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There are some customs like one shouldn't wash, hair, clothes, cut nails etc. on weekdays like Tuesday, Saturday, etc.

  • I'm curious to know whether weekdays used to exist at the time of Mahabharata, Ramayana, etc. because we know there was clearly tithi like pratipada, dwitiya, etc. but no where we find mention of weekdays?

  • Also, lets just assume weekdays used to exist in ancient Hinduism, but how are they exactly in sync with English weekdays?

  • So, is it correct to conclude weekday is a recent invention and originally not part of Hinduism or is there some evidence that it existed at time of Mahabharata or before?

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    Good question. As far as I understood, week day is not part of time measurement in ancient world of Hinduism. Feb 8, 2020 at 2:56
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    yes, weekday is modern invention, original Hindu time units has Pakshas i.e Krishna or Shukla according to which horoscopes are made,(Krishna was born on Ashtmi of Krishna Paksha while Rama on Navmi of Shukla Paksha). Two pakshas make a month while position of sun across 12 houses in eastern horizon belt makes 12 months. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_units_of_time . Stories of Ekadshi are mentioned in Puranas which is also measured based on Paksha.
    – user16530
    Feb 8, 2020 at 5:54
  • there are vasara like ravi vasara, bhrigu vasara, etc. but they dont map to english-weekdays because of difference in calculations. Vasara takes into consideration kaliyuga, planetary positions, etc. none of which are taken into consideration by english weekdays
    – ekAntika
    Feb 18, 2023 at 17:07

3 Answers 3

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The measurement of time is different in Vedic Era. Weekday was not the part of that measurement. It is a subsequent development.

In Ramayana, there was no mention of vAra (weekday), but muhUrta, thithi, nakshatra, rAshi, etc, were mentioned.


In his Research paper Scientific Knowledge in the Vedas, Padmakar Vishnu Vartak says as follows:

The system of seven week-days was invented by the Indian sages at the time of TaittirTya Samhita in about 8357 B.C. The source of this is the Yajna system.

The Brahmins used to be 'Diksita' for six days and then they were taking holiday on the seventh day. During this holiday they used to give offerings only to the Sun, which was supposed to be the Atman. So this day got the name of Aditya-Sunday. On the other six days of the consecration, they used to give oblations to the planets, one on each day, taking alternately from the sun and from the earth.

He also stated as follows;

These week-days are mentioned in Atharva Jyotisa Sloka 93, Yajnavalkya Smrti Acaradhyaya Sloka 295, Mahabharata Adi Parva 160/7 and Katyayana Grhya Sutras, third Kanda, fifth Kandika, second verse. A special name 'Vara' is coined by Mahabharata and Katyayana for the week days. Valmiki Ramayana also mentions Thursday as Brhaspati day (Ayodhya 26/9).


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    What is this 'Vedic era' ? Also read the very next line after the last line you quoted 'Ramayana mentions Thursday as Brihaspati day (Ayodhya 26/9). I have fixed the date of expulsion of Rama to the forest as 29th Nov 7306 B.C' - what is this ?? First, Ramayana was in Treta Yuga, which is atleast 8.64 lakh years prior to Kali Yuga. Next, the gregorian calendar was a post-christ invention. He retro-actively calculated months & days using the 30-31-28 days modern fantasy to 5000 years before Christ ? The title of the book is 'Critical study of the Arctic Home in the Vedas by B.G Tilak'.. huh?
    – ram
    Feb 8, 2020 at 5:45
  • you say there was no mention of vara in Ramayan and then at the end you mention Ramayan mentions Thursday???
    – Lokesh
    Feb 12, 2021 at 7:03
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The Shiva Purana Vidyeshwara Samhita mentions Lord Shiva creating the seven days of a week and assigning deities to them. It states that in the very first creation the seven days were ordained by the Lord for different reasons:

At the beginning of the first creation, the omniscient, merciful lord Mahādeva created the different week days for the benefit of the entire world.

Lord Mahādeva, the global physician, the omniscient, the panacea of all panaceas, made the first day his own day that bestows good health.

Next he created the day of his Māyā (Illusion) the bestower of prosperity.

Afterwards when the birth of Kumāra was attended with some mishaps he created the day for the sake of surmounting mishaps and idleness.

With a desire to bless the worlds and for their nurture and protection he created the next day dedicated to Viṣṇu, the protector of the worlds.

The next day created by the lord is for the sake of the longevity of the worlds dedicated to the creator of the three worlds, Brahmā, called also Parameṣṭhin, who is the bestower of longevity too. Hence this day too bestows longevity.

The last two days of the week created by the lord are those of Indra and Yama. In the beginning when the lord created Puṇya and Pāpa (Virtue and Sin) for making the three worlds flourish, these deities who preside over them were assigned these two days. The last two days are the bestowers of worldly enjoyments and removers of premature death respectively. The lord made the sun etc. who are His own manifestations and are firmly established in the solar cycle the lords of the different days.

So as per the Shiva Puran, the weekdays have been in existence since the first creation and are also associated with celestial bodies like the Sun and the Navagriha.

The Devi Bhagvat Puran also mentions this regarding time:

(O Nārada! Now I will speak of time.) The seven days of the week, Sunday, &c., the sixteen tithis, Pratipada &c., the twelve months Vaiśākha &c., the six seasons Summer, &c., the two fortnights (dark and bright) and the two Ayaṇas (Northern and Southern) are rendered in vogue. One day consists of four Praharas, one night consists of four Praharas; a day and a night constitute one so-called day. Thirty such days make one month.

This also implies that the days of the week are considered an integral part of the calculations like tithis, fortnights, months etc.

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Vara is intrinsic part of Jyotisha, hence Vedas, hence exist for all time in Sanatana Dharma.

Bhanu vasara - Sunday

Soma - Monday

Mangal - Tuesday

Budh - Wednesday

Guru - Thursday

Shukra - Friday

Shani - Saturday

The weekdays are related to the NavaGruhas. Pls don't ask for source. This is almost basic common sense knowledge.

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