Calculation of a Year | Hari Vamsam-16
One waning and one waxing of moon add to make a month. The individual waxing and waning is called a Paksha (पक्ष).
Two Pakshas make one month (मास) and Two months put together make one Ritu (ऋतु) or one season.
Name of 6 seasons
Six Ritus add up to make one year or varsh (वर्ष). The 6 seasons are:
1) Vasanta (वसंत spring),
2) Greeshm (ग्रीष्म summer),
3) Hemant (हेमंत pre-winter),
4) Sharad (शरद autumn),
5) Shishir (शिशिर winter) and
6) Varsha (वर्षा monsoon).
Now 3 Ritus together form an Ayana (अयन). Thus, in a year or Varsh there are two Ayanas namely Uttarayana and Dakshinayana.
In our previous articles of the Yaksha Prashnam series, there is a mention of the Dakshinaya and Uttarayana.
Krishna Paksha and Shukla Paksha
The waning period of the moon (also called the dark phase) lasts for 15 days. It is also called Krishna Paksha, lasting for a fortnight. An interesting fact, revealed by Hari Vamsa is that the waning-period is considered to be the daytime for the Pitrus (पितृ). Pitrus are our departed ancestors.
Shukla Paksha is the waxing period of the moon. It too lasts for 15 days (a fortnight). It begins with the new moon and finally comes to fruition on the Full-Moon night (or Purnima). Purnima has a great spiritual significance. For the Pitrus, the Shukla Paksha of the earthly planet forms night-time for the Pitrus.
How do Pitrus get Liberated?
The Pitrus are our departed ancestors. It is said they are located in Chandra Loka (चंद्र लोक), the abode of Moon God. Those Pitrus who fail ascending to Vaikuntha, are transited to Chandra Loka. The destination of Chandra Loka is highly praised in Hari Vamsha Purana.
An important thing to note though is that these ancestors must come back to Bhu Loka (Earth), in order to burn their residual Karma. They are not freed from the birth and death cycle. Once, they are relived of the torments of birth and death, they transcend Chandra Loka and attain the abode of Sriman Naryana, Vaikuntha.
How is Time Different in Chandra Lok, for Pitrus?
In Shukla Paksha, the Pitrus cannot see the Sun from Chandra Loka. The experience is completely opposite from that on Earth. Our 15 days on Earth (Shukla Paksha) forms one night in Pitra Lok. That is why the time frame of Shukla Paksha is night on that planet.
On the other hand, in Krishna Paksha, Sun is visible from Chandra Loka. Hence, it marks daytime in Chandra Loka. Note: the fortnight period of Krishna Paksha makes 1 day in Chandra Lok.
Why is Tarpan Done in Krishna Paksha?
śrāddha ritual (श्राद्धा are rituals dedicated to the departed ancestors performed on the earthly plane), are always carried out during Krishna Paksha or the dark phase of the moon.
Though it is considered dark on Earth, it is daytime for the departed ancestors. Due to this reason, Tarpan (तर्पण the ritual of offering food to the departed souls) is done during Krishna Paksha. Tarpana is performed to provide ancestors with their morning meals. Though the ritual is carried out once a month, during Krishna Paksha, ancestors receive their daily meals, if at all their descendants carry out the Tarpana ritual.
Why is Margazhi Month Auspicious?
The Uttarayana is Day time for the Devatas while Dakshinayana is Night time for the Devatas. Thus, 6 human months is one day for the Devatas and the rest 6 months results in one night for the Devatas.
The month of Margazhi (மார்கழி) also called Margasheersha is roughly the time between 15th of December to 15th of January. However, it changes according to the Panchangam (Hindu calendar). This auspicious month is known as the start of Uttarayana and also represents pre-dawn of the Devatas.
The Devatas offer their Prayers to Lord Narayana during Margazhi Month. Thus, it is considered the most auspicious period of the year. Because, the entire celestial planet is engaged in the worship of the Supreme Lord. If a person makes use of this month in uplifting one’s consciousness, through spiritual practices, one will notice remarkable results. The divine forces of the devatas support the devotee’s Sadhana, exclusively in this month.
Significance of Brahma Muhurta
For humans, the pre-dawn time lies between 3:30 AM to 6:00 AM. This time-period is considered the most auspicious period in the entire day and is also called Brahma-Muhurta.
So, a great combination for the most auspicious time to find remarkable spiritual growth would be in the Margazhi month from 3:30 AM to 6:00 AM. One thing to note however is ‘for Sadhana all time is good time’. So make sure you continue your sadhana throughout the day. Auspicious time helps boost your sadhana. But, performing Sadhana lies in the hands of the Sadhaka for it is only Sadhana that can invite auspiciousness in our life.
Vedic Calculation of a Year
The Vedic calculation is that a year consists of exactly 360 days. 15 days of a Paksha; 2 Pakshas join up to a month. 12 months makes it 12 X 30 which is exactly 360 days unlike the Gregorian calendar of 365 ¼ days.
The Vedic calculation of years, months, hours and minutes is fixed (360days/year) and never undergoes change irrespective of dynasties, political scenario, Yugas or Manvantaras. However, this is not the case with the non-Vedic races where even time is forced to follow the diktats of rulers and scientists, whose science varies with time, place and circumstances.
Calculation of Chatur-Yugas
432,000 years is the length of 1 Kaliyuga. 432,000 X 2 is the length of Dwapara Yuga. Treta Yuga is 432,000 X 3 and 432,000 X 4 is Satya Yuga.
One Chaturyuga is 4,320,000 years (sum of all the four Yuga). One Chaturyuga is 12,000 celestial years (4,320,000 / 360). There are periods of overlap of between various Yugas. That is there is a cusp of Satya Yuga and Treta Yuga. There exists a cusp between Treta and Dwapara Yuga. There exists a cusp between Dwapara and Kaliyuga. Again, there again exists a cusp between Kaliyuga and Satyuga of the next cycle. This is known as Sandhya.
Great Devotee-Personalities: Sri Brahma and Manu
Thousand Chaturyugas is 1 day of Brahma known as Kalpa which is 4,320,000 X 1000 = 4,320,000,000 years which is 4.32 billion years. The same goes for one night of Brahma which is 4.32 billion human years long.
The Supreme Lord is the chief of million such Brahmas. The Brahma of our universe is 4 headed. There are many multiverses where their respective Brahmas have 1000 heads, 10,000 heads and even much more than that.
On earth, we consider the wealthy superior. We have built our own definitions of superior and inferior. But, this is proven to be the biggest misfortune.
Because, the truly great personalities like Sri Brahma, the creator of the universe is found serving Sriman Narayana. Manu, the creator of mankind, entitled to be Prajapati, the one who is at the helm of guiding the whole of mankind is seen meditating on Sriman Narayana.
The riches of this world is limited. Individuals own a finite amount of wealth in their houses and bank accounts. It can be calculated. Yet, we look upon them with awe and reverence. But, what about Sri Brahma and Manu who are even the masters of these so called rich and influential people? Won’t their egos be of a much superior kind for they are the sole proprietors of creation itself?
Why does Brahma have many heads?
Sri Brahma has been granted multiple heads that symbolize power and authority. Moreover, He is blessed with immense intelligence by Sriman Narayana to be able to administer the affairs of the universe. A thousand headed Brahma is superior to a hundred headed one. More the number of heads, greater the responsibility, greater the authority. Yet, all Brahmas and Manus from various multiverses, engage in worshipping Sriman Narayana. If this is the state of these esteemed personalities, we humans qualify not even a 1 millionth of their credibility. We are not even meant to be counted in the list of superior personalities. We can in no way equate our riches to theirs.
So we have to see the uselessness of our petty egos. All of us should work towards our liberation through the easiest process of Sharanagati.
Mood of Thirumoochi Azhvar
Thirumoochi Azhvar thinks of composing a hymn in praise of Lord Vishnu. However on second thoughts he feels, who am I to praise the Lord? Elevated beings such a Brahma and Vashishtha fail in their attempts to sing His glories. After all I am a petty being. The Azhvar again deliberates on this view. He concludes, Nevertheless, I shall sing His glories.
When asked, as to why he had a change of heart, the Azhvar replied. Whether it is Brahma, Manu, the great Sapta Rishis or an ant all these beings are existent as small and big mountains inside the ocean of Brahman, who is our Lord Vishnu.
The Lord’s magnitude is infinite and in front of infinity. Each living entity is even smaller than the smallest and I am one amongst them. So, from the point of view of the Lord what is the difference between 0.0000000000001 and 0.0000000000010? All these numbers are nothing but zero. So why worry about our position, when our vision is set on the Supreme Being?
How Lord Narayana Blesses Little Dhruva
The Supreme Being never needs to worry about the universe and his lieutenants are there to nourish the world. But when one sincerely looks up to the Lord and prays for His mercy, the Lord immediately responds like no other parent and worries about us.
That is the tender love that He has in His heart. So if we are to take His refuge, He shall bless us with all capabilities. So, when our vision is set on the Lord, why should we worry? On obtaining the vision of the Lord, the small devotee boy, Dhruva wanted to praise the Lord. After all, what capacity can a five-year-old boy have?
The Lord understood the predicament of his little devotee. With His divine conch (pāñcajanya shankha), He touched the head of His sincere. Immediately, Dhruva began singing the most eloquent praises of the Lord to his heart’s content.
Those Supreme verses of Bhakta Dhruva are documented in the Scripture of Shrimad Bhagavatham and even today they are sung by Vaishnavas.