Tag Archives: sanskrit

INTERESTING FACTS: PAHAR–THE UNIT OF TIME

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Pahar or Prahar, which is more commonly pronounced as peher, is a traditional unit of time used in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. One pahar nominally equals three hours, and there are eight pahars in a day. In India, the measure is primarily used in North India and Urdu speaking communities of Deccan in South India.

Pahar/pehar/peher is derived from the Sanskrit word prahar which is an ancient unit of time in India. The word pahar/peher has the same root as the Hindustani word pehra (meaning to stand guard) and pehredar (literally guard/watchman). It literally means a “watch” (i.e. period of guard-duty).

Traditionally, night and day were each allocated four pahars, or “watches.” The first pahar of the day (or din pahar) was timed to begin at sunrise, and the first pahar of the night (raat pahar) was timed to begin at sunset.

This meant that in the winter the daytime pahars were shorter than the night-time pahars, and the opposite was true in summer. The pahars were exactly equal on the equinoxes. Thus, the length of the traditional pahar varied from about 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours in the Indo-Gangetic plains.

Each pahar of a 24-hour day-night cycle has a specific name and number. The first pahar of the day, known as pehla pahar (Hindustani: pehla, meaning first), corresponds to the early morning. The second pahar is called do-pahar (Hindustani: do, meaning second). In the common speech of North India, Pakistan and Nepal, dopahar (दोपहर) has come to be the generic term for afternoon or midday. The third pahar is called seh pahar (Persian: seh, meaning three) and has generically come to mean evening, though the term is less commonly used than shaam.

    Poet-saint Kabir mentions pahar in one of his dohas:

पाँच पहर धंधे गया, तीन पहर गया सोय ।

एक पहर हरि नाम बिन, मुक्ति कैसे होय ॥

You went to work for five pahars, slept for the remaining three pahars. How will you attain salvation without chanting the names of Lord Hari for at least one pahar?

    A unit of time or midst unit is any particular time interval, used as a standard way of measuring or expressing duration. The base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) and by extension most of the Western world, is the second, defined as about 9 billion oscillations of the caesium atom (Caesium also spelled cesium in American English is a chemical element with the symbol Cs and atomic number 55. The exact modern definition, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology is: “The duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium -133 atom.

Historically units of time were defined by the movements of astronomical objects.

  1. Sun-based: the year was the time for the earth to revolve around the sun. Year-based units include the Olympiad (four years), the lustrum (five years), the indiction (15 years), the decade, the century, and the millennium.
  2. Moon-based: the month was based on the moon’s orbital period around the earth.
  3. Earth-based: the time it took for the earth to rotate on its own axis, as observed on a sundial. Units originally derived from this base include the week at seven days, and the fortnight at 14 days. Subdivisions of the day include the hour (1/24 of a day), which was further subdivided into minutes and finally seconds. The second became the international standard unit (SI units) for science.
  4. Celestial sphere-based: as in sidereal time, (a timekeeping system that astronomers use to locate celestial objects), where the apparent movement of the stars and constellations across the sky is used to calculate the length of a year.

    These units do not have a consistent relationship with each other and require intercalation. (Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.) A lunisolar calendar is a calendar in many cultures whose date indicates both the Moon phase and the time of the solar year.

    For example, the year cannot be divided into 12 28-day months since 12 times 28 is 336, well short of 365. The lunar month (as defined by the moon’s rotation) is not 28 days but 28.3 days. The year, defined in the Gregorian calendar as 365.2425 days has to be adjusted with leap days and leap seconds. Consequently, these units are now all defined as multiples of seconds.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020,

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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BOOK CORNER: DEVLOK with Devdutt Pattnaik–3

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

DEVLOK

With Devdutt Pattnaik—3

Based on the third season of the popular television show on EPIC Channel

    This book is based on the third session of the popular television show on EPIC channel. It is actually a question and answer session in which India’s favourite mythologist Devdutt Pattnaik answers questions. This book is the third episode published in 2018 by Penguin Ramdom House India.

    Generally we all feel we know a lot about our own religion. But after reading this book you’ll come to know how little you know about your own religion. For example did you know the answers to the following questions?

  • Names of Vishnu and Shiva’s father?
  • How many types of Ramayana are you aware of?
  • Where did the name of Radha come from?
  • Was Radha older than Krishna?
  • When did Christianity come to India?
  • What are Abrahamic traditions?
  • Did Jesus come to Kashmir?
  • Meaning of ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami?’

    The author not only covers Hinduism in this book. He also talks about, or rather takes questions on Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism. There is no storyline in this book. But yes it does have many short stories and tales explaining various aspects of each religion.

    It is a collection of easy going conversations about Indian mythology based on eponymous television show. There is however the caveat that what is discussed here is not meant to be factually correct—you may therefore refer to your Guru for clarity or even the author.

    It is not an academic work and does not claim to be authoritative. Contained here are simplified versions of mythological tales, taken from various versions found in different scriptures and in folklore. The attempt is to retain the essence embedded in the tales, and to provoke readers to dig deeper into the philosophy.

    The book takes you through a great mix of Hindu rituals, relationship, parent and child relationship. It describes Lord Krishna and Radha in great detail. It tells us how Christianity came to India and about Buddhism and Jainism.

    A chapter explains about Dwarka, types of Ramayana, various types of marriages, Dravid civilization. It also describes Ravana , Khajuraho temples and yoga and also about Prophet, Jainism and Kingship.

    It also talks about rites of passage, defines Indian riti riwaz, talks about Indian tradition,  gives a good and scientific definition of certain old words of mythology. And in simple ways he has explained the customs of Hinduism … in a way connected the dots.

    The book also deals with Hindu customs, details various Ramayanas in various languages. One gets to feel, the book is a brief history of various religions. It has many lok-kathas. Connects North and South of India where it gives a wonderful comparision between Asurs and Rakshas.

    The book does make an impact on you by increasing your knowledge base. It is around a hundred and fifty pages, written in easy read format. The price is rupees two hundred and fifty.

    I would give the book seven out of ten.

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Synopsis by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF JOINING PALMS OR ‘NAMASTE’

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    The ancient and traditional greeting of ‘namaskar’ or ‘namaste’ is for one and all. It is done reverently by joining the palms at the chest and humbly bowing the head. Namaskar or Namaste is a form of prostration and salutation and has profound spiritual and ego bearing significance.

    In Sanskrit, namah + te = Namaste. It means, ‘I bow to you along with my prostrations and salutations.’ Namah can also be interpreted as na mama, which in the literal sense would mean, “not mine.” The purpose of saying Namaste is thus to negate one’s ego. Rather separate yourself from your ego and recognize the Divine in every person we greet. And, as we feel the Lord God resides in us. In the same manner we feel, it resides in others too. The joining of the palms depicts this sense of oneness. When we know this significance. Our greeting paves the way for a deeper and divine communion, complete with love and respect.

    Translated from a religious text.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

                                                    https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

*****

 

 

Special significance of number 18 in Hindu scriptures

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    Number 18 unquestionably has a great significance in Hindu scriptures. Apart from the fact that there are 18 Purans, 18 major Up-purans, and 18 Dharm-Shastras. The importance of number 18 is best explained in the great epic of Mahabharat, which is divided into 18 parvas or sections. The great war of Mahabharat was fought with 18 divisions of army. And out of this 11 were on the side of Kauravas and 7 on the side of Pandavas. The war lasted for 18 days. Finally, it is said that only 18 persons survived the war. The treatise Shrimad Bhagwad Gita is a part of Mahabharat and has 18 chapters. In Gita, Lord Krishna describes the ideal man in 18 verses at the end of Chapter 2, in which he lists the 18 traits that constitute the man with a steady wisdom.

    The central theme of all scriptures of all religions in the world are the same: Prime being the victory of the higher being over the lower one, or righteousness over unrighteousness, or of good over the evil, of dharma over adharma. Ved Vyas had originally titled Mahabharat as Jaya (victory). The word Jaya is in the opening stanzas of both Mahabharat and Gita.

    In the KatapayadiSystem (numerical notation system) of Sanskrit numerology, each letter has a formula-based numerical value, where the numerical value of the word Jaya is 18. To stress on the importance of the word Jaya, number 18 is given a prominent place not only in Mahabharat, but also in various other Hindu scriptures. Thus, number 18 is repeatedly used as an auspicious reminder, to be alert in our constant battle, for inner spiritual victory.

(taken from Hindu scriptures)

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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