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Calculations in Bikrami Calendar


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I had this question in my mind for few months, how does one do calculations in bikrami calendar every year. Can someone who is educated in bikrami calendar can please shed some light on this?

I heard you just have to add +57 days on to angrezi calendar, that will tell you dates on bikrami.

How does it all work? I am confused. :?

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Some info.


Nanakshahi Calender

The Nanakshahi calendar

Why Nanakshahi calendar ?

Who opposes Nanakshahi calendar ?

In Nanakshahi calendar Gurpurb dates have been fixed according to the solar dates, and since Common Era Calendar is also based on the tropical year , Gurpurbs will always occur on the same dates of the Common Era Calendar, and will not shift from year to year.

Month Date Gurpurab

January 5 Parkash Guru Gobind Singh Ji

31 Parkash Guru Har Rai Ji

March 14 Hola Mohalla New Year Day

Gurgaddi Guru Har Rai Ji

19 Jyoti Jot Guru HarGobind Ji

April 14 Parkash Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Creation of the Khalsa

16 Gurgaddi Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji

Gurgaddi Guru Amar Das Ji

Jyoti Jot Guru Angad Dev Ji

Jyoti Jot Guru Har Krishan Ji

18 Parkash Guru Angad Dev Ji

Parkash Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji

May 2 Parkash Guru Arjan Dev Ji

23 Parkash Guru Amar DAs Ji

June 11 Gurgaddi Guru HarGobind Ji

16 Jyoti Jot Guru Arjan Dev Ji

July 5 Parkash Guru HarGobind Ji

23 Parkash Guru Har Krishan Ji

August 16 Completion of Granth Sahib Ji

September 1 Parkash Guru Granth Sahib Ji

16 Gurgaddi Guru Ram DAs Ji

Gurgaddi Guru Arjan Dev Ji

Jyoti Jot Guru Amar DAs Ji

Jyoti Jot Guru Ram DAs Ji

18 Gurgaddi Guru Angad Dev Ji

22 Jyoti Jot Guru Nanak Dev Ji

October 9 Parkash Guru Ram DAs Ji

20 Gurgaddi Guru Granth Sahib Ji

Gurgaddi Guru Har Krishan Ji

Jyoti Jot Guru Har Rai Ji

21 Jyoti Jot Guru Gobind Singh Ji

24 Jyoti Jot Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji

November 24 Gurgaddi Guru Gobind Singh Ji


1. All the dates given above are fixed, so that the Gurpurbs shall always fall on the same date of the CE calendar and Nanakshahi calendar. According to Hindu calendar there had been two Parkash Purbs of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib in 2003 CE.

2. The Calendar Committee of the SGPC in their meeting of 30 June, 1999 decided that Hola Muhalla, Bandi Chhor Divas, and the Birthday of Guru Nanak Sahib, shall continue to be celebrated according to the existing practice for the time being. This was to appease some of the so called 'Babas' and members of 'Sant Samaj'.

In 2007CE the dates for these according to the Bikrami (Hindu) calendar are :

i. Holla Muhalla - ..............................................04 March

ii. Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali) - ............................27 October

iii. Guru Nanak Sahib's Parkash (Katik Pooranmashi) - 13 November



Why Nanakshahi calendar ?

Sardar Pal Singh Purewal, the developer of this calendar describes in his own world the following reasons for Nanakshahi calendar :

A calendar is part of a Nation's religious identity. "Today each of the major religions has its own calendar ...and it is almost as true to say that each calendar has its religion- (E.G. Richards, Mapping Time).

ikrami Calendar is Hindu calendar used by the Sikhs, for a very long period resulting in different dates of same gurpurab or event every year basically there are two problems with the Bikrami calendar. Firstly, because it is based on the length of sidereal year its months wander in seasons - the relation of the months with seasons as given in Gurbaani is changing. Secondly, since the Gurpurbs are celebrated according to the lunar dates of the Bikrami calendar, these occur on different dates of the Common Era calendar from year to year.

Both these problems have been resolved in Nanakshahi Calendar. Its year is based on the length of the tropical year - the year which is based on Gurbaani. Therefore, its months will always maintain the present relationship with seasons, and will stay according to Gurbaani.

lso, since the Gurpurb dates have been fixed according to the solar dates, and since Common Era Calendar is also based on the tropical year , Gurpurbs will always occur on the same dates of the Common Era Calendar, and will not shift from year to year. In 1998 CE the Parkash Purb of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib occurred twice according to Bikrami Calendar, and did not occur in 1999 CE at all. The same situation is going to repeat in 2003 CE and 2004 CE. Parkash Gurpurb will be twice in 2003 CE, and none in 2004 CE. In Nanakshahi Calendar there is no such anomaly. This Gurpurb shall always occur on 23 Poh (Nanakshahi) / 5 January CE.


Who opposes Nanakshahi calendar ?

Sardar Pal Singh Purewal, further says :

The opposition to the Nanakshahi Calendar came mainly from BJP/RSS, Baba Kashmira Singh, and late Baba Mangal Singh (may his soul rest in peace) and their followers, and very few intellectuals. The opposition can be categorized as follows:

1. From persons who are slaves to the tradition and resist any change however good.

2. From those who in the garb of Sikhism act against the tenets of Sikhism, and who have infiltrated into the very high Sikh Institutions and adversely influence the process of decision making, which results in decisions that are not in the best interest of the Sikh Nation.

3. From those who find technical faults with the Calendar.

4. From those who say that since in Gurbaani 'tithis' and Bikrami dates are mentioned, and since Guru Sahiban used the Bikrami Calendar, we cannot discard Bikrami Calendar.

Briefly my response is as follows:

1. It is not unnatural to resist change, but if the change makes things easier, better, and is more scientific we should accept it. In every sphere we are accepting change daily, but where traditions are concerned we have problems. However, sometimes a wrong belief is the cause of the resistance to change. One such commonly held belief is that Vaisakhi always occurs on 13th April. But this is not true. The dates of Vaisakhi, and for that matter, of all Sangrands have been changing slowly but consistently. In the last century Vaisakhi occurred on 12th April, 13th April and 14th April. It will go on shifting. In Nanakshahi Calendar Vaisakhi has been fixed on 14th April. Vaisakhi and other 'sangrands' will not change both in relation to the seasons and the Common Era, but in the Bikrami Calendar these will always go on changing. In 3000 CE Vaisakhi will be on May 1.

2. I had discussed the Gurpurb dates and the Nanakshahi Calendar with Baba Kashmira Singh on 28th February, 1999 at his Dera, for more than two hours. I answered all his questions to his full satisfaction. But it appears that he was toeing the line of RSS in opposing the Nanakshahi Calendar vehemently, and supporting the Bikrami Calendar vigorously. It was Baba Kashmira Singh who said at the meeting at Akal Takht Sahib that Nanakshahi Jantri [Calendar] would do what AK47 could not do? I am given to understand that he is now in support of the NS Calendar, provided certain dates of Gurpurbs are changed.

3. Persons, like Dr Harinder Singh of Punjab University, Chandigarh, S. Santokh Singh of Amritsar, and Col. Nishan of Chandigarh, and lately Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer who do not possess adequate knowledge of calendars, find 'gross errors' in the Nanakshahi Calendar. It appears , that some objectors have not even read the introduction given by me in the Nanakshahi Jantri 1999-2000 published by SGPC (available free of cost).

4. And lastly, in Gurbaani :

a. 'yojan', and 'kos' have been mentioned as units of distance. We discarded them first for 'mile' and then for 'kilometer'.


b. 'gaz', 'hath', 'angul' have been mentioned as units of length. We gave them up for 'meter', and 'centimeter' .


c. 'man', 'ser', 'tola', 'tank', 'masa', 'rati' have been mentioned as units of weight. We have replaced them with 'quintal', 'kilogram', 'gram' and 'milligram'.


d. 'muhurat', 'ghari' 'pal' have been mentioned as units of time. We have given them up and are using hours and minutes. Guru Sahiban used the then prevalent units without commenting on their accuracy or inaccuracy. They did not ordain that the Sikhs shall forever use these units, and this applies to the Bikrami Calendar as well.

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Playing Devils Advocate here:


Why Nanakshahi calendar?

Why arbitrary deviation?

THE write-ups of Kiranjot Kaur and Gurcharanjit Singh Lamba on the Nanakshahi calendar (April 14) carry criticism couched in diplomacy. Kiranjot has aptly said that the present form of the calendar is not perfect, but her appreciation for its being “nearer to nature†for grouping together all the longer months in summer is a bit misplaced because this, in fact, is the main weakness of this calendar. It also gives the lie to her assertion that the dates of the Nanakshahi and common era calendars are fixed with respect to each other.

The arbitrary and fanciful deviation introduced by the author of the new calendar will negate the main idea behind its introduction. According to Kiranjot, “The Sikh diaspora spread all over the world felt the need to discard the lunar calendar dates and accept the solar calendar dates.†Their compulsion was the adoption of the common era calendar by the whole world making it difficult for the Sikhs, especially the NRIs, to remember the dates of Sikh festivals fixed by the Bikrami calendar. Therefore, the Nanakshahi calendar should have been completely synchronized with the international calendar. The first day or sangrand of every Nanakshahi month should have been fixed on the 15th day of every CE month rather than on 13th day for some months and 14th and 15th for others. This monthly confusion will go on impeding the popularity of the new calendar.

Mr Lamba has unnessarily given the controversy a communal tinge by branding the introduction of this calendar as a final gesture of the Sikhs breaking away from their Hindu origin. But he has alluded to a very interesting fact that “Though the Gurus abandoned each and every custom or ritual of Brahminism, they found nothing wrong with the Bikrami Calendar and adopted this even in Gurbani and even in the Hukamnamas for, being lunar-based, it was nearer to nature.†Not only has he contradicted Kiranjot on the criteria for a calendar to be “nearer to natureâ€, he also appears to rejoice that the Sikh Panth has grown capable enough to do something its Gurus had not wanted to do.

Mr Lamba has made another amusing revelation that “the calendar which is being given the name of Nanakshahi is rather a hybrid of Gregorian, Bikrami and a host of sant babas, sadh mandlis, historians, politicians and whoever wanted to be on the bandwagon.†He has also lamented that this calendar is “not a creation of experts in astronomy or calendar-making.†I am confident that had such experts been involved, they would have definitely synchronized the Nanakshahi calendar completely with the internationally accepted CE calendar, and we all would have easily remembered that our next sangrand would be on the 15th day of the next CE month, as I had also suggested to the calendar committee.

I also tend to fully agree with Mr Lamba’s final comment that “in the half-hearted way this compromise calendar is being introduced, the Sikhs may end up being the object of ridicule...â€


Not another calendar, please

We look for April 14 in one calendar, not for Baisakhi in another; therein lies the genesis of the problem mentioned by Kiranjot Kaur. There has been confusion over the dates of Divali, Navratas etc also for the same reason, i.e. using two calendars. The introduction of a third calendar will only complicate the issue, not solve it. One calendar for the entire world and for all purposes is the only way out.

All our births and deaths are recorded accorded to the CE calendar. Certificates of education carry CE dates. Worldwide, the computers, satellites, moblie phones etc. stand adjusted to the CE calendar. We celebrate our birthdays, solemnise marriages and mourn deaths according to that calendar. Why make Ram, Krishna, Mohammed, Guru Nanak and a few others exceptions to that? We are now used to the idea of Baisakhi on April 13, so let it be Baisakhi on April 13 forever. Neither we, nor our children will have any objection to that. Let Ram’s birthday too be calculated accordingly and notified as such, for he was born before man had any calendar at all. Like Buddha or Socrates. (Calendars are not more important than people.)

The Bikrami calendar has held ground because it serves as the basis of astrology as traditionally practised in India. Some scholars have worked out “rashis†according to the CE, efforts need to be made to integrate the Indian system of horoscope casting and reading etc with that calendar. (The presence or absence of maitri/patric/ bharatri — sukh and conjugal happiness etc is forecast with singular accuracy) Increasing computerisation will, however, require the Bikrami calendar to yield place to the CE calendar.

The Nanakshahi calendar is being introduced to satisfy the whim that since Christians and the Hindus have a calendar, the Sikhs must have one. This is childish, and will invite ridicule as Mr Lamba has said.

L.R. SHARMA, Jalandhar

Make it simple

The write-ups on the Nanakshahi calendar are quite interesting. History shows that human beings have always tried to get the measurement system to be more systematic and simple so that people can easily use it. The proof of this is present metric system used by almost all the people of the world. Except for the Americans and the British, who have big egos and therefore they are using a more complicated and difficult system. All scientists and scholars are trying to find the metric system of measurement for time. Till now they have not found any perfect solution.

Making it in the name of Sikhism has at least one disadvantage. First, as it is mentioned that it is not the perfect but still better than the current ones, means that later on it a better calendar is developed, then it won’t be implemented due to the restriction imposed by some people.

As far as the clash of important dates is concerned, that will always occur if two different units are used. For example, the Ramjan period, which is based on the Hijri calendar, is always changing with respect to the Gregorian calendar. That does not meant that the people who developed were against anybody. They developed it for the benefit of the people to their best abilities and resources available to them. If the calendar is developed for all, and it performs better, then it will be adopted by everybody and the question of ridicule of Sikhism does not arise.

R.K. SINGH, Chandigarh

Bhindranwale’s anniversary

It is pathetic that a pious name like Nanakshahi Calendar is being misused by showing days like June 6 and classifying them as a martyrdom day. All of us know that how bad the chapter was of terrorism in Punjab and most of the people who currently call it a martyrdom day of Bhindranwale have some way or the other suffered because of the so-called martyr.

Let the Nanakshahi jantri be used to show and celebrate days like Baisakhi and Lohri and not for purposes incompatible to its standard which can instigate negative feelings. In a way keep that hatred and violence which had in no way benefited Punjab and the Punjabis away from the people living in Punjab and for those who live outside and want to come back and still see the same old beautiful Punjab.

AMIT VERMA, Melbourne, Australia

A calendar for every religion?

Every religion has got its own gods and rituals. But this is the first time that one has heard that a sect for that mater a religion, has to have its own calendar.

Should one expect that now that the Sikhs (read the S.G.P.C., a body enacted by a government Act) has adopted its own calendar, there would follow a Dayanand calendar, a Baba Jaimal Singh calendar, an Ausotosh calendar, a Baba Gurcharanshahi Celendar, a Brahm Kumari calendar a Lekhshahi calendar, so on and so forth.

The more, the merrier, even if muddier. But then the calendar should be original, not a distorted, edited or reformed version of the Christian calendar.

Anyway, how sad that Ms Kiranjot Kaur has invented the canard that “lunar calendars have a month of 29 days or 30 days and a year of 354 daysâ€. Well, only of Samvat 2059, Vaisakh had 31 days, Jaith, Asarh, Sawan, Bhadan and Asif, too had 31 days each and except Maghar and Magh, all other months were of 30 days.

All the historical dates are fixed. For example, Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday always falls on the Pooranmashi (full moon) of Kartak and Divali, of course, on Amawas (complete dark night); they are not fixed according to the Christian calender, and there lies the rub for those who are so keen to identify themselves with the foreigners and ruthlessly disown their roots and commonality with the parent creed.



Know your onions

ONIONS are rich in a class of compounds known as the flavonoids. Also found in foodstuffs such as tea, apples and red wine, flavonoids are believed to have the capacity to quell disease-precipitating processes in the body. One flavonoid that has caught the attention of researchers over the last decade is quercetin, with several studies suggesting that this nutrient has the ability to protect us against a variety of conditions, and onions are especially rich in this.

Studies show that onions have the capacity to ‘thin’ the blood and may help to reduce blood pressure, too. Onion eating has also been found to be associated with lower levels of blood fats known as triglycerides, which are believed to play some part in the clogging-up of arteries around the body. The physiological and biochemical boons onions offer appear to translate into considerable benefits for the heart. Increased flavonoid intake, including those coming from onions, has been associated with a significantly reduced risk of heart disease. In one study, high flavonoid intake was associated with a halving in the risk of succumbing to this condition.

There is also some evidence that compounds in onions have beneficial effects on the hormone insulin in the body. Insulin is principally responsible for moderating the level of sugar in the bloodstream. A reduction in the amount or effectiveness of insulin predisposes the body to diabetes — a condition characterised by higher-than-normal levels of sugar in the bloodstream. Onions appear to prolong the effect of insulin, and more than one study shows that they help to keep blood-sugar levels in check. These facts mean that onions are a particularly healthy choice for diabetics.

In addition to their rich stash of flavonoids, onions have also been found to harbour significant amounts of sulphur-containing compounds. These biochemical entities seem to help the liver deactivate potentially toxic substances, an effect which might help to keep the body free from cancer. This idea is borne out by studies linking onion-eating with a reduced risk of cancer of the stomach and prostate. Other evidence points to a particularly strong relationship between onions and a reduced risk of lung cancer. Onions are also believed to help reduce the airway spasm that is characteristic of asthma, and are believed to help keep symptoms of this condition at bay. The Guardian


Sages who live on air, who are ascetics and observe continence, who have pacified their senses, renounced the world, and are pure reach thy status known as Brahmin.

— Srimad Bhagavata, 11.6.47

As the threads from the spider,

the tree from the seed,

the fire from the coal,

the stream from the fountain,

the waves from the sea,

So is the world

produced from Brahma.

— Mundaka Upanishad, I.I,7

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I don't believe the "Nanakshahi" calender is the sole remit of the SGPC, even the DDT have agreed to this calender, despite their initial protestations, and the AKJ have been long championing this requirement.

The DDT have not agreed......

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N30 Singh, I doubt very much this topic is one that affects spirituallity as Sikhs don't generally follow astrology as part of their religious journey, it's simply a matter of agreeing on how to record time, history or possibly preserving a tradition.

The issue is neither here no there in my opinion, and the 1st article has given excellent examples of traditional Indian "measurement" as mentioned in Gurbani and used by our Guru's which are no longer used, I think this is a strong arguement.

As for the benefits, well the large part of the world does pretty much follow the solar calender (specifically Gregorian) in terms of daily worldly use/business etc, but many religious traditions still follow the lunar calendar, which for Semetic and Hindu traditions I believe serves a spiritual purpose or has direct mention in religious texts (although Catholic Church follow a mish mash of lunar and solar as per Nanakshahi).

But Gurbani has not given any such tie in, so in my opinion we are obligated to follow lunar. Saying that there is nothing wrong with following the lunar in terms of religious tradition and setting Gurpurbs etc as is done by most other faiths, it hardly brings the world to a stop.

Was a huge waste of time in my opinion, but then again if the majoriy of the Panth agreed I would not have (and actually don't have) much problem with it.

A Gurpurb is simply (and importantly) a day to remember an important event, it's the rememberence that is important rather than the specific calender day.

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Surely Shaheediyan i could make every single of those arguments against raag kirtan;

- most people don't get any extra spiritual benefit from it

- most of global music doesn't have srutis.

- the focus of gurbani is our own condition not the raag

- it would only be preserving a tradition and nothing more

- we should all embrace synths and beat boxs

For me i think you've missed the point...which is the amazingly petty motivation behind changing the calander - 'we don't want anything to do with hindus, lets not rely on them'. the calendar should be should be opposed on this reason alone. Are with these types or against them? Whatever next? I hear that some demon brahmin originally came up with the word 'atma' and 'mukti' so lets get to work and change those traditions too.

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I don't know which religion you guys are following, but the last time I checked the normative practices exemplified by sikhs have nothing to do with either mukti or atma....you gotta admit though that the demonstration against baba billybob singh was chardikallah!

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tsingh wrote:

"For me i think you've missed the point...which is the amazingly petty motivation behind changing the calander - 'we don't want anything to do with hindus, lets not rely on them'. the calendar should be should be opposed on this reason alone"

100% concur - I have made my personal views clear on this subject in the past on similar threads.

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Veer T Singh Ji, I do actually say in my post that the whole Nanakshai episode was a waste of time as it only affects remembrance of certain “Sikh†related days, and not one’s day to day business.

My point was addressing the issue of whether the remembrance of certain days via the lunar year serves any importance to spirituality, to which I say no.

The question is why is this time recording tradition any different to other (nearly all) “measurement†traditions used by our Guru’s which have been since replaced?

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for tradition, but if the majority find it easier to go Solar, then what’s the problem?

Traditions are fine, but this one is less important and in no way comparable to than one which Guru Sahib has given a clear hukum for (re Kirtan) and which forms the framework/skeleton of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, as opposed to a “remaining†classical measurement issue recording time.

I didn’t miss the clear point you mentioned, I just thought it was so obvious and sad that it wasn’t worth talking about.

Your contribution re the adv/dis of lunar would be of more use Veer ji (with all due respect).

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Shaheediyan - chnaging historical dates can (in the future) lead to doubt as to whether an event actually happened or not.

Also, it was inevitable that some branches of the Panth would carry on using the Bikrami calander - leading to further divisions in the community.

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Matheen Ji, no one is changing historical dates. The issue is simply one of when to celebrate Gurpurbs i.e. solar or lunar calendar, no big deal.

Again, re the whole issue of change, like I said it's no big deal as it has limited affect on day to day life as opposed to other measurement systems i.e. seconds, minutes and hours, weight etc...which affect one's day to day jeevan.

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I think historical dates are actually being changed. The reason for this is that nanakshahi doesn't just state that a particular date is in rememberance of a particular event, it actually lists such events as the anniversary dates, implying that the event happened exactly X years ago.

Also, aren't there Shabds which discuss the months used in Bikrami system?

The whole idea to switch to nanakshahi seems like rajneeti to me, an attempt to create further division within the panth.

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I don't have a problem with people wanting to keep the Bikrami tradition for what it is i.e. a traditional calender measurement system.

But trying to show it's importance with Gurbani seems petty. The more popular Bara Maha (Guru Arjun Dev Ji's) is allegorical - relating the seasons of the year to emotions/moods (sorry if that is over-simplified), it has nothing to do with using Bikrami system to commemorate Gurpurbs.


Using numners, can you show how using a solar or tropical calender today changes historical dates, as I fail to see how this happens. One simply performs a simple calculation to arrive from one set date in time to the current date based on any calender system they choose to use.

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