At the beginning of every religious ritual conducted in Hindu brahmanical modes, the officiating priest and those doing the ritual formally declare the co-ordinates of the land and the time in which the rite takes place. These words are part of the sankalpa or the declaration of intention to do the ritual. Such co-ordinates are in cosmic frameworks; the land is identified with one of the dvipas or islands in puranic cosmology and the timespan is given as a moment that occurs in a span of millions of years. The celebrant first announces the name of the kalpa (a span of 4320 million human years which is equal to one day in the life of the creator god Brahma) and then finetunes it to a shorter time period called the manavantara, a span of approximately 306,720,000 human years named after the primeval man called Vaivasvata. One then notes that this is first part of the kali yuga (this immediate cycle of 432,000 years). After these cosmic rotations of time, the person who is about to do the ritual also notes the calendrical details.

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