Days of the week & Gurbani


Christians observe Sunday as a day of worship and rest and call it the Lord’s day. This is the day of the Sun as per Egyptian astrology where Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, each had an hour of the day assigned to them. The body which was regent during the first hour of any day gave its name to that day. The Romans named the successive days of the week after the planets, Sunday being the first. In India it is Ravivara or Adityavara, meaning day of the Sun.

Monday is derived from the Old English and stands for “Moon day”. As per International Standard ISO 8601 it is the first day of the week. Judaism and Islam consider this day auspicious for fasting.

Tuesday is named after Tyr, the God of single combat, victory and heroic glory who is equated with Mars, the red planet (Mangal in the Indo-Aryan languages). The Greeks and Spaniards believe it is an unlucky day while in Judaism it considered to be very lucky.

Wednesday is named after planet Mercury in most countries, including India where it is called Budhvar (Budh means Mercury). Orthodox Church observes this day (as well as Friday) as a day of fasting and abstinence.

Thursday is the day named after the Roman God Jupiter, the God of sky and thunder. In India the name used is Guruvar (for the deity Brahspati or Jupiter). The Urdu name for Thursday is Jumeraat (eve of Friday). In Judaism and Islam Thursdays are believed to be auspicious for fasting while Christians consider Fridays better for this purpose. Budhists consider Thursdays appropriate to begin their education.

Friday gets its name from the association of the Goddess Frigg with the Venus. In Indian languages also the name Shukravar is derived from Shukra, the word for planet Venus. Some people believe it is unlucky to start a voyage on a Friday.  Saturday is named after the planet Saturn, which in turn was named after the Roman God Saturn. In India, Saturday is called Shanivar, after Shani the God manifested in the planet Saturn. Jesus is thought to have rested in the grave on the Sabbath day which was a Saturday.

Gurbani says that all days are the creations of God and no day is inauspicious. All months and days are auspicious for the person who understands the processes of nature put in place by God.

Mahe divas murat bhale jis ko nadir kare                        (Barah Mah, Manjh)

Bhale dinas bhale sanjog jit bhete parbrahm nirjog         (SGGS- 191)

Nanak soi dinho suhawara jit prabh aawe chitt               (SGGS- 318)

To understand the above one has to know that what we call an “hour” is really 1/24th part of the total period of spin of the earth on its own axis. This axis is inclined (with respect to the plane of rotation) at an angle which is not strictly constant. This spinning causes day and night depending upon which half of the earth faces the Sun. There is nothing sacrosanct about this number of 24 hours (that make our day) and it could have been different. An hour is merely the time in which the earth spins through an angle of 15 degrees on its axis.

In addition, there is the rotation of the inclined earth around the Sun which takes place once in 365 full days (and nearly a quarter of a day), the period called a year (divided into 12 groups of days, the months). The seasons result from this rotation and the (slightly variable) inclination of the axis of the earth.

Gurbani says that God created the Sun and the Moon and directs their paths day and night. Thus, movements of planets and stars with  mathematical accuracy is controlled by God but the durations of days, months, years and seasons are arbitrarily chosen by us.

Sooraj Chand sirjian  ahnis chalat veecharo                      (SGGS580)

At another place, Gurbani enlightens us about the days of the week.

Adit vaar Aad Purakh hai soi … …(Bilaval Mehla 3 Vaar sat Ghar 10, SGGS-841)

He, the Lord, is the Primal Being, woven into the fabric of the universe. Whatever He does that alone happens. How rare is the one who understands this. The fifteen lunar days, the seven days of the week, the months, seasons, days and nights come over and over again as per the will of the Creator. There are no good or bad omens and fasts, rituals and superstitions are the results of ignorance.

It is hard to believe how the days of a week can be divided into “auspicious” and “inauspicious” when the periods of spin and rotation of earth and other planets are determined by Laws of Nature put in place by God Himself.

Aape kudrat saaj ke aape kare beechar                             (SGGS-143)

Thiti vaar saveh mugadh gavar