In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the common folk follows the leading men of society. At the present moment of democratic age the Government of the State is conducted by the leading men of society. As such it is a good sign that the Government has taken up this work of social upliftment as a right measure at a right time. And in order to give the scheme a right direction the government may take authoritative hints from the scriptures like Bhagavad-gita.
Measurement of time
SB Canto 2
O King, I shall in due course explain the measurement of time in its gross and subtle features with the specific symptoms of each, but for the present let me explain unto you the Pādma-kalpa.
The present duration of a kalpa of Brahmā is called the Varāha-kalpa or Śvetavarāha-kalpa because the incarnation of the Lord as Varāha took place during the creation of Brahmā, who was born on the lotus coming out of the abdomen of Viṣṇu. Therefore this Varāha-kalpa is also called Pādma-kalpa, and this is testified by ācāryas like Jīva Gosvāmī as well as Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura in pursuance of the first commentator, Svāmī Śrīdhara. So there is no contradiction between the Varāha and the Pādma-kalpa of Brahmā.
SB Canto 3
O Vidura, who can estimate or measure the transcendental time, work and potency of the gigantic form manifested by the internal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
The time durations of day and night as well as months and years are different in the different planets, stars and luminaries. The higher planets like the moon and Venus have time measurements different from those of the earth. It is said that six months of this planet earth equal one day of the higher planets. In Bhagavad-gītā the duration of one day in years multiplied by 1,000. And the month and year in Brahmaloka are calculated in that measure.
The time factor is also explained by modern men in various ways. Some accept it almost as it is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. For example, in Hebrew literature time is accepted, in the same spirit, as a representation of God. It is stated therein: "God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets...." Metaphysically, time is distinguished as absolute and real. Absolute time is continuous and is unaffected by the speed or slowness of material things. Time is astronomically and mathematically calculated in relation to the speed, change and life of a particular object. Factually, however, time has nothing to do with the relativities of things; rather, everything is shaped and calculated in terms of the facility offered by time. Time is the basic measurement of the activity of our senses, by which we calculate past, present and future; but in factual calculation, time has no beginning and no end. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says that even a slight fraction of time cannot be purchased with millions of dollars, and therefore even a moment of time lost without profit must be calculated as the greatest loss in life. Time is not subject to any form of psychology, nor are the moments objective realities in themselves, but they are dependent on particular experiences.
Atomic time is measured according to its covering a particular atomic space. That time which covers the unmanifest aggregate of atoms is called the great time.
Time and space are two correlative terms. Time is measured in terms of its covering a certain space of atoms. Standard time is calculated in terms of the movement of the sun. The time covered by the sun in passing over an atom is calculated as atomic time. The greatest time of all covers the entire existence of the nondual manifestation. All the planets rotate and cover space, and space is calculated in terms of atoms. Each planet has its particular orbit for rotating, in which it moves without deviation, and similarly the sun has its orbit. The complete calculation of the time of creation, maintenance and dissolution, measured in terms of the circulation of the total planetary systems until the end of creation, is known as the supreme kāla.
The measuring pot for one nāḍikā, or daṇḍa, can be prepared with a six-pala-weight (fourteen ounce) pot of copper, in which a hole is bored with a gold probe weighing four māṣa and measuring four fingers long. When the pot is placed on water, the time before the water overflows in the pot is called one daṇḍa.
It is advised herein that the bore in the copper measuring pot must be made with a probe weighing not more than four māṣa and measuring not longer than four fingers. This regulates the diameter of the hole. The pot is submerged in water, and the overflooding time is called a daṇḍa. This is another way of measuring the duration of a daṇḍa, just as time is measured by sand in a glass. It appears that in the days of Vedic civilization there was no dearth of knowledge in physics, chemistry or higher mathematics. Measurements were calculated in different ways, as simply as could be done.
As far as time is concerned, we beg to subjoin herewith a table of timings in terms of the modern clock.
- One truṭi - 8/13,500 second
- One vedha - 8/135 second
- One lava - 8/45 second
- One nimeṣa - 8/15 second
- One kṣaṇa - 8/5 second
- One kāṣṭhā - 8 seconds
- One laghu - 2 minutes
- One daṇḍa - 30 minutes
- One prahara - 3 hours
- One day - 12 hours
- One night - 12 hours
- One pakṣa - 15 days
Two pakṣas comprise one month, and twelve months comprise one calendar year, or one full orbit of the sun. A human being is expected to live up to one hundred years. That is the way of the controlling measure of eternal time.
The great politician-paṇḍita named Cāṇakya said that even one moment of time cannot be returned even if one is prepared to pay millions of dollars. One cannot calculate the amount of loss there is in wasting valuable time. Either materially or spiritually, one should be very alert in utilizing the time which he has at his disposal. A conditioned soul lives in a particular body for a fixed measurement of time, and it is recommended in the scriptures that within that small measurement of time one has to finish Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus gain release from the influence of the time factor. But, unfortunately, those who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are carried away by the strong power of time without their knowledge, as clouds are carried by the wind.
SB Canto 4
The duration of life prescribed for the Pracetās by the Supreme Personality of Godhead is calculated by the time measurements of higher planetary systems. Our six earth months are said to equal twelve hours in the higher planetary systems. Thirty days equal one month, and twelve months equal one year. In this way, for one million years according to the calculations of the higher planetary system the Pracetās were allowed to enjoy all kinds of material facilities. Although this life-span was so long, the Pracetās were given full bodily strength by the grace of the Lord. In the material world, if one wants to live for many years, he must endure the difficulties of old age, invalidity and many other miserable conditions. The Pracetās, however, were given full bodily strength to enjoy material facilities. This special facility was given to the Pracetās so that they could continue rendering full devotional service. This will be explained in the following verse.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
In Bhagavad-gītā (10.12), Kṛṣṇa is described as the Supreme Brahman (paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma). The word brahma means "the greatest." Kṛṣṇa is greater than the greatest, being unlimited and all-pervading. How can it be possible for the all-pervading to be measured or bound? Then again, Kṛṣṇa is the time factor. Therefore, He is all-pervading not only in space but also in time. We have measurements of time, but although we are limited by past, present and future, for Kṛṣṇa these do not exist. Every individual person can be measured, but Kṛṣṇa has already shown that although He also is an individual, the entire cosmic manifestation is within His mouth. All these points considered, Kṛṣṇa cannot be measured. How then did Yaśodā want to measure Him and bind Him? We must conclude that this took place simply on the platform of pure transcendental love. This was the only cause.
When Lord Brahmā returned after a moment of time had passed (according to his own measurement), he saw that although by human measurement a complete year had passed, Lord Kṛṣṇa, after all that time, was engaged just as before in playing with the boys and calves, who were His expansions.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, I have already described to you the measurements of time, beginning from the smallest fraction measured by the movement of a single atom up to the total life span of Lord Brahmā. I have also discussed the measurement of the different millennia of universal history. Now hear about the time of Brahmā's day and the process of annihilation.
The living entity is called the marginal energy because by nature he is spiritual but by forgetfulness he is situated in the material energy. Thus he has the power to live either in the material energy or in the spiritual energy, and for this reason he is called marginal energy. Being in the marginal position, he is sometimes attracted by the external, illusory energy, and this is the beginning of his material life. When he enters the material energy, he is subjected to the threefold time measurement—past, present and future. Past, present and future belong only to the material world; they do not exist in the spiritual world. The living entity is eternal, and he existed before the creation of this material world. Unfortunately he has forgotten his relationship with Kṛṣṇa. The living entity's forgetfulness is described herein as anādi, which indicates that it has existed since time immemorial. One should understand that due to his desire to enjoy himself in competition with Kṛṣṇa, the living entity comes into material existence.
Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura elucidates this complicated explanation of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are always present in the material world in one of the many universes. These pastimes appear in the universes one after the other, just as the sun moves across the sky and measures the time. Kṛṣṇa's appearance may be manifested in this universe at one moment, and immediately after His birth, this pastime is manifested in the next universe. After His killing of Pūtanā is manifested in this universe, it is next manifested in another universe. Thus all the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are eternally existing both in the original Goloka Vṛndāvana planet and in the material universes. The 125 years calculated in our solar system to be Kṛṣṇa's lifetime equal one moment for Kṛṣṇa. One moment these pastimes are manifested in one universe, and the next moment they are manifested in the next universe. There are unlimited universes, and Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are manifested one moment after the other in all of them. This rotation is explained through the example of the sun's moving across the sky. Kṛṣṇa appears and disappears in innumerable universes, just as the sun appears and disappears during the day. Although the sun appears to rise and set, it is continuously shining somewhere on the earth. Similarly, although Kṛṣṇa's pastimes seem to appear and disappear, they are continuously existing in one brahmāṇḍa (universe) or another. Thus all of Kṛṣṇa's līlās are present simultaneously throughout the innumerable universes.