Thu Jul 13 07:54:08 EDT 2017

```Chandramouliji - PraNAms

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, 3:26:54 AM EDT, H S Chandramouli via Advaita-l <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

of time and not on time per se.  If so, my reference to the previous
discussion may not be appropriate and may be ignored. But it was prompted

<< Creation does not mention about time - even though in the sequential
creation - akaasha ..vaayuH ..etc time may be implied >>

and  << There is no mention of the creation of time, as for as I know. >>,

These two are indeed covered in that discussion.

Regards

On Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 12:40 PM, H S Chandramouli <hschandramouli at gmail.com
> wrote:

>
> There was a discusssion in this list under the caption <<
> "time" as defined in Vedanta pariBAsha.
> >> in Dec2016-Jan2017. I find you did not participate in the same. Many
> of the points you have covered have been discussed therein. I am not sure
> if any have been leftout.
>
> Regards
>
> On Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 10:13 PM, Aditya Kumar via Advaita-l <
>
>> Recently I watched a documentary film 'A brief History of Time' which is
>> also the title of a book written by Stephen Hawking. He mentions imaginary
>> time but I am not sure if I have understood it yet. Anyway, Hawking makes
>> two observations which I noticed that our Rishis already had knowledge of
>> it. They are : 1) Time is Anadi (without beginning point) and 2) Time is
>> cyclical. We perceive time as linear but actually, it's not. Suppose a tea
>> cup falls from a table and breaks. But we never see the broken cup gather
>> itself back and jump back to table. This makes us believe that time is
>> linear, but Hawking explains that this is due to entropy. But what if we
>> have to imagine such a scenario where the time is not linear? Does the cup
>> ever jump back on to the table. No, Time does not reverse the direction,
>> rather, it would go back to the past. I went -whoa! I knew it :D haha. Our
>> Rishis also defined Time so accurately as consisting of three parts : past,
>> present and future.
>> This is explained in the video. Can be found on Youtube. So perhaps our
>> Rishis were right when they didn't speak of origin of time, because it has
>> no starting point. They have said it is anadi, without a beginning. Hawking
>> gives the analogy of a Time in the shape of a tub rather than a pointed
>> cone.
>>  However, I am not sure whether the senses perceive Time or the mind.
>> There is also a convention among the vedics that space and time are
>> mentioned simultaneously as Desha, kala. So in that sense, we can say time
>> is perceived by the senses not like the scent of a rose, but can be
>> inferred (in relation to past or future events).
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  PraNAms to all.
>> There was some discussion on the perception based on Vedanta Paribhasha
>> (VP). There is a question of the perception of time and continuous
>> perception. Several years ago (around 2010) I was studying VP and posted
>> series of articles on 'How Knowledge Takes Place'. Shree Dennis Waite had
>> edited the writings.  The discussion of time and the perception of time
>> came at that time, and the writing below was my understanding of the
>> perception of time.
>> I am aware that the traditionalists may not appreciate it but the
>> question of time is important even from a scientific point. The fourth
>> dimension represented by time is generally designated by square root i -
>> meaning it is imaginary. Creation does not mention about time - even though
>> in the sequential creation - akaasha ..vaayuH ..etc time may be implied. On
>> the simultaneous creation as in the dream case - sequence is not involved -
>> although subsequent dream involves time as recognized by the dream subject.
>> However, the dream time scale differs from the waker's time scale, implying
>> futher that it is subjective or more accurately inference by the mind.
>> Anyway, I am posting here my old post, which was based on my
>> understanding at that time, with one leg on Science and one leg in Vedanta.
>> The topic is open for discussion in terms of how we really perceive
>> time. -----------------------
>> Cognition of time: Here VP follows the Meemaansaka’s view of cognition of
>> time.  DA states  that even though time is formless (also includes
>> colorless, tasteless, soundless, etc - essentially beyond the field of five
>> senses), it is perceived by the senses, in the sense that perception of
>> ‘this is a jar’ involves ‘I see a jar NOW’, since ‘is’ denotes the present
>> tense.  VP does not discuss the perception of space here. To include space,
>> cognition should be ‘I see a jar, NOW and HERE’. VP states that according
>> to tenants of Vedanta when there is continuous cognition of the same
>> object, there is actually a sequence of successive cognitions of the object
>> (no reference is given for this, also not sure if this assumption is
>> required –looks like digitization of an analog signal). Each cognition
>> depends on the present perception and not on the previous one. Hence in the
>> cognition, ‘I see the jar, NOW’ involving the perception of the present
>> tense is not violated for the case of continuous cognitions of the same
>> object. (The above conclusion can be arrived at without the need of
>> digitization of the continuous cognition).
>>
>>
>>
>> From my understanding, Meemamsaka’s view of time is not appropriate as
>> pramaaNa Lakshana for Advaita. We can state few objections and discuss the
>> time aspects later. I must say that we have now the benefit of modern
>> science which DA did not have access at his time. Hence these objections
>> are intended to arrive at correct definitions rather than any criticism of
>> VP.
>>
>>
>>
>> 1. In the cognition ‘This is a jar’, the is-ness denotes the existence
>> aspect, which is beyond time, since existence can never cease to exist.
>>
>> 2. If ‘is’ denotes the present tense ‘Now’  the ‘now’ is also beyond the
>> time concept, since it ever remains ‘now’. To define time we need two
>> sequential cognitions involving ‘now’ and ‘then’ – ‘then’ involving memory.
>>
>> 3. At any time, senses can perceive only things progressing in NOW- Hence
>> VP account of the tenants of Vedanta in terms of digitization of the
>> continuous signal, although not necessary, can still be applicable not for
>> defining time but for validating the perception at any time.
>>
>> 4. Time cannot be perceived by the sense organs, as their fields of
>> operation is fixed and they do not include the past or the future as senses
>> operate only in ‘NOW’, which is beyond time. Therefore Meemaansaka’s view
>> that sense organs perceive the time is fundamentally not correct. Mind with
>> memory is required to define time, based on two sequential perceptions.
>> The gap between the two sequential perceptions by the same pramaata
>> (knower) is the time gap. If each perception is related to vRitti or
>> thought in the mind, two sequential thoughts are required to measure the
>> gap. When there are no thoughts in the mind as in deep sleep state, then
>> there is no concept of time.  In addition, if the mind does not look back
>> but moves continuously on a single intense experience, I do not ‘feel’
>> time, since I am all the time in ‘now’ state, in that continuous
>> experience. (I recognize that we have a problem with words here. Continuous
>> is a concept of time –but the one who is riding on ‘now’ even the
>> continuity is also not recognized since the past is not recognized, without
>> bringing in memory). I ride on ‘now’ when I am fully engaged in some
>> serious action or enjoying some happy hours, and loose track of time (track
>> can be followed only with the memory). These experiences, where one loses
>> the track of time, show that it is not just the sequence of thoughts alone
>> that defines the time.  The mind has to track back previous and the current
>> thoughts or experiences to arrive at time.  Since only past and present are
>> experienced, the mind can measure the time with reference to these two.
>> Future, of course, is never experienced.  Sometimes one feels that time
>> flies fast while other times, particularly when one is suffering, time
>> moves slow, even though chronologically there is no change in pace. The
>> implication is cognition of time is not direct and immediate like
>> perception. It is a mental projection.
>>
>>
>>
>> We conclude, therefore, that time is not measured by senses as assumed by
>> Meemansakas, but by the mind.  Inherently, it is subjective.  This is the
>> reason why I can have a transcendental experience when I am always in Now
>> –since ‘I am’ is neither past nor future but is a continuous presence in
>> the present. PRESENT ALONE IS ETERNAL.  The present can be thought of a
>> thin line where the past meets the future.  The gap can be made as small as
>> possible – second – microsecond- nano second .. till no gap is left, where
>> in the true present there is really no time either – what is there is only
>> NOW. There is, of course, my presence since I am the one who is dividing
>> these seconds. Hence present is just the presence of myself. That is the
>> transcendental state since time is not there.
>>
>>
>>
>> One can make an objective definition for a time by taking a discrete
>> objectifiable process, such as earth rotating around itself or around the
>> sun, as a measure of time that everybody can agree by convention. We are
>> making a subjective notion to objectifiable measure by convention, as
>> chronological time. There is no objective time otherwise.  Even the
>> so-called objective events have to be measured or recorded by the mind.
>> Experiments involving isolation of an individual for days in a tunnel where
>> no objectifiable reference is available to compare with showed that a
>> person looses the chronological time. He slowly relays on his biological
>> mechanisms to determine time. Due to the phase lag between the two, he
>> slowly shifts from day to night and night to day, and subjectively
>> determines when to sleep and when to get up, since there is no
>> objectifiable reference for him.
>>
>>
>>
>> We can formally define time as a gap between two sequential experiences.
>> This is better than Einstein’s definition where time is defined as two
>> sequential events measured by an observer who does not change with the
>> event.  Observer observing an event is actually experienced by the observer
>> – His mind should observe the events. When we bring experience we are
>> introducing subjectivity in the definition.  When we have one single
>> experience as in deep sleep state, we have no measure of time. Some
>> philosophers assume that saakshii measures the time in deep sleep state.
>> From the Advaita point, saakshii is pure saakshii, self-illuminating
>> consciousness and is not involved in any activity. It does not do the job
>> of even illuminating anything, but things get illumined in its presence. It
>> is like the Sun who does not really illumine any object, but objects get
>> illumined in its light.
>>
>>
>> The conclusion we can draw from this analysis is that the time is
>> measured by the mind by bringing past event and present event as two
>> sequential experiences.  The continuous flow of vRittis or thoughts itself
>> does not guaranty the cognition of time. In the continuous flow of
>> thoughts, Mind may be riding at any instance on ‘now’.  ‘Now’ is beyond the
>> time concept. The mind has to stop and look back to note the time.
>> Cognition of Space is little tricky since we have a stereographic vision
>> and stereo sound provided by nature by having two eyes and two ears that
>> are separated. Even the sense of touch can feel the spatial distribution if
>> the sense signals come from spatially separated different parts of the
>> body. Simultaneous perception of spatially distributed objects provides the
>> perception of space too. It is again mental cognition and not directly by
>> senses. Each sense organ input is mono or unidirectional. Of course, beyond
>> the sense and mind perceptions, Vedanta provides an independent means of
>> knowledge in terms of creation of space as first of the five primordial
>> elements that are created. There is no mention of the creation of time, as
>> for as I know. The fact remains that time is not measured by senses, and is
>> projected by the mind requiring the memory. It is subjective.
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