Work Cycle - the Paksha Way

What's the Paksha based Hindu Work Cycle ? Difference between it and current work week cycle. Is it the future work routine across the world ? Significance of the Paksha cycle.

We were discussing work routine. My brother runs a business. With stores where Sunday is peak business. So, he is looking to hire people who work on Sundays. But people he wants to recruit are reluctant to work on Sundays.

Paksha Work Cycle

I was then reminded of the Paksha work cycle. Its the teaching cycle in Veda Paathashaalaa-s. Knowledge transfer in a traditional setup follows this cycle. Swami Omkarananda of Theni follows this routine in his online classes. It goes something like this.

It's a fifteen day cycle. Based on the Moon. It takes about fifteen days for the Moon to grow. Shukla Paksha - from No-Moon to Full Moon. Thats one cycle. No classes on Prathamaa (Day 1 -- New Moon), Ashtami (Day 8), Caturdashi (Day 14) and Purnima (Full Moon day).

The next fifteen-days is the next cycle. Thats when the Moon size decreases (wanes). Krishna Paksha - from Full Moon to No Moon. No classes on - Prathamaa (1st day after Full Moon), Ashtami (8th day), Caturdashi (14th day) and Amavasya (No Moon day).

So, a total of four days off in a 15 day cycle. To be precise, its a 14.8 day cycle.

Learning on Prathamaa (Day 1) is a strict no-no. Even Ramayana implies this.

Hanuman has just returned after meeting Sita in Lanka. He meets his fellow Vaanara-s. And is narrating to them his adventures.

Hanuman then says of Sita - She has lost weight like a student who lost the knowledge learnt on Prathamaa.

Differences & Similarities

So, how is it different from the prelevant work week ?

  • 15 days vs 7 days
  • Tithi based (Paksha/ Moon phase) vs Vaara based (week)
  • 1+3 days off (in 15 days) vs 2+2 days off (in 14 days) for a 5day work week

The similarity is that the number of days off is the same 4 days across 14/15 days.

In a calendar year, for a 5 day week, the off days in a week cycle is 104 days. And in the Paksha cycle its 100 days off per calendar year.

Alternative to Work Week ?

Thanks to Ramesh Ravishankar for the suggestion to write on this. He mentioned that -- may be this should be the work cycle across the world. Aha! had never thought on those lines before.

To consider a change, we need to understand why & how we came to follow the current work cycle. And also the why & how of the alternative.

Work Week & Sunday origins

God created this world for six days and rested on the seventh. This is according to Judeo-Christian traditions. That seems to be the origin of the work week cycle.

Christian traditions hold that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. So, Sunday became the day of worship. And the day off from work

Europeans occupied large parts of the world. Then the work week & Sunday as off day, happenned in a wider geography in recent centuries.

So, that covers the why and how of the current work routine.

Why Paksha Cycle ?

Why is this Paksha based routine followed? Purusha Sukta says - Moon was born from the mind (of the Supreme). [चन्द्रमा मनसो जातः]

Tatva Bodha says - each individual is a reflection of the Supreme [जीवनामकं ब्रह्मप्रतिबिम्बं भवति]. And also that Mind's master is the Moon [मनसो देवता चन्द्रमाः]. So the traditional texts imply that the Moon has an effect on our minds.

Moon around earth with off days marked

Looking at the figure, 6 days (grey shaded) of the 8 off days are at the extremes - around Amavasya & Purnima. Why the off days when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in the same line ?

Moon & Mind - Current Research

Do the Moon's extremes affect the mind ? I searched for recent research on this topic. And found this research on patients with bipolar disorder.

This study found the patients' mood swings to be in sync with lunar cycles. One of the lunar cycles mentioned in the study is the 14.8 days cycle. Which is the work cycle we are discussing here.

Here is another research. It says - our brains' neurotransmitters' creation is dependent on the moon phases. A research summary shows these neurotransmitters affect our emotions.

So, specific phases of the Moon do have an inherent influence on our minds. It is explicitly measureable in people with bipolar disorder.

Key chemical production in our brains seem to be dependent on it. And these chemicals affect our emotions.

What next ?

Following this Moon based cycle could drive better productivity. Due to a more continuous work schedule vs a weekly start-stop approach.

It means no TGIF on Friday and no Monday morning blues to follow !! The euphoria/ blues cycle at least gets halved.

Which sectors can try out this Paksha cycle ? Any mind (knowledge) based activity - Education & Research, Infotech, Publishing. As a direct consequence of - moon affects the mind.

Even when a change makes sense, its never easy. More so for change that involves people beyond oneself. Changing work cycle sure needs acceptance from people around.

So, what can you do as an individual ? Start small. "Avoid making decisions on these off days". Suggests S Sridharan of Krishnamachari Yoga Mandiram, a Yoga expert.

What are your thoughts on this ? Please share below.


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