As we know, the day is made up of 24 hours.
There are 8 prahar (period) each of around 3 hours in the 24 hour period. Asta stands for the number 8, and kaliya means time period. So each prahar is of 3 hours (approx) and the 8 (asta) periods (prahars) make the entire day of 24 hours.
So, there are 8 prahar (period) of the day as follows:
- 3.36 AM - 6 AM
- 6 AM - 8.24 AM
- 8.24 AM - 10.48 AM
- 10.48 AM - 3.36 PM
- 3.36 PM - 6 PM
- 6 PM - 8.24 PM
- 8.24 PM - 10.48 PM
- 10.48 PM - 3.36 AM
Radharani and Krishna lilas (or passtimes) happen throughout the day and night. In the morning, Radharani and Krishna are woken up in the groves by the chirping of birds, peacocks and parrots (which is arranged by Vrinda Devi). Then Krishna combs Radharani's hair and upon realising that sun is about to rise, Radharani and sakhis run back to Yavat, though in a mood of extreme separation and disappointment of being away from Krishna.
Similarly, the whole day is engaged in something or other and all the detailed explanation and inner confidential asta-kaliya lilas are beautifully explained in Govinda Lilamrta and Krishna Bhavanamrta.
Though, one should first read foundational books by Gaudiya Rasika Acharyas before approaching the above mentioned two books as that's the highest point of Krishna Consciousness. Meditating on asta-kaliya lilas that is performed by Radharani and Krishna throughout the different prahar (period) of the day is the sum and substance of reading all books and doing nama-japa.
It's impossible to meditate and retain the visual of Radha and Krishna in mind for a conditioned soul without taking the instructions of Rasika Vaishnavas. The highest instruction and only dhan (wealth) of Rasika Vaishnavas in nama. Chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra and read Krishna Book to keep meditating on asta-kaliya lilas of Lord by the grace of the guru, Rasika Vaishnavas, NItyanadanda Prabhu and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Jai Jai Shri Radhe!
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