The clocks are recent inventions. I wish to ask how could the seers of ancient India note the exact nuances of time for rituals?

Like, for example, in Krishna Janmashatami, Shivaratri, or Navaratri, the poojas and rituals have to done in night time, when there is no sunlight and shadow lengths for reference. But still, the rituals required proper scheduling and timing of various things. How did they maintain these? And how were the exact birth charts written when births happen at night? Did they use sand -filled pots or water filled pots? Any light on these things? Thanks beforehand.

  • I can tell you, the older the birth chart we deal the larger the people have uncertainty of exact time of birth. Not everyone had time keeping, rather time keeping was rare. Infact astrology is a rare case, due to todays technology we have software that deal with excellent accuracy and precision.
    – Second
    Dec 17, 2020 at 13:42
  • its based on sun
    – Prasanna R
    Dec 18, 2020 at 8:53
  • They had many instruments (as described in various books), that can be found at Jantar Mantar, Jaipur.
    – Adiyarkku
    Dec 18, 2020 at 9:59
  • 2
    In a word, astronomy. It's also one of the reasons why astronomy was developed as a discipline. Dec 18, 2020 at 11:33
  • @Archit can you elaborate and mention those instruments
    – vidyarthi
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:08

1 Answer 1


Clocks are by no means a new invention. Actually the complete opposite - modern timekeeping methods entirely originate from the earliest [recognized] civilization - such as the Sumerians, and their Base-60 numeral system. Although we know civilizations go back earlier than that - the Sumerians are just the earliest we can date.

Many people are unaware of this but the Vedas and Sanskrit in general have very strong connections to Ancient Sumeria - such as with the flood stories. In the Vedas, first avatar of Vishnu Matsya warned Manu of the flood and to build a boat to protect him, his family, and the Vedas. The Sumerians kept detailed documentation of how long their king's ruled for. Before the flood, their King's were reported to rule for ~24,000+ years, whereas the maximum lifespan of people back then was reported ~432,000 years. Curiously - after the flood, the reported kingship ruling periods drop down to 1,000 years (meaning the King's were ruling at minimum for 1000-1500 years during that time)

Do those numbers look familiar? A (max)432,000 year life span can only be from Satya Yuga - where the average lifespan in Satya Yuga is often said to be ~100,000yr. Basically, our modern time keeping system literally goes all the way back to the Satya Yuga. This makes sense, consider the highly symmetrical properties of base60, as it is used for time, angles, and general cyclic phenomena. Their King's who ruled for 1000-1500+ years, Treta Yuga, and so on. Curiously enough, the Sumerian King list can be divided up into 4 primary sections based on the average length of rule: ~25,000yr,~1,000yr, ~125yr, ~5-30 years, where it comes to an abrupt end some 4000 years ago.

Unfortunately for us, we still know very little about the Sumerians, because the earliest records we have are from ~3100BC. If that number looks familiar, Krishna is thought to have died just 2 years prior, in ~3102BC. Basically the list of Sumerian King List seems to match up in a remarkable way with the reported progression of lifespans in the Yugas, Krishna's death at age 125 having ended Dwarpa Yuga, is almost precisely when the Sumerian Kings rulerships drop from ~125yr to 5-30yr. That is no coincidence. Basically, that Sumerian King-list has been passed down throughout the Yugas, maintained all the way to the end of the Dwarpa Yuga, and only briefly into Kali Yuga - when unsurprisingly the Sumerians were wiped out by war.

While only very few of Sumerian records have survived, we know enough to be certain that they were extremely skilled time keepers and arguably better at mathematics than us. This shouldn't be a surprise if someone believes the Vedas - people do not get smarter as the Yugas progress, we/society only get dumber and more corrupt. Our modern algorithm for calculating square roots was taken from the Sumerians/Babylonians, likewise, evidence has been found that they were using calculus to calculate the trajectory of planets to keep track of alignments, via the trapezoidal rule.

EDIT: Just to clarify - I am not saying Sumeria is literally the root of Vedic religion, but rather that they definitely have documentation going back to the Satya Yuga. Sumeria is just one of the oldest civilizations we have significant record for. There is evidence of even older civilizations in other parts of the world, but they have almost no records at all. Desert climates tend to preserve archeological material much better than other climates.

  • quite curious finding, but any reference which you could link to?
    – vidyarthi
    Dec 22, 2020 at 16:02
  • @vidyarthi which parts are you wanting reference for? The Sumerian King's list is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_King_List - you can see the very curious progression of the King's ages, the drop off around the time of the flood, and so on. As far as the history of timekeeping/clocks go, it's pretty easy to find information about that on google, with how our modern timekeeping originates from the Sumerians, and why we use base 60 for time keeping, which was their numeral system for that purpose. Dec 22, 2020 at 16:30
  • 1
    @vidyarthi Also, it's curious to note that there have actually been attempts to "correct" (lower) the ages of the Sumerian Kings, because modern historians and presumably even people in those past days thought those huge numbers listed must have been errors, however, the Vedas make clear that they definitely weren't errors. Dec 22, 2020 at 16:35
  • Vedas/Sanskrit is the root of all religions. Not the other way around.
    – ram
    Dec 23, 2020 at 7:06
  • You may want to cite references from scriptures for answers.
    – Adiyarkku
    Dec 23, 2020 at 16:02

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