Bārhaspatya-māna

(‘measure of Bṛhaspati’)

The Bārhaspatya-māna is a method of reckoning time in cycles of 60 years (Sūryasiddhānta 14.1-2) which is quite common in South India even now. The sidereal period of Bṛhaspati or planet Jupiter is nearly 112 sidereal years. Hence Jupiter stays roughly for one year in one zodiacal sign, if the calculation is based on mean motion.

This led to the devising of a cycle of 12 Jovian years of about 361 days each. At some period, a fivefold multiple, a cycle of 60 Jovian or Bārhaspatya years, each with a special name suffixed by the word saṁvatsara (= year) came into use. The earliest available evidence points to the 6th century A. D., as found in the inscription of the Cālukyan king Maṅgaleśa.

The sixty years are:

1. Prabhava; 2. Vibhava; 3. Śukla; 4. Pramodūta; 5. Prajotpatti (Prajāpati); 6. Aṅgiras; 7. Śrīmukha; 8. Bhāva; 9. Yuvan; 10. Dhātṛ (Dhātu); 11. Īśvara; 12. Bahudhānya; 13. Pramāthin; 14. Vikrama; 15. Vṛṣan (Viṣu); 16. Citrabhānu; 17. Subhānu (Svabhānu); 18. Tāraṇa; 19. Pārthiva; 20. Vyaya; 21. Sarvajit; 22. Sarvadhārin; 23. Virodhin; 24. Vikṛti; 25. Khara; 26. Nandana; 27. Vijaya; 28. Jaya; 29. Manmatha; 30. Durmukha; 31. Hevilambin (Hemalambin); 32. Vilambin; 33. Vikārin; 34. Śārvarin; 35. Plava; 36. Śubhakṛt; 37. Śobhakṛt; (Śobhana); 38. Krodhin; 39.Viśvāvasu; 40. Parābhava; 41. Plavaṅga; 42. Kīlaka; 43. Saumya; 44. Sādhāraṇa; 45. Virodhikṛt; 46. Parī-dhāvin; 47. Pramādin; 48. Ānanda; 49. Rākṣasa; 50. Anala; 51. Piṅgala; 52. Kālayukta; 53. Siddhārtha; 54. Raudra; 55. Durmati; 56. Dundubhi; 57. Rudhirodgāra; 58. Raktākṣa (Raktākṣin); 59. Krodhana; 60. Kṣaya (Akṣaya).

It was believed that the Saṁvatsara names indicated different consequences for the years concerned.

Since the Jovian year is only 361 days long, shorter than a solar year by 4 or 5 days, it became necessary to expunge one Jovian year in every 85 or 86 solar years. This is called a ‘Kṣaya-saṁvatsara.’