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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Soul Science God Philosophy > Science and Spiritual Quest > Section 3 Physics, Cosmology and Beyond > TIME DIMENSION: EXPLORATION FROM SCIENCE > 4. Explorations from Spirituality > 4.1 Vedanta

4.1 Vedanta


Vedanta presents an elaborate treatise on time dimension. The following sub¬sections highlight different concepts explained in Vedanta.


(a) What is time?


Time dimension is regarded to be the unmanifest impersonal feature of God...


Time dimension is regarded to be the unmanifest impersonal feature of God that is prevalent in nature:


visvam vai brahma-tan-matram

sanisthitam visnu-mdyayd

isvarena paricchinnam



Translation: This cosmic manifestation is separated from the Supreme Lord as material energy by means of kala, which is the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Lord. It is situated as the objective manifestation of the Lord under the influence of the same material energy of Visnu. [20] The spiritual aspect of time dimension and its eternal existence in nature is further confirmed in Bhagavad-gita [21]:


aksaranam a-karo 'smi dvandvah samdsikasya ca

aham evaksayah kalo dhdtdham visvato-mukhah


Translation (3rd line): I (God) am also inexhaustible time.Vedanta further conveys that two types of times exist that refer to the activity in the material sphere and spiritual sphere of nature. The destructive and ruling potencies of time dimension are clearly indicated as the inconceivable potency of God in the material sphere:


sri-bhagavdn uvaca kdlo 'smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho

lokdn samahartum iha pravrttah

rte 'pi tvdm na bhavisyanti sarve ye 'vasthitdh pratyanlkesu yodhdh


Translation (first two lines): The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people [22].


prahlddas cdsmi daitydndm

kdlah kalayatdm aham mrgdndm ca mrgendro 'ham

vainateyas ca paksindm


Translation (2nd line): Among subduers I am time [23].


Time dimension and its nature in the spiritual sphere of nature is expressed as follows in Vedanta [24]:


paras tasmdt tu bhdvo 'nyo

'vyakto 'vyaktdt sandtanah

yah sa sarvesu bhutesu

nasyatsu na vinasyati

avyakto 'ksara ity uktas

tarn dhuh paramdm gatim

yam prdpya na nivartante

tad dhdma paramam mama


Translation: Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.That wt which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known svn as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never rer returns — that is My supreme abode.


(b) NatuJature and divisions of time


Besides ies describing time to be eternal in nature, Vedanta also categorizes time division ion referring to past, present and future of time. Vedanta also conveys the existencence of five threefold divisions of time [25]:


a)Division of time to the Sun moon and stars

b)Division to the seasons of summer, winter and autumn/spring

c) Division to natural (cosmological), physical and psychological time

d) Division for the creative, destructive and maintaining quality of time. Division to cyclic, linear and the oneness of time.

(e)Abso bsolute and relational aspects of time


Accordiirding to Vedanta, time dimension is absolute fundamentally:


maitreya uvaca guna-vyatikarakaro nirvisesho 'pratishthitah purushas tad-upadanam atmanam lilayasrijat


Translatslation: Maitreya said: Eternal time is the primeval source of the interactiactions of the three modes of material nature. It is unchangeable and limitless,ess, and it works as the instrument of the Supreme Personality of Godhead for His pis pastimes in the material creation [26]


...time dimension is fundamentally absolute but analytically relative due to the existence of conscious observers in nature.


In other ler words, irrespective of physical events,  s,  time dimension exists and  is unaffectescted by the speed or slowness of material ial things.Though time is calculatedated in relation to speed, change or life OB of a particular object [27], time has nothiothing to do with the relatives of things, a;, and everything is shaped and calculated in terms of facility offered by

time. Tir Time is the basic measurement of the senses by which one can calculate past, prespresent and future, but in real sense, Time dimension has neither begining nor end. The conclusion of Vedanta with regards to this aspect of time dimension is that time dimension is fundamentally absolute but analytically relative due to the existence of conscious observers in nature.


(d) Cyclic time conception


Though time dimension indicates the inconceivable ruling potency of the higher authority, Vedanta conveys the existence of endless cycles involving repetition of events without beginning nor end. One such cycle of time is beyond the dimensions of cosmological scale and involves a phase of creation, followed by maintenance (which the scientists call the expansion phase) and destruction (which the spiritualists regard as annihilation phase). The macroscopic cyclic time consists of microscopic periods such as 24 hours cycle for biological species and night/day in the physical world. In a higher scale, there are alternating fortnights for waxing and waning of the moon. Similarly, higher order time durations are conveyed and are all linked to the Life of Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. The Vedic time scale defined with respect to the Life of Lord Brahma is presented in Figure 5 [28].The cyclic Vedic time conception is not accepted by some modern scientists who believe in a linear, progressive time flow. The very reason for the same is that these scientists are able to conceive only the maintenance phase of the Universe

in which they exist (through the famous Hubble's law that explains about the expansion of the Universe). However, these scientists are unaware of the creative and destructive phases that are conceptualized with the phenomenon of black and white holes in physics but are not realized to date.


A unified theory of time dimension based on these two disciplines would be useful to relate biological and physical world, and pave way to unlock many more mysteries of nature..

In the recent days,  Quantic space time theory developed to describe space-time phenomena supports the above conception of Vedanta for a cyclic     time     frame     conception.According   to   Quantic   space   time theory,any piece of time/space seemscontinuous, but when we analyze it in detail,it   becomes discontinuous,   made of space/time quanta moving in cyclical paths. These discontinuous space/time quanta moving in cyclical paths can only take into account various biological phenomena such as spatial energy and temporal information that was ignored in Einstein's model


Based on these upcoming developments from science to understand space-time concept, the cyclic time conception presented in the Vedanta and Quantic space time theory have similarities in concept and should be refined further for the synthesis of science and spirituality. A unified theory of time dimension based on these two disciplines would be useful to relate biological and physical world, and pave way to unlock many more mysteries of nature, which may otherwise be never explored.


(e) Is Time an emergent entity?


Vedanta stresses the fundamentality of both space and time:


maitreya uvaca caramah sad-visesanam

aneko 'samyutah sada

paramanuh sa vijneyo

nrnam aikya-bhramo yatah


Translation: The material manifestation's ultimate particle, which is indivisible and noi formed into a body, is called the atom. It exists always as an invisible identity, even after the dissolution of all forms. The material body is but a combination of such atoms, but it is misunderstood by the common man [30].


evani kalo 'py anumitah

sauksmye sthaulye ca sattama

samsthana-bhuktya bhagavdn

avyakto vyakta-bhug vibhuh


Translation: One can estimate time by measuring the movement of the atomic combination of bodies. Time is the potency of the almighty Personality of Godhead, Hari, who controls all physical movements although He is not visible in the physical world [31].


kalo 'yam paramanv-adir

dvi-parardhanta isvarah

naivesitum prabhur bhurnna

isvaro dhdma-maninam


Translation: Eternal time is certainly the controller of different dimensions, from that of the atom up to the superdivisions of the duration of Brahma's life; nevertheless, it is controlled by the Supreme [32].


Based on these axioms, Vedanta infers that both time and space are fundamental in material sphere and originated from God. God is beyond the time dimension and time dimension is set to convey the existence of God through its ruling, creative, destructive and maintenance potency in the material world.


(f) Conclusions of exploration from Vedanta


Vedanta presents rich and profound theory on the subject matter of time dimension. According to Vedanta, time is eternal and is the impersonal feature of God in the material sphere that conveys its ruling and destructive potency. Two types of time dimension exist that have different nature in the material and spiritual spheres. The time dimension in the material sphere refers to five threefold divisions of time that are interlinked to one another. Time dimension is eternal and is unchangeable, limitless and absolute. Time is however conceived due to the act of conscious observer in nature and is misunderstood to be only relational in nature. Cyclic Vedic conception - as opposed to certain views in modern science - conveys a broader scope of time dimension rather than exploring solely the maintaining phase of the Universe. This conception is in agreement with quantic space-time theory that also includes biological and temporal information which are key attributes of nature. Time dimension is fundamental in nature and works as an instrument of God in regulation of activities of living entities in the material nature.