 equal sectors, each sector measuring 13o 20′ (same as daily angular displacement of Moon), so that, when observed from Earth, the Moon will pass through one sector each solar day. Each sector contains one identifiable stellar constellation and that sector is labelled by the name of that constellation. Each of these sectors are called one “Nakshatra” . Each of these angular divisions are further divided into 4 parts, called “Pada” -s. Please check Picture 2 for more elaboration.

The Luni-Solar Months

Unlike today’s Gregorian system, Bharat months are not decided by Earth’s revolution around Sun. In fact, both Sun and Moon get equal importance in doing so. The number of days in a month is not decided arbitrarily either. Though exactly 30 lunar days forms each month, the count of solar days varies. The procedure of synchronization between lunar and solar days is described below.

Since Moon orbits around Earth, once during its full orbit, it comes between Earth and Sun. When Moon’s shadow falls over observer’s position, solar eclipse happens. But, usually when Moon comes between Earth and Sun, the shadow does not fall over Earth. In that case, during night-time from observer’s position, the Moon does not become visible. That particular “Tithi” is known as “Amavasya” (New Moon). In astronomical terms, the “Tithi” of “Amavasya” starts when the longitudinal angle between Sun and Moon is less than +/- 2.16′ (1′ = 1/60o). Similarly, when Earth comes between Sun and Moon but Earth’s shadow does not fall over Moon, that particular “Tithi” is called a “Purnima” (Full Moon). During the waxing phase, Moon goes through 14 “Tithi“-s or lunar days ultimately ending up to a Full Moon or “Purnima” on the 15th lunar day., this is called one bright lunar fortnight or “Shukla Paksha“. Similarly, during the waning phase, the Moon goes through 14 lunar days, the 15th one being a new moon or “Amavasya“, this is call a dark lunar fortnight or “Krishna Paksha“. Once the Moon goes through these pair of fortnights, it indicates a complete 360o traversal of Moon around the Earth relative to Sun.

Picture 2 – Detailed astronomical chart of ancient Bharat, featuring 27 “Nakshatra” and 12 “Rashi”. All of these cosmic objects remains almost static throughout a large span of time and hence, they act as the reference frame while Sun, Moon and Jupiter act like levers. Point to be noted here: Earth is considered static and at the center only because of ease of calculation

In parallel to Moons trajectory, ecliptic of Sun is also taken into consideration. It requires almost 365 solar days for Sun to complete a 360o rotation around Earth in the ecliptic. The ancient scientists had divided the solar ecliptic into 12 equal sectors called “Rashi“, each sector, measuring 30o, contains one identifiable constellation.

While deciding a month, all three factors are taken into account – “Rashi” (position of Sun in the astronomical chart), “Nakshatra” (position of Moon in the astronomical chart) and “Tithi” (relative position of Moon with respect to Sun in the astronomical chart). All of the months consist of 30 lunar days. The name of a month is derived from the name of the constellation (“Nakshatra” ) where Moon resides during the full moon phase of that 30-day lunar cycle. End of current month is decided when the immediately following new moon completes and Sun enters into a new “Rashi” (a new sector in the astronomical chart). Let me explain the concept for the month of “Boishakh” . The name is derived from the name of the constellation “Vishakha” . In this month, the Moon resides in “Vishakha” sector during full moon phase. Beginning of this month is decided by two criteria. First, Sun enters Aries constellation (“Mesha” ). And second, the completion of new moon, which occurs immediate after the full moon of previous month, Chaitra. Similarly, the current month, “Boishakh” ends when Sun enters Taurus constellation (“Brisha” ) and the successive new moon (occurring immediately after full moon of current month) phase completes. All other months also follow the same pattern. In modern day India, there exist a varieties of regional calendars and each have their own calculations. However, whatever minor fluctuations are present till date, are confined to deciding the distribution of the months only. But the ancient Bharat calendar system is almost still intact even today, as it was entirely crafted out of astronomical computations. Table 2 lists the solar and lunar parameters for each of the months.

Solar Years

Calculation of one year is quite straight-forward. As we can recall, the solar ecliptic is divided into 12 equal sectors, each measuring 30o . The time span is roughly equals to time needed for Sun to complete 360o coverage of all these sectors. The fine-tuned calculation takes into account additional period for completion of then-ongoing lunar month. Usually, one year consists of 12 months. We know that the axis Earth is tilted by 23.5o . Because of this tilt, there are only two days in a year where Sun rises exactly in the East direction. For the rest of the year, it either moves a little north or a little south. When Sun passes through the “Rashi” Capricorn to Cancer, we experience Sun’s northward drift; similarly, when Sun passes through Cancer to Capricorn, we see a southward drift. The first phase is called “Uttarayan” (Summer Solstice), while the other is called “Dakshinayan” (Winter Solstice). The two days, when Sun rises exactly in East direction are known as “Sankranti“-s. One solar year indicates that the Earth has completed one revolution around the Sun.

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TABLE 2 – Months of Ancient Bharat Calendar and their Astronomic Significance

Month Name Nakshatra Name Position of Sun for Major Duration of Month Position of Moon
Boishakh Vishakha Mesha (Aries) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Vishakha
Joisthya Jyestha Vrisa (Taurus) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Jyestha
Asadh Purva Asadha Mithun (Gemini) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Purva Asadha
Shravan Shravana Karkat (Cancer) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Shravana
Bhadra Uttar Bhadrapada Singha (Leo) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Uttar Bhadrapada
Ashwin Ashwini Kanya (Virgo) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Ashwini
Kartik Krittika Tula (Libra) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Krittika
Agrahayan ** Mrigashira Brishchik (Scorpio) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Mrigashira
Pous Pusya Dhanu (Sagittarius) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Pusya
Magh Magha Makar (Capricorn) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Makar
Phalgun Uttar Phalguni Kumbha (Aquarius) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Uttar Phalguni
Chaitra Chitra Meena (Pieces) Constellation Full Moon (“Purnima”) at Chitra

** “Agrahayan” – This month name is an exception. When Full Moon occurs in this “Nakshatra”, usually then one “Ayan” starts (“Ayan” is discussed later in this article). So the month name becomes “Agra-Ayan” (Before a “Ayan”)

Let us take one example to illustrate the timekeeping logic in the Bharat texts. One common proverb mentions that “Once it rains under Swati Nakshatra, the pearl grows”. Here, the star “Swati” does not have any direct influence on the pearls. The periodic occurrence of full-moon in “Swati” sector within the duration of rainy season overlays perfectly with the blossom of pearls. Here, presence of “Swati” in the sky serves the purpose of an indicator of the period.

So, by now, the significance of “Rashi“, “Tithi” and “Nakshatra” has been established. Any time in one solar year can be pinpointed using these astronomical units. The beauty of these reference frame is, it is something that can break the language or cultural barrier. Till now, in modern India, important religious and social activities solely relies upon this computation, which started from time unknown.

Yuga – Cycle of Years

The most featured term in Bharat chronology, “Yuga” , defines larger time spans exclusively referring to specific astronomic constants. The close association of luni-solar cycles with relatively common time periods like day, month or year reveals, that, this recursive pattern of time can be applicable for cosmic counterparts also. The metrics of solar and lunar trajectories yield a 3D parameter (“Rashi” , “Tithi” and “Nakshatra” ) to measure up to a solar year. Combining this bi-factorial system with more selected stellar/planetary data, its range is scaled up to several trillions of years. English translation of the Sanskrit word, “Yuga” , comes very close with “Conjunction”. Studies reveal that the Bharat codex consists of not one, but different cycles of “Yuga” , calculated by the intervals between two successive alignments of specified groups of cosmic objects. Even after keeping aside the wonderful inventory of reference frames, the precise monitoring of all those extra-terrestrial events alone, easily surpasses most of the achievements of modern science.

Vedanga Jyotisha tells us that the shortest instance of “Yuga” is based on the interval between successive alignments of Sun and Moon in “Dhanistha” sector. According to our earlier analysis, it takes 27 solar days for Moon to come back to “Dhanistha” , while the figure becomes 1 solar year for Sun. The start of one iteration of this “Yuga” is marked when both of them reside in this sector, which occurs once in every 5 solar years. Starting from one such alignment, these 5 years are allotted 5 distinct names according to the angular distance of Sun and Moon from “Dhanistha” sector : Samvatsara, Paribatsara, Idabatsara, Anubatsara and Idwatbasara (“Batsara” = year).

The next large unit of time is a 12-year long period, which is constituted by the route of planet Jupiter, the fourth brightest object in Earth’s night sky. A complete traversal of Sun through all the “Rashi”-s requires 1 solar year. It is almost 12 solar years for Jupiter i.e. the angular displacement of Jupiter in one solar year is almost 30o . Each time Jupiter transits into “Makar” sector, one new 12-year “Yuga” starts.

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TABLE 3 – Names of all Years in a 60-Year “Yuga

Prabhaba Bibhaba Shukla Pramod Prajapati Angira Shrimukha Bhaba Yuva Dhata
Ishwara Bahudhanya Pramathi Vikrama Brishapraja Chitrabhanu Shubhanu Taron Parthiva Abyaya
Sarbajit Sarbadhari Birodhi Bikriti Khara Nandana Bijoy Joy Manmatha Durmukha
Hebilimbi Bilombi Bikari Sarbari Plaba Shubhakrita Shobhana Krodhi Viswabasu Parabhaba
Plabanga Kilaka Soumya Sadharana Birodhikrita Paridhabi Pramadi Ananda Rakshasa Anala
Pingala Kalyukta Diddharthi Roudra Durmati Dundubhi Rudhirograhi Raktakshi Krodhana Akshaya

The arc of Jupiter, collaboratively with that of Sun and Moon, sets up the basis of even longer version of “Yuga“. The boundaries of this cycle are marked by simultaneous residence of Sun and Moon in the division of “Dhanistha” and Jupiter in “Makar“. Each of these solar years of this 60-year long cycle are uniquely determined (Please see Table 3) by combined polar co-ordinates of the positions of Sun, Moon and Jupiter.

These “Yuga” -s are relatively small in terms of time span and hence they can be easily apprehended by human beings. However, the records do mention about broader “Yuga” system, based on cycles long enough to appear pretty unbelievable to modern science. The reason is, the sole dependence of modern science on ‘material proof‘ has put a restriction around our capability of rational analysis. The ancient texts repeatedly mentions that the projected lifetime of our planet itself, will seem like nothing in front of cosmic timelines. Hence, a deep dive into cosmology cannot be achieved by the obsolete method of materialistic analysis. The pre-historic verses prove that the Bharat calendar maintains log for not only our world. On the contrary, we get reference of other parts of the universe which are used to be governed by entirely different cycles of Time. In the realm of the “Pitri”-s, one day and night is considered by a pair of fortnights. 30 solar years of human world is synonymous to 1 year of that world. Similarly, one day and night of the realm of “Deva”-s is equal to 1 solar year of mortal world, each of the solar solstices contributing to one half of a complete day there; which means 360 human years = 1 Deva years. One Saptarshi year is equal to approx. 3030 human years. For Dhruba year, the figure goes up to approx. 9090 human years. While the reason of keeping track of all these timelines is still unknown, the multi-layered architecture of ancient Bharat journal makes it the most complex almanac ever.

The Cosmic Scales

The mastery over mathematics and astronomy allowed the ancient Bharat chronologists, the originators of today’s prevailing number system, to keep track of thousands of years without having the need for any customized mechanism. Today’s technological capability to present a detailed simulation of solar system probably has toned down the charm of ancient Luni-Solar model of timekeeping. Allow me to clear out the fact that, till now, whatever we have gone through in the article, were just the building blocks. The beauty of this system can be properly showcased when the topic demands our focus to stretch beyond a span of mere centuries or millennia. In our current timekeeping mechanism, anything beyond the span of 50K-60K years, become a bunch of ‘possibilities’ and ‘estimations’; and that is where modern science is out-classed by depth and coverage of Bharat model of cosmology. This limitation of today’s scholars reveals a bitter truth : the improper labeling of Bharat manuscripts as ‘irrational‘, took place by false judgement due to inadequacy of our own knowledge.

The Bharat chronicle is acclaimed for its robust explanation of evolution through the “Chaturyuga” structure. This exceptional design illustrates how the human evolution is closely tied with progression of ages. Contradicting today’s widely accepted linear graph of “Survival of the Fittest” , this twofold system demonstrates the advancement of humankind as a multi-modal distribution with a composite repeating “Pattern” . It says that it is not the first time Human Beings have built an empire, the world has witnessed many such pinnacles in the past; all of which ultimately led to a drastic fall. According to the texts, the Human Civilization we are living in, falls under now-ongoing “Kali Yuga” (The Age of Kali). This era of “Kali Yuga” , along with its predecessors, namely Satya, Treta and Dwapara, complete the latest arc of the aforementioned “Pattern” . The stature of Human beings follows a descending trend (not the ascending one as per Darwin) throughout the set of these quadruplet. The segmented nature of this model does not intend any prominent boundary between two consecutive ages. Instead, the intermediate transitions usually span across thousands of years.

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TABLE 4 : The Yuga model, converted into modern time units.

Yuga Name Satya Treta Dwapara Kali Total
Count of Solar Years 1728000 1296000 864000 432000 4320000 (4.32 X 106)
“Charana” Scale
(refer footnote for details)
4 “Charana” (4 X 432000) 3 “Charana” (3 X 432000) 2 “Charana” (2 X 432000) 1 “Charana” (1 X 432000) 10 “Charana” (10 X 432000)

The detailed derivation of this 4:3:2:1 ratio is still unknown. However, the research on Geomagnetism estimates about 183 Polar Reversals in last 83 Million years. That gives an average of 453551 years of interval between two successive turnarounds. Even after taking into consideration the inconsistency in the frequency of those magnetic flips, we cannot overlook the resemblance of this figure with ancient Bharat time unit of “Charana”, which accounts for 432000 years. “Charana”-s are the building blocks for the “Chaturyuga” system.

Needless to say, astronomy has a crucial role to mark the start and end of each of these epochs. The boundary between Satya and Treta Yuga is marked by concurrent settlement of all 5 planets in Aries sector. At the end of last Dwapara, the Saptarshi constellation resided in the zone of “Magha“. The papers suggest that current “Kali Yuga” will end during one such rare event, when Sun, Moon and Jupiter will enter “Pushya” at the same time. The language barrier which we commonly face while dealing with ancient texts, has prevented us till now to decipher entire blueprint. In addition to that, very often, different interpretations does not come to an agreement. To keep things simple, I am referring only the most notable explanations.

There is a noticeable similarity between the cycles of human civilization and the planetary conjunctions; is it mere co-incidence? No, going by the words of the father of relativity, Dr. Albert Einstein, we can say, “God does not play dice” . There are other scientists also, who agree with his belief that there is a “lawful harmony” spread across the universe. Starting from biggest galaxies to smallest sub-atomic particles, everything is bound by one cosmic law. In an attempt to define one single equation which will be able to link together all physical aspects of the universe, today’s physicists have come up with a concept, popularly known as “Theory of Everything”. In spite of all the boasting about two highly celebrated approaches (General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Field Theory), the Theory of Everything is still in the hypo-thesis stage. Heavily contrasting the inability of modern science to theorize the true essence of universe, it seems that the ancient Bharat cosmologists were not only successful in doing so; they have also infused this knowledge into the timekeeping algorithm, resulting in being able to describe multitude of aspects by one single framework.

Let us go back to our astronomical clock again. We have seen how precisely time is tracked by calculating positions of Sun and Moon. Using a third lever, Jupiter, up to 60 years can be measured. Introducing more such “lever”-s, Bharat geniuses had expanded the limit of this almanac to an unimaginable extent. Coupling the orbit of Jupiter with four more planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn), they concluded that, once in every 4320000 years, arrangement of these five, repeats same layout. The frequency of the interplanetary cycle, which is also equal to the length of one episode of the said “Pattern” in the evolutionary curve, is termed as “Maha-Yuga” . Considering modern readings also, we can see that the Least Common Multiple of revolution time around the Sun for these planets comes short only by 5% from this figure (Mercury: 0.24 earth years, Venus: 0.6 earth years, Mars: 1.88 earth years, Jupiter: 11.84 earth years, Saturn: 29.46 earth years). During the transition phase of one “Maha-Yuga” to the next one, the Earth’s ecosystem experiences significant change.

After going through up to this point, if it feels like that the article is trying to establish and promote the myth of having any negative impact of the planetary conjunctions on human beings, please be assured that this myth indeed does not make any sense, neither this topic is of any significance here.

Modern Geology talks about at least 5 occurrences of mass-extinction events in the past. Most recent one among them, the Crateceous-Paleogene extinction marked an end of the Dinosaurs. Along with them, 76% of the species were wiped out from the course of the history. The cause had been identified as an asteroid impact on Earth approximately 66 Millions of years ago. The next one in the line is Triassic-Jurassic extinction around 201 Million years ago, which was caused by increased level of CO2 in atmosphere, heavily impacting the marine life. Another intensified global warming burned the entire ecosystem around 252 Million years earlier. One exactly opposite event, an ice age had its part approximately 360 Million years ago during the late Devonian period. The oldest one known to modern science is no older than 444 Millions of years, better known as Ordovician-Silurian extinction. If we look into the timestamps carefully, we can see that all these perfectly aligns with the model of “Maha Yuga” -s. Table 5 lists down a comparison between the two timelines. The tabular data clearly shows that our modern calculation actually re-iterates the same theory what was mentioned in the ancient scripts. However, modern engineering tools have been able to find out only five such instances. But looking at the accuracy, we can easily deduce that, the statement of other periodic disappearances of life from Earth during the transition phases of the “Yuga” system, indeed holds true.

This massive cosmological cycle of 4.32 X 106 years is just a mere fraction of another multi-million year unit – The “Manwantara” -s, which is formed by 71 such “Maha-Yuga“-s followed by one transition phase (with same duration of a Satya Yuga). Mathematically speaking, the duration of a “Manwantara” is 3.06 X 108 solar years ( [71 X 4320000] + 1728000). Point to be noted here us that the time required for our solar system to complete one revolution around the center of Milky way is approximately 2.25 X 108 years (a Galactic Year). Since we don’t know much about the amount of dark matter within Milky Way, we can consider that the modern calculation is subjected to change with further discovery. However, these kind of approximations are quite common in astrophysics. These figures gives rise to a possibility that, a Galactic year may be related to a “Manwantara” . After the end of one “Manwantara” , one cosmic level Apocalypse destroys life from a major part of the universe.

(Please scroll/swipe left/right to view full table)

TABLE 5 : Similarity between Modern Mass-extinction Discoveries with Maha-Yuga Timeline

Mass Extinction Event Time Gap from Today in Modern Calculation Time Gap from Today in Ancient Bharat Model Deviation %
Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction 66 Million (6.6 X 107) Years 15 Maha Yuga (6.48 X 107 Years) 1.18 %
Triassic-Jurassic Extinction 201 Million (2.01 X 108) Years 47 Maha Yuga (2.03 X 108 Years) 1.01 %
Permian-Triassic Extinction 252 Million (2.52 X 108) Years 58 Maha Yuga (2.51 X 108 Years) 0.01 %
Late Devonian Extinction 360 Million (3.6 X 108) Years 83 Maha Yuga (3.58 X 108 Years) 0.004 %
Ordovician-Silurian Extinction 444Million (4.44 X 108) Years 103 Maha Yuga (4.45 X 108 Years) 0.002 %

Modern geology confirms that Earth has already suffered at least 5 mass extinction events. A thorough analysis of fossil records and rock composition helped to determine the tentative period of those catastrophes. The striking fact is, the timestamps are perfectly synchronized with the “Maha Yuga” model. Not only that, as we can see in the table, the fluctuation between two models tends to zero as we move further in the past. It clearly proves the scientific plausibility of the ancient model.

If you are awestruck by the sheer magnitude of one “Manwantara” , then be prepared for our next leap: the “Kalpa” . While the “Manwantara” -s indicate complete circles of life in mortal world, from blooming to vanishing, “Kalpa” -s are associated with the creation and destruction of the mortal worlds themselves. One “Kalpa” comprises on 14 stages, each being formed by one “Manwantara“. Each of those stages or “Manwantara” -s have distinct identification: Swayambhuba, Swarochisha, Uttam, Tamasa, Raibata, Chakshus, Baibaswata, Sabarni, Dakshasabarni, Brahmasabarni, Rudrasabarni, Dharmasabarni, Indrasabarni, Devasabarni. The length of a “Kalpa” is equivalent to the sum of 14 “Manwantara” -s (3.06 X 108 solar years each), 13 intermediate transition phases (1728000 solar years each), one dawn (1728000 solar years) and one twilight (1728000 solar years). The figure will look something massive like 4.32 X 109 solar years ( [3.06 X 108 X 14] + [1.728 X 106 X 15] ). The U-Pb radiometric dating mechanism and analysis of extra-terrestrial meteorites fine-tuned the Earth’s age as 4.54 +/- 0.05 Billion years. Although the deficiency is still less than 5%, we need to recall one major drawback of U-Pb scale. It calculates age depending on Uranium and Lead ratio as present in the sample, with an assumption that all existing Lead was generated by the Uranium decay. But the technology cannot distinguish any late addition of Lead sample caused by tectonic movement and geological changes. This, effectively, raises a risk of over-calculating the proportion of Lead in the sample and over-estimating the age.

At the end of one “Kalpa” , the universe gets destroyed, including all our known stars and planets, galaxies and nebulae, constellations and clusters. The way of how this destruction takes place, though specified in the ancient tabloids, is yet to be decoded. Once, one “Kalpa” is over, one stage of same duration (4.32 X 109 solar years) passes away before recreation. Usually, the total length of a “Kalpa” includes the later phase of dissolution also, giving a total of 8.64 X 109 solar years. The fact is already established that neither our civilization nor us ourselves, are of any special importance as life itself has bloomed numerous times on Earth. Even the Earth is not the first (nor the only one) planet to host life as the entire universe gets destroyed and created numerous times.

Universe and Beyond

Due to latest advancements during last couple of decades, modern science, at last, could conclude that it was a cosmic explosion which created this still-expanding universe from a singularity. But, the predicted future of the universe still keeps dangling between two hypothetical scenarios – Big Crunch and Big Freeze. And science remains clueless about anything beyond the destruction of the universe. On the other hand, Bharat archives appear very confident while announcing that the universe had been created and destroyed countless times, our known universe being just the latest one in the sequence. Not only that, the scrolls also clarify that, after this universe is destroyed, there will be countless more recurrence of one new universe, some new civilization, some new living beings asking these same questions only to be all over again at the end. This everlasting process sounds very synonymous with today’s concept of “Pulsating Universe” , which supports the concept of universe going through infinite self-sustaining cycles.

Unlike the extremities, as predicted by modern science, like universe collapsing into a singularity or over-expanding itself in post-destruction phase, the Bharat model provides us a different sketch. The exact term describing the ultimate fate of our universe, as mentioned in the records, is “Dissolution”, instead of “Destruction”. As of now, our science and technology is unable to come up with any appropriate translation of what is inscribed in the Bharat archives. However, it seems like the “Dissolution” leads the universe towards a zero-entropy perfect equilibrium stage, which, as physicists say, cannot be achieved by any man-made system.

The major difference with modern astronomy which draws attention is, Time still remains active in the intermediate stage between successive versions of universes. Yes, the Bharat scriptures places ‘Time’ beyond the scope of existence of our universe. In fact, the narrations go on to refer a series of 30 such universal creations, occurring at an interval of 4.32 X 109 years, duration of each figuring the same amount. The length of this series would be 2.6 X 1011 years (30 X 8.64 X 109 years). Each version of universes in the series has been referred by unique labels by Bharat model (see Table 6).

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TABLE 6

Swetabaraha Neellohita Bamadeva Rathantara Raurava Prana
Brihata Kandarpa Sadya Ishana Dhyana Saraswata
Udana Gadura Kaurma Narasingha Samadhi Agneya
Soma Bhabana Satyamali Boikuntha Aichisa Rudra
Boiraja Lakshmi Gauri Andhaka Maheshwara Pitri

The concept of “Pulsating Universe” mentions about a lineup of independent and disconnected universes. But the Bharat cosmology specifically claims that those universes are strictly interconnected by the fundamental law of “cause-and-effect” as in Physics. After one universe gets dissolved, the “Information” about the causality remains intact in the higher layer of the Multiverse until the next universe comes into picture. The ancient Bharat model of Multiverse represents a multi-layered space-time continua, each bound by different set of topology and physical constants (More discussion on this in a separate article). Once the next universe is created, all the causalities from the previous instance gets transferred to it and becomes effective.

Science decides to mark the current age of the universe as 1.3 X 1010 years. This figure comes nowhere near to any of the time units from the ancient scrolls. But, the accuracy of the ancient texts we have seen earlier, refrains us from questioning the authenticity of ancient time units. Since, the manuscripts mentions about layered cycles and sub-cycles, it is now really hard to find out which one from the innumerable iterations correspond to today’s idea of a universe. In addition to that, 95% of today’s map of universe consists of dark matter and phantom energy, where both the terms ‘dark‘ and ‘phantom‘ refer to ‘which is completely unknown‘. So, in turn, whatever data the scientists had used to come up with said age, belong to only 5% of the universe. Statistically speaking, picking up samples from only 5% of the entire set may produce a highly erroneous result.

Needless to say, maintaining uniformity with rest of the model, this aforementioned 30-member series also keeps repeating itself. As per the archives, after completion of 1200 (12 X 100) such iterations, the multiverse itself enters into ‘Dissolution‘ phase. That marks the span of the multiverse as 3.1 X 1014 years (2.6 X 1011 X 12 X 100). This particular time unit is called a “Maha-Kalpa” . Clearly, the mere length of several billion year of modern cosmology looks like a puny notebook in front of such huge time units of ancient Bharat. According to the records, the “Information Storage” procedure applies across multiverses also. Events that took place in some earlier version of multiverse, has its impact carried forward to the successors. Since quantum mechanics is still not able to solve the “Information Paradox“, it is yet not possible to even imagine how information manages to pass from one multiverse to another. There are records for 35 distinct “Maha-Kalpa“-s in the past (along with well-maintained log of significant events in each of them), as listed in the Table 7.

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TABLE 7

Bhaba Bhuba Tapo Tabya Rambha Ritu Kratu
Banhi Habyabahana Sabitra Shuddha Oushik Pushpik Gandhar
Rishabh Sadaja Marjaliya Madhyam Boiraj Nishadh Pancham
Meghabahana Chintaka Akuti Bigyati Mana Darsha Bringha
Swetalohita Rakta Peetbasana Seet Krishna Viswarupa Padma

The interminable amount of one “Maha-Kalpa” , which measures the lifetime of a multiverse, will seem like a flashing light when pitted against other greater cycles. Yes, you heard it right; the scientists of ancient Bharat managed to apprehend something beyond the multiverse, which itself exceeds the capability of science. And much to our amazement, the texts mention not one, but at least four more layers of hierarchy. Surprisingly, exact measurement has been specified for even the greatest instance of such cycles. That clarifies, the mentioning of “Infinity” or “Eternity” in Bharat records, do not act as a supplement of the notion of something very large. Instead, though it may sound crazy, the words like “Infinity/Eternity” have been used in literal sense. That leads us to conclude that, ancient astronomers indeed realized what is Infinity.

(Please scroll/swipe left/right to view full table)

TABLE 8 – Greater Cycles

Duration Description Derivation
Cycle 1 2.4 X 1018 Years 8000 iterations of a Maha-Kalpa 8000 X 3.1 X 1014 Years
Cycle 2 2.23 X 1022 Years 9000 iterations of ‘Cycle 1 9000 X 2.48 X 1018 Years
Cycle 3 2.01 X 1026 Years 9000 iterations of ‘Cycle 2 9000 X 2.23 X 1022 Years
Cycle 4 6.7 X 1023 Years 1 Danda (Cosmic) = 1000 Maha-Kalpa
1 Day (Cosmic) = 60 Danda (Cosmic)
1 Year (Cosmic) = 360 Day (Cosmic)
Cycle 4 = 100 Year (Cosmic)
100 X 360 X 60 X 1000 X 3.1 X 1014 Years

Going Quantum

The Bharat scriptures used to maintain a mechanism to measure time in sub-atomic world also. However, the description of sub-atomic logbook is much more complex than that of their cosmic counterpart, and there are multitude of translations available. To avoid getting stuck within this never-ending debate of different derivations, let us move forward with the most popular one. Very often we relate the Sanskrit term “Paramanu” with today’s concept of atoms. But, that appears to be a wrong assumption. The word “Paramanu” means the indivisible, dimensionless and zero-mass entity which, after being integrated to an infinite limit, can produce the material forms. The said description comes closer to modern idea of “Quanta” . The texts considers the “Base unit of time” as the time required for a “Paramanu” to cover a unit space, the value being equals to .3 μs. Going by the narration, it seems to refer to the quantum leap. But modern calculations measured the time needed for quantum leap as 4 μs. However, as published in a science journal on June, 2019, one successful experiment gives rise to the possibility to divide this said span of 4 μs further. The Bharat manuscripts mentions the details of sub-atomic events which supports today’s latest invention of quarks or Bosons, but that topic will be covered later, in a separate article.

Scriptures of ancient Bharat very often suffer a blame of not providing a detailed chronology of events. But what if they actually provide the timestamp and it is our limitation of not being able to understand it. The narratives of Vedas and Puranas are overpopulated with astronomic references. Those astronomic references are not actually mere descriptions, instead, they are the indicators of time. To the people of great Bharat civilization, the cosmic objects themselves were like a huge clock dial, while Earth resided as the pivotal center. Having realized the true nature of time, they were well aware of the imminent destruction of their civilization. So, to fulfill the need of a timekeeper independent of culture or geography, they have selected cosmos itself because of its uniformity. It is very obvious that those who could analyze and predict correct behavior of so many stars and constellations, were not stupid enough to think of Earth as the center of universe. They put Earth in the center of astronomic chart (not the universe) only for the ease of most advanced mathematical calculations ever. Though they have maintained a record of their concept of entire universe, we are not able to apprehend the narrations even today (I will cover this topic in another article).


Sources:
Bhagabat Purana – Vyas Deva
Vishnu Purana – Vyas Deva
Matsya Purana – Vyas Deva
Linga Purana – Vyas Deva
Vedanga Jyotisa – Lagadha
Hindu World – Sushil Mittal, Gene Thursby
The Genious of India – Guy Sorman
The Mystic’s Journey – India and the Infinite: The Soul of a People – Huston Smith
Ancient Root of Modern Science – Dick Teresi
Under Ancient Skies – Paul Dunbavin
Modern Science & Veda Sastras – S. Balasubramanian
A Brief History of Time: From Big Bang to Black Hole – Stephen Hawking
Cosmos – Carl Sagan

Reference Articles:
Earth’s Magnetic Flip
Mass Extinction in World History
Quantum Leap : Neither Random nor Instantaneous

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