[Advaita-l] Fwd: "time" as defined in Vedanta pariBAsha.

H S Chandramouli hschandramouli at gmail.com
Tue Dec 27 06:59:17 CST 2016

Namaste Sri Venkatraghavan Ji and Sri Praveen Ji,

I quote from one of my earlier posts  << Apart from this there are any
number of instances where views different from the Bhashya are taken on
specific issues while accepting the overall concepts of the Bhashya. When
different views prevalent in advaita sidhanta on specific topics are
presented in different works, it is not always made clear whether any or
all of them are in accordance with the one advanced by Sri Bhagavatpada. I
face that difficulty whenever I refer to Sidhantaleshasamgraha of Sri
Appayya Dikshitar himself.>>,

 Prof Hiriyanna observes in his article  “Advaitic conception of time”  that
there are at least four distinct views in extant advaitic works, only one
of them having the approval of Sri Bhagavatpada, yet others are not
rejected as they do not affect the main point of the doctrine.

1.   This view is what Sri Bhagavatpada himself states.

Time is an effect (kArya) of avidya or mAya like space

( BSB 2-3-7) << एतेन दिक्कालमनःपरमाण्वादीनां कार्यत्वं व्याख्यातम् । >>

(etena dikkAlamanaHparamANvAdInAM kAryatvaM vyAkhyAtam |)

Dakshinamurthy stotram stanza 2 << मायाकल्पितदेशकालकलना वैचित्र्यचित्रीकृतम्
(mAyAkalpitadeshakAlakalanA vaichitryachitrIkRRitam)>>

.  2. Time is not an effect of avidya, but is the relation between it and

Quote from वन-माला (vana-mAlA)  a commentary on the Bhashya on Taittariya
Upanishad, << चिदविद्या-सम्बन्धः कालः >>  (chidavidyA-sambandhaH kAlaH)

In this view time falls outside avidya but is dependant upon it which is
one of the relata it relates. The significance of this view is that that
Time is beginningless although it has an end and ceases to be, along with
avidya, when right knowledge is acquired. It is also mithya.

3.   Madhusudhana Saraswati  “ Sidhanta-bindu” << कालस्तु अविद्यैव >>
(kAlastu avidyaiva)

Though this view identifies Time with avidya, Sri Hiriyanna observes that
this could be taken to mean that Time is an aspect of avidya and not
identical with it. That is,it is the dynamic aspect of avidya. Since avidya
and Brahman must be thought of as related so long as we reckon them as two,
we should assume that the present view admits that relation in addition to

4.   Time is an aspect (rUpa-bheda) of Brahman itself. This also is from  वन
-माला (vana-mAlA)  but is traced there to the authority of Vishnu-purAna.
Time is to be explained, in this view, as identical with it, like सत् and
चित् (sat and chit ). Like them, it is not what characterizes Brahman but
is the very essence of it. That is, by Time here we have to understand
eternity. Unlike the earlier three views, kAla is changeless eternity here
in which there is no before or after. It is this “aspect” of Brahman that
appears as phenomenal time, when viewed from the empirical standpoint.

The common aim of the first three explanations is to show that time and
change are transcended in the ultimate Reality. The last view implies that
the Advaita doctrine has no objection to regard it as real and ultimate,
provided its conception is transformed into that of eternity.

In the above rendering I have practically copied from Sri Hiriyanna’s
article and the wordings are not mine mostly. All the quotes are from his

I thought this might be of some help.


More information about the Advaita-l mailing list