[Advaita-l] Time

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Mar 29 03:10:11 CDT 2009

On Wed, 25 Mar 2009, Mahesh Ursekar wrote:

> Pranams!
> Can anyone tell me how 'Time' is conceived of in Advaita Vedanta? There is
> talk of space (AkAsh) as one of the pacha-mAhAbhutas but no mention of Time
> anywhere that I know of.

AkAsha is one of those hard to translate words.  Specifically it is the 
medium of transmission of sound (and is therefore translated as aether in 
English sometimes.)  Or it can mean space.  In Gujarati for instance, it 
merely means sky.

In vaisheshika darshan, dishA (direction) is one of the 24 gunas posited 
by that school.  It is more equivalent to the modern understanding of 
space then akasha imo because direction has the property of extending 
indefinitely along every point.  kAla or time is another.  After the 14th 
century, nyAya-vaisheshika became obsolete and was replaced by the "navya" 
nyAya of Gangesh Upadhyayas Tattva Chintamani and its commentaries.  In 
navya nyAya the old scheme is simplified.  According to the kArikAvali 

kAlakhAtmadishAM sarvagatatvaM paramaM mahat |

"kAla (time), khA (a synonym of AkAsha), Atma(soul), and dishA (direction) are 
omnipresent and infinite in dimension"

Advaita Vedanta would not agree with that as of the four only Atma is 
real and therefore omnipresent infinite etc.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list