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A Yojana (Hindi : योजन ) is a Vedic measure of distance used in ancient India. The exact measurement is disputed amongst scholars with distances being given between 6 to 15 kilometers (4 to 9 miles).

In modern Hindi yojana (Hindi : योजना ) also means "plan" or blueprint and has an interesting connection with the Cartesian notion of distance. Vedic texts are based on psychogeography rather than cartography and prediction or plan is equated to space and distance.[citation needed]

Contents

Variations on length

The length of the Yojana varied depending on the different standards adopted by different Indian astronomers. In the Surya Siddhanta of the 5th century, for example, a Yojana was equivalent to 5 miles,[1] and the same was true for Aryabhata's Aryabhatiya (499).[2] By the time of Paramesvara in the 14th century, the Yojana was more than 1.5 times larger than it was in Aryabhata's time, thus a Yojana was equivalent to at least 8 miles by Paramesvara's time.[1]

Religious scholar A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada gives the equivalent length of a yojana as 8 miles (13 km) [3] throughout his translations of the Puranic scriptures. Some traditional Indian scholars give measurements between 13 km and 16 km (8-10 miles) or thereabouts.[citation needed] Alexander Cunningham, in The Ancient Geography of India, takes a yojana to mean 8 miles.

Usage

If the length of a Yojana is taken to be approximately 8 to 10 miles (13-16 km), like it was in later times, then its subsidiary measurements are as follows:

  • 1 angula = 16 mm to 21 mm
  • 4 angulas = one dhanu graha (bow grip) = 62 mm to 83 mm;
  • 8 angulas = one dhanu musti (fist with thumb raised) = 125 mm to 167 mm - fist with thumb raised;
  • 12 angulas = 1 vitasti (distance between tip of thumb and tip of last finger when palm is stretched) = 188 mm to 250 mm
  • 2 vitastis = 1 aratni (cubit) = 375 mm to 500 mm
  • 4 aratnis = 1 danda = 1.5 to 2.0 m
  • 2 dandas = 1 dhanu = 3 to 4 m
  • 5 dhanus = 1 rajju = 15 m to 20 m
  • 2 rajjus = 1 paridesha = 30 m to 40 m
  • 100 parideshas = 1 krosha (or gorata) = 3 km to 4 km
  • 4 kroshas = 1 yojana = 13 km to 16 km
  • 1,000 yojanas = 1 Mahayojan = 13 Mm to 16 Mm

However - as mentioned in 5th Canto SB, the 'distance' across Jambudvipa is the same 100,000 yojanas - We therefore must look to the Sumerians for the accurate science of metrology based on earth commensurate measurements.

See also

References

Further reading

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