Hinduism: An Endless Ocean — 1

Legal Declaration— The Indian way

Sanatana Dharma. Indeed an ocean reaching the horizons in every direction we see it. But before we dive deep into it, let me make a commitment, a promise.

If we look at the way a promise is made to the powers that be, the thought process, philosophies and explanations can be better appreciated.

Adhya Brahmana; dvithiya praarthe
Swetha varaaha kalpe
Vaivasvatha manvanthre
Ashtavimsathi thame
Kaliyuge prathame paathe
Bharatha varshe
Baratha: kande
Meroho: dhakshine paarshve
Saalivaahana sahaapte
Asmin varthamaane vyavahaarike
Prabhavaathi sashti samvathsaaraanaam madhye
‘Dharana’ naama samvathsare
Uttaraayane; Hemanta rithou;
Makara maase; sukla pakshe
Chathurthyaam Subha thithou 
Vaasara: Bhrigu vaasara yukthaayaam
sadhabhishak nakshathra 
subha yoga
subha karana
Evam guna visheshana visishtayam
asyam Chathurthyaam Subha thithou…

In the second half of the lifetime of the current Brahma..” so starts the sankalpa. Before we understand what a sankalpa is, lets understand few definition of time units…

What is Brahma Deva’s lifetime? 
For a year that comprises of 360 days, a lifetime of Brahma is considered to be 100 years.

What is Brahma’s day then?
That “day” is considered to be 432 crore man years on earth. His “night” consists of another 432 crore years. When an entire day (and night) completes, the entire cycle of life ends. The next day starts with a fresh cycle of life.

How’s Brahma’s day divided into?
Brahma’s day is divided into 14 segments or manvantare. Every Manvantara is administered by a Manu. The current Manu is Vaivasvata Manu who is the 7th one.

How are Manvantara measured?
Every manvantara is divided into 71 maha yuga. Every maha yuga is further subdivided into 4 yugas.

So, again, what’s Brahma’s day then?
Under the rule of 14 Manus with each governing 71 maha yugas, we get 14 x 71=994 maha yugas. Apart from these, we have 6 more maha yugaas are considered as transition period between each of the 7 manvantara (14/2). This accounts for a period of 1000 maha yugas or also called as Kalpa. Currently, we are in the Swetha Varaha Kalpa.

Once again, what’s Brahma’s day then?
A maha yuga consists of 4 yugas — Krutha (17,28,000 years), Tretha (12,96,000 years), Dwapara (8,64,000 years), Kali (4,32,000 years). Summing these up, 
A maha yuga is 43,20,000 years
A manvantara is 71 maha yuga or 71 x 43,20,000 years or 30,67,20,000 years
14 Manu’s period is then 14 x 30,67,20,000 or 429,40,80,000 years
Transition period between Manvantara is 6 x 43,20,000 or 2,59, 20, 000 years
And adding both these up we get 432, 00, 00, 000 or 432 crore years

Now, lets look up at the Sankalpa once again..
 “Adhya Brahmana: dvithiya praarthe — During Current Brahma’s 51st year
Swetha varaaha kalpe — in Swetha Varaha Kalpa which is the first day
Vaivasvatha manvanthre — In the times of ‘Vaivasvatha’ Manu who is the 7th
Ashtavimsathi thame; Kaliyuge prathame paathe — In the first part of Kaliyuga that comes for the 28th maha yuga;
Jambudhveepe — In a part called ‘Jambudhveepa’ that is a part of earth’s seven parts’
Bharatha varshe — In the land called ‘Bharatha Varsha’
Bharatha: kande — In the Bharatha continent
Meroho: dhakshine paarshve — To the south of Mount Meru
Saalivaahana sahaapte — In the times of king ‘Saalivahana’
Asmin varthamaane vyavahaarike — With things being this state
Prabhava sashti samvathsaaraanaam madhye — from the list of 60 years (samvatsara) that starts with ‘Prabhava’
‘Dharana’ naama samvathsare — in the year of ‘Dharana’
uttaraayane; hemantha rithou; — During the time when Sun traverses facing North; Pre winter (Hemantha rthu) season
Makara maase; sukla pakshe — in the month of Makara; moon in waxing phase;
Chaturthyaam Subha thithou — on the 4th day ….
Vaasara: Bhrigu vaasara yukthaayaam — on a Friday
sadhabhishak nakshathra — as the Satabhishak sub constellation in the horizon
subha yoga — on an auspiscious
subha karana — on an auspiscious
Evam guna visheshana visishtayam — with all special attributes as described
asyam Chathurthyaam Subha thithou…” — I on the auspicious day of 4th promise to perform …. action.

In an age, where we are accustomed to specify the date as “xxth … month and 20xx year” , the sheer amount of information and detail specified in a sankalpa is amazing and puzzling. Looking aside the obvious amazement, it is puzzling because we from the lineage of such a sankalpa now confine ourselves to a mere 2000 years. 
(to be continued..)

Source: Hindu Maha Samudram (Tamil) 
Author: Shri. Cho Ramaswamy