As goes for all nations around the world, whether it be a developed nation or developing nation, a rich county or a poor country, time is a linear concept all around the globe. What does this mean?
The literal translation of linear is straight and it basically means that we observe time as something with a beginning, a middle and an end. The same goes with our existence. We are born, we live, and no matter the duration, we meet our inevitable end, death. But linear movement isn’t the only way time is believed to move.
According to Hindu scriptures, it is said that time, better known as ‘Kal’ in Sanskrit, is a circular concept. It flows in four circles, The Satya Yuga, The Treta Yuga the Dwapar Yuga and the Kali Yuga. Now, unlike what is believed straight moving time, in the circular system, on reaching the Kali Yuga, time flows back into the Satya yuga, creating a never-ending cycle of time. It is thus said to be an incarnation of the almighty, who is timeless.
As goes the story in Hindu mythology, God created the cycle of time called the ‘Kalachakra’ to maintain order in the real world. The flow of life is believed to move in three stages: Creation, Preservation and Destruction, mimicking the powers of the three gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Humans are stuck in an endless cycle of life and death, which is said to be an illusion created by god. Since a person is passing through circles of time, it is believed that only if the soul is freed from these patterns will a person attain immortality. Death is considered a passage not to the afterlife, but to rebirth.
The concepts of time studied by Hindu sages has in fact astonished many a scientist by the accuracy of its results. These methods and beliefs have uncovered hidden concepts of the universe that are not quite off the mark from the scientific studies of time! If you are intrigued by this concept, you can too pick the brains of the learned at the Kumbh Mela held this year at Allahabad.