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Vedic calendar is an astronomical calendar based on movements of heavenly bodies (planets, stars and our galaxy). It has no sectarian or communal base as other eras. Vedic scientific tradition of Kalagananaa (Time calculation) is based upon the science of astronomy. The Vedic Rishis started their calendar as per the location of Bharat

(India) on earth. At the early Vedic period the calendar was started from Dakshinayana (Summer solstice) to Dakshinayana (Summer solstice) keeping in view the location of Bharat (India) in the southern hemisphere of the earth. Later when Bharat shifted to the equator, the calendar was started from Vasanta Sampaat (Vernal Equinox) to Vasanta Sampaat (Vernal Equinox) and lastly it was started from Uttarayana (Winter solstice) to Uttarayana due to shift of Bhartiya (Indian) continent to the northern hemisphere. Thus in the Vedic period the year was first started from Dakshinayana, followed by Vasanta Sampaat and Uttaryana respectively. This fact is corroborated by the dates of commencements of present Kaliyuga, other Yugas and various astronomical eras named as Manvantaras and Kalpas which are still fresh in the memory of Vedic scientific tradition. Presently in Bharat (India) the year starts from Vasanta Sampaat (vernal equinox). Whereas in Europe the year is started from January which has no astronomical or scientific basis. The same is currently being followed in the entire world. Following the Vedic scientific tradition and reviving the old scientific values, the present Vedic Calendar/Almanac has been prepared from Uttarayana (Winter solstice) to Uttarayana (Winter solstice). Here it may also be clarified that Vedic seers measured the year after one revolution of earth around sun and measured a solar month on the basis of sun’s transition within one zodiac sign. There being 12 zodiac signs, 12 solar months were calculated. Moon’s revolution around the earth was also made as basis of measurement of one lunar month. The day was measured as the 30th part of the total time taken by sun into a particular zodiac sign, earth’s one rotation round its axis as well as moon’s 120 revolution round the earth. Thus the Vedic calendar may be called as the solar calendar having synthesis with the lunar calendar (or luni-solar calendar) so far as the days or tithis are concerned. The present calendar also cites the Vedic names of various solar and lunar months as given respectively in Yajurveda (20.30-31) and Taittiriya Brahamana (3.10.1). Vedic names of various lunar months have been given along with the presently popular names of lunar months, viz. Pausha, Maagha etc. Vedic solar months and Christian months have been cited in separate columns. Vedic names of lunar months have been cited in the last column of Festival/Parvas.

Indian Standard Time (IST) : Indian standard time (IST) is 5:30 hours ahead the Greenwich time. For instance, when it is 6:30AM in Greenwich, it will be 12 O' clock noon in India. This time was fixed in July 1905 by the order of the then British Administrator of India, Lord Curzon.  During World War II this time was increased by one hour, i.e. it was made 6:30 hours ahead the Greenwich time. After the war was over, it was again fixedat the previous limit, i.e. 5:30 hours. Actually this was based upon the line of longitude passing through 82.300 east of Greenwich near Mirjapur in UP. The present calendar has been prepared on the basis of IST (82.300 East and 25.150 North), so that it may become easy for residents in other countries to calculate the timings for their respective countries easily in relation to Indian Standard Time.

Formula for Calculating time for various countries: The present calendar has been prepared according to Indian Standard time  (IST) 82.30 0 east of Greenwich. If you want to find out the time of a particular tithi (lunar day), constellation, the Moon sign, Sun sign or Sankraanti as per the standard time of a particular place in a country, you can add or subtract the number of hours of that country  if ahead or behind the Indian Standard time. For example Makara Sankraanti starts at 10:18 hours on Dec. 22, 2015 in India. If we want to find out the time of Makara Sankraanti at New York, USA, we shall subtract 10:30 hours from Indian standard time and get 23:48 hoursof 21 Dec. 2015. Note : Day Light Saving Time (DST) should also be taken into consideration while working out time difference from IST.

Historical and Astronomical Events / Festivals : The present calendar contains references to historical and astronomical events/ festivals. The fact is that a calendar needs to be updated every 72 years on account of earth’s precession. The present Indian calendar was fixed some 1700 years ago during Saiddhaantic period starting from Aryabhatta etc. This calendar has receded behind 23.5 0 which needs to be updated. If an event or festival has been mentioned in the present calendar as historical, it has its relation to various periods in the past. But if it is mentioned as astronomical, it represents the current position of planets and stars. For example the historical Makara Sankraanti is 1700 years old and astronomical is the current one. Similarly historical Mahaashivaraatri took place 5116 years ago and historical Pitripaksha goes back prior to Vaivasvata period i.e. more than 130,000,000  (130 million) years ago when Indian continent was tenanting in the southern hemisphere of earth. Pauraanika Festivals have been cited with the word 'Pauraanika in brackets.  

What is Tithi or Lunar day ? : Moon takes one complete orbit of earth in 27.3 days with respect to constellations called sidereal month. This period is called sidereal month. It takes one complete orbit of earth in 29.5 days with respect to sun. This period is called synodic month. Vedas takes into account only sidereal month. PÊr‡imÈ (full moon ) signals the end of the lunar month. On PÊr‡imÈ, Moon and Sun are 180 0 apart from each other. After PÊr‡imÈ they start coming closer to each other and at the time of AmÈvasyÈ they are exactly at the same place or house. After AmÈvasyÈ, Moon and Sun starts going away from each other. Their 12 0 distance from each other is called one tithi. On the other hand, it can be stated that Moon’s 120  (360 / 30=12) revolution round the Earth is called one lunar  day or tithi, since month is supposed to consist of  30 days.

What is Uttrayana and Dakshinayana:  On 22nd of Dec. Sun is down south i.e. perpendicular at 23.5 0 south of the earth’s equator called line of Capricorn. Afterwards it starts moving towards north of equator. This northward movement of Sun from 22nd of Dec. is known as the start of UttarÈya‡a or winter solstice. Sun’s northward movement culminates on 21st June at the northern most point i.e. at 23.5 0 north of equator called line of cancer. Afterwards its reverse (southward) movement starts from 22nd of June. That is known as the start of Dakshinayana or (summer solstice). Thus the period from 22nd Dec. to 21st June is known as Uttaryana or winter solstice and the period from 22nd of June till 21st of Dec. is known as Dakshinayana (summer solstice).

What is Samkranti : Sun’s transition from one Zodiac sign to another Zodiac sign is called Samkranti. For example Sun’s entry into Makara sign is known as Makara Samkranti.

What is Pitriyana and Devayana : Sun’s presence in the southern hemisphere is known as Pitriyana  Sun tenants in the southern hemisphere from 23rd Sept. to 21st March. Therefore, this period is known as Pitriyana. Similarly, Sun’s presence in the northern hemisphere is known as Devayana. Sun tenants in the northern hemisphere from 21st March to 23rd Sept. Similarly, this period is known as Devayana.

What is Manvantara? : Sun’s one revolution around Parameshthi Mandala or Galaxy is called as Manvantara. The period of one Manvantara is 308,448,000 (308 Million) years. There are fourteen Manvantras and each Manvantara has 71 Mahayugas. The present one named as Vaivasvata Manvantara.

What is Kalpa? : Galaxies in the universe are revolving around the Svayambhoova Mandala (Super Galactic centre). One revolution of our Galaxy around the Svayambhoova Mandala (Super Galactic center) is called a Kalpa. A Kalpa contains 4,320,000,000  (4.32 Billion) years. The present Kalpa is known as Shveta Varaha Kalpa. There are fourteen Manvantaras or 1000 Mahayugas in a Kalpa. So far six Manvantaras (Svayambhoova, Svarocisha, Uttama, Tamas, Raivata and Cakshusha) have passed since the commencement of present Kalpa. The present one named as Vaivasvata Manvantara is the seventh Manvantara in the series.   

How to know the Rashi (Zodiac Sign/ Star) and Nakshtra (Constellation) of Newly born Baby and  Name him/her Accordingly? : The Raashi / star of a newly born baby should be identified according to the Moon sign (cited in the present calendar) prevalent at the time of his/her birth. The constellation under which the child was born can also be easily located from the Nakshtra / constellation column of this calendar keeping in view the time of his birth. Naming of a newly born baby according to his/her Raashi /Star of birth can be done according to the following index. If the child is born in Mesha (Aries) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Chu’,’Che’, ‘Cho’, ‘La’, ‘Li’, ‘Lu’,‘Le’, ‘Lo’, ‘A’.

If the child is born in Vrishabha (Taurus) star, his /her name should start with letters ‘I’, ‘U’, ‘E’, ‘O’ ‘Va’, ‘Vi’, ‘Vri’, ‘Ve’, ‘Vo’.

If the child is born in Mithuna (Gemini) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘K’, ‘Ki’, ‘Ku’, ‘Ke’, ‘Ko’, ‘Gha’, ‘Cha’, ‘Ha’.

If the child is born in Karka (Cancer) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Hi’, ‘Hu’, ‘He’, ‘Ko’, ‘D’, ‘Di’, ‘Da’, ‘De’, ‘Do’.

If the child is born in Singha (Leo) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Ma’, ‘Mi’, ‘Mu’, ‘Me’, ‘Mo’, ‘Ta’, ‘Ti’, ‘Tu’, ‘Te’.

If the child is born in Kanyaa (Virgo) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘To’, ‘Pa’, ‘Pi’, ‘Pu’, ‘Pe’ ‘Po’. ‘Sh’, ‘Na’, ‘Th’.

If the child is born in Tulaa (Libra) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Ra’,’Ri’, ‘Ru’, ‘Re’, ‘Ro’, ‘Ta’, ‘Ti’, ‘Tu’ and ‘Te’.

If the child is born in Vrischika (Scorpio) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘To’, ‘Na’,‘Ni’, ‘Nu’, ‘Ne’, ‘No’, ‘Ya’, ‘Ye’, ‘Yu’.

If the child is born in Dhanu (Sagittarius) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Ye’, ‘Yo’, ‘Bha’, ‘Bhi’, ‘Bhu’, ‘Bhe’, ‘Dha’, ‘Pha’, ‘Tha’ .

If the child is born in Makara (Capricorn) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Bho’, ‘Ja’, ‘Ji’, ‘Khi’, ‘Khu’, ‘Khe’, ‘Kho’, ‘Ga’, ‘Gi’.

If the child is born in Kumbha (Aquarius) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Gu’, ‘Ge’, ‘Go’, ‘Sa’, ‘Si’, ‘Su’, ‘Se’, ‘So’, ‘Da’.

If the child is born in Mina (Pisces) star, his /her name should start with the letters ‘Di’, ‘Du’, ‘De’, ‘Do’, ‘Tha’, ‘Jha’, ‘Cha’, ‘Chi’.

Computation of time since Creation: The Indian tradition has been able to maintain the full record of time period passed since the origin of this Universe as well as the creation of biological life and origin of human beings on Earth.  The computation of time was regularly done through the tradition of Samkalpa Paathas read every  day at the time of performing Yajnas and on the occasion of various rites and ceremonies connected with the compartmentalised life of an individual. This Samkalpa tradition is observed uniformly in the various parts of the country except geographical references.  Geographical reference has to differ naturally owing to various geographical situations of various regions. The extant Samkalpa tradition reads as under :

(adya brahmano dviteeye praarddhe shvetavaaraaha kalpe saptame vaivasvata manvantare ashtaavimshati-tame kaliyuge kaliprathama carane 5116 gatabde).

The above Samkalpa tradition computes the time elapsed so far since the end of the previous creation cycle and origin of present cycle. As per the contents of Samkalpa-paatha first half (Parardha) of Brahmaa has elapsed and the first kalpa (shveta Vaaraaha) of second Paraardha is in currency. First half of the age of Brahmaa can be calculated as 50 Brahma years, this period comes to 155, 520, 000, 000, 000 years which has already come to an end and the 51st Brahma year of the present creation cycle is in currency. Now 155, 521, 972, 949, 116 (155 trillion) years have elapsed since the onset of the present cycle of creation. In the present cycle of creation, Svayambhoova Mandala (Super-Galactic centre) originated 14, 932, 949, 116 (14.9 billion) years ago. Parameshthi Mandala (Galaxies) came into existence 10, 612, 949, 116 (10.6 billion) years ago. Surya Manda (Star of our solar-system) was formed 6, 292, 949, 116 (6.2 billion) years ago. The Earth originated somewhere about 4, 320, 000, 000 (4.3 billion) years ago and the Biological life sprang on it around 1, 972, 949, 116 (1.9 billion) years ago. Human beings came on earth after 12,096,000 years of the origin of Bio-life on it. As the very Samkalpa indicates that since the beginning of shvetavaaraaha kalpa 'i.e.' first day (Kalpa) of Brahmaa's second Paraardha, six Manus have elapsed and of the present seventh Vaivasvata Manu, 27 Mahaayugas have also elapsed. The 28th Mahaayuga is in currency, of which K‚ta, Tretaa and Dvaapara have also gone.  Of the present Kaliyuga, 5115 years have already passed on June 21st 2014. Thus the 51st century of the present Kaliyuga has ended and the 52nd century is in currency. Concluding the above discussion one may safely and unhesitatingly say that the world has stepped into the 52nd century of 28th Kaliyuga of the seventh Manvantara of the 51st Kalpa (or first Kalpa of second Paraardha of Brahmaa) since the beginning of the present creation cycle and the origin of life on this globe and not into the 21st century as is propagated and considered the world over.

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