Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [03] Space and Time in the Bh.S ► Forms Of Time

Posted: 25.06.2009

The Bh.S[96] mentions four kinds of time. They are, such as, Pramāṇa kāla (standardized time), Yathāyurnirvrtti kāla (time when the binding of life-span-determining karma takes place), Maraṇakāla (death-time) and Addhākāla (time associated with nature). Sthānāṅga Sūtra also discusses the same four kinds of time.[97]

The four kinds of time mentioned in the Bh.S. can be subsumed in the two i.e. Pramāṇa kāla and Addhākāla. The rest two can be included in the latter one. The detailed description of each found in the text is as follows:

Pramāṇa kāla is the standardized time. It is again devided into two classes, viz. Divasapramāṇakāla and Rātripramāṇakāla. The day of four praharas; the night of four praharas.[98] The second is dependent on the lifespan time of living-beings. The third one is associated with the moment of death. The life and death are two relative spans of time. The duration of life is considered as Yathāyurnirvṛtikāla and the cessation of the duration of life is death and is called Maraṇakāla. The fourth one is related to the nature of time and is evolved by the travelling of the moon and the sun. Actually, this one is the primary form of time. The rest are different forms of it. This is the phenomenal measurement of time with a practical purpose of determining the span of time. Therefore, this is restricted to the human world[99] and it is meant to measure the various distinctions of time for human activities. All the divisions ranging from samaya (instant) to pudgala-parāvartana are made of the Addhākāla.[100] It is obvious that the smallest unit of time is samaya. It is indivisible time-unit. It can be expressed only through analogy as explained just below. The time-units after samaya right from Āvalikā to Pudgalparāvartana have been dealt with in the next points.

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