The Ancient Hindu Calendar

by Chandra Sekhar Sharma


Posted on 12/12/2019 11:25:50 AM



Hindu calendar is compiled by adopting two systems, one based on movement of earth around the Sun and another on the movement of Moon around the earth .The first day of Hindu New year is known as Baisaki in Punjab,Gudi Padva in Maharashatra,Yugadi in Karnataka, Uishu in Kerala and Vaishaki in West Bengal and so on,and it is sowaramaana Yugadi for the followers of Sun and Chandramaana Yugadi for the followers of Moon. This is calendar called as Panchangam, it’s includes 5 parts (Thidi ,Vaara,Nakshatra,Yoga ,Karanas).

Hindu calendar is compiled by adopting two systems, one based on movement of earth around the Sun and another on the movement of Moon around the earth .The first day of Hindu New year is known as Baisaki in Punjab,Gudi Padva in Maharashatra,Yugadi in Karnataka, Uishu in Kerala and Vaishaki in West Bengal and so on,and it is sowaramaana Yugadi for the followers of Sun and Chandramaana  Yugadi for the followers of Moon. This is calendar called as Panchangam, it’s includes 5 parts (Thidi ,Vaara,Nakshatra,Yoga ,Karanas). 

                    There is two types of time system followed in Indian calendar times system .  1) is Ghadiya System 2) is hours system

Ancient panchangas or followed Ghadiya system and new panchangas are followed hours system. Traditional Panchanga followed the Ghadiya system (nothing but a sidereal day ). Sidereal day is the time interval required by the earth to complete one rotation about its axis with respect  to a fixed star. It is of constant length as the rotation of earth on its axis in uniform. 60 Vilipthas=1 liptha , 60 Liptas= 1 Vighadiaya, 60 Vighdiys =1 Ghadiya, 60 Ghadiyas =1day.

Every one knows the hours system. 60 sec =1 minit , 60 minit = 1 hour ,24 hours =1 day. 


 Southern Amaanta Calendar 

                   The Southern Amaanta Lunisolar Calendar is predominantly followed in the South and South-West Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is essentially a lunisolar one; i.e., its days and months are calculated based on the motions of the moon. Like the Chinese calendar, the month is calculated from new moon to new moon. 

Western Amaanta Calendar 

                      . In West India, specifically, in the state of Gujarat, the Amaanta calendar is of two forms, one that starts with Aashaadha (followed in the Kathiawar region) and one that starts with Kartika (followed all throughout Gujarat). Both calendars follow the Vikrama Era and both also possibly follow the North Western School for kshaya months.

Purnimaanta Calendar 

                     The Purnimaanta Calendar is followed in most of North India, i.e., in the states of Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan. (Earlier literature fails to mention Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Delhi, but they are off-shots of bigger states and would necessarily follow the same calendar). The last of the three Indian lunisolar calendars, this one differs from the Amaanta calendar in that the months are reckoned from full moon to full moon. 

The Malayali Calendar 

                     The Malayali Calendar is predominantly followed in the South Indian state of Kerala. It is essentially a solar calendar, the months are defined according to the raasis. The year starts with the Simha Sankranti and follows the Kollam Era. 

Tamil Calendar 

                   The Tamil calendar is followed in Tamil Nadu. This calendar is also solar; the month begins on the same day as a Sankranti if it occurs before sunset. The Kali Era is followed along with the Southern Jovian cycle. One peculiarity about the Tamil calendar is that its month names start with Chittirai(Chaitra). 

Bengali Calendar 

                 The Bengali calendar is predominantly followed in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. The Era is the Bengali San. The rule for the beginning of the month is again different; the month begins on the day after a Sankranti, if it occurs before midnight. Otherwise, it begins on the third day.

Oriya Calendar 

                The Oriya calendar is followed in the Eastern state of Orissa. In addition to the Bengali San, the Saka, Vilayati and Amli eras are followed. The month begins on the same day as that of the respective Sankranti.

The Nanakshahi Calendar 

                  Promulgated in 1998 CE, the Nanakshahi Calendar is followed in Punjab. It’s intrinsically linked to the Gregorian calendar, except in its usage of the Nanakshahi Era.

National Calendar of 1957 

                  Proposed by the Calendar Reform Committee of 1952 and promulgated in 1957 CE, the National Calendar is a tropical calendar with fixed lengths of days and months. However, because it was totally different from the traditional calendars, it did not find much acceptance.

Months named after Nakshatras  

The set of month names named after nakshatras is used by both solar and lunar  calendars, adding to seeming complexity of the Indian calendar system.

               corresponded to the name of the month. Of course, the full moon occurs at all nakshatras. Fifteen were taken into account for naming of the month, spaced more or less equally.  - 

Nakshatra on Purnima

Month Name (  Lunar Months )

Chitra 

Chaitra

Visakha 

Vaisakha

Jyestha 

Jyaistha

(Purva & Uttara) shaada

Aashaadha Aashaadha

Sravana 

Sraavana

(Uttara & Purva) bhadra

Bhaadrapada Bhaadrapada

Asvini 

Asvayuja (Aasvina)

Krittika 

Kaarthika

Mrugasira 

Maarghasira

Pushyami 

Pausa (Pushyam)

Maghaa

Maagha

(Uttara and Purva) Phalguni

Phalguna


Months named after raasis 

                    Only solar months share their names with raasis. these following names along with the associated raasis. Mesha,vrushabha……Meena. This naming rule is followed primarily in the Malayalam calendar and the Oriya calendar .

Some eras, given as the offset from the Gregorian year

Era

Current Year

Elapsed Year

Kali Yuga

+3102 CE

+3101

Nepalese


+877 CE

Kollam

+823 CE


Vikrama

+58 CE

+57 CE

Saka

- 77 CE

-78 CE

Bengal


-593 CE

Caitanya


-1486 CE


              Solar calendar has twelve months know as Mesha,Vrushabha, Mithuna, Karkaataka, Simha, Kanya,Tula,Vrishchika,Dhanu,Makara,Kumbha and meena.Sowramaana Yugadi usually is on the 14 th +_ 1 day of every year .

               Lunar Calendar also has twelve months known as Chaitra, Viasishaaka ,Jaista, Aashaada, Shraavana, Bhadrapada,Aswayuja,Karthika,Maarhashira,Pushya,Maargashira,Pushya,Maagha and Phaalguna.Each month is divided into two parts having 14 or 16 days each and they are;

1)Sukal Paksha    form new moon day (Amavaasya)to full moin day (Poornima)

2) Krishana Paksha from full moon day (Poornima) to new moon day (Amavvasya).

Other details like Tithi Vaara(day) Nakshatra (27/28)(constellations),Karana(11) and yoga(27), Taken into consideration while compiling the calendar (Panchangam),are common for both.As is known ,the week comprises of seven days named after seven planets excluding rahu and kethu.

One year is divided into two parts ,Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana which are known to have great scientific importance  for everything .In this context the north-east and south-east directions attain importance along with east. For six months of the year sun will be moving on the northern portion of the earth and this is known as Uttarayana and for the next six months sun will be moving on the southern part of the earth and this is known as Dakshinaaya.

Tithi(thidi): The visible distance between moon and sun is divided into 30 portions and they are called thidi. when they are in same line it is newmoon dya and when they come opposite to each other it is full moon day.

Yoga :  The effect of moon and sun constellation in a particular position result in yoga, They are 27 yogas.

Karana :  the effect of vaara ,thidi, and constellation in a particular position is called so. One thidi has two karanas.

 Nakshatra : The zodiac is marked by 27 constellations or Nakshatras often termed lunar mansions. The position of a Nakshatra is dependent upon the actual time taken by the Moon to traverse           13° 20.' of ecliptic arc, of course, always beginning from the first point of the constellational zodiac. If constellations are huge electromagnetic bodies radiating energy into space, there seems to be sense in attributing certain influences to these radiations and the Moon coming into contact with such radiations probably exercises special influences.  

Nakshatra to star correspondence

Nakshatra

Star(s)

Ashvinii

β and γ Arietis

Bharanii

35, 39, and 41 Arietis

Krittikaa

Pleiades

Rohinii

Aldebaran

Mrighashiirsha

λ, φ Orionis

Aardraa

Betelgeuse

Punarvasu

Castor and Pollux

Pushya

γ, δ and θ Cancri

Aashleshaa

δ, ε, η, ρ, and σ Hydrae

Maghaa

Regulus

Puurva Phalgunii

δ and θ Leonis

Uttara Phalgunii

Denebola

Hasta

α to ε Corvi

Chitraa

Spica

Svaatii

Arcturus

Vishaakhaa

α, β, γ and ι Librae

Anuuraadha

β, δ and π Scorpionis

Jyeshtha

α, σ, and τ Scorpionis

Muula

ε, ζ, η, θ, ι, κ, λ, μ and ν Scorpionis

Puurva Ashaadhaa

δ and ε Sagittarii

Uttara Ashaadhaa

ζ and σ Sagittarii

Shravana

α, β and γ Aquilae

Shravishthaa

α to δ Delphinis

Shatabhishaj

γ Aquarii

Puurva Bhaadrapada

α and β Pegasi

Uttara Bhaadrapada

γ Pegasi and α Andromedae

Revatii

ζ Piscium


Six Ruthus(SEASONS) : According to the Hindu calendar there are 6 seasons(ruthus),each lasting for a period of two months.

Sumuatsaras(Hindu Years ) Sixty hindu years names as follows :


1

Prabhava

Sarvajit

Plavanga

41

2

Vibhava

Sarvadhaarin

Kiilaka

42

2

Shukla

Virodhin

Saumya

43

4

Pramoda

Vikrita

Saadhaarana

44

5

Prajotpatti

Khara

Virodhikrit

45

6

Aangirasa

Nandana

Paritaapin

46

7

Shriimukha

Vijaya

Pramaadin

47

8

Bhaava

Jaya

Aananda

48

9

Yuvan

Manmatha

Raakshasa

49

10

Dhaatu

Durmukha

Nala

50

11

Iishvara

Hemalambi

Pingala

51

12

Bahudhaanya

Vilambi

Kaalayukti

52

13

Pramaathin

Vikaarin

Siddhaarthin

53

14

Vikrama

Shaarvari

Raudra

54

15

Vrisha

Plava

Durmati

55

16

Chitrabhaanu

Shubhakrit

Dundubhi

56

17

Svabhaanu

Shobhana

Rudhirodgaarin

57

18

Taarana

Krodhin

Raktaaksha

58

19

Paarthiva

Vishvaavasu

Krodhana

59

20

Vyaya

Paraabhava

Akshaya

60


I will give you full details about different time systems and different measurement systems of kalapurush   In another article .The text book of “Indian Astronomy “ called Surya siddhanta .

Thank you . 

Chandra Shekhar Sharma

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