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From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Tue Dec 12 1995 - 19:11:48 PST
There was a query earlier on this important Tattvam . A preliminary discussion of this would also be relevant for an understanding of the Nitya Soori and their relation to Time or Kaala. After this posting , I will assemble the material on Bhaddha, Mukta Jivans and Nitya Suris. I will conclude with a posting on the Ontological, Philosophical and Religious status of SRI in our Sri Vaishnava Sampradhayam.This will be the most difficult topic to handle given all the sensitivities involved. If these postings generate a stimulating discussion similar to the one we had in the past three days, that will be most welcome. As the learned scholar Sri A.Srinivasa Raghavan said " the acquisition of the knowledge that Sriman Narayana is the Tattva, Hita and Purushartha is the end of all Learning" for a Sri Vaishnava. I will be quoting extensively and some times verbatim from Sri A.S. Raghavan"s monograph published by TT Devasthanam in this posting, since I understand that this monograph is not readily available to the members of our group. The three Tattvaas in our Tradition is Achetana, Chetana and Isvara. Achetana is the entity devoid of Knowledge or Chaitanya.Unlike the Chetana, it can not "know a thing, nor can it act on its own accord , nor enjoy the fruits of such action". Achetana is also known as Nonsentient. The Achetana Tattvam is divided further into three parts: Prakriti -the inanimate matter, Kaala-Time and Suddha Sattva -the unalloyed and self luminous Sattva. We will focus in this posting on KAALA , the second of the three sub Tattvas of Achetana. KAALA OR TIME ***************** ** Kaala is an entity, which is eternal and infinite. "It is eternal , because there was no time , when Time did not exist, nor there will be any time, when Time will NOT exist. It is infinite as there is no place ,where it does not exist. It is devoid of the three Gunas : Sattva , Rajas and Tamas that make up Prakriti or primordial matter. How then , it may be asked ,do they speak of Kaala as being Sattvika, Raajasa or Taamasa ? THESE QUALITIES EXIST ONLY IN THE BEINGS, WHICH EXIST IN TIME AND FROM THOSE BEINGS THE QUALITIES ARE LOOSELY SPOKEN OF AS PERTAINING TO KAALA ITSELF." ** There is an elaborate division of Kaala from the winking of an eye (a Second) up to an Yuga. There are four Yugas : Krita Yuga(1.728 Million Years, which is the longest ; Kali Yuga , the shortest with a time span of 432,000 years. Dharma in Kali Yuga is postulated to be one fourth in effectiveness compared to Krita Yuga, where it is 100% efficient or effective. One cycle of 4 Yugas from Krita to Kali constitutes a Chaturyuga. Thousand Chaturyugas form a day in the life of the Creator known as Chaturmukha Brahma . Another thousand Chaturyugas constitue a night of Brahma. One year of Brahma therefore comprises of 365 of HIS TYPE of days and nights. The age of Brahma is one hundred such Brahmic Years or DVI-PARARDHA or Two Parardha. We are said to be in the second Parardha of the PRESENT Brahma. That is why we say In our Sankalpas, Dwidiya Paraardhe . One day of Brahma is subdivided into 14 Manvantras, each of which accounting for 71.43 Chatur- Yugas. Each of these Manvantra is presided over by a Manu. The current Manu is known as Vaivasvata Manu. That is why , we say in Sankalpa, Vaivasvata Manvantareh . One month of the Human beings is considered equal to one day in the Time scale of the Manes or Pitrus. One year or Samvatsara in human life is considered to be the equal of one day in the life of Gods. The day dawns for the Gods with the Month of Marghazhi and hence , that month is sacred to Gods and Us. Gods too have a finite life, although , their life span is much, much longer than humans . Their name as Amara or Immmortal does not mean that they are deathless, but their life is much longer in content. It is like the pond and an Ocean . >From one side of the pond, you can see the other side. For an ocean, the other shore is hard to see and it looks endless. ALL THE BEINGS OF THIS UNIVERSE INCLUDING CHATURMUKHA BRAHMA AND OTHER GODS ARE RULED BY TIME .THEY ARE CREATED, LIVE AND ARE DESTROYED BY ONE SUPREME AND POWERFUL BEING , WHO HAS NO BIRTH OR DEATH. This destruction is of four types: (1) Nitya Pralaya (2) Naimittika Pralaya (3) Maha Pralaya and (4) Aatyantika Pralaya. Nitya Pralaya is the sleep or by an extension thereof , Death. Naimittika Pralaya is the end of a single day of Brahma, when the three worlds (Bhuh:, Bhuvaha: and Suvaha:) disintegrate. Maha Pralaya is the great deluge at the end of the age of one Brahma ,which consists of 100 Brahmic Years (365 Times 2,000 ChaturYugas). Aatyantika Pralaya is "the final deliverance or the attainment of Salvation by a Jivan and after that the Jivan is never again in the clutches of Karma nor bound by the tight ropes of Samsara.It is therefore a variable time span conditioned by the practise of the different kind of Yogas or Prapatti. After these definitions of Units of Kaala and the alloted life spans of the Humans and Gods, we come to the concept of Kaala in the Nitya Vibuthi or Sri Vaikuntam. Since, Kaala is omnipresent, it has to be in Sri Vaikuntam also. However, it does not have the same power as in Leela Vibuthi or the Physical Universe, which serves as the play ground for Sriman Narayana. Kaala in Sri Vaikuntam is powerless and hence does not bring about growth, decay or destruction of any thing. Hence all there have eternal existence. Kaala is helpful there only "to describe one action as taking place before or after another. For instance in the service that the Muktas do to Sriman Narayana , they give a bath (Snana) at a point of time previous to that in which they offer food(Bhojana). It is all day there for ever and there is no division into day and night. Kaala is under the control of Sriman Narayana and he manipulates it as He likes it. It is used as an Instrument by Him in bringing about the modification of the various objects in Lila Vibhuti." V.Sadagopan . .