Saturday, April 4, 2015

The present is the future's past

The present is the future's past

In the Bhagvad Puran (3: 11), the elements of time are described :

Parmandu is the smallest unit of time, that which cannot be further subdivided.
2 parmandu = 1 andu
3 andu = 1 trasrendu
The amount of time it takes for the sun to cross 3 trasrendu is called a truti
100 times truti = 1 vegha
3 vegha = 1 love
3 love = 1 nimesh
3 nimesh = 1 shand
1 shand is a moment as we know it. Have always thought of a moment as so small that it comes and goes before we can blink an eyelid. To think that there are many smaller scales of measurement of time even before that is humbling to know.
5 shand = 1 kaashtha
15 kaashtha = 1 laghu
15 laghu = 1 naadika or danda
2 naadika = 1 mahurat

We know mahurat as the time pandits suggest for performing special auspicious rituals.

6-7 naadika =1 prahar = 1 yaam
1 yaam = ¼ of day or night
4 prahar = 1 day and night
15 day and night = 1 paksha that could be either Shukla paksha or Krishna paksha
2 paksha = 1 maas or month
1 month for human = 1 day and night for pitra
2 months for human = 1 ritu or season
6 months for human = 1 ayan that could be either dakshinayan or uttarayan
2 ayans = 1 day and night for Devtas, Gods
1 day and night for Devtas = 1 year in manushya lok or Earth
100 years = param aayu or ideal life span of man

There are 5 kinds of years

  • Sanvatsar
  • Parivatsar
  • Idavatsar
  • Anuvatsar
  • Vatsar
These 4 yugas - Satyug, Treta, Dwapar and Kalyug last for Devta’s 12 sahastra years.

Satyuga = 4 sahastra divya years = 4800 human years
Treta = 3 sahstra divya years = 3600 human years
Dwapar = 2 sahastra divya years = 2400 human years
Kalyug = 1 sahastra divya years = 1200 human years

1 year of humans = 1 day for Devtas, so 1 year of Devtas = 360 human years. Therefore, Kalyug which is the yug in which we currently are, has 4,32,000 years. Hence, Dwapar has twice these many years, Treta has thrice these many and Satyug has four times these many human years.

Time, the element keep goes on. It is not a man-made concept. It is present in the very core of the Universe (more about how in another post). Whether we ride this time and live a beautiful meaningful life or get trapped and fritter it away is completely up to us. If we understand the significance and laws of time, we will stay connected to the planet, solar system and ourselves.

Photo and quote/title credit : Atreyam Sharma, 13 years

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Who am I?

A wise man once asked a king “Who are you?” The king started replying “I am King ABC of Kingdom XYZ”. The wise man said “I am not asking you your name or that of your kingdom. Who are YOU?” The king started to answer again “I am ABC, son of XYZ…” The wise man said “I am not asking you your lineage. Who are YOU?” The king made another attempt “I am someone who protects my kingdom and likes to….” The wise man interrupted again “I am not asking you what you do or like. Who are YOU?” Now, the king went into deep thought.

When we are in a dream, we are completely living the episode that we are in, can see and feel it as if real. In that state, we experience the dream world. Only when we move into the waking state, we experience the waking world and call the earlier state a dream. Then we say that this current state is the reality. There is a third state that we experience – that of deep sleep, the non-REM phase of sleep in which we are completely blank. In that state, we are neither awake nor dreaming but in a state of blankness of sleep. That’s the state which we refer to when we say that we slept like a log. This often happens when we are completely exhausted. There is a fourth state called the ‘turiya’, ‘turiyam’ or ‘chaturtham’ as referred to in the seventh mantra of the Mandukya Upanishad of Atharva Veda.

Say we have a table, chair and bench all made of wood. We may call it by different names, but essentially it is wood. We can change the form or state of that wood to make it a table or chair or bench. Despite that, the essential element “wood” stays unchanged. “Wood” is not the same as table or chair or bench but still within each of those. Even though it is within these three forms or states, it is apart from these forms or states. Similarly, our bodies change in our lifetime from that of an infant to teenager to adult to elderly. Our minds and thoughts change constantly over our lifetime. However, our “consciousness” does not change. Our three states of dreamer, waker and blankless in sleep come and go but the “consciousness” stays in all the three. When a Mom hears her baby cry, even when she is fast asleep, there is something that makes her get up and attend to her child. So that state of “consciousness” remains irrespective of her sleep or waking state.

Let us imagine a Station Master standing at a train station and watching the trains come and go. A passenger train arrives. People get down from the train and others get into the train. Then the train moves on. He continues to stand and watch. Then a goods train arrives. Not much activity happens on the station. Just a few people get off. He continues to stand and watch. Then there is no train that comes and stops on the station for a long time. He still continues to stand and watch. This Station Master is the “Consciousness”. The trains come and go, the activities happen or not happen but he continues to watch unaffected.

This “consciousness” is the real “I”. It cannot be accessed by the five senses. It cannot be used. It cannot be grasped. It cannot be inferred. It cannot be thought about. It cannot be named.  It just has to be realised. Reality is “consciousness”. I am in search of the real “I”. Are you too?

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