Time according to Advaita


Your post made me realize that I have rarely, if ever, encountered any definition/explanation of the concept of time in Advaita. It set me off on a search of my library to try to find something. Apart from those books which index every word they contain (e.g. Krishnaswamy Iyer’s ‘Vedanta or the Science of Reality’ has 107 page-references to ‘time’), I could not find anything in any of my physical books. A search of my electronic database came up with very few references and the only scriptural one I could find is from Vivekachudamani 497:

sthulādibhāvā mayi kalpitā bhramā-dārōpitānusphuraṇena lōkaiḥ |
kāle yathā kalpakavatsarāya-ṇartvā dayō niṣkalanirvikalpe ||497||

John Grimes translates:

Sthūlādi = gross and so on; kalpita bhramāt = erroneously imagined; āropitānu-sphuraṇena = manifestation superimposed; kale = time; kalpaka = eons; vatsarāyaṇa = years and half-years; ṛtvādi = seasons and so on.

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Topic of the Month – dharma

DSCN1402The topic for the month of January 2015 is –

dharma: righteousness; merit; religious duty; religion; law; a goal of life (puruShArtha); medium of motion (Jainism); scriptural texts (Buddhism); quality (Buddhism); cause (Buddhism); religious teaching (Buddhism); unsubstantial and soulless (Buddhism); (from the verb-root dhRRi = “to uphold, to establish, to support”)

  1. Literally it means “what holds together” and thus it is the basis of all order, whether social or moral. As an ethical or moral value, it is the instrumental value to liberation (except for the mImAMsaka who considers it the supreme value).
  2. varNa Ashrama-dharma is one’s specific duty.
  3. sanAtana-dharma is the eternal religion.
  4. sva-dharma is one’s own individual duty.
  5. According to the mImAMsA school, it is what is enjoined in the Veda. It is religious duty, the performance thereof bringing merit and its neglect bringing demerit.
  6. Generally dharma is twofold: sAdhAraNa-dharma, which is common to everyone, and varNa Ashrama –dharma, which is specific to each class and stage of life.

From: A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy (New & Revised Edition) Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, John Grimes, Indica Books. ISBN: 8186569804
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