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Vaishnavite Tattvam of Kaalam or Time.

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             

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