Monday, December 1, 2008

Time From Ancient India

According to classical Indian literature TIME is a concept and a medium. In ancient Indian literature there are two different terms used to denote TIME; 'kaal' (eternal time) and 'samaya' (measurable Time). While 'samaya' is an illusion 'Kaal' is a concept and a medium that is real and non-illusory. 'Samaya' was broken into very small (22nd part of a second) measurable units by ancient Indian scholars but 'kaal' defied measurements and was endowed with three facets; present, past and future. While an ordinary mortal could perceive just one of the three facets, viz., 'present', a person well-versed with the knowledge of stars and planets and the five principles (panch siddhanta) of their speeds of motions etc could see through all the three facets including the past and future. In fact 'kaal' is one of the qualities (guna) of the supreme creator. Under its influence everything undergoes decay and finally destruction. In the Bhagvadgita the Lord says, "I am kaal the eternal time, the sole medium for decau and destruction of everything in this world". (Bhagvadgita, chapter 8 stanza 32). Stephen Hawkings, Roger Penrose and for that matter the works of most western scholars though highly erudite are limited to explaining just the Physics of the concept which is inadequate as its metaphysical aspect is far more overwhelming. Only the classical Indian works strike a balance between its physical as well as metaphysical dimensions.

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