Article: Jain calendar

Contributed by Nalini Balbir

Different types of calendars have always co-existed in India and this is still the case because each calendar is used in different parts of life. The ancient religious calendars of the many faiths found in India are widely used in the present day, particularly when calculating the dates of holy days. However, secular dating systems have also been used, mainly based on dynastic or regnal periods. Nowadays, the official national calendar of India is a civil calendar, based on the Śaka era system. Each of the 12 months in the year has 30 or 31 days and the new year begins with the month of Caitra, which starts in late March of the Western calendar. However, the Western or Gregorian calendar is also commonly used.

In Indian-language writings the dates are given in the era, year, month and day. These vary depending on the system used. Frequently, two or more dating systems are used in a single manuscript or publication.

The era may be chosen from a number of systems. The month is a lunar month, which is different from a solar month. The Gregorian or Western calendar is a solar calendar, based on the sun, whereas Indian calendars are based on the phases of the moon. A lunar month has two halves and dates are frequently described as belonging to the 'bright half' or the 'dark half' of the month. The lunar calendar has some significant differences from the solar calendar and it also varies slightly in the diverse regions of India.

The dates of Jain festivals are calculated using the traditional lunar calendar. The Jain religious calendar has its own characteristics. The year falls into two distinct parts – the rainy season and the rest of the year. The religious significance of the rainy season is underlined by the amount of discussion in Jain sacred writings devoted to this four-month period.

The complex nature of dates in Indian texts may occasionally lead to different interpretations of when an historical event happened or when a festival should take place. The intricate systems of dating are also a vital consideration when working out the equivalent date in the Western calendar.

Eras and years

In India, mention of a year alone is not enough to create a date. The year has to be located within an era. All through their history up to the present day, the Jains have employed the systems of eras used generally in India but they have also created their own system of eras.

Indian eras used by the Jains

The two systems of eras frequently found in Jain writings were both used in wider Indian society. The Vikrama era dating system is still very widespread today while the Śaka era system is now obsolete, though it forms the basis of the Indian national civil calendar.

Vikrama era

This colophon shows that yellow pigment over the original script. Colophons often include information about the owners and readers of the manuscript, who change over time, as well as its creators and the date it was copied.

Partly erased colophon
Image by Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

The Vikrama era that began in 58 BCE, or Vikrama-saṃvat is predominantly used in western and northern India. It is frequently abbreviated to vi. saṃ. or VS in transliteration.

It is very common in the dating of Jain manuscripts and inscriptions from earlier times. Examples can be seen in this manuscript at the British Library and in this manuscript colophon and the end of a manuscript, both at the Bodleian Library. Even today Jain books written in various Indian languages and published in India often use this dating system, sometimes alone, sometimes alongside another era.

Generally, the year is counted when it has finished. Therefore in order to get the equivalent year in the Common Era, one has to subtract 57 or 56. For example vi. saṃ. 1754 = 1697 CE.

The term 'Vikrama' refers to a king named Vikramāditya. Though not the founder of this era, he became associated with it, as recent historical discoveries have shown (Salomon 1998: 182).

Śaka era

Written in red ink, this colophon is found at the end of a manuscript. As is usual, it gives the date of the text's composition and the date it was copied in the style of the Indian lunar calendar. The poem was composed in 1621 and copied in 1726 CE.

Detailed colophon
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Beginning in 78 CE, the Śaka era or Śaka-saṃvat was once widespread in western India, particularly in Gujarat and Saurashtra. It is used extensively in Jain manuscripts and inscriptions. Sometimes it is mentioned alone, but, in most cases, it occurs together with the date in the Vikrama era. It is no longer in use today.

Generally, the year is counted when it has finished. Therefore in order to get the equivalent year in the Common Era, one has to add 78 to the Śaka era date. This example shows the date as part of the colophon, written in red ink.

The term 'Śaka' refers to a king, most probably belonging to 'one of the non indigenous dynasties of the first century A.D.' (Salomon 1998: 184).

Ilāhī era

The Ilāhī era – Tārīkh-i-Ilāhi in Arabic – was instituted by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1556 CE. It is found in Jain inscriptions and historical records or chronicles of Akbar’s time but was employed neither systematically nor alone. Instead, it was used rather consciously by Śvetāmbara authors – monks or lay people – or scribes who had close connections with the court and wanted to show their respect and allegiance to the emperor.

Christian or Common Era

The Christian era – known as Isvī san, san or khrīstābda – is occasionally used in modern Jain books written in the Indian languages and published in India today. However, it is normally used in tandem with the dating systems more commonly found in India.

Jain eras

All Jains celebrate the 'Festival of Lights' – Dīvālī. The annual festival underscores the worldly values of wealth and well-being as well as the desirability of renouncing the world. This festival also celebrates the liberation of the 24th Jina Mahāvīra.

Floating candles on Dīvālī day
Image by siddhu2020 © CC BY 2.0

The Jain era, known as Vīra-saṃvat and abbreviated as vī° saṃ°, starts from 527 BCE in the Śvetāmbara tradition or 662 BCE according to the Digambaras. This is the year of the emancipation from the cycle of rebirth of Mahāvīra, the 24th Jina.

Although this dating system is of great importance in the written tradition, it has not been used as often as might be expected. For example, it is not found in manuscript colophons and only occasionally in inscriptions. However, it is known from Jain texts, and Jain authors use it when referring to the date of a work. Even so, from the 20th century it has been widely used in books which Jains have published in India.

This dating system is habitually used along with others in published works. There are plenty of examples of cumulative dating formulas, such as vīrābda 2480 vaikramābda 2010 śākābda 1876 khristābda 1954 for 1954 CE.

The 2500th year of the Jain era, which corresponds to 1973 to 1974 CE, is specially well known because it saw great celebrations of Mahāvīra’s teachings. The day Mahāvīra attained nirvāṇa is also the date of the Jain Dīvālī.

Some Jain books written in the Indian languages and published in India since the 20th century show a new development. This is the creation of new eras connected with the names of Śvetāmbara religious teachers regarded as leading figures by their group of followers. These eras start in the year the religious teachers' died. For example, dharma saṃ. 25 refers to Vijayadharma-sūri, who died in 1921, and equates to 1946 CE. These eras are used only within very limited circles, however, since these eponymous teachers do not enjoy the same status among all Śvetāmbara Jains.

The Jain year

Śvetāmbara monks walk down a Mumbai street accompanied by lay men. The monks are barefoot and holding their mouth-cloths and monastic staffs. Jain mendicants live in small bands and travel most of the year in the traditional wandering lifestyle – vihāra

Śvetāmbara monks
Image by Hoorob – Robert Tyabji © CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

The 12 months of the Jain year begin the day after the festival of Dīvālī, which takes place in late September to October in the Western calendar. The exact date varies because it is calculated using the lunar calendar.

From the point of view of Jain religious life and practice, the fundamental division of the year is between the rainy season and the rest of the year. This distinction has been in effect since the beginnings of Jainism and has its own terminology. The four-month period is commonly known as cāturmāsa in Sanskrit, comāsa in Hindi and comāsu in Gujarati. It starts on Āṣāḍha Bright 14 – corresponding to mid-July -– and ends with Kārttika Bright 15 in regions affected by the north Indian climate. The rest of the year is referred to as 'eight months' or by an old technical term long since out of use, the Prakrit uubaddha or Jain Sanskrit ṛtubaddha (see Balbir 1997).

This distinction determines major differences and specific rules in the behaviour of monks and nuns. Outside the monsoon season, Jain mendicants have a wandering life, in which they do not stay anywhere longer than a few days. During the monsoon they are supposed to stay in one place, creating a period of close interaction between mendicants and laity. Thus this is a time for intense religious practice for lay people and for important festivals such as Paryuṣaṇ. The arrival of a monastic group for the four-month period is welcomed with great pomp by the local laity and has led to the creation of a special type of artefact among Śvetāmbaras, the 'letters of invitation' – vijñapti-patras. The British Library holds a colourful example from the 18th century.

The rainy season is a time when life becomes more abundant, because of the combined effect of warmth and humidity. This is especially true of minute forms of life. This period is therefore also a time when it becomes very easy to harm living creatures by accident, thus breaking the Jain tenet of non-violence without meaning to. Moreover, travel becomes more difficult for practical reasons, especially for Jain ascetics, who can only travel on foot. Therefore they stay in a single place for the duration of the rainy season. In addition, pilgrimages are not performed, so in normally vibrant sacred places, such as Mount Shatrunjaya, the managing trusts do not make the usual facilities available.

Lunar calendar

From the past up to the present day, several calendars have been used side by side in India, depending on the purpose involved. For daily life, the solar month and the civil day are relevant. In the modern Indian languages from north India, such as Hindi and Gujarati, the English names of the 12 months are in common use today. But in matters of religious practice, the only relevant calendar is the lunar calendar.

The basic components of the lunar calendar are the lunar month, the lunar fortnight and the lunar day. Thus, for Jains, as among Hindus, the dates of religious festivals or any other religious occasions are expressed as follows: 'third day of the bright fortnight of the month X' or 'X Bright / Dark 1 (to 15)'.

Following custom, lunar calendars listing all the Jain festivals of the year are published as booklets or are now available on the web. They are the so-called Jain pancāngs. In their tables they also give the equivalent dates in the modern Western system, which contemporary Jains increasingly use in daily life.

Lunar month

There are 12 lunar months in a year of the lunar calendar. A lunar month is the interval between two new moons or two full moons and lasts around 28 days. A Western month is based on the solar calendar so each Indian month begins about halfway through a Western month. The names of Indian months are derived from the names of the constellation – nakṣatra – where the corresponding full moon is at that time. For instance, in Caitra the full moon is in the constellation Citrā, in Vaiśākha the full moon is in the constellation Viśākha and so on.

Indian lunar calendar and Western equivalent

Sanskrit names

Gujarati names

English equivalent

Caitra

Caitra

March to April

Vaiśākha

Vaiśākh

April to May

Jyeṣṭha

Jeṭh

May to June

Āṣāḍha

Āṣāḍh

June to July

Śrāvaṇa

Śrāvan

July to August

Bhādrapada

Bhādarvā

August to September

Āśvina

Āso

September to October

Kārttika

Kārtak

October to November

Mārgaśīrṣa

Māgsar

November to December

Pauṣa

Poṣ

December to January

Māgha

Māgh

January to February

Phālguna

Fāgan

February to March

The Gujarati names of the months are in widespread use in contemporary India and are clearly corruptions of the original Sanskrit terms.

In India the start of the year differs according to three factors. The first one is the era used, the second is the region of India and the last is the sphere of activity, which more or less means daily life versus religious life.

Indian era, regions of usage and year start

Era

Region

First month of the year

Vikrama

north India

Caitra

Vikrama

south India

Kārttika

Śaka

everywhere

Caitra

Jain era and Jain religious year

everywhere

Kārttika with Dīvālī

Christian

everywhere

Kārttika with Dīvālī

Lunar fortnight

This painting from a manuscript depicts the sun and moon. The deer is associated with the moon in Indian culture and is often used to symbolise the moon in pictures.

Sun and moon
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Each lunar month is divided into two fortnights – pakṣa in Sanskrit – the 'dark' fortnight and the 'bright' fortnight.

The dark fortnight or 'dark half' runs from the full moon to the new moon. It is known by an assortment of names, such as kṛṣṇa-pakṣa, asita-pakṣa or any other adjective meaning 'black' or 'dark' followed by the word pakṣa. In the abbreviated form often used in manuscript colophons, calendars and so on, it is given as vadi or vada.

The bright fortnight or 'bright half' runs from the new moon to the full moon. It is known as śukla-pakṣa or any other adjective meaning 'white' or 'bright' plus pakṣa. In the abbreviated form often used in manuscript colophons, calendars and so on, it is usually sudi or suda.

The beginning of the month depends on the region. In the north Indian calendar a month starts with the dark half of the month and ends with the bright half. But Gujaratis follow the south India system, where the month starts with the bright half and ends with the new moon or dark half (see Cort 2001: 179 and 180 with a table).

In the religious calendar, the time of a change in the phase of the moon is crucial and often corresponds to a specific ritual or holy day.

Lunar day

In daily life the basic date unit is the civil day, that is, a day running from sunrise to the next sunrise, also called a solar day.

A lunar day – tithi – is 1/30th of a lunar month and is calculated by the time it takes for the moon to increase its longitudinal angle from the sun by 12 degrees. A lunar day varies from around 19 to 26 hours in length, in contrast to the solar day of 24 hours. Therefore lunar days begin at different times in the solar day, and so the solar and lunar days rarely coincide.

In matters of religious life and the religious calendar, the tithi is the only relevant unit. In dating found in manuscripts or inscriptions, the words used to refer to the day are tithi but also dina and divasa. Occasionally the Arabic loan-word tārīkha, which is common in modern Indo-Aryan languages, is found in late Gujarati works or manuscripts. The Sanskrit term karmavāṭī can also be found in inscriptions and manuscript colophons, such as this example in the British Library. However, it is a rare term recorded in the 12th-century Abhidhānacintāṃaṇi, a thesaurus by the Jain monk and great author Hemacandra. It seems to be a remnant of a specific terminology the Jains devised to refer to 'civil' notions of time. Other surviving terms are karma-saṃvatsara for 'civil year' and karma-māsa for 'civil month' (see Balbir 2011).

Names of the weekdays

This manuscript painting shows the nine planets or celestial elements – navagraha. The sun – sūrya – is in the middle and around him revolve the planets. The panel on the left shows the moon in his chariot. Below him are Ketu and Rāhu, who cause eclipses.

The nine celestial elements
Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Civil days are grouped into sets of seven, which each forms a week. The names of the days follow the pattern of a name of a planet plus the word 'day' – vāra.

These names appear in the dating of manuscripts, inscriptions and so on and are still in common use today. Note that in the written tradition there is a great variety of possible names, because there are several words used for 'moon', 'Mars', 'Jupiter' and so on.

Days of the week in English and Sanskrit, with associated planets

English

Sanskrit

Eponymous planet

Sunday

Ravi-vāra, Āditya-vāra

Sun

Monday

Soma-vāra

Moon

Tuesday

Mangala-vāra

Mars

Wednesday

Budha-vāra

Mercury

Thursday

Guru-vāra, Bṛhaspati-vāra

Jupiter

Friday

Śukra-vāra, Bhṛgu-vāra

Venus

Saturday

Śani-vāra

Saturn

Western and Indian dates

The complexity and variety of dating systems that have been used in Indian societies mean that several items have to be taken into account when calculating the exact Western equivalent of Indian dates. When looking at dates given in Indian-language writings, the era has to be identified, the exact lunar calendar confirmed and the day calculated.

Complications in calculations partly explain occasional Jain disputes over dates of festivals. Disagreements regarding the important festival of Paryuṣaṇ, for example, were quite intense in the 20th century (see Cort 1999 for more about disputes between the Śvetāmbara monastic orders in 1986).

Images

  • Partly erased colophon This example of a colophon shows that yellow pigment has been used to paint over the original script. Colophons often include information about the owners and readers of the manuscript, who change over time, as well as its creators and the date it was copied. This manuscript page is from a 16th-century copy of the 'Jambū-dvīpa-prajnapti-sūtra'.. Image by Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
  • Detailed colophon Written in red ink, Jain colophons are found at the end of manuscripts and provide information about the text and the people involved in creating it and this manuscript. The date this example was finished is given as 1726 (1783 VS) while the poem's composition is given as 1678 of the Vikrama era (1621 CE). Such colophons may also name the owners of the manuscripts.. Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)
  • Floating candles on Dīvālī day All Jains celebrate the 'Festival of Lights' – Dīvālī. The annual festival underscores the worldly values of wealth and well-being as well as the desirability of renouncing the world. This festival also celebrates the liberation of the 24th Jina Mahāvīra.. Image by siddhu2020 © CC BY 2.0
  • Śvetāmbara monks A group of Śvetāmbara monks walks down a street in Mumbai accompanied by lay men. The monks are barefoot and holding their mouth-cloths and monastic staffs. Jain mendicants live in small bands and travel for most of the year in the traditional wandering lifestyle – vihāra.. Image by Hoorob – Robert Tyabji © CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
  • Sun and moon This painting from a manuscript depicts the sun and moon. The deer is associated with the moon in Indian culture and is often used to symbolise the moon in pictures. . Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)
  • The nine celestial elements This painting from a manuscript shows the nine planets or celestial elements – navagraha. The sun – sūrya – is in the middle and around him revolve the planets. The panel on the left shows the moon in his chariot. Below him are Ketu and Rāhu, who cause eclipses.. Image by British Library © CC0 1.0 (Creative Commons Public Domain)

Further Reading

‘A New Instance of Common Jaina and Buddhist Terminology’
Nalini Balbir
Facets of Indian Culture: Gustav Roth felicitation volume, published on the occasion of his 82nd birthday
edited by C. P. Sinha, Kameshwar Prasad, Jagdishwar Pandey, Umesh Chandra Dwivedi and Rajendra Prasad
Bihar Puravid Parishad; Patna, Bihar, India; 1998

Full details

‘Calendar terminology: A note on Hemacandra’s Abhidhānacintāmaṇi and Sanskrit karmavāṭī’
Nalini Balbir
Anusandhān
volume 54
2011

Full details

‘Fistfights in the Monastery: Calendars, Conflict and Karma among the Jains’
John E. Cort
Approaches to Jaina Studies: Philosophy, Logic, Ritual and Symbols
edited by N. K. Wagle and Olle Qvarnström
Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto; Toronto, Canada; 1999

Full details

Jains in the World: Religious Values and Ideology in India
John E. Cort
Oxford University Press USA; New York, USA; 2001

Full details

Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages
Richard Salomon
South Asia Research series; volume 2
Oxford University Press USA; New York, USA and Oxford, UK; 1998

Full details

Glossary

Akbar the Great

Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, third Mughal Emperor of India from 1556 to 1605. Akbar's long reign is often thought of as beginning the peak of the Mughal Empire, as it grew and became rich and powerful, witnessing a cultural and intellectual flowering, and degrees of religious tolerance.

Ascetic

Someone who withdraws from ordinary life to meditate and practise physical hardships in order to advance spiritually. Jain ascetics or mendicants beg for food from devout lay followers and wander the land.

Also used as an adjective to describe the practice of rigorous, even extreme, physical hardships in the belief that it leads to a higher spiritual condition.

Bright fortnight

The half of the lunar month in the traditional Indian calendar in which the moon is at its fullest.

Colophon

Found at the end of a Jain manuscript, a colophon is similar to the publication information at the beginning of modern books. It usually contains the title and sometimes details of the author, scribe and sponsor. The colophons of Jain manuscripts may also include the names of owners, readers and libraries where they have been stored. They frequently have decorative elements and very commonly contain a wish for good fortune for any readers. Written mainly by the scribes who copy texts, Jain colophons are often written in Sanskrit.

Common Era

The period of time starting with the year when Jesus Christ was traditionally believed to have been born. Using CE is a more secular way of dating events in a multinational, multi-religious world.

Dark fortnight

The half of the lunar month in the traditional Indian calendar in which the moon is at its smallest. It is so dark it is almost invisible.

Festival

A public commemoration of a religious ritual. Often a celebration that involves holding a religious ceremony to mark an important event in a religion's history. 

Gujarāt

The westernmost state in India, which is a stronghold of Śvetāmbara Jainism.

Gujarati

The language that developed in Gujarat, in western India. It is also spoken in neighbouring states. Also a term for someone or something associated with or coming from Gujarat.

Hindi

The most widely spoken group of languages in India, originating in the northern part of the subcontinent. Local dialects and Hindi languages are spoken all over northern India and in surrounding countries. Standard Hindi is used in administration by the central government of India, along with English.

Hindu

Follower of the majority faith in India and an adjective describing something belonging to Hinduism. Hindus have numerous gods and diverse beliefs and practices, though many believe in the soul, karma, the cycle of births and liberation. Roughly a billion Hindus comprise the third largest religion in the world.

Jain

Follower of the 24 Jinas or an adjective describing Jain teachings or practices. The term 'Jaina' is also used although 'Jain' is more common.

Jina

A 'victor' in Sanskrit, a Jina is an enlightened human being who has triumphed over karma and teaches the way to achieve liberation. A synonym for Tīrthaṃkara, which means 'ford-maker' or one who has founded a community after reaching omniscience through asceticism. The most famous 24 – Ṛṣabha to Mahāvīra – were born in the Bharata-kṣetra of the middle world, but more are found in other continents. There have been Jinas in the past and there will be some in the future.

Kāla

Time. One of the five insentient non-material substances that make up the universe along with the sentient substance, called jīvastikaya.

Laity

Believers in a religion who are ordinary worshippers, not clergy or members of religious orders. In Jainism, lay people are often called 'householders', indicating that they live in houses and have domestic responsibilities, unlike ascetics.

Mahāvīra

The 24th Jina of the present age. His symbolic colour is yellow and his emblem the lion. Mahāvīra or 'the great hero' is his title. His birth name was Vardhamāna, meaning 'ever increasing'. His existence is historically documented but the two main sects of Digambara and Śvetāmbara Jains have slight differences in their accounts of his life.

Monk

A man who has taken a public vow to withdraw from ordinary life to formally enter religious life and advance spiritually. Frequently, monks perform physical austerities or undergo physical hardships in order to progress spiritually.

Mughal

The Mughal Empire lasted from 1526 to 1858, a period noted for its wealth, overall religious tolerance, and cultural and intellectual achievements, particularly in art and architecture. Originally Muslims who swept down from Central Asia, the Mughals' best-known ruler is probably Akbar the Great (1556–1605).

Nirvāṇa

Release from the bondage of neverending rebirths, in which an enlightened human being undergoes his or her final death, followed immediately by salvation instead of rebirth. Note that this differs from the Buddhist concept of the same name.

Prākrit

A term for any of the dead vernacular languages of ancient and medieval India. It may be contrasted with classical Sanskrit, the language used by priests and the aristocracy. The Jains used a large variety of Prakrits, with the Jain canon written chiefly in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit.

Rainy season

The annual four-month rainy period in India, lasting roughly from June / July to October / November. Heavy rain, strong storms and gale-force winds are very common during this period. Mendicants cannot travel around and must stay in one place to avoid breaking their vow of non-violence and because the monsoon makes travelling on foot difficult and dangerous. It is known as cāturmāsa in Sanskrit, comāsa in Hindi and comāsu in Gujarati.

Rite

A sequence of actions that must be followed to perform a religious ceremony. The set of actions is largely symbolic, for example offering food to statues symbolises sacrificing to a deity. The ritual actions are often accompanied by set phrases.

Śaka-saṃvat

Widely used in Jain manuscripts and inscriptions, the dating system of the Śaka era or Śaka-saṃvat was once common in western India. Since it started in 78 CE, to get the equivalent year in the Common Era, one has to add 78 to the Śaka era date.

Sanskrit

A classical language of India, originally used by priests and nobility. Sanskrit has a rich literary and religious tradition. With only a few thousand native speakers nowadays, it is predominantly used in Hindu religious ceremonies and by scholars.

Scribe

Someone who copies manuscripts for a living. Scribes are common in societies where literacy is rare. In the past, however, scribes could not always read and write fluently.

Śvetāmbara

'White-clad’ in Sanskrit, the title of one of the two main divisions of Jainism, in which both male and female mendicants wear white robes. There are some differences of doctrine or belief between these two sects and to some extent their followers consider themselves as belonging to distinct branches. Divisions can be fierce in practical matters, for example, over the ownership of pilgrimage places, but all sects see themselves as Jains.

Transliteration

The conversion of words from one alphabet into the corresponding letters of another alphabet. The text is not necessarily translated into another language, just put into another alphabet.

Vihāra

A Sanskrit term that describes the wandering lifestyle of Jain mendicants. Jain monks and nuns are expected to travel around, not stay in one place as householders do. They wander constantly on foot, never staying more than a few days in one place. They may walk around 30 kilometres a day in small groups. However, every year, during the monsoon, monks and nuns stay in one location to avoid travelling.

Vijñapti-patra

A highly decorated formal letter inviting a leading monk of a certain monastic group to spend the next rainy season in a certain place. Sent by lay people, the vijñapti-patra is a speciality of the Śvetāmbara Kharatara-gaccha and Tapā-gaccha communities.

Vikrama-saṃvat

Often abbreviated, Vikrama-saṃvat is the calendar associated with Emperor Vikramāditya. It begins in about 56 BCE so the equivalent date in the Common Era can be calculated by subtracting 57 or 56. Based on Hindu traditions, it is a lunar calendar often used in contemporary India.

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