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In search of the perfect calendar by S.N.Tekur

•       WHAT IS A CALENDAR

•       MEASUREMENT OF TIME

•       YUGA’S

•       TYPES OF CALENDARS

•       LUNAR, SOLAR, LUNI-SOLAR

•       PANCHANGA

•       WORLD CALENDAR

WHAT IS A CALENDAR

•       A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes.

•       This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically daysweeksmonths, and years.

•        A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system.

•       A calendar is also a physical record (often paper) of such a system.

•       A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a partly or fully chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills.

WHAT IS TIME?

•       Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.

Hindu calendar

•        Brahma lives 100 years (Brahman years, not human years)

–    One Kalpa coincides with one Day of Brahma’s life.

–    One Kalpa corresponds to 4,320,000,000 earthly years.

•        Earthly time is divided into Yuga, or Ages which are:

–    Krita ( or Satya ) Yuga     4,800 years

–    Treta-Yuga                  3,600 years

–    Dwapara-Yuga           2,400 years

–    Kali-Yuga              1,200 years

HINDU CONCEPTS OF TIME

•       For a total of 12,000 years.

•       The four Yugas make one Mahayuga

–   The 12,000 years must be multiplied by 360, the days of the human year

–   12,000 x 360 = 4,320,000 years

•       Every Kalpa has 1000 cycles of four Yuga

–   4,320,000 x 1000 = 4,320,000,000 years

THE YEAR IS GETTING SHORTER

•        The solar year is gradually shortening. In the London “Sunday Telegraph” of January 29th, 1995 it was reported that Dr George Williams, a geologist at the University of Adelaide, had proved that 620 million years ago the length of the solar year was between 393 and 407 days. This represents a reduction, on the average, of between ,00009 and ,00014 of a day (or between 8 and 12 seconds) every 2,000 years, due to the spin of the earth king slowed by the drag of the ocean tides, the earth’s orbit around the sun having remained essentially unchanged.

WHAT IS A CALENDAR? SOLAR, LUNAR AND LUNI-SOLAR CALENDARS

Today, the solar year is 365.242199 days long (or 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes 46 seconds) and the time between full moons is 29.530589 days.
Therefore in 1 year there are 12.37 moon cycles (365.24 / 29.53 = 12.37).

The Moon makes a complete orbit around the Earth with respect to the fixed stars about once every27.3 days (sidereal period). However, since the Earth is moving in its orbit about the Sun at the same time, it takes slightly longer for the Moon to show the same phase to Earth, which is about 29.5 days (its synodic period)

The Solar Calendar

There is another great and very obvious cycle, the year. The observant notice that the sun moves northward and southward, through the equinoxes and solstices, as the cycle of nature in the temperate latitudes takes place. For an agricultural society, this cycle is of practical importance. Besides, it is also a good impetus for religious observances.

The year is about 365.24 days long, or 12.37 lunations, unfortunately. The cycles of day, month and year do not mesh evenly.

One alternative is simply to neglect the year, and base the calendar so that it stays in step with the moon, using an intercalary day now and again. 12 months are arbitrarily defined to be a year. This gives about a 354-day year, which is 11 days short of a real year. In about 33 years, the months would go completely through the seasons. People who don’t do much agriculture are happy with such a calendar, which is called lunar.

METONIC CYCLE

•       235 lunar months made up almost exactly 19 solar years (period called Metonic Cycle). 
Using modern measurements, 365.2425/29.53059 = 234.997 (well approximated by 235)
.
In other words, after 235 synodic months the phases of the moon recur on the same days of the year.

•       If we coordinate the 13 Moon, 28-day pattern plus the 365th day (Day out of Time) with the 260-day pattern, we arrive at a cycle of 18,980 days, or 52 years, or 73 of the 260-day patterns.

The Lunar Month

The moon repeats its cycle of phases every 29.53 days, and since it is a mysterious heavenly object, it is ideal for religious observances. Religious observances can be coordinated with the phases of the moon, and time divided into months (“months”), each month beginning when the thin crescent of the new moon is seen in the twilight.

The month can then be divided into days, which now are more memorable by being part of the longer cycle, and certain things are done on certain days.
The problem is that the month is not an integral number of days. This only worries the orderly mind, which wants some fixed number of days so the future can be precisely planned. One solution, which is actually used, is to alternate months of 29 and 30 days, which only slowly gets out of register with the moon.

WHAT THE PANCHANGA CONTAINS

•       COMPREHENSIVE INDIAN CALENDAR

•       TITHI, VAARA, NAKSHATRA, YOGA KARANA

•       TIME INFORMATION-DAY/DATE/MONTH/YEAR

•       CELEBRATION OF FESTIVALS-DATES/TIMES

•       PERFORMANCE OF RITUALS INCLUDING SHRADDA

•       IMPORTANT SHLOKAS, STOTRAS

•       MUHURTAS FOR VARIOUS EVENTS LINKED WITH SHODASA SAMSKARAS, GUIDANCE FOR TRAVEL DATES

•       INFORMATION ON CHART MATCHING FOR MARRIAGE

•       DATA FOR CHART CREATION INCLUDING DASA CALCULATIONS

WHAT IS PANCHANGA GANITHAM

•       CALCULATIONS FOR ARRIVING AT IMPORTANT PARAMETERS-POSITIONS OF PLANETS, TITHI, VAARA, NAKSHATRA, YOGA, KARANA

•       SURYA SIDDHANTA

•       ARYA SIDDHANTA

•       DRIGGANITA

CALENDARS USED IN INDIA-4

•       The lunar months

•       The lunar months are defined with respect to the solar months — in fact, they have the same names as the solar months. In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the lunar month begins and ends with the new moon (amavasya). In most of North India, the month runs from full moon to full moon (poornima).

•       The first lunar month of the year in Chaitra. In Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, Chaitra begins with the last amavasya before Mesha Sankranti (April 14).

•       The next lunar month is Vaisakha beginning with the first amavasya during the solar month Vaisakha. Similarly each amavasya falling between two sankrantis marks the beginning of the lunar month. The lunar month inherits the same name as the solar month during which amavasya falls.

•       Typically the correspondence between a solar year and a lunar year is as follows. The upper row denotes the solar months, with the vertical lines denoting sankrantis. The lower row denotes lunar months, with vertical lines denoting amavasyas.

CALENDARS USED IN INDIA

•       A solar month is normally 30 to 31 days in length whereas the lunar month is only 29.5 days long. Thus, as the year goes by, each lunar month starts a little earlier within the corresponding solar month.

•       Eventually, an entire lunar month will lie within a solar month — in other words, there will be two amavasyas between a pair of sankrantis. In such a case we get an extra intercalated month, called an adhika masaa.

•       For instance, consider a year like the following when there are two amavasyas within the solar month of Bhadrapada. The first amavasya begins an extra month called Adhika Bhadrapada while the second one begins the “real” month Nija Bhadrapada.

     The Indian national calendar, sometimes called the Saka calendar, is the official civil calendar in use in India. It is used, alongside the Gregorian calendar, by The Gazette of India, in news broadcasts by All India Radio and in calendars and communications issued by the Government of India.[1] The Saka calendar is also used in Java and Bali among Indonesian HindusNyepi, the “Day of Silence”, is a celebration of the Saka new year in Bali. Nepal’sNepal Sambat evolved from the Saka calendar.

     The term may also ambiguously refer to the Hindu calendar; the Saka era is also commonly used by other calendars.

Occasionally, a very peculiar situation occurs — a lunar month spans two sankrantis. This, for example, is what happened in 1991-92. There is no amavasya during the solar month Magha. As a result, the lunar month Magha was “lost” and became a kshaya maasa. A year with an adika maasa occurs around 7 times in 19 years.

•       How can this happen? Isn’t a lunar month always shorter than a solar month?

•       It so happens that a solar month is normally 30 to 31 days long. However, since the earth moves at varying speeds around the sun, the sun’s apparent motion through the ecliptic is not uniform. If the earth is moving exceptionally fast, the sun may pass through a sign of the zodiac in less than a lunar month.

•       Note that in 1991-92, there were two adhika maasas — Ashvina and Phalguni. This is always the case — a year with a kshaya maasa will have two adhikamaasa.

•       Though it seems fairly complicated, the luni-solar system does manage to cope with the tedious problem of reconciling the solar and lunar calendars rather well. However because of the complication involving the earth’s rotation called precession, the Indian solar calendar does not keep track of the seasons accurately.

WHY CALCULATIONS CANNOT BE CONSISTENT OVER TIME

•       Planets in their orbits are subject to varying gravitational forces resulting in accelerated and retarded motions. The orbital motions are not uniform and variations occur at the apogee and perigee points. Due to changes in instantaneous movements, planetary positions at any time get altered. Corrections need to be applied to computation formulae to account for these changes. Using computation formulae without appropriate corrections results in erroneous planetary positions

CURRENT CALCULATIONS

•       Our ancient mathematicians had generated a large number of siddhantas but only a modern version of the ‘Surya Siddhanta’ and the ‘Aryabhatiyam’ written by Aryabhatta are in use today. It is believed that the original ‘Surya Siddhanta’ was handed down from Lord Suryanarayana himself and modified to modern versions by human beings belonging to the lineage of the Solar families.

DIFFERENCES

•       There are 3 major mathematical methods being followed. Surya Siddhanta, Arya Siddhanta and the new Drukk Siddhanta. Comparison of the results of tithi, nakshatra etc. obtained through these 3 methods show significant differences. Between the Surya Siddhanta and Drukk Siddhanta the differences reach 14 ghatis translating to five and a half hours and between the Surya Siddhanta and the Arya Siddhanta there are differences of 5 ghatis (two hours). The calculation of the positions of the Sun and Moon at the eclipses show significant differences between the Arya and Surya Siddhantas in respect of times of  commencement (sparsha) and completion (Moksha) .The time of rising of Kuja and other planets also show similar significant errors.

STAKEHOLDERS

GREGORIAN CALENDAR
REFORMS

•       The World Calendar is a 12-month, perennial calendar with equal quarters. It is perennial because it remains the same every year.

•       Our present calendar is not perennial, but annual. It changes every year. It does so because its typical 365-day cycle is not evenly divisible by the number of days in the week: 365 ÷ 7 = 52, r 1. The unfortunate consequence of that one-day remainder is that the year typically begins and ends on the same weekday. So the next year must begin on the following weekday. This requires a new calendar every year.

•       Technically, our Gregorian calendar is a variously ordered cycle of 14 calendars. The calendar for the year beginning on Sunday differs from the one for the year beginning on Monday, and so on for all seven weekdays. Since the occurrence of leap year can alter any of these seven calendars, this raises the total to 14 calendars.

•       That’s the mess the 365th day causes. If we took that day out of the calendar, the new year would typically begin on the very same weekday as the previous year. And if we likewise took leap day out of the calendar, the new year would always begin on the same weekday. We’d thus have a perennial calendar.

GREGORIAN CALENDAR
REFORMS

We can take a day out of the calendar without deviating from the solar cycle of approximately 365.24 days by simply regarding the day as a 24-hour waiting period before resuming the calendar again. These off-calendar days, also known as “blank days” or “intracranial days,” won’t be weekdays. It seems most reasonable to treat them as holidays.

That’s part of the rationale behind The World Calendar, promoted by The World Calendar Association from 1930. Its perenniality has obvious benefits for scheduling and planning; and The World Calendar has other advantages over the Gregorian calendar too.

To prevent misuse of the name and corruption of the idea, The World Calendar has been copyrighted under the following description:

GREGORIAN CALENDAR
REFORMS

•       Every year is the same.

•       The quarters are equal: each has exactly 91 days, 13 weeks or 3 months; the quarters are identical in form with an ordered variation within the three months.

•       The three months have 31, 30, 30 days respectively.

•       Each month has 26 weekdays, plus Sundays.

•       Each year begins on Sunday 1 January; each working year begins on Monday 2 January.

•       Each quarter begins on Sunday, ends on Saturday.

•       The calendar is stabilized and made perpetual by ending the year with a 365th day following 30 December each year. This additional day is dated ‘W,’ which equals 31 December, and called Worlds day, a year-end world holiday. Leap-year Day is similarly added at the end of the second quarter. It is likewise dated ‘W,’ or 31 June, and called Leap year Day, another world holiday in leap years.

SYMMETRY CALENDAR

•       The Symmetry454 or its sister Symmetry 010 calendar reform will solve all of the Gregorian calendar deficiencies.

•       The Symmetry454 calendar is a simple perpetual solar calendar that fully conserves the traditional 7-day week (by using a leap week instead of a leap day), has symmetrical equal quarters each having 4+5+4 weeks, and starts every month on Monday. The Symmetry454 calendar arithmetic is openly documented, royalty-free.

CONCLUSIONS-1

•        THERE CAN BE NO PERFECT CALENDAR VALID FOR ALL TIME DUE TO CONTINUAL CHANGES IN THE MOVEMENTS OF THE SUN, MOON EARTH AND PLANETS AND OTHER HEAVENLY BODIES.

•         SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF CALENDAR CHANGES ARE VERY HIGH AS IT IMPACTS THE UNITY, IDENTITY AND INTEGRITY OF COMMUNITIES ALL OVER THE WORLD

•         WITH  GLOBALIZATION, THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF DIVERSITY IN CALENDAR SYSTEMS IS ENORMOUS. CONSIDERABLE LOSS OF MAN-DAYS HAPPENS DUE TO DIVERSITY IN CALENDARS.

•         DEVELOPMENT OF UNIFORM CALENDAR SYSTEM VALID GLOBALLY AND TRANSCENDING RELIGIOUS AND LOCAL INTEREST GROUPS HAS ENGAGED THE ATTENTION OF SEVERAL THINKERS WORLDWIDE, THIS HAS RESULTED IN THE PROPOSALS FOR A ‘WORLD CALENDAR’ AND A ‘SEMI- CALENDAR’.

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS-2

•       ACCEPTANCE OF UNIFORM CALENDAR WORLDWIDE WOULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT LONG TERM BENEFITS

•       THE HINDU CALENDAR SYSTEM IS THE OLDEST CALENDAR STILL IN USE.

•       CAN A NEW CALENDAR SYSTEM APPLICABLE WORLDWIDE BE EVOLVED?

February 28, 2017

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