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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-48

Kāla and Mahakāla: Time and the timeless in the Vedic literature

Department of Yoga and Physical Science, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-Vyasa), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramesh N Rao
Eknath Bhavan, 19 Gavipuram Circle, K.G. Nagar, Bangalore - 560 019, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-5633.123291

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Background: Several recent experimental studies have strongly suggested that the ancient concept of 'Muhurta', or influence of starting time on outcome of a process or project, can be tested in systems in microbiology. This implies that factors connected to Jyotish astrology can act on biological systems, leading to the study of time as a heterogeneous variable in biological and social sciences. Aims: The purpose is to provide perspectives on the new results by exploring ancient conceptions of time, as recorded in various sections of the Vedic literature, with reference to conceptions of time within Vedic astrology. Materials and Methods: Various sections of the Vedic literature and associated philosophies were examined; statements concerning the nature of time were abstracted and integrated. Results: Various different conceptions of time are described, in order to show how the profound relationship between the timeless and time, first experienced in meditation, was first conceptualized and understood. The distinction between the Real and unreal, the indivisible, timeless reality underlying time, and measurable time, corresponding to mahakāla and kāla (the timeless and time), is used to define ritual time (Karma kāla), which was the original purpose of Jyotish astrology-to help guarantee the success of ritual actions. Discussion and Conclusions: Only by expanding awareness beyond time, kala, to become established in the timeless, mahakala, can an individual be liberated and go beyond the 'bite of time'.

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