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Uttarayana and Dakshinayana: How is the Theory of Time ‘Kala’ defined in Hinduism?

Time, despite being a purely scientific concept, has a spiritual aspect as well. Hinduism's definition of time is completely distinct from the Lunar definition.

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sundial. Wikimedia
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New Delhi, December 5, 2016: Time has many measures in this world. We have a global division of time where each country or continent has its own time schemes. One such time concept is the Hinduism’s concept of time which can be defined in numerous ways and in different perspectives.

In the world, time is somewhere related to the existence of certain species and the number of species existing. However, the Padma Puran states that there are 8.4 billion species under which further bifurcations show, 900,000 aquatic life forms, 2,000,000 trees and plants life forms, 1,100,000 small insect life forms, 3,000,000 beasts and reptiles life forms and 400,000 mammalian life forms.

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For every particular species, duration of time or life stands on a different scale. The concept of time is relative. According to Hindu Mythology, the world of devas or celestials will be governed by different durations of time. Time does not just refer to what happens to the world which helps in the transition from morning to night. It refers to the journey till death. In a world of material existence, time or life span can be exceedingly short, merest fraction of a minute or a few years.

In this context, Hinduism posits time in a variety of ways. One familiar measurement of time is ‘varsh’ or year. Unlike the Georgian year which commences on January 1 and ends on December 31, the Hindu year commences in the month of Chaitra—usually around March. The lunar year is different from the solar year in this respect.

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It is usually a few days shorter than the solar year. As a result, there is an extra month, roughly every three and a half years, and this is known as the Adhik Mas. Hinduism classifies time into two categories, Uttarayana and Dakshinayana.

Uttarayana refers to the northern solstice. This period is propitious for most religious and auspicious events, activities and undertakings. When the sun is in Dakshinayan or the southern solstice, several auspicious actions such as murti installations, upanayana ceremonies are suspended.

Hinduism also uses other concepts to measure time, such as tithi, karana, yoga and nakshatra. For example, the Hindu lunar month is divided into two pakshas (fortnights). The bright fortnight is described as Shukla Paksha and the dark fortnight as Krishna Paksha. Each of these two pakshas or fortnights contains fifteen lunar days. However, the Hindu calendar is very different from the Lunar calendar. While all the days in the solar month routinely has twenty-four hours, the day or tithi in Hinduism has varying durations.

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A ‘tithi’ or lunar day can be for small durations of time or well over twenty-four hours in several instances. The tithi is not fixed for twenty-four hours. The tithi is of great consideration in identifying the various religious observances.

The tithis or dates play a very important role on religious fronts. Many of the religious observances are aligned to the tithi —Chaturthi (fourth lunar day) for the worship of Lord Ganesh, Ekadashi (eleventh lunar day) for the worship of Lord Vishnu, Ashtmi (eighth lunar day) for the worship of Devi (Divine Mother), Chaturdashi (fourteenth lunar day) for the worship of Shiva.

In all instances, the measurement of the time as well as the duration of the ‘tithi’ resolves around the start and end time of each tithi to determine the most appropriate day to observe each religious event.

Calculations of the start and end time of each tithi is very important. The tithis also give a partial knowledge of what activities can be undertaken on a particular tithi. Similarly, nakshatras also play a very important role as it holds a significant role. Each nakshatra is subdivided into four equal parts called ‘charanas’.

Each charan is linked to the astrological conclusions that can be made for a person when the birth chart is drawn. Apart from tithis and nakshatras as units of time, yoga and karma are also important for different reasons in determining what can be done and what should be postponed. Thus, the concept of time remains an important and distinguished part of Hinduism.

– by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

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Copyright 2016 NewsGram

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10 Tips to Spend Quality Time with Your Family

“The best thing you can give to your family is YOUR TIME”.

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Family walk with dog. Pixabay

To earn bread for our family and give a better living to our children, we often forget that the best thing we can offer them is our time. We try to buy all the luxuries for our loved ones and even purchasing the best health insurance plan to make them feel secure. We do this all to ensure that our family has the assured financial security, especially when we are not around. However, what if we are with them? Are we able to spend quality time with our family members? Probably not, and this is the story of most Indian working couples.

By explaining all this, we do not mean that you should stop earning or leave your job to spend time with your family. Instead, we want to say that take some time out of your busy schedule and spend few hours every day with your loved ones.

If you are unable to find out a way to spend some-time with your family and loved ones, we are here to solve your problem. Today, we are discussing top 10 ways to spend more time with your loved ones:

Term insurance, time
Your family members will be covered financially, in the case of your absence. Pixabay

 

  • Have at least one meal together: Be it breakfast or dinner, try to have at least one meal of the day with your entire family. Generally, due to our busy routine in the mornings and different timings of schools and offices, becomes difficult to have breakfast together. However, having dinner together is not tough; so make sure to have your dinner with your family.
  • Drop your child/children to school or extra classes: If possible, drop your children at their school on your own. This will give you all a travel time together, and you can discuss various school-related issues they may have without any other interventions. If it is not possible to drop them to school, try to drop or pick them up from their extra classes. In this way, you can convert your travel time into ‘together time’ even on weekdays, without bothering anyone.
  • Go for weekly family outings: Whether it is a latest movie or zoo, take some time out of your busy schedule for a family outing. Moreover, take the opinion of your children and spouse to plan something for the weekend.
  • After dinner walks: This tip is especially for married couples who live with joint family or have kids. Generally, such couples miss ‘together time’; therefore, for them, it is suggested to have an after-dinner walk. In this walk, you can discuss your day or anything that you want to share with your partner.
Term insurance, time
A family that eats together, stays together and healthy! Pixabay
  • Share your experiences and family stories with your kids at their bedtime: Try to spend some quality moments with your family at bedtime. Read some storybooks of your child’s interest or tell some family stories or your experiences to your children while they are in their bed.
  • Celebrate family traditions: India is a country of culture and traditions, and if you start celebrating these traditions, there is no need for any other family get-togethers. It is a good method to spend quality time with your family as well as make your children understand your family traditions.
  • Turn your mobile off when you are at home with your family: One more problem that every family faces these days is interference of smartphones. Even though all the family members come home on time, they all keep themselves busy on their mobile phones. Have you ever noticed that despite sitting together for long hours in the same room, we all do not talk to each other and remain busy on our phones? Leave this habit; rather switch your phone off when at home to spend more time with your family than on social media.
  • Keep in touch with your extended family members and relatives: Despite the fact that we all have a long list of tasks for our weekends, we should meet our relatives. We all must try to visit our extended family members or call them to our place at least once in a month. This is because family ties are precious and will our children adjust with people rather living alone in a nuclear family.
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Be it breakfast or dinner, try to have at least one meal of the day with your entire family. Wikimedia Commons
  • Spare some time to do nothing: This is to assure your family members that they are your priority. By doing this, you make sure to your family that you do not have any other plan than spending some time together to do nothing. Simply talk to each other about past week or plans or discuss some good experiences or bad moments. This will give you an insight of which your family member is suffering these days. Moreover, if you have teenagers at home, you can connect with them as well.

Also Read: Family Size Can Be Determined By Reproductive Rights: Study

  • Cook the favorite recipe for your family together: Cooking together can be a lot of fun for both young and old people in the family. Get advice from the eldest member of your family for the better recipe, whereas involve the youngest in other easiest task of cooking. In this way, everyone will be involved in this family cooking event, and all will love the outcome. Do not forget to click pictures of these moments of togetherness and make videos of sweet activities of your small kids.

 

By following all the above-mentioned recommendations or even a few of them will improve your bond with your family. Moreover, it will give you several chances to spend some time with your loved ones.