TIME, DAY and DATES
By: Pritam Dhinsa
Time started from the moment, THE CREATOR, created this creation, though no one knows, when.
“kvxu su vylw vKqu kvxu, kvx iQiq kvxu vwru]
kvix is ruqI mwhu kvxu, ijqu hoAw Awkwru]
iQiq vwru nw jogI jwxY, ruiq mwhu nw koeI]
jw krqw isrTI kau swjy, Awpy jwxY soeI] (p.4)
KAWAN SO WELA, WAKHAT KAWAN
KAWAN THITT, KAWAN WAAR,
KAWAN SE RUTTI, MAHH KAWAN
JITT HOA AAKAR …… (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, G G S p.4)
At what time, ie morning, afternoon, evening or night, on which date/day, ie. Monday Tuesday, in which season ie. Summer, Winter, Autumn or Spring, in which month, was this Creation, created by THE CREATER? Only HE knows, no one else.
WELA:-(Samaan as Amrit Wela, Sawear Wela, Dupehar Wela etc.), divisions of the day as morning, noon, evening .
WAAR:- Day of the week (Monday, Tuesday etc.) as (SOM WAAR, MANGAL WAAR, BUDH WAAR etc. )
RUTT:- Season (Summer, Winter etc. (Summer= ROHI,) Winter= SIAL, Spring = BASANT, Autumn = PAT JHAR )
MAHH:- Month (January etc. CHET, BAISAKH etc.)
BIKARMI SAMVATT;- Months are CHET, BAISAKH,JETH, ASAD, SAWAN, BHADO, ASUIN, KATIK, MAGHAR, POKH, MAGH and PHALGUN
Month starts from the first day, the Moon appears.
WAKHAT or WAQAT:- Time, 10’ O Clock, !2’ O Clock etc.
THITT is also known as TITHI):-TITHI is the angular distance between the SUN and MOON when measured from the EARTH, in steps of 12 degrees each, covering 360 degrees in 30 days. It is calculated as ( Day + Night, starting from sun-rise to the next sun-rise) when the Moon first appears, the night before. The TITHS starts with the first day, called EKAM, DOOJ etc.------till 14th, known as CHAUDAS, 15th is known as POONAM ). This period of 15 days, when the bright section of the Moon, goes on increasing, is known as SUDHI, in LUNAR calendar and Moon is said to be WAXING and the last day when MOON is full, is called “POORANMASSI”. Next 14/15 days, when bright section of the MOON, starts decreasing, is called VAADI and Moon is said to be WANING and the last day is total darkness, called “AMAVASSIA”. The picture below, shows these phases of the Moon.
Waxing and Waning
Ancient calendars, followed by Egyptians, Indians, Arabians (Islam), Jewish calendar, Chinese etc. and most religions, were/are Lunar, based on the rotation of the Moon, around the Earth. Moon takes 29days, 12 Hrs. 44 Mints and 3 seconds to complete one rotation, called Mean Lunation Time, (one month= 29.530589 days). Twelve months make one Lunar year. One Lunar year is taken= 354 days (355 in leap year). (Actually working out Lunation time into a year, figure works out is 354.36706 days, in one year). As Lunar year was not keeping up with the seasons, they started adding one extra month, in three/four years, to match with seasons and the Solar year. Solar year or Tropical year is the duration of time taken by the Earth, to revolve round the Sun
Since the known history, humans, on this earth have studied the movements of this Earth and the whole Universe and have divided the time scale. Earth rotates around its own axis, once, in one day and one night and this time is divided into 24 parts called hours. (1 Hour= 60 Mints. and 1 Mint. = 60 Seconds.) In old system in India, this total time was divided into 8 PEHAR, taking 4 Pehar each day and 4 Pehar, each night (Taking it as equal duration on Spring and Autumn Equinox days, though duration of each day and each night, goes on changing, through out the year, from all places, away from the EQUATOR.)
In the old system, in India:-
1day= 8 PEHARS= 60 GHADIES= 3600 PAL = 6480000 KSHAN.)
“For direct conversion, 1 KSHANAS = 1 / 75 of a Second or 1800 KSHAN = 24 seconds= 1 PAL, and 60 PAL = 1 GHARI (24 mints.)
2.5 GHARI= 150 PAL = 60 Mint. = 1 Hr. or 2.5 Pal= 1 Mint .
1 PEHAR= 3 Hrs.=7.5 GHARIES=450 PAL , 8 PEHAR = 60 GHARIES.
It is given in old books that
432,000 years = 1 YUG (Duration of a KALYUG)
2 YUG = DUAPER YUG
3 YUG = TRETA YUG
4 YUG= SATT YUG
10 YUG = MAHA YUG= 4,320,000 years.
1000 MAHA YUG = 1 KALPA = 4.32 billion years.
Age of Brahamah = 100 years of 365 days each, when one day is said to be equal to 2000x 4,320,000 solar years. (as accepted by Hindus). After this, there will be total dis-solution of this UNIVERSE.
Earth also revolves around the Sun, anti-clock-wise (as seen, from space, in Northern Hemi- sphere), in 365.2419 days, called, “Tropical or Solar” year.In going around the SUN, axis of rotation of the Earth is always bent, to the right side, at 23 degrees and 27 minutes to the Zenith-Nadir axis which is in line with the Sun (called Prime Vertical) but axis of rotation of the earth is not in the same plane as plane of rotation. When looked from space, it is seen, tilted towards you, at an angle of 23.5 degrees. The picture below shows the North Pole, marked DOT, within a circle around, showing the Arctic region.
On Equinox days (Vernal Equinox, March 21/22 and Autumnal Equinox, September 22/23), duration of day and night is 12 Hours, each and distance between the Earth and Sun is equal. Axis of rotation of the Earth is also in line with the axis of plane of rotation of the Earth as you can observe in the picture below, only on Equinox day.
Summer solstice is on 21/22 June (longest day) and winter solstice is on 21/22 December (shortest day).
The orbit of Earth about the Sun is not a perfect circle; it is an ellipse and the distance between Earth and the Sun varies over the course of a year.
The earth's orbit is an ellipse, a slightly flattened circle. Contrary to popular opinion, we are closest to the sun (perihelion) in early January, about two weeks after the winter solstice. We are farthest from the sun (aphelion) in early July, about two weeks after the summer solstice. The earth moves faster along its orbit when nearer the sun, and more slowly when farther from the sun. This means that when we are near (perihelion) there are slightly less than 24 hours between (when the sun is directly overhead, astronomical noon) two consecutive days. When we are far away from the sun, time taken, is slightly more than 24 hours. Over the course of the year, it evens out. 24 hours is the average length of a solar day (Day+ Night).
Figure below: Position of the equinoxes, solstices, aphelion, and perihelion on the Earth’s orbit.
When Earth is nearest to the Sun, this point, in Earth’s orbit, is called the perigee. When Earth is farthest from the Sun, this point in Earth’s orbit, is called the apogee. Average distance is taken as 150,000,000 Km. The time from perigee to perigee, a year after or from apogee to apogee, a year after, with respect to the Sun, is called, one solar year or tropical year. It is also called Astronomical year.
Successive occurrences of apogee (to the minute) when you observed the position of Earth, with respect to the constellations, there is a slight difference, from year to year. It would need to wait an extra 20+ minutes after reaching apogee, for Earth to be in the same position, with respect to the constellations that it was at the previous apogee (i.e. a year before.). This duration is called, Sidereal year.
Another direct result of the difference between a solar year and a sidereal year is the shifting of the North Star. When the Sumerians lived in the fourth millennium B.C., the North Star was Thuban in the constellation Draco. Nowadays, the celestial North Pole is near the star Polaris, on the handle of the Little Dipper. By A.D. 14,000 the North Pole will be near the star Vega. It will be 26,000 years before the North Star is near Polaris again. (Figures taken from Internet).
A solar year and a sidereal year, both refer to the amount of time it takes Earth, to revolve around the Sun. The difference between the two measures is, in the reference point for one revolution. The Latin root of sidereal is sidereus, “starry,” which itself comes from sides, “star, constellation.” The Latin root of solar is solis, “sun.”
Thus, the difference between a solar year and a sidereal year is the difference in time between one complete revolution of Earth relative to the Sun, and one complete revolution of Earth relative to the constellations.
Civil calendar of 365 days was in use, at least by the time of the beginning of Shepsekaf’s reign [2472 to 2467 BC] in the fourth dynasty and irrefutable evidence for that of Neferirkare’s [2446 to 2426 BC] in the fifth. This civil year was supposed to start with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the time when this star became visible again, in the morning, after being blotted out by sunlight, for some 70 days. Around that day, the river Nile, normally also began to rise, for its annual inundation. These were also the rare years when the calendar season called “inundation” coincided with the actual rising and receding of water, in the river Nile.
After so many changes and calculations, since that period, the actual time for Solar and Sidereal years, has been worked out as,
Solar year = 365 days, 5 hrs 48 mints and 45.51 seconds = 365.2421934 days.
Sidereal year = 365 day, 6 hrs 9 mints and 9.8 seconds = 365.2563634 days i.e. 20mints and 24.288 seconds, longer than Solar year.
The constellations are imaginary shapes, formed by drawing imaginary lines, around groups of stars, by Ancient Astrologers (even by poets and farmers), to study the enormous stars, in the sky, by separating them, into groups, naming them after names of animals etc. When we look at the Sun from earth, it seems that Sun is moving through one shape (Const.) to the other and it completes one revolution in one year (though it is accepted that Earth revolves, not the Sun). This year is called Sidereal year. There are more than 88 constellations but we consider only 12(now 13), grouped as Zodiac, shown in the table below, high lighted in bold letters. They are
PISCES (The FISH), ARIES (The RAM), TAURUS (The BULL), GEMINI (The TWINS), CANCER (The CRAB), LEO (The LION), VIRGO (The VIRGIN), LIBRA (The BALANCE), SCORPIO (The SCORPION), SAGITTARIUS (THE ARCHER), CENTAURUS (The CENTAUR), CAPRICORN (The GOAT) and AQUARIUS (The WATER-CARRIER)
The constellations of the zodiac we know nowadays, reach back to the days of the Babylonians and Chaldeans, 2000 to 3000 years ago. Back then, the sun was supposed to pass through twelve constellations, which we still assign to the zodiac. But since these old days there have been several changes to the assignment of the stars. The sun is understood, passing through thirteen constellations along the ecliptic. After the sun left Scorpius November, 2002 it moved through Ophiuchus (13th.) , the Serpent Holder, in December before reaching Sagittarius, the Archer, at the end of December.
History of calendars, in use.(Changes).
Julian calendar, (started by Julius Caesar).:- Romans used each month of 29/31 days, following Lunar months and were adding one extra month of 22/23 days after every second year, to match with the Solar year. This extra month was called MERCEDONIUS (Adheka in Bikarmi calendar). In Jewish calendar- they add 13th month, called Adar II, over the course of a 19 year cycle, so that the lunar calendar realigns with the solar years. It is added in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the cycle. Thus, they had 7 extra months in 19 years. Same cycle was repeated by Romans.
In 46 BC, on the advice of an Egyptian Astrologer named Sosigenes, the Romans lengthened that year to 445 day to match with the solar year, followed by next three years of 365 days each. Up to 1582 CE, year was taken equal to 365.25 days. Every 4th year, called LEAP year, one day was added to the month of Feb. making a total 366 days, in that year (Old System-O S). On 5th of Oct.1582, Pope Gregory XIII of Trent ordained that Friday, the 5th Oct., be taken as 15th Oct. to compensate the differences, due to extra bit of decimal fraction taken (365.25 instead of 365.2422) in counting, as calendar was not matching with the seasons. Most of the Mathematical calculations were done by Father Christopher Clavius S J. as spring equinox had moved ahead by 10 days. It was, on 21st March, in 325 CE and it occurred on 11th March, in 1582 CE. This calendar is known as Gregorian calendar (N S-New System). Most countries adopted this calendar straight away.
U K and USA did not adopt this calendar till Sept.1752 when 2nd Sept. was taken as 14th Sept. To match with the Solar year, one day is added to the month of February, when the year number, is divisible by 4 but last year of every century is not taken as LEAP year except centuries, divisible by 400, ie. 400, 800,1200, etc. which are taken as LEAP years. A brilliant researcher, Mr P S. Purewal, writes that one day extra, error still occurs in 3200/3300 years, in relation to the Solar year, even after adopting this calendar as Solar year by latest calculations is equal to 365.2421934 days. By Gregorian Calendar there are, 365x100=36500+25-1 = 36524 /100 gives one year=365.24 days and after 400 years add 1 i.e 365.24x400=146096 add 1= 146097 divide by 400= 365.2422 days per year. If we drop one day after 3200 years, (do not take it as leap year), then one year = 365.2421876 days app.
Bikrami Samvat, (Started on 14thOct. 58 BC). This Lunar year starts from the first month of CHET but Solar year starts from the first of Baisakh. Bikrami ERA is 57 years (56.7 years) ahead of CE. (Common Era), starting from, the first of CHET, to the 31st of December but it is 56 years ahead, from first of Jan. to the end of Bikrami year. Bikrami Solar year starts from first of Baisakh, the day, the Sun moves (in India, along the Tropic of Cancer, when Sun is always, over-head) to 0 degree ARIES (Mekh Rashi), the second, of the twelve constellations called ZODIAC.
About 4000 years ago, Sun entered the Aries, on the Spring Equinox, about mid -April. Equinox goes on moving slowly towards the next constellation (Pisces). It takes about 2000 years to cross through one constellation. This century, it has moved into Aquarius. It is estimated that it will be at 0 degree Aries, again, in the next, 20,000 years.
Time of moving in, of the SUN, at 0 degree Aries is always taken as, the first of Baisakh and this date is taken into (start of Solar year) so many calculations, in the Astrological readings, of Horoscopes.
The gradual shifting of Baisakhi:- From 30th March, 1699 (Old system to New system, Gregorian calendar from 11 th March, 1582). dates shifted by 10 days ahead + 5 days & 16 Hrs. due to the fact that Bikrami year is a sidereal year which is longer than a solar year by 20 mints. and 24.5 seconds. 30th March, 1699 will be..
2008 – 1699 (O S) = 309 x24.5 =7570.5 / 60 = 126.2 Mints. + 309 x 20 = 6306.2 / 60 = 105 hrs = 5 day & 9 hrs. + 10 days (N S) = 15 days & 9 Hrs. added to 30th March will be 14th April, 2008.
Similar change took place for first Prakash Ceremony of Guru Granth Saheb. Date shifted from 16th August 1604 to 1st Sept. 2004, the 400 th ceremony, working out on the basis of Sidereal year.
2004 – 1604(O S) = 400 x 24.5 /60 = 163.3 Mints. + 400x20 = 8163.3 Mints./60 = 136.1 hrs.= 5 days & 16 Hrs.+10 (N S ) = 15 days & 16 Hrs. = 16 days app. Hence 16th Aug = 1 st Sept. 2004.
Dates, in Sikh History were mostly, according to the Bikrami Era. When these dates were converted to CE, writers differed a lot, because they did or did not take into account, the changes from Julian to Gregorian calendars and also due to Solar or Sidereal year. This is still going on, in religious celebrations. Mr. Purewal has made some valuable suggestions as to adopting fixed religious dates as per CE calendar or fixed number of days for each Bikrami month, to bring NANAK-SHAHI calendar, in line with the CE calendar. He suggested that 14th April be accepted as 1st of Baisakh, the start of NANAKSHAHI calendar and number of days for each month be fixed as Chet, Baisakh, Jeth, Harh and Sawan with 31 days, each and Bhadon, Asu, Kartik, Maghar,Poh, Magh and Phagan, with 30 days each but last month Phagun to have 31 days in a LEAP year. According to his suggestion, NANAK SHAHI calendar is in operation, now.
At present there are different ERAS, in use, in different societies. Starting dates of ERAS are given with references to BC but from which date BC ends and AD/CE starts, it is not known. Even, date of birth of Jesus Christ is not agreed, so far. Some writers say, it was during 6th BC and Jesus died during the 27th AD. Some say Jesus Christ was born in 4th BC and died in 29th BC or 30th BC. Some researchers believe, Christ was born on 5th or 25th Dec.5th BC, some say, it was 6th April, 4th BC.
BC stands for “Before Christ” as given in dictionaries. Does this mean, before Birth of Christ? If Era starts from the Birth of Christ, then why it is written that he was born during the 6th BC or 4th BC?
It is accepted that Jesus Christ was born during the reign of King Herod the Great and King Herod died some time between 29th March and 4th April, 4th B C, before PASSOVER. How is it possible that King Herod died before the Birth of Christ? I learnt that split of 4 years between B C and A D was “invented” in 525 A D when Pope John the First asked a monk named Dionysius to prepare a standard calendar.
Dates after B C Era, are also known as CE, which stands for “Christian ERA” and also “Common ERA”. Another abbreviation AD, for this Era, stands for “ANNO- DOMINI, meaning” in the year of our Lord”. No one could tell, from which date, it started. When, was it, 1st January, 0000? If Julion calendar was in use, at the time of Julius Caesar, which Era, they followed? As we know Bikrmi Era was in use, in India before BC ended, then why, date of ending, of BC is not known with reference to Bikrami Era? As history of MAN is said to be, two million years old, there must have been other Eras, in use. Whitaker’s Almanack refer 4th BC as 194th Olympiad, 753 year from the foundation of Rome, AM 3761st Jewish Chronology and 4714th year of Julian period (?). Some writers say, 4th BC matches with 750 Rome. I wrote to History departments of Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester universities but they did not reply my letter as they, perhaps, were not clear about it. Even office of the Arch Bishop of Canterbury, was unable to clarify this B C affair, when requested by me and I was given an un-satisfactory answer.
Why all ERAS are compared with BC/CE? Which important event, is connected with the end of this ERA? (Please Refer. to “Guinness Book of Knowledge, 2003, Whitaker’s Almanack, The Hutchinson Almanac and Chamber’s Book of Facts” though I could not find the answers.)
SAKA ERA:- (Started on 3rd March,78 AD) Similarly this Era is after the name of King Salivahana. It is a Solar Year (Same months as Bikrami Era). It starts from Spring Equinox. First five months are taken, 31 days each and the rest of 30 days. In the Leap Year, first six months have 31 days each.
KHALSA SAMVAT:- It started from the 1st Baisakh,1756 BK (as per 30th March,1699 CE “Julion”) the date of creation of KHALSA PANTH, by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is a SOLAR year (Same months as Bikrami Era, ending with last day of CHET.
NANAK SHAHI SAMVAT:- This ERA started from the birth day of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, generally accepted as Baisakh Sudi 1,1526 BK. (See details under Bikrami Era).
CHINESE calendar (Lunar) starts from the first day when Sun enters Aquarius (between 21st Jan. to 19th Feb.)
AL HIJRA or HIJARI ERA:- It starts from 16th July, 622 AD. As given, in the book, ”The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” published by Stacey International. (1990 Eng. Edition), this date is connected with Hijjrah when Hazarat Mohammad Saheb had to migrate from MECCA to Al-MADINAH. On this date Mohammad and his followers, took an oath to fight back the rulers of Mecca who were opposing the changes, Mohammad Saheb, wanted to make. They got together and returned with force, declaring it as a HOLY WAR (called JIHAAD) against the Quyrash tribe of Mecca and conquered Mecca without much opposition. It is a Lunar year, having 12 months of 29/30 days. One year has 354 days but one day is added in the leap year, making total of 455 days. This Era is falling behind by 11 days per year (Actually10.8713734 days).Hence 34 Hijri years equal 33 CE years.(2nd Caliph, Umar I “634-644” established this Era in 639.)
34AHyears=354.37082 x 34= 12048.607 days, a difference of 4.385 days in 33 CE years, which are neglected. Splitting hairs, if we go even further, then 489 CE years are just equal to 504 AH years.).
A lot of calculations and distribution of days for different months and working out day of the week, on a certain date etc. is needed even in this Georgian Solar Calendar, from year to year. I thought to propose a new Calendar to get rid of all these difficulties. There will be no question of Solar Year or Sidereal Year, no conflict with the seasons, fixed dates for all religious functions, same fixed day of the week, on a certain date, for every month, throughout the year.
I name this new Calendar as “GOLDEN or UNIVERSAL Calendar”. It will have only one set of numbers for all months, through out the year, with the same day of the week, for any particular date, in all months of that year. You can work out Calendar forward or back-word for any year, for any length of time (Thousands of years).
This new Calendar will have 13 months, 12 months of 28 days (4 weeks) each and a thirteenth month of 29 days (30 days in Leap year). As usual last year (100th) of the century, will not be taken as a Leap year except all centuries divisible by 400 (400, 800, 1200…). Hence all years will have 365 days (28x12= 336+29=365) and leap year will have 366 days. In one century there will be 365x100-36500+25-1=36524 days or 36524/100= 365.24 days/year. After 400 years, there will be 365.24x400= 146096+1= 146097/400= 365.2425days/year. Latest calculations show that one solar day =365.2421905 days app. (1 tropical year on Vernal Equinox= 365days 5hours 48minuts.and 45.26 seconds= 365.2421905 days but one Sidereal year= 365.2563042 days and as per Atomic Clock one year=365.24218967 SI days.)
To rectify this difference, if after 3200 years, we drop one day (Leap day) working as shown below, will give us 365.2421875 days/year which is very near to 365.2421905 days/ tropical year or 365.24218967 SI days/year.
Every normal century (365.24 days/year) has 36524 days. Hence when we divide 36524 by 7, it leaves remainder 5. Hence next century will start with 5 days of the week, later. 21st century (year 2001) started on Monday, it will end on Friday. Hence 22nd century will start on Saturday, 23rd century, on Thursday, 24th century, on Tuesday but 25th century, will start on Monday again (extra day due to leap year, due to 24th century.).
Year 2001 started on Monday and so will year 5201. After 3200 years, with the suggested change (dropping 3200 year as Leap year) 5201 year will start on Sunday, instead and 8401 will start on Saturday, so on.
This Calendar can be used to work out all the dates and days of all important old events of the past if we can work out number of days backward from the Lunar or Solar Calendars. Hence exact day and date of all events can be fixed, for ever, without yearly changes.
Sentimental values of the followers of different faiths, about their religious attachments with the Lunar Calendars, can hardly be satisfied, with this system.
Calendar for 2008, has been set below for all months of the year, ending with 13th month of 30 days.
Tu W Th F Sat Su M
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 (Same set for all months)
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
A beautiful, wooden or metal calendar, can be made, to last for ever. This calendar will have a belt of days of the week on top, to be used by rotating the actual day of the week, on 1st Jan. every year. Another belt will have the names of months, with light bulb on top, to show, only the current month.
Dates of some important events are given below, matching with Golden Calendar.
Event Solar Cal. Golden Cal. Distance from Sun.
Equinox Vernal 20/21 March 23/24 March -----
“ Autumn 22/23 Sept. 13/14 Oct. -----
Solstice Summer 21/22 June 4/5 July -----
“ Winter 21/22 Dec. 19/20 Eliz. -----
Perihelion 2/3/4 Jan. 2/3/4 Jan. 147.5 Mill. Kms.
Aphelion 3/4/5/6 Jul. 16/17/18/19 Jul. 152.5 Mill. Klms.
P S Dhinsa
M A. B. Sc.