|Canto 3: The Status Quo||Chapter 11: Calculation of Time, from the Atom|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.11.14
iḍā-vatsara eva ca
anuvatsaro vatsaraś ca
saḿvatsaraḥ — orbit of the sun; parivatsaraḥ — circumambulation of Bṛhaspati; iḍā-vatsaraḥ — orbit of the stars; eva — as they are; ca — also; anuvatsaraḥ — orbit of the moon; vatsaraḥ — one calendar year; ca — also; vidura — O Vidura; evam — thus; prabhāṣyate — they are so told.
There are five different names for the orbits of the sun, moon, stars and luminaries in the firmament, and they each have their own saḿvatsara.
The subject matters of physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, time and space dealt with in the above verses of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are certainly very interesting to students of the particular subject, but as far as we are concerned, we cannot explain them very thoroughly in terms of technical knowledge. The subject is summarized by the statement that above all the different branches of knowledge is the supreme control of kāla, the plenary representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nothing exists without Him, and therefore everything, however wonderful it may appear to our meager knowledge, is but the work of the magical wand of the Supreme Lord. As far as time is concerned, we beg to subjoin herewith a table of timings in terms of the modern clock.
One truṭi - 8/13,500 second
One vedha - 8/135 second
One lava - 8/45 second
One nimeṣa - 8/15 second
One kṣaṇa - 8/5 second
One kāṣṭhā - 8 seconds
One laghu - 2 minutes
One daṇḍa - 30 minutes
One prahara - 3 hours
One day - 12 hours
One night - 12 hours
One pakṣa - 15 days
Two pakṣas comprise one month, and twelve months comprise one calendar year, or one full orbit of the sun. A human being is expected to live up to one hundred years. That is the way of the controlling measure of eternal time.
The Brahma-saḿhitā (5.52) affirms this control in this way:
yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāḿ
rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
yasyājñayā bhramati saḿbhṛta-kāla-cakro
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, under whose control even the sun, which is considered to be the eye of the Lord, rotates within the fixed orbit of eternal time. The sun is the king of all planetary systems and has unlimited potency in heat and light."
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness