Friday, April 25, 2008

Rama Setu and Indian concept of time

Rama Setu and Indian concept of time

Note on Kaala Gananaa by Manan Madhavrao Deshpande (27 April 2008)

For calculating time we used to consider the speed and placements of celestial bodies. The 360 degrees of our surrounding are divided into 27 Nakshatras; again these 27 Nakshatras are further divided into 4 equal parts each known as Charan; a set of 9 Charan is called as Rashi. Hence, Our surrounding is a set of 12 Rashis; comprising of 27 Nakshtras havig 4 Charan to each.

PANCHANG= AYAN, RUTU, MAAS, PAKSHA, TITHEE [ WARSHIK ]
= TITHEE, VAR, NAKSHATRA, YOG, KARAN [ DAINIK ]

This is only AWAKAHADACHAKRA...see the result of Kaal Gananaa

***BHARATEEY KAALGANANAA***

15 tithee = 1 paksha ; 2 paksha = 1 mas ; 2 mas = 1 rutu
3 rutu = 1 ayan ; 2 ayan = 1 samvatsar ;
60 samvatsar = 1 samvatsar chakra
7200 samvatsar chakra = 1 kaliyug = 432000 samvatsar
2 kaliyug = 1 dwapaaryug ; 3 kaliyug = 1 tretaayug ;
4 kaliyug = 1 satyayug ; kali + treta + dwapaar + satya = 1
mahaayug
71 mahaayug = 1 manvantar i.e. time taken by Surya to perform
1 pradakshina to the centre of Akaashganga along with entire
grahmaala ;
14 manvantar = 1 kalp = 1 pradakshina of akaashganga along with
surya maala to Brhmaand i.e. 4320000000 samvatsar = 1 day of Brahmaa;
3600 kalp = life of Brahmaa i.e. 31124000 crore samvatsar ;
1000 lives of Brahmaa = 1 Shivnimish ;
1000 Shivnimish = 1 Mahamaayanimish :
-------------------------------------------------*

Another question usually asked by some genious people that when the dates of all other Hindu festivals do not match with the Gregorrian Calender, how come Makar Sankrant comes exactly on 14th January. It's simple; all the festivals are based on thew positions & placings of moon, where as the Makar Sankrant is the date on which The SUN crosses the Makara Vrutta. It has nothing to do with Lunar positions,i.e. positions of Moon.

NOTE: [ CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY ON HINDU DATE, NOT ON GREGORRIAN ONE ]

P. M. Deshpande (MANAN)
Secretary, International Centre for Cultural Studies [ICCS]
45/3; Ujjwal Nagar, Wardha Road, NAGPUR - 440025 +91 9822 233 255 manandeshpande@rediffmail.com

Every samkalpa mantra is a determinant of locus and focus placing the yajnika in time and space. The mantra begins: Apavithra pavithro vaa sarvaavasthaam gathopi vaa , ya smareth pundari kaksham, sabahyanthara suchi , manasam vaachikam paapam , karmanaa samuparjitham, sri Rama smaranenaiva vyopahathi na samsaya .Sree rama Rama rama Tithir Vishnu, Tatha vaara, nakshatram Vishnu reva cha Yogascha karanam chaiva sarvam Vishnu mayam Jagat, Sri Govinda , Govinda, Govinda…

While invoking Sri Rama and remembrance of his name (Sri Rama smaranenaiva) to overcome doubt, the time and space coordinates are detailed.

Indian tradition places Ramayana ahead, in time, of another Itihaasa Mahabharata. Ramayana is what provides the definition of Bharata varsha in space yielding the traditional phrase: aasetu himachalam (that is, from Setu to Himalaya), which is Survey of India’s logo.

The Indian concept of time in Sanatana Dharma, is detailed in the following notes in the context of bogus attempts sought to be made to deny the very existence of Sri Rama, using non-falsifiable anthropological arguments. The notes also refer to concepts of time in other religious traditions.

Clearly, there is divine time and human time which are reconciled in the concepts of mahaakaala and kaala ganana (time-reckoning). One is cosmic time, related to the creation of the universe and the earth with its living and non-living phenomena. The other is human time, related to man’s locus in time and space within the context of cosmic time (or Brahma’s time). The tradition of referring to Sri Rama as of Treta Yuga is reconciled with the mundane, human, temporal concepts of time and space – two dimensions of universal relativity. This relativity is what results in the Samkalpa mantra before any yajna or s’raaddha (offering to pitru-s or ancestors, starting from Sri Rama).

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

The concept of Time in Indian Tradition

Festivals celebrate the passage of time. Celebration of a new Gregorian year is just that. It is an acknowledgement of the passage of 12 months and the commencement of another. In terms of time frames our existence on this planet is but a speck in the grand scheme of creation. It was a good 400 years ago that the emperors of Vijayanagar created magnificient monuments all over south India. It was about a 1000 years ago that the Thanjavur Periya Koyil, the Hoysala monuments and other towering temples came into existence all over India. The Ellora temple even predates these. It was 1400 years ago when the Bhakti movement of south India saw the documentation of the existence of temples. It was about 2000 years ago when the Tamil Sangam literature documented the existence of places of worship such as Tiruvenkaadu. The excavated remains of Indus valley are 5000 years old.

That is a 5000 year timeline - history as we may call it. How does Indian mythology view time ? M. H. Krishnaswamy of Chennai authors this Templenet feature on 'Time - as viewed in Indian mythology'.
The smallest unit of time is a kaashta which is 18 times the amount of time it takes to blink an eyelid. 10 kaashtas make a kshanam and 12 kshanams constitute a muhoortam. 60 of these muhoortams constitute a day.

30 days constitute a month and 3 months make up a ritu. 12 months of course constitue a human year.

We now move on from the human plane to the world of the departed souls - the pitrus. Here, a human month equals the length of a day. The brighter half of a lunar month constitutes the pitru's day time and the darker half their night.

In the realm of the Devas or the Gods, a human year constitutes a single day. The brighter half of the year Uttarayanam makes up the day time hours of the Devas while the darker half Dakshinayanam makes up the night time hours.

An epoch or a yuga is the next higher level of measurement. 1200 Deva years constitute the Kaliyuga or the present epoch that we are believed to be living in; 2400 deva years make up the Dwapara yuga that preceded kali yuga; 3600 years made up the Treta yuga and 4800 the Krita yuga respectively.

Thus, the length of the Kaliyuga is 1200*360 i.e. 432,000 human years. A cycle of 4 yugas is referred to as the catur yugas. A cycle of catur yugas lasts for 12,000 deva years or 12,000* 360 i.e. 4,320,000 human years.

How do these time measurements correlate with the process of creation?
Bhrahma in Indian mythology is referred to as the creator. A thousand catur yugas are said to make up the daylight hours of a single day of Bhrahma's life. Another thousand make up the night time of a single day of Bhrahma. Thus, a single day in Bhrahma's life spans 2000 * 4,320,000 ie. 8,640,000,000 human years.

360 such days, each lasting 8.6 billion years constitute a year in Bhrahma's life, which lasts for a 100 Bhrahma years. At the end of one Bhrahma's life, another starts. This cycle goes on and on.

A Bhrahma's life is also known as a Para. Each half param is referred to as a parardham. It is believed that we are currently living in the 2nd half of the life of the present Bhrahma.

It is to be noted that in the performance of Vedic rituals, the frame of time in which the ritual is being performed is specified both in macro and in micro terms, the term 'dviteeya paraardhe' (the second half of Bhrahma's term) is stated.

The reference point here is the moment of commencement of creation of the Universe by Brahma.

When we say 'dviteeya paraardhe', which Bhrahma are we referring to? How many Bhrahmas have preceded the current one? This specification is non existant in vedic mantras. Since the whole process is cyclical, with one Bhrahma commencing when another completes, and with this process repeating forever, there may not be any significance in stating the position of Bhrahma.

In a cyclical concept of time every starting point will have to be an ending point. If time is postulated as being linear and unidirectional there will have to be an absolute starting point for time.

This cyclical nature of time as believed in Indian mythology refers to time as 'anaadi' or that without a beginning.

Yet another measure of time is Kalpa. The puranas are named after kalpas; thus we have the matsya kalpa, koorma kalpa, lakshmi kalpa, sweta varaaha kalpa, shiva kalpa, bhrahma kalpa, vishnu kalpa and so on. Each Bhrahma's term lasts for a period of 7 kalpas. The current period in time is said to belong to the sweta varaaha kalpam, which is in the second half of the life of Bhrahma.

A kalpam or an epoch is made up of 14 manvantaras and each manvantara spans 71 caturyugas. The fourteen manvantaras are respectively swayambhuva, sawosisha, audhama, thaamasa, raivatha, sakshusha, vaivasvata, savarni, daaksha savarni, bhramha savarni, dharma savarni, rudra savarni, rouchya and bowdhya. The present kaliyuga is the 28th in the present Vaivaswata manvantara.

Sankalpam: Thus, vedic mantras pin point the time of performance of a ritual - by narrowing down from dwiteeya paraardhe (in the 2nd half of the term of Bhrahma), Sweta varaaha kalpe (in the kalpa sweta varaaha), Vaivasvata manvantare (in the 7th manvantaram), Kaliyuge (in the kali epoch) - through the finer details such as the name of the current year, month etc.
http://www.templenet.com/beliefs/concept_of_time.htm

The Concept of Time in Ancient India/ Rallapalli Venkateswara Rao. Delhi, Bharatiya Kala Prakashan, 2004, xx, 340 p., ISBN 81-8090-032-0.

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no34777.htm

BRAHMA'S CLOCK OR THE INDIAN CONCEPT OF TIME
The ancient Indian tradition holds Eternity, to be a never-ending cycle of transient and finite periods of Time, called the Kalpa. The Kalpa was subdivided into units measured on two scales, one cosmic and the other human. The Kalpa itself was but a cosmic day in the life of Brahma the Creator, who himself had a finite life span of 100 cosmic years. Each cosmic year was comprised of 300 cosmic days and 300 cosmic nights. The Universe was created by Brahma at the beginning of each cosmic day and dissolved at the beginning of each cosmic night. How does the cosmic day relate to the human day ? The cosmic day, or Kalpa, is equal to 4.32 billion years on the human scale as explained below.
THE MANVANTARA
The Kalpa is divided into 14 Manvantaras, each ruled on behalf of Brahma, by a Manu.The following is the sequence of the Manvantaras :
KEY
PAST PRESENT FUTURE

SWAYAMBHUVA
SWAROCHISHA
UTTAMA
TAAMASA
RAIVATA
CHAAKSHUSHA
VAIVASVATA
SAVARNI
DAKSHA SAVARNI
BRAHMA SAVARNI
DHARMA SAVARNI
RUDRA SAVARNI
DEVA SAVARNI
INDRA SAVARNI

THE MAHAYUGA & YUGA

Each of the 14 Manvantaras is divided into 71 Mayayugas and are separated from one another by an interval called a Sandhya. There are thus 15 separating Sandhyas which together last 6 Mahayugas. Thus the total duration of the Kalpa is (14 x 71) + 6 ie 1000 Mahayugas.

Each Mahayuga breaks up to a repetitive sequence of 4 Yugas, viz Satya (or Krita),
Treta, Dvapara and Kali Yuga with the following breakup:
Satya (Krita) 17,28,000 years
Treta 12,96,000 years
Dvapara 8,64,000 years
Kali 4,32,000 years
-----------------------
Total 43,20,000 years
-----------------------

We are to-day in the Kali Yuga of the twenty-eighth Mahayuga and the Kali Yuga
began in 3101 B.C. If Brahma had a clock like ours, every 43.2 seconds on it would be equal to 1 Mahayuga on the human scale. One of our days in 1995 would show as 11-29 A.M. on what is "to-day" for Him. On the human scale, around 1,972,949,100 years have passed since the present Kalpa, which is his "to-day", began.

This panoramic view of Time as a finite part of Eternity comes from the Srimad
Bhagavatam, a great and revered work of 1,00,000 verses in Sanskrit, ascribed to
sage Vyasa. And it places at different points of the vast timespan of the present Kalpa
all the great and revered figures that vividly live even to-day in the minds of the
millions of India. The Matsya Avatar comes in the dawn before the break of the present Kalpa. The Varaha and Narasimha Avatars along with Dhruva, later immortalised as the Pole Star, come in the first Manvantara of the new Kalpa. This Kalpa is called the Svetavaraha Kalpa as it was ushered in by the Varaha Avatar. Rama , Krishna and Vyasa come in the Dvapara Yuga of the twenty-seventh Mahayuga of the seventh Manvantara.

The Bhagavatham is replete with vivid stories of all these central characters and events that appeared at different points of the vast span of this Kalpa. One story has a special charm for it tells of a character who traversed the vast timespan of the first 27 Mahayugas of the current Vaivasvata Manvantara. Kakudmi was a king who lived on earth in the Satya Yuga of the first Mahayuga of the current Manvantara. Anxious to find a good match for his beautiful daughter Revati, he went to Brahma Loka, the world of Brahma, to get his advice. There, he had to wait for around 20 minutes(on the cosmic scale) for Brahma to return from watching a dance performance. Seeing him, Brahma told Kakudmi that during this period of his waiting, 27 Mahayugas had already elapsed on earth, and if he (Kakudmi) were to return now, he would find people on the earth enjoying the avatar of Krishna. In addition, he would also find in Krishna's brother Balarama, the right match for his daughter. Kakudmi followed Brahma's advice and thus it was that Revati came to be married to Balarama. Today of course, we would be inclined to refer to Kakudmi's travel in space and time as science fiction of that day.

SANKALPA - PLACE, TIME AND PERSON

How deeply these grand concepts of time and the great events and individuals that appeared at various points of this vast expanse of time, are embedded in the Indian psyche can be recognised in a ritual procedure called the Sankalpa performed even today in millions of Indian homes. The Sankalpa is comprised of a few Sanskrit verses wherein the performer of a ritual commences it with an expression of his resolve to follow the prescribed procedure for obtaining the desired result. There are two versions of the Sankalpa, a detailed one called the MahaSankalpa, and the ordinary Sankalpa. Which one is used, turns on the nature of the ritual. Either way, it's text declares the identity of the place and time of performance of the ritual as finite points of time and place, within a context of Infinity and Eternity, and the ritual always concludes with a declaration by the performer of his identity in terms of his Vedic lineage. Typically, the ordinary version of the Sankalpa for performing the monthly Shraddha on every New Moon day (Amavasya) for pleasing the manes runs as given below.

Apavithra pavithro vaa sarvaavasthaam gathopi vaa , ya smareth pundari kaksham, sabahyanthara suchi , manasam vaachikam paapam , karmanaa
Samuparjitham, sri Rama smaranenaiva vyopahathi na samsaya .Sree rama Rama rama
Tithir Vishnu, Tatha vaara, nakshatram Vishnu reva cha
Yogascha karanam chaiva sarvam Vishnu mayam Jagat ,
Sri Govinda , Govinda, Govinda

Translated the above slokas run thus :
Whether pure or impure, or in whatever state, one who recollects the lotus-eyed
Lord, at once attains purity both internally and externally. There is no doubt that by a mere recollection of Lord Sri Rama, all the sins accumulated by thought , word and deed are totally cleansed. Salutations to Sri Rama, Sri Rama, Sri Rama. The Thithi (day of the fortnight during the waning of the Moon) is Vishnu, likewise the day of the week is Vishnu, the ruling star of the day is also Vishnu, the Yoga as well as the Karana are also Vishnu and the entire Universe is nothing but Vishnu. Salutations to Sri Govinda, Sri Govinda, Sri Govinda. In this Universe, operating upon the will of the first ever omnipotent, great Purusha, Lord Vishnu, on this new moon day of the dark fortnight, fourteen days after the full moon which is defined by the Siddha Yoga, (one of 5 Yogas marking a day) Sakuni Karana, (one of the 11 astrological divisions of the day) Satabhishak star (the 24th. of the 27 stars of the Zodiac), Sunday and in the month of Kumbha during the summer solstice when the Sun is in the north, in the autumnal season, during the year known as Pramadhi, (the current year in the cycle of sixty years starting from the year named Prabhava), during the first quarter of the aeon of Kali, in the island of Jambu, in the country of Bharatha, in the continent also known as Bharatha, south of Mount Meru, in the second Parardha (part) of the Svetavaraha Kalpa, in the 28 th Manvantara known as Vaivasvata Manvantara, I offer oblations, in the form of seeds of sesame with water , for the utmost satisfaction of the Manes.

It would be appropriate to refer at this point in this presentation to the finer divisions within a year :
12 months per year
30 days per month
24 hours per day
60 ghatikas per day (1 ghatika = 24 minutes)
60 palas per ghatika
6 asus (breathing) one pala
1 asu = 2.5 kasthas (the time interval of 4 seconds)
1 kastha = 4 dirgha matras

http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/mirrors/vv/literature/brahma.html

The Cycle of Ages:
The Cyclic Time Concept of the Vedas
(by Raja Vidya das )
Linear Versus Cyclic Time
The modern historical scientists' linear concept of time strikingly resembles the traditional Judaeo-Christian concept, and it strikingly differs from that of the ancient Greeks and Indians. The cosmological ideas of several prominent Greek thinkers included a cyclic or episodic time similar to that found in the Vedic literature of India.
For example, we find in Hesiod's Works and Days a series of ages (gold, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron) similar to the Indian yugas (ages). In both systems the quality of human life becomes progressively worse with each passing age. In On Nature, Empedocles speaks of cosmic time cycles. In Plato's dialogues, there are descriptions of revolving time and recurring catastrophes destroying or nearly destroying human civilization. Aristotle said often in his works that the arts and sciences had been discovered many times in the past. In the teachings of Plato, Pythagoras, and Empedocles on the transmigration of the soul, the cyclical pattern extends to individual psycho-physical existence.
When Judaeo-Christian civilization arose in Europe, another understanding of time became prominent -- time going forward in a straight line. Broadly speaking, this concept of time involves a unique act of cosmic creation, a unique appearance of human beings, and a unique history of salvation, culminating in a unique denouement, the last judgment. The drama occurs only once. Individually, the life of a human being mirrors this process; so, with some exceptions, orthodox Christian theologians rejected transmigration of the soul.
Modern historical sciences share the basic Judaeo-Christian assumptions about time. The universe we inhabit is a unique occurrence: Humans arose once on this planet; the history of our ancestors followed a unique though unpredestined evolutionary pathway; and the collapse of the "Big Bang" universe will bring everything to a close.
One is tempted to propose that the modern account of human evolution is a Judaeo-Christian heresy that covertly retains fundamental structures of Judaeo-Christian cosmology, eschatology, and salvation history while overtly dispensing with the scriptural account of divine intervention in the origin of species, including our own.
The Vedic Calculation of Time: The Vedic concept of time is cyclic, rotating in cycles of four yugas:
Satya-yuga: 1,728,000 human years
Treta-yuga: 1,296,000 human years
Dvapara-yuga: 864,000 human years
Kali-yuga: 432,000 human years
This yuga cycle totaling 4.32 million years is also called a maha- or divya-yuga. One thousand such cycles, 4.32 billion years, make up one day of Lord Brahma, the demigod who governs the universe. Such a day of Brahma is called a kalpa. Each of Brahma's nights lasts as long as his day. Life is manifest on earth only during the day of Brahma. With the onset of Brahma's night, the entire universe is devastated and plunged into darkness. When another day of Brahma begins, life again becomes manifest.
Each kalpa (day of Brahma) is divided into 14 manvantara periods, each lasting 71 yuga cycles. Preceding the first and following each manvantara period is a junction (sandhya and sandhyamsa respectively) the length of a Satya-yuga (1,728,000 years). Each manvantara period ends with a partial devastation and starts with a partial recreation of the universe.
Brahma lives 100 years, consisting of 360 days and nights (the Vedic year is based on the cycles of the moon, not the sun). Thus Brahma lives 100 x 360 kalpas = 36,000 days plus 36,000 nights. In human years, Brahma's life span lies far beyond our power of imagination: 72,000 x 4,320,000,000 human years = 311,040,000,000,000 human years.
The life span of Brahma is identical with the duration of the universe. This time span, called a maha-kalpa, is also the duration of one breathing in and out of Maha-Vishnu, the Personality of Godhead. Maha-Vishnu lies down within the ocean of causality and sleeps. He is eternal, and He dreams the material world in His cosmic slumber. When He exhales, all the universes emanate from the pores of His skin, and a Brahma is born within each universe. When He inhales, Brahma dies, and He sucks the universes into His mouth and destroys them. With each exhalation, the entire process starts anew. This cycle goes on eternally and is therefore also called eternal time.
The four yugas can also be calculated in demigod years:
Satya-yuga: 4,800 demigod years
Treta-yuga: 3,600 demigod years
Dvapara-yuga: 2,400 demigod years
Kali-yuga : 1,200 demigod years
Each six months of human time is one day for the demigods, and another six months is one night. When the sun is in the southern side of the universe (summer in the Southern Hemisphere), the demons have day and demigods have night, and vice versa when the sun is in the Northern Hemisphere. One of our years is one of their days, and 360 of our years is one of their years.
Most demigods maintain their positions within the universe for the duration of one manvantara (age of Manu). Because the demigods live for one day of Brahma, they change their positions each manvantara and become other demigods. Since 14 manvantaras (14 Manus) reign in one day of Brahma, a total of 14 x 360 x 100 = 504,000 Manus and demigods change shifts in the lifetime of Brahma.
The Four Yugas :
The Vedic Puranas describe the four yugas as follows:
Satya-yuga, or the golden age, is the ideal age, characterized by virtue, wisdom, religion, and practically no vice or ignorance. Humans do not hate or envy each other, nor do they ever feel anxious, fearful or threatened. They solely worship the one Supreme Personality of Godhead, hear the one Veda, obey the one law, and practice the one religious process -- meditation on the Supreme. People live for about 100,000 years.
In Treta-yuga vice is introduced. The good qualities that humans had in Satya-yuga reduce by one third. People introduce religious rites, sacrifices, and ceremonies. They start to act with fruitive desires, expecting a reward for their work and religious activities. They live for a maximum of 10,000 years.
In Dvapara-yuga uprightness is only half of what it was in Satya-yuga. The Vedas are divided into four parts, and only a few people study them. Sensual desires and diseases begin to well up, and injustice spreads in human civilization. People live for a maximum of 1000 years.
In Kali-yuga only one fourth of human uprightness remains and gradually reduces to nil as the age progresses. We now live in Kali-yuga, the iron age, the most degraded of the four ages (kali literally means "quarrel and hypocrisy").
In this age men are short lived and have less intelligence. They are especially lazy in performing their spiritual duties and exceedingly slow to surrender to the Lord. They are misled, frustrated and, above all, always disturbed. The qualities of religion (truthfulness, cleanliness, forbearance and mercy) and the qualities of life (intelligence, duration of life and bodily strength and beauty) all diminish. The maximum duration of human life is 100 years, and even that is rare.
Where We Are Now
According to the Vedic scriptures, we are now in the first day of the second half of the life of Brahma (even he gets old, and he is now 50). Within this day of Brahma, we are in the seventh manvantara (of Vaivasvata Manu), in the 28th turnover of its 71 yuga cycles.
Modern astronomy calculates the beginning of the present Kali-yuga at 2:27a.m. on February 20th in the year 3102 B.C.
Courtesy of Subal Das
________________________________________

The date of kali yuga began:
http://www.hubcom.com/tantric/jyot2.htm
Time line of beginning of Kali yuga and Biblical events that tally:
http://www.ramanuja.org/sv/bhakti/archives/dec95/0097.html
http://www.hknet.org.nz/cycleOages.html

The concept of time in spherical system
India Daily Technology Team
Nov. 15, 2006
The space and time are integrally encapsulated in the space-time configuration of our physical 3-D universe. When you can get out of this configuration, you can see the physical capsule of the space-time configuration.
Scientists now realize that integrated consciousness has infinite time dimensions that is similar to spherical coordinate system. Any part of it can see the rest of it. It is just amazing.
Integrated consciousness is where things start and end. The Universe floats in the realm of higher dimensional Hyperspace. A chilled universe below it that never gets destroyed holds the Hyperspace. The chilled universe is actually nothing but an infinite spherical time dimension in integrated consciousness. The spherical coordinate of infinite time dimensions allow looking at the whole from anywhere in the chilled universe.
The concept of time in spherical system becomes very interesting. It literally repeats within a specific process thread. What that really means is Chilled Universe is actually an intricate system of integrated consciousness that manifests itself as knowledge.
Once you are a process thread because of the spherical nature of time dimension, you can keep coming back to the same spot again and again to enhance your knowledge and that has no end because of endless dimensions of time.

GENERAL ARTICLES CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 86, NO. 6, 25 MARCH 2004 783 B. Vijay Kumar is in the Geological Oceanography Division, National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa 403 004, India e-mail: bvkumar@darya.nio.org
India and the common heritage concept in the
international seabed area
B. Vijay Kumar
The final relinquishment of 20% of the 150,000 km2 under the 20 + 10 + 20% surrender arrangement has fulfilled India’s obligation towards implementing the common heritage of mankind (CHM) concept in the international seabed area. India is a pioneer investor by virtue of its investment and efforts at exploration and research-specific tasks of identifying and demarcating the manganese nodule sites of potential economic importance in the central Indian Ocean. An area of 150,000 km2 was thus identified for purposes of self-regulation and obligations under the pioneer investor regime. The Indian claim was recognized and registered by the then Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) established under the auspices of the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS III), as a prelude to the functioning of the International Seabed Authority at Kingston, Jamaica. The mine sites in the seabed area beyond national jurisdiction are governed and regulated by the International Seabed Authority.
India is the only claimant in the Indian Ocean and was the first pioneer investor registered by PrepCom on 17 August 1987. The Indian site is about 2700 km from its port of operation in Goa between the geographical coordinates 10–16° South and 73–79° East and is among the most explored areas in India’s oceanography programme. This Indian Ocean site was the first deep-sea exploration programme in the country’s attempt at mineral resources from the international seabed area. This article is an attempt to discuss the CHM concept against the background of deep-sea mineral resources development in the international seabed area, with particular reference to the Indian manganese nodules programme.

THE HMS Challenger expedition (1872–76) discovered the variously shaped metal-rich nodules scattered across large areas of the ocean floor. These deposits of highgrade ores contain minerals essential to an industrial society and are generally found beyond the limits of legal continental shelf in the international seabed area. The essential reasons for global interest in manganese nodules reside in their abundance and the important metals they contain, namely copper, cobalt, nickel and manganese. The average total metal content of copper, nickel and cobalt is 2.25% of which copper is 1%, nickel 1.1% and cobalt 0.15%. Manganese is in the range of 22–23%. Oceanographers claim that the nodules potentially comprise the largest mineral deposit on this planet1. Manganese nodules are extremely porous and as a result contain about 25% water. They are made up mainly of oxides of manganese and iron with small but commercially
significant quantities of copper, nickel and cobalt. In addition, they have even smaller quantities of valuable
and rare metals such as lead, zinc, molybdenum, barium, chromium and titanium2. Manganese nodules or polymetallic nodules as they are known cover approximately 46 million km2 area of the ocean floor with estimated reserves of 1.7–3 trillion tonnes3. They are found to occur in all the oceans of the world in varying abundances. The Pacific Ocean alone has an area of 23 million km2 covered with nodules, followed
by the Indian Ocean with 14 million km2, and the Atlantic with 8 million km2. Although the presence of widespread bottom deposits of manganese nodules was known for several decades, it was not until 1965 when John L. Mero studied the economic possibilities of manganese nodules that a coherent hypothesis of nodules as a potential resource began to appear. Since that time, the major commercial enterprises in the US, Japan and Europe, and in later years the government entities in India and elsewhere, have determined
that metals from manganese nodules could be extracted at a profit. This belief is still to be confirmed since commercial manganese nodule mining is yet to begin. The technology and legal consent for recovery exist, but operations are delayed for economic reasons.

Resource evaluation

To qualify as a first-generation nodule deposit, the combined nickel + copper content must amount to approximately 2.25% (ref. 4) and the abundance must be at least 5–10 kg/m2, with a capacity to sustain a production level of 3 million tonnes of dry nodules per year over a period of 20–25 years. In addition, the ocean floor may not present an extreme relief but must, instead, be relatively flat and free of obstacles such as hills and seamounts, in order for the large ore collectors to function. The first-generation mine sites contain significant amounts of important metals–nickel, copper and cobalt. These are several times larger than the land reserves of nickel and cobalt; the manganese content approximately equals that of the land reserves; the copper content reaches just about 50% of the land reserves (ref. 4, pp. 13–14).

The economic advantages to seabed mining states have corresponding disadvantages for land-based exporters of the metals, nickel, copper, cobalt and manganese. The land producers of these four metals are both developing and developed countries. Because the production and export of these metals in developing countries constitutes the greatest share of their income, it is mainly these countries which are at a disadvantage.The economic significance of nodules depends on the demand and the availability on land of nickel, copper,cobalt and manganese. The key factor which determines the economic grade of nodules is their chemical composition, and this is represented by the important metals presentm therein, i.e. nickel, copper and cobalt. The ratio of nickel and copper to the total weight of nodules is the key determinant of economic grade. Nickel and copper will be the mainstay of the seabed mining industry (ref. 2, p.16). Nodule deposits are commonly thought of as potential nickel ores because nickel will furnish the bulk of the revenue from nodule mining. The concept of ‘prime area’ is also used by resource scientists in the assessment of nodule reserves. Prime areas can be defined as those in at least part of which there are deposits of relatively abundant nodules with significantly higher grades than elsewhere. The Indian
mine site(s) in the central Indian Ocean is one such prime area among others in the world ocean (Figure 1). It is in these prime areas that the potential mine sites will eventually find acceptance.

The common heritage concept

The question of legal rights to exploration and mining followed the discovery and exploration phase of manganese nodules. The debate in the 1960s focused upon whether the deep seabed was to be considered as res nulliusor res communis. Res nullius meant that the seabed was a no man’s land, which could be appropriated through occupation. Res communis, on the other hand, meant that the seabed was part of the high seas and, as such, could be used freely by any state. Both approaches, however, opened the seabed for unilateral exploitation by those states which had the financial and technological capability to do so. There was, therefore, growing fear among the developing countries that the technologically advanced nations
would soon expose the seabed and ocean floor to competitive national appropriation and use. This led former Ambassador, Arvid Pardo, of the permanent mission of Malta to the United Nations, to propose that the seabed and its resources beyond the limits of national jurisdiction should be declared the ‘common heritage of mankind’ (CHM, Figure 2) and must therefore be reserved exclusively for peaceful purposes. From 1967 onwards the deep seabed polymetallic nodules became the CHM both in symbolic and in material terms5. Pardo’s concept of the CHM has dominated the subsequent debate and is now enshrined in article 136 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).Although it was the first time that such a proposal was put forward at the UN General Assembly, the concept was not an innovation by itself. The common heritage concept dates back to the 19th century6, and was referred to at the Hague 1930 Codification Conference, and also at UNCLOS I in 1958 (ref. 7). The other proposals to consider the deep seabed as a common heritage resource were those of the Law of the Sea Institute (University of Rhodes Island) and the call of the United States President Johnson, both in 1966 (ref. 6).Figure 1. Manganese nodule mine site allotted to India in the international seabed area.

Figure 2. International seabed area in perspective.

All these previous references to the interest of international community in the sea and its resources notwithstanding, the credit of introduction of the CHM as a new concept in international law goes to Pardo (ref. 6, p. 121). Barkenbus (ref. 1, p. 32) regards the role of Pardo as that of a ‘legal catalyst’.

The CHM doctrine

Five principal elements appear to characterize the ‘CHM’ notion when applied to common space areas8. First, these regions would not be subject to appropriation of any kind, either public or private, national or corporate. Under the CHM doctrine, common space areas would be regarded legally as regions owned by no one, though hypothetically managed by everyone. Sovereignty would be absent, as would all its legal attributes and ramifications.Second, it follows that under a CHM regime all people would be expected to share in the management of a common space area9. In other words, states or national governments would be precluded from this legal function, save as the representative agents of all mankind8. This purports to expunge national interests from the administration process. Thus, the CHM concept is meant not only to
define the legal status of the deep seabed and its resources, but also to govern the whole system and machinery for the management of those resources.Third, if natural resources were exploited from a common space area, any economic benefits derived from those efforts would be shared internationally10. A fourth important element in a CHM regime maintains that use of the area must be limited exclusively to peaceful purposes. In effect, this would demilitarize the area to ensure use for peaceful purposes. A final characteristic defining an international area under a CHM status concerns the conduct of scientific research
in the region. Such research would be freely and openly permissible, so long as the environment of the
common space area was in no way physically threatened or ecologically impaired.

All these principles of (a) inappropriability and indivisibility of the seabed beyond national jurisdiction, (b)
international regulation of the exploration and exploitation activities of this common property, (c) equitable distribution of benefits among all countries irrespective of the geographical location of states, (d) freedom of access, use and navigation, (e) use of the seabed only for peaceful purposes, and (f) international cooperation, were supposed to be subsumed in the generic term ‘common heritage of mankind’ and emphasized by most of the countries in different words and with varying emphasis11.

The United Nations resolutions
Since the introduction of Malta’s proposal, a number of UN General Assembly resolutions were passed that emanated from the seabed committee. However, two of these resolutions, namely the ‘Moratorium Resolution’ and ‘Declaration of Principles Governing the Seabed’ are considered to be most important and of particular value in strengthening the common heritage concept for the recovery of manganese nodules.
The so-called Moratorium Resolution prohibited deep seabed exploitation activity (but not exploration) until the establishment of an international regulatory authority.

This resolution was particularly controversial as it ran directly counter to the res nullius principles espoused by many industrial nations (ref. 1, p. 134). The strong opposition of the principal technologically advanced countries to the Moratorium Resolution was not only because of the restriction for an indefinite time on
the exploitation of deep seabed resources, but also for the more accessible oil and gas reserves in the continental margins which, according to the definition of the continental shelf in the 1958 Convention, could still be considered to a great extent outside the limits of national jurisdiction and therefore a part of the CHM (ref. 6, p. 131).

For the Group of 77 (the developing countries), the Moratorium Resolution was a firm step towards safeguarding of the CHM from any encroachment. The second and perhaps the most important among the
UN resolutions emanating from the seabed committee was the 1970 ‘Declaration of Principles Governing the Seabed’. Its purpose was to set forth the principles upon which a new and definitive legal regime could be based. Both the developed and developing countries voted for this resolution, and it represented a compromise from both the Group of 77 and the technologically advanced countries. The main reason for its general acceptability was its delphic construction12.

The ‘Declaration of Principles’ resolution was of crucial importance for it served as the basis for negotiations between 1973 and 1982, which led to the provision now contained in Part XI of the 1982 Convention (ref. 5, p. 195).

Essentially, it incorporated and refined the 1967 Pardo proposal. It states that the deep seabed and its natural resources are ‘the common heritage of mankind’ and that exploitation of those resources shall be carried out for the benefit of mankind as a whole, taking into particular consideration theinterests and needs of the developing countries.

It provides that all activities regarding the exploration and exploitation of those resources shall be governed by ‘an international regime to be established under a generally accepted international treaty of a universal character based upon the principles of the Declaration’. However, the 1970 Declaration does not expressly forbid or authorize the exploration for and the exploitation of the mineral resources of the deep seabed pending the establishment of a ‘generally accepted treaty of an international character’.

At the time of its adoption, the US and several other ocean-mining states declared that it was not binding.
These states reserved their rights to begin exploration and exploitation of the deep seabed on a non-exclusive basis with the rights of other states, until they became parties to an eventual international agreement.

The common heritage concept, from the time of its presentation at the 22nd Session of the General Assembly in 1967 until 1970 when the ‘Declaration of Principles’ was adopted, had two discernible features (ref. 6, p. 130).

First, it was not accepted by all the countries involved.

Secondly, those who had accepted it had different interpretations of this concept.

The developing and developed countries were divided over the issue of legal status of deep seabed and the system of the exploitation of deep sea resources, as envisaged in Malta’s proposal and the subsequent UN resolutions.

The developing countries (G-77) contended that there existed a legal vacuum in the deep seabed, and the concept of the CHM, which transcended res nullius, res communis and other concepts was to fill up that vacuum (ref. 6, pp.122–123). The industrialized states, on the other hand, thought that the legal regime of the high seas or the principles of international law embodied in the charter of the UN were applicable to the deep seabed. They felt that the CHM concept is devoid of any legal content and is contrary to existing norms and principles of international law.

The principle of the CHM which underlies the 1982 Convention as a whole and the Part XI proposals in particular is not, as it is implemented in those proposals, reflective of the current customary international law of the sea13.

However, it can be argued13 that two central underlying ideas behind that concept are now widely accepted in the international community. They are (i) that the ‘discovery and occupation’ principle of the acquisition of the title to resources beyond the boundaries of national jurisdiction is now obsolete, and (ii) that the exploitation of what may be determined to be common heritage resources must in some form inure to the benefit of all members of the international community according to need. The most that can be postulated
about the present status of the CHM concept is that it may indicate an emergent principle of international law8.

The UNCLOS regime
Before deep seabed mining beyond national jurisdiction could proceed, a new and widely recognized legal regime governing the exploitation of nodules was necessary. The efforts to establish one was initiated after the Maltese proposal in 1967. From 1968 through 1973, this attempt took place within the UN Seabed Committee and under the auspices of UNCLOS.
Pursuant to the adoption of resolution 3067 by the General Assembly on 16 November 1973, the Seabed Committee was dissolved and the first session of the Law of the Sea Conference was convened in December 1973,with subsequent sessions taking place in the following years. The work of the conference was completed at the end of the 11th session on 30 April 1982 by adopting the present Convention (UNCLOS III).

The Convention defines the legal status of the deep seabed on the basis of the ‘common heritage principle’ and this finds formal expression in Part XI and the changes by way of the Implementation Agreement of 1996 in the Convention.

Part XI on the deep seabed is by far the largest part of the Convention. It contains 59 articles, from articles
133 to 191; and lays down general principles governing the area of the deep seabed (articles 136–149); development of the resources of that area (articles 150–155); the ISA (International Seabed Authority), articles 156–183; and settlementof disputes (articles 186–191).

Out of nine annexes to the Convention, two are directly related to the question of deep sea mining. In addition, there are six more annexes appended to the Final Act of the Convention. The first of these annexes contains four resolutions which were adopted at the final session of the conference. Resolution I concerns the establishment of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) for the Seabed Authority and the Law of the Sea Tribunal. Resolution II provided for the protection of the preparatory investment in pioneer activities relating to polymetallic nodules.

Part XI, Annexes III and IV, and Resolutions I and II together with the Implementation Agreement constitute the law for deep seabed mining as negotiated and agreed upon by the overwhelming majority at UNCLOS III and thereafter in the Implementation Agreement.

The UNCLOS regime governs all activities connected with exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the ‘area’. The area is defined as the ‘seabed and ocean floor and subsoil thereof beyond national jurisdiction1 (article 1). The area which comprises about 60% of the whole seabed and its resources is declared the CHM in pursuance of which access to its resources is regulated by ISA.

The Convention entered into force on 16 November 1994 in accordance with article 308, which provides for entry into force 12 months after the date of deposit of the sixtieth instrument of ratification or accession. This has come about by virtue of the fulfillment of this provision beginning in December 1982 and being completed on 16 November 1993 after the sixtieth ratification. India’s nonratification of the Convention until 29 June 1995 was not a deliberate attempt and did not therefore reflect its position vis-à-vis any of the Convention provisions.

The industrialized States with deep seabed mining interests, particularly the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, France and the Netherlands did not ratify because of their dissatisfaction with Part XI and the related Annexes on the deep seabed mining regime. The US had made known its displeasure and requirements almost a year before the Convention was opened for signature and ratification in December 1982. In the interim, the silence and non-anticipation of the US in the PrepCom meetings and continued uncertainty over non-ratification by the industrialized States, accompanied by the lack of necessity and compulsions for manganese nodule constituent minerals, had largely contributed to the lack of initiative to respond to the changes sought by the industrialized States.

The sustained position of the industrialized States had over the years led to an offer of dialogue and probable major alterations to Part XI from the G-77 in September 1989, later transferring itself into an United Nations initiative and informal consultation of June 1990. The outcome of this crucial dialogue is the 1994 draft Agreement14 relating to the implementation of Part XI of the Convention and a draft resolution15 by which the UN General Assembly would adopt the Agreement and urge States to adhere
to it and to the Convention16. The resolution was adopted by the General Assembly on 28 July 1994 by a vote of 121-0-7 (ref. 17). The prospect of the Convention coming into force in November 1994 had quickened the pace of developments towards the successful completion of the Agreement.

The implementation agreement
The Resolution and the Agreement seek to achieve universal participation and widespread ratification to the Convention by way of modifications and improvements to Part XI in recognition of the demands of the industrialized States and a growing worldwide reliance on marketoriented principles accompanied by the economic and political changes of the intervening period between 1983 and 1994. The Agreement consists of a preamble, ten articles and an annex divided into nine sections. Dwelling on the relationship between the Agreement and Part XI, article 2 of the Agreement provides that it is to be interpreted and applied together with Part XI as a single instrument and in the event of any inconsistency between them, the Agreement will prevail.

As for application of the Agreement for ratifying States after the adoption of the Resolution on 28 July 1994, article 4 of the Agreement provides that ‘after the adoption of this Agreement, any instrument of ratification or formal confirmation of or accession to the Convention shall also represent consent to be bound by this Agreement’ and that ‘no State or entity may establish its consent to be bound by this Agreement unless it has previously established or establishes at the same time its consent to be bound by Convention’. Accordingly, India’s ratification of the Convention on 29 June 1995 represents its consent
to be bound by the Agreement as well.

For State Parties to the Convention prior to adoption of the Agreement on 28 July 1994, the Agreement provides liberal terms for provisional application by these and other later ratificants and affords States several years to become party to both the Agreement and the Convention18.

With a large number of States, including the industrialized countries accepting the provisional application, one may expect that Part XI will be implemented from the outset in accordance with the new Agreement and with representative participation in decision-making organs19.

The Agreement has since come into force on 28 July 1996 (in accordance with article 6(1) of the Agreement) with provisional application of the Agreement coming to an end on the same day (in accordance with article 7(3) of the Agreement)20.

The Agreement establishes general principles in those areas which relate to the objections of the industrialized States on economic and commercial grounds. These principles will be the basis for rules and regulations establishing a management regime for commercial production, when interest in commercial mining emerges21. The Agreement retains the institutional outlines of Part XI,but scales back the structure and links the initiation and operation of institutions to the actual development of concrete interest in seabed mining. Both the Convention(articles 312–316) and the Agreement (Annex, Section 4) have provisions for their amendment. This is of great general importance, because the invention and development of quasi-legislative techniques are essential to the future well-being of international law in general (ref. 21,
pp. xii–xiii; Foreword by Jennings, Robert, Y.).

The re-evaluation of Part XI
The major changes to Part XI were inevitable. It depended on the ability to make encouraging moves and
compromises to be able to satisfy the long-held demands of the industrialized States. Though an initial response to the major policy shift demonstrated by the G-77 could be mistaken for a dilution of the CHM principle as was originally envisaged in the Convention, a careful study indicates the realities and wisdom that the Agreement has since embraced. Considering the sustained reaction of the industrialized States and the importance of their participation in the Convention and, if the past events, experiences and developments in the intervening period between 1982 and 1994 are any guide, then the changes asked and made to Part XI were a foregone conclusion. The experiences of the industrialized States; and success with marketoriented principles, and dissatisfaction with large international organizations for reasons of maintenance expenses; and their own expectations from Part XI were in sharp contrast to the G-77 concept of the CHM.The Agreement is a substantial improvement and relief for pioneer and potential investors due to the major concessions made and the near-universal acceptance it has brought about. This could also be sufficient reason to attract investment in areas outside the application sites held by the pioneer investors and the ISA.
Conclusion
The CHM concept has given a rationale and an identity to the international seabed area beyond national jurisdiction and saved it from being drowned in the attempts at appropriation. The development and emergence of the concept is the nearest that could have happened towards the fair settlement of resources in the region. India has gained to the extent that the availability of international seabed area under the CHM concept has made it possible to acquire an undisputable title to the resources on the basis of norms and regulations laid down by the ISA. The surrender of 75,000 km2 i.e. 50% of the allotted area is in fulfillment
of the obligations for access to the resources that lay in Indian claim of the international seabed area. The
deep seabed regime and the amendments made therein have removed the uncertainty and the ‘discovery and occupation’ principle in pursuit of undesirable titles to resources in the seabed area beyond national jurisdiction, thus paving the way for opportunities and a possible share from the profits for developing countries.

1. Barkenbus, J. N., Deep Seabed Resources, The Free Press (Macmillan), New York, 1979, p. 5.
2. Shyam, M., Metals from the Seabed: Prospects for Mining Polymetallic Nodules by India, Oxford and IBH, New Delhi, 1982, p.10.
3. Qasim, S. Z. and Nair, R. R., From the first nodule to first minesite,Project report, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa,
1988, p. 1.
4. Hauser, W., The Legal Regime for Deep Seabed Mining under theLaw of the Sea Convention, Frankfurt, 1983, vol. 7, p. 12.
5. Simmonds, K. R., Oil Gas Law Taxation Rev., 1987/88, 6 194.
6. Mahmoudi, S., The Law of Deep Seabed Mining, Stockholm,1987, p. 120.
7. Introductory remark by Bernardo Zuleta in Official Text of the1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Sales No.E.83V.5, United Nations, New York, 1983, p.XX.
8. Joyner, C. C., Comp. Law Q., 1986, 35, 190–199.
9. Gorove, S., San Diego Law Rev., 1972, 9, 390.
10. Borgese, E. M., San Diego Law Rev., 1977, 14, 584.
11. Anand, R. P., Legal Regime of the Seabed and the DevelopingCountries, Sijthoff, Leyden, 1976, p. 212.
12. Churchill, R. R. and Lowe, A. V., The Law of the Sea, UniversityPress, Manchester, 1988, p. 181.
13. Simmonds, K. R., Oil Gas Law Taxation Rev., 1988/89, 7, 47.
14. The Agreement on Deep Seabed Mining Regime relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the Third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. UN Doc. A/48/950, 1994.
15. General Assembly Res. 48/263 of 28 July 1994.
16. The Third UN Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982. UN
Doc. A/CONF. 62/122, 1982, reprinted in The Law of the Sea: Official Text of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seawith Annexes and Index, UN Sales No. E.83.V.5, 1983.
17. General Assembly Res. 48/263 of 28 July 1994. The Implementation Agreement is annexed to this GA Resolution. 121-0-7 is a vote result suggesting Yes-No-Abstentions.
18. Agreement, articles 4 through 7; Annex, sec. 1, para 12.
19. Oxman, B. H., The 1994 Agreement and the Convention. Law of the Sea Forum: The 1994 Agreement on Implementation of the Seabed Provisions of the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Am.J. Int. Law, 1994, 88, 687–696.
20. United Nations, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, Status of the Convention and the Agreement, 5 November 1996, Law of the Sea, Information Circular, pp. 1–9.
21. Scholz, W. S., 1994 Rhodes Papers. Entry into Force of the Law of the Sea Convention (eds Nordqist Myron, H. and John Norton Moore), Centre for Oceans Law and Policy, Virginia, USA and Kluwer Law International, The Hague, NL, 1995, pp. 69–84.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. I thank Dr V. N. Kodagali, Project Leader, Polymetallic Nodules (Exploration) and Dr Ehrlich Desa, Director,NIO, Goa, for their support to publish in my chosen area of interest bordering on earth sciences and law of the sea issues. Thanks are also due to Dr Rahul Sharma and Dr Sridhar Iyer for critically reviewing the manuscript. The views and arguments given in this article are my own and therefore no official influence or endorsement is meant anywhere. This is NIO Contribution 3878.

Received 13 October 2003; accepted 27 December 2003

http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/mar252004/783.pdf
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I met Tenzin ji this Sunday who was visiting his parents in Hyderabad. He had brought some books from SIDH for me. Along with the books was the yearly planner published by SIDH. They named it SAMYOJNA. I guess the word comes from combination of Samay and Yojna. Samay means time and Yojna is plan. So a planner would reflect to planning of time.

The starting few pages in the planner are taken to explain the traditional Indian concept of time, the traditional calender (Lunar calender) and how the calender varies from one part of India to other. Reading those pages filled me with joy and excitement. I was happy to learn the Lunar calender and excited to know that extensive research has been done on the concept of time in India. I was so excited, I felt the need to share some of it in the blog.

Traditionally, time (of kaal) is considered in three ranges in the Hindu philosophy. The first is the cosmic time determined in terms of the life span of Brahma. Brahma is the GOD in Hindu philosophy also referred by Om. In Hindu mythology, one year represents one day for the divine. 360 divine days make one divine year and 12,000 divine years make one Mahayug. Mahayug is also devided in 4 yugs namely Kali yug (432,000 human years), Dwapar yug (864,000 human years; dw= twice), Treta yug (1,296,000 human years; tre=thrice) and Krita yug (1,728,000 human years; 4 times kali yug). 72 Mahayugs make one Manvantara i.e the life of Manu (a character in Hindu mythology). And 14 such Manvantaras make one day (kalpa) for Brahma. This works out to 4.35 billion human years. According to Panchang (a hindu way to calculate time), in the year 2008 (the gregorian way), the universe is 1,955,855,109 human years old.

The second range of time is the Panchang time, which is measured in units of days and months. This is used in determining the seasons etc. There are 6 seasons in one year, namely Vasant (spring), Greeshm (Summer), Varsha (Rain), Sharad (Autumn), Hemant (Winter) and Shishir (early spring).

The third range of time is ishorological, which is used to determine the duration of day and is measured in lesser units. This I found most interesting, though I'm not quite sure what the word ishorological means. The Truti (particle) is the smallest unit of duration. In modern terms it ranges anywhere between one ten thousand millionth of a second to one Kshan (moment). The Kshan (moment) loosely ranges from 2/45th of a second to about 4 seconds. The Nimesha/Mimisha (twinkling of an eye), which is the time taken for upward and downward movement of eyelid is equal to 4 kshanas. The lava (fraction) is the duration of a completed blink (i.e the time taken to shut completely and open the eyes) is equal to 8 kshanas. The taal (hand clap) ranges from one quarter to three quarter of a second. It is an extremely elastic phenomena depending on the intensity of clap.

All this seemed very excited to me for mainly two reasons. One, we could go beyond a second and accurately calculate the time taken by very real and common phenomena of blinking and clapping. And secondly, our research on time w.r.t to celestial movements. I guess the study of Indian astrology would be interesting.

By the way, since I'm writing this blog on the new year day I thought I would also mention that in many parts of India the year starts from Makar Sankranti, which this year would fall on 14th Jan.

Concept of Time

Content
________________________________________
Time : Concepts

Time : The Philosophic Discourse

Time : Geological and Biological

Time : Social and Cultural

Time : Ritual

Time : Response of the Arts

Time : Consciousness

Time : Transcendence and Immanence

________________________________________
TIME : CONCEPTS

Kala : Mystery or Measure - Raja Ramanna
Smt.Kapila Vatsyayan and very distinguished participants present at this meeting :
It has been given to me the honour of inaugurating this international seminar on "TIME". However, it is not clear why I have been chosen to give the inaugural address. I will, however, not give an address, but make only a few inaugural remarks. We are going to have many brilliant presentations later and this will be followed by discussions.
This morning we witnessed a very unique inaugural ceremony. I had never seen anything like this before. It has created an atmosphere of seriousness about what we are going to discuss. We have heard for the first time several ancient languages as they should be articulated. There is something mystical about the very sounds of these ancient languages. The drum dance of Manipur, which we witnessed, is an example of tradition which makes the very drum to speak to you. We are very grateful to Kapilaji for this type of inspiring beginning, as something which points to the directions of time. It seems that, in macroscopic studies, "Time" moves only in one direction. However, when one comes to microscopic systems, "Time" becomes reversible and one can even speak of negative time. Why this should be so, is not clear.
With the coming of Relativity, it has now become clear that the measurement of time is not the same for all observers. It depends on the relative speed of the observer, i.e., the measurement of time depends on the physical condition of the observer. This has become necessary to preserve the law of physics unchanged under all conditions, i.e., remain invariant under all circumstances. This is the great contribution of the Theory of Relativity and in its treatment "Time" loses its absolute nature. The fact that different observers have different standards of measurement, especially noticeable when they reach a relative velocity approaching that of light, gives rise to many paradoxes, but all these happen only if the observers have a relative velocity approaching that of light, which, for the human system, does not seem possible.
Quantum cosmology predicts that "Time" itself, as we know it, is of finite origin and came into existence a few billion years ago, when the big bang took place (that is, if it took place at all). The question that immediately follows is, what were things like before the big bang?
This is as far as physics can tell us about "Time".
Other topics :
Natural Law and the individual Event - David Park
The Impermanence of Time - J M Malville
Further COnjectures on Time - C V Seshadri
Kalasakti : The Power of Time - Raimon Panikkar
Time -- Concet and Context - G C Pande...

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TIME : THE PHILOSOPHIC DISCOURSE

Conceptual Analysis of Some Features of our Worldview - Gert H Muller
The man on the road, i.e., we all, man or woman, is confronted with the challenge to survive in this natural and societal surrounding and to come to grips with the world around him and with his personal fate. In his continuous search he has to base his attempts on inputs from the outer world, from his inner experiences and maybe, from illuminations from above. The results of this search known to us through the great mythical views, the leading religions, the early and later world-views and the philosophical systems. As different as they all are in detail some general features and aspects recur therein through the millennia, e.g., monistic, dualistic and pluralistic structures, analogies to phenomena of life, cyclic or uni-directed global process and so on. The role of category TIME is analysed abundantly for specific religions, metaphysical systems and scientific theories and views...

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TIME : GEOLOGICAL AND BIOLOGICAL

Geological and Archaeological Time: Some Concepts and their Implications - D.P.Agrawal
Three arrows of time have been recognised. First, there is the thermodynamic arrow of time, the direction in which disorder or entropy increases. Then there is the psychological arrow of time, the direction in which we remember the past and not the future. Finally, there is the cosmological arrow of time in which the universe expands rather than contracts. In this talk, I will confine myself to only thermodynamic and psychological arrows of time as related to geological and archaeological time.
This essay deals with three aspects of geological/archaeological time. In the first part, I discuss the revolutionary changes the modern scientific methods have brought about in our concepts of time as related to the origins of the Universe and man, and how such concepts are conditioned by our cultural traditions. The contrast among the Christian, Hindu and Chinese concepts of time is delineated.
In the second part, I deal with the direction of time as it appears to the early man. How and when the cyclicity of time got straightened out into a unidirectional time is also discussed.
In the last section, I discuss how our concepts of human evolution are conditioned by our ideas of time. Is the tempo of technological evolution exponential or linear? How does one resolve the inexorable fate of the universe moving towards disorder, entropy and heat-death and the evolutionary tendencies toward higher organisation?..

________________________________________
TIME : SOCIAL AND CULTURAL

Time in the Cultural Frame of China - Tan Chung
Culture is a human faculty to conceive the natural and social phenomena in our universe, a faculty to assign meaning and significance to them. Men live the world in a triangle framed by time, environment and fortune. For the last many thousand years the Chinese have been making continuous efforts to evolve a benign spiral out of this triangle. Being an agricultural nation, while agriculture is a seasonal vacation subject to the dictates of the meteorological changes in the course of time, China has acquired an early sensitivity for time from time immemorial. This gave rise to Chinese concept of "Tianshi" (Heavenly time) which essentially denotes the weather conditions offered by Heaven to men during their socio-economic pursuits. Even when so conceived these Chinese have determined since ancient times to wrest the initiatives from the dominance of Ehavenly Time like what Mencius (327 289 B.C) said: "Heavenly times are not as beneficial as the earthly resources while earthly resources are not as beneficial as human harmony".
In this essay I want to project an overview of the Chinese concept of time as has been revealed to usby the last three thousand years of development of Chinese civilization.
In the Confucian classics there is a sensitivity to the force of evolution of time as the Zhouyi (The Zhou version of the Book of Change) begins with the symbol of QIAN which is conceived as "Qianyuan" (The Qian beginning). Comments Zhouyi:
Great is the Qian Beginning when everything is in its nascent stage. The Heaven unites, the clouds sail and rains drop,
and various categories of beings flow into their shape...

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TIME : RITUAL

Ritual and the Cosmos - Frits Staal
This essay is chiefly concerned with connection in time and space between ritual and the cosmos. At first sight there appears to be a basic difference: in ritual, time and space are determined by tradition, but in the cosmos, they are discovered by science. On closer inspection, this difference becomes more problematic and complex. There also remains a distinction to be made between real imaginary connections. With respect to all these varieties, an attempt will be made to lay them out before the reader.
Unlike time in the cosmos, which is not getting less mysterious with scientists shedding more light on it, and unlike the complexities of a ritual performed in time by seventeen priests, which are at least bewildering, the temporal background of Vedic ritual is straight forward. This background is exhibited by a hierarchy defined in terms of duration that ranges from the relatively brief haviryajna offerings of rice or barely, via the pasubandha of animal sacrifice, to the lengthy Soma rituals. Among the first category, the most important rituals are the Agnihotra, which is performed every evening and morning, and two others that are named after their equally periodic performance : Darsapurnamasa. "Full and New-Moon ceremonies", and Caturmasya, "Four Monthly" ceremonies. Each succeeding ceremony in this hierarchy lasts longer than the previous one, and all are presupposed by and incorporated in the Soma rituals which add numerous new features. Most Soma rituals retain one calendrical feature: they have to be initiated during the month of Vasanta or "brilliant season", i.e., the spring...

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TIME : RESPONSE OF THE ARTS

The Visioning of Time Kala and Kavi
A study in language Strategy - Chandra Rajan
No altar is strewn, no praise-songs sung in honour of time in the earliest Vedic literature.
The poet-seers (kavi) of the Rgveda speak of the waters as the source of the universe, of Aditi, the boundless infinity that stretches on all sides seemingly encompassing the visible universe and extending beyond it, as Mother of All. They sense an unseen world of primal powers; Adityas (born of Adity), luminous being (devas) whom they look upon as creative powers of might and majesty. The seers vision these as divinities figuring them with glittering metaphors: Indira, Mitra, Varuna, Agni and the bright winged bird, the sun, all of whom the seer Rsi Dirghatmas ses as a aspects of the one in the shape of the unborn. (Rv 1.164.6); as the single creative power.
Ekam sat vipra bahu vadanti (1.164,46)
The one reality the seers speak of as many...

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TIME : CONSCIOUSNESS

The Flesh and Blood of Time - Lokesh Chandra
Time dwells in the depths of full mind. Deep inside us it interweaves the real and the unreal. Sacred time is the pure becoming, where the time of physics is no longer determinant. It is the flowing onward of the essence of life, a value centre in many principles of being, as we seek to create newer and even individualised eyes. The mind renews itself in the intuition of time. It is the laughter of the gods out of which emerge our newest sensibilities of expanding consciousness. IT brings a polytheistic instinct in a monotheistic thinking. Time is the big and beautiful of human knowledge that comprises the immeasurable infinite, away from the absolute silence concerning the meaning of life. It engulfs man eternally, in a now that has no end. The eternal (sanatana) of the infinite Being is Time that upholds (dharma), the cosmic and human order, the sanatana dharma of India.
Sanskrit has several words for time. The lexicon Amarakosa lists four : kala, dista, aneha and samaya. The word kals is derived from the root kal to calculate, enumerate. In the Atharvaveda and Satapatha Brahmana it is a fixed or right point of time, a space of time, time. It also signifies "time as leading to events (the causes of which are imperceptible to man), destiny, fate": from a sanctified time to the notion of destiny. The word dista for time is the appointed or assigned moment, fate, death. But disti is "auspicious juncture, good fortune, happiness" in the phrase distya vardhase (you are fortunate, I congratulate you on your luck). The third word, aneha time, basically means "incomparable, unattainable, unmenaced, unobstruccted". It is the enduring and the permanent in change. The fourth word samaya time" is explained as samyug eti ("appointed or proper time, right moment for doing anything, time")...

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TIME : TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE

Time (Kala), the Moving Image of Eternity - Seyyed Hossein Nasr
The Time (that has parts) cooks (pacati, matures) all things,
In the Great self, indeed;
But the Comprehensor of That (Time without parts) in which time itself
Is cooked, he knows the Vedas !"
(Hindu saying, trans. A.K.Coomaswamy, Time and Eternity, Ascona, 1947, p.16
[Zeus] designed to make out of eternity a something moving; and so, when He was ordering the whole Heaven (Universe), He made out of that Eternity that ever abides in its own unity a sempiternal image, moving according to number, even that which we have called time.
(Plato, Timaeus, trans. A.K.Coomaraswamy)
From this shore of existence to the other stands the army of oppression,
But, opportunity for the dervishes stretches from pre-Eternity to Post-Eternity
(Hafiz)
Man lives in the world of change and becoming wherein he experiences time which marks his earthly life and which finally conquers him as it leads him ineluctably to his death. Yet, he is in turn able to conquer time because he has issued forth from the Eternal Order. Man has an innate awareness of Eternity whose notion is deeply imprinted upon his mind and its experience still echoes in the depth of his soul where something remains of the lost paradise which he inhabited before joining the caravan of terrestrial life. The traditional universe is dominated by the two basic realities of Origin and Centre, both of which belong to realm of the Eternal. Man lives a life removed form the Origin on a circumference distanced from the Centre. And it is precisely this removal and distancing which constitute for him the experience of time. He is, therefore, a being suspended between time and Eternity, neither a purely temporal creature nor a being of he Eternal Realm, at least in his ordinary earthly state. That is why all religions focus their teachings upon the question of the relation between time and Eternity as do all traditional philosophies. To understand the nature of man is to become aware of his existential situation as a being belonging to the Eternal Order but living in time which itself cannot but be related to Eternity since all orders of reality are of necessity interrelated...
http://ignca.nic.in/ks_31_cn.htm

VEDIC CONCEPT OF TME
By Rajee Kushwaha (May 29, 2007)
‘Time’, though UNFATHOMABLE, has TWO connotations. It is similar to the latest controversy on the creation of life on earth. According to SCIENTISTS of old school of thought and, of course, some RATIONALISTS too, the creation of life on earth began after the creation of universe by the ‘BIG BANG (BB)’. It advocates the continuous expansion of the universe, thereafter. “NO”, says the latest viewpoint, supported of course by THEOLOGIANS, “The life on earth has been INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED (ID)”. The ‘BB’ or the ‘ID’ theories have their own supporters. The one says that the universe sprang out of ‘Nothing’ with a BIG BANG, the other presupposes its ‘pre-existence’ and hence the ID, The difference between the TWO is: ‘ID’ theory believes in the existence of a ‘SUPREME-BEING’ where as ‘BB’theory discounts the existence of this ‘SUPREME BEING’ (I am deliberately not calling it GOD). Bear in mind, both are scientific theories; though ID, being the latest, has at the moment only a minority view. What are their connections with time? It has a deep connection. The BB theory says TIME MOVES LIKE AN ARROW IN A LINEAR FASHION NEVER TO COME BACK, where as the ID theory puts forward the view that TIME MOVES IN A CYCLIC PROCESS. What is the difference? It is very simple: ONE (ID) repeats, the OTHER (BB) does not. Wait, do not jump to conclusions. I’m not going to give you a pep-talk on KARMIC THEORY. But ironically, I must admit that ID theory supports the ‘KARMA’ arguments of VEDIC PHILOSOPHY.

Stephen Hawking, the renowned Astrophysicist and a Mathematician, says in his book, “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIMES”, that ‘TIME and SPACE’ merge at the boundaries of BLACK HOLES. It implies time comes to a stand still. In other words, the ARROW OF TIME DROPS DEAD. If it drops dead then obviously it must restart. And if I’ve read HAWKING correctly, then it restarts from a ‘WARM HOLE’. Is he suggesting it is CYCLICAL? No, this is not my interpretation. I am merely conjecturing that through his search for “UNIFIED THEORY” he ultimately might come to this conclusion. Even if U read “SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY” by EINSTIEN, you will note that he too, argued that TIME and SPACE can be CONDENSED. If so, does it mean we can MOVE FORWARD and BACKWARD in time. Simply put, of course, and why not because don’t certain celestial events repeat PERIODICALLY? Hypnotic sciences do regress a person in time to cure him of his psychic problems. Ask some PSYCHIATRIST? Have you not heard of PARA PSYCHOLOGY which is an advanced science, today? Does some one remember here the MYTHOLOGICAL tale of the MARRIAGE OF BALRAM—elder brother of LORD Krishna? It is a long story. Let me say in a few words. It is said a Girl and a Father went to BRAHMA in the HEAVENS during ‘SATYUGA’ to ask for the suitable match for the girl. It might have taken some SECONDS as per them but when they came to earth it was ‘DWAPAR’. The ‘TRETA’ and ‘SATYUGA’ had gone past in the journey up and down. Its enormity you will realize when you learn of the ages of these YUGAS given in the last few paragraphs of this blog. FUTURE and PAST can thus be condensed and hence predicted. Isn’t it?
Is my question a naughty one? Yes, it is. How? Because I am getting you to the VEDIC point of view that TIME was CYLICAL. Once you understand this, it will be very easy for you to comprehend the VEDIC CONCEPT of TIME. Are you still not convinced? Ok. How r DAYS n NIGHTS formed? Your Answer: The earth rotates around its axis. Excellent. But do you ever think why does it complete a ROTATION in 24 hours roughly? Why not in 10 hours today and 17 hours tomorrow? Similarly, Earth’s revolution around the SUN forms SEASONS at FIXED INTERVALS. Each time the ARROW DROPS DEAD the new cycle begins. Ok, forget earth. Let us talk about certain other CELESTIAL BODIES. Take Hailey’s COMET. Why does it repeatedly visits EARTH every 78 YEARS? Isn’t this movement REPITITIVE or SIMPLY CYCLICAL. (SOME SCIENTISTS ARE ALSO SUGGESTING THAT MAN CAN RIDE THIS COMET TO EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE). There are a number of other such phenomenons which confirm that TIME REPEATS. If it repeats it is CYCLICAL. We DO NOT ACCEPT THE CYCLIC OR THE FIXED PERIODICITY OF TIME BECAUSE OF OUR SHORTER LIFE SPANS. IT IS BECAUSE WE CAN NOT OBSERVE. But, what we can observe we accept, such as DAY n NIGHT phenomenon. This is the essence of the VEDIC THEORY OF TIME. My point is kindly do not RUBBISH THIS WITH DISDAIN because even age old scientific beliefs are not the ULTIMATE TRUTH. Ok, just assume for a while till you reach the end of this blog.
Now if you accept that time was CYCLICAL, then, you also must seriously consider the VERISIMIMLITUDE OF THE CONCEPT OF REINCARNATION & KARMIC PHILOSOPHY. REBIRTH is a CORNERSTONE of KARMIC THEORY n VEDIC CONCEPT of time. I invite you fellows to read Dr. BRIAN WEISS‘s “MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS”. He is a renowned US Psychiatrist, who accidentally got involved with real life REBIRTH NARRATINS by one of his patients. This book is all about the true narration of 86 BIRTHS by CATHERINE—his patient. He has written some other books too on the same experiences. His works justifies the REINCARNATION theory.
Please, please spare me the agony; it has nothing to do with any religion. VEDAS knowledge is not the only PRESEVE of HINDUS or BRAHMINS, it is a KNOLEDGE RESOURCE, as would be the BOOKS ON THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. Have I told you about VEDIC MATHEMATICS? No, I haven’t. There are 16 SUTRAS (FORMULAS) which helps you make calculations faster than the computer also. I can not help it if you still think VEDAS are only some kind of SONGS IN PRAISE OF GODS. The Vedic scriptures and literature, if studied in details, will give you the idea as to how great WAS THE SCINTIFIC ADVANCEMENT DURING VEDIC TIMES. All this scientific knowledge known to man today was far advanced in the VEDIC times. Some other time, I will dwell on the extent and range of scientific advancement during the Vedic period. It was much more than today. Alas! As the scientific ADVANCEMENT REACHES ITS VERTIX, THE DESTRUCTION CAN NOT BE FAR BEHIND. This is what had happened with the VEDIC people, too. They too had WMD. They used them in MAHABHARTA and destroyed themselves along with the VEDIC KNOWLEDGE. Didn’t EINSTIEN once remarked: “ I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WEAPONS WILL BE USED IN THE THIRD WORLD WAR; BUT I’M CERTAIN THE FOURTH WORLD WAR WILL BE FOUGHT WITH STONES.” Take it or leave it.
I’m sorry I got carried away but I haven’t given you the MEASUREMENT OF VEDIC CONCEPT OF TIME. OK. Here, I go.
You see, as per Vedic thought, the world is OPERATED by Lord BRAHMA. Therefore time also begins with him. Hey by the way, BRAHMA is not a name; it is an APPOINTMENT-Like the PRIME MINISTER. The age of BRAHMA has been PEGGED at 100 COSMIC /DIVINE or BRAHM YEARS. Each year has 360 KALPAS (A DAY OF BRAHMA). Let us put it in a table:-
BRAHMA: 100 COSMIC/DIVINE years.
EACH COSMIC or BRAHM YEAR: 360 KALPAS
EACH KALPA (DAY): 14 PERIODS
EACH PERIOD: 71GI (Great Intervals)
EACH GI: 01 CHATURYUGI
EACH CHATARYUGI: 04 YUGAS (12000 Divine Years)
- SATYUG: 4800 DIVINE YEARS
- TRETA YUG: 3600 Divine Years
- DWAPAR YUG: 2400 Divine years
- KAL YUG: 1200 Divine Years
------------------------
Total 12000 DIVINE YEARS
-----------------------------
EACH DIVINE YEAR: 360 EARTH YEARS.
THUS;
EACH CHATURYUGI 43, 20,000 EARTH YEAR
OR 4.32 MEY
EACH GI 4.32 MEY
EACH PERIOD: 71 into 4.32 million years=306.72 MEY
EACH KALPA: 14 into306.76 MEY + 07 gaps of one GI in two Periods (Around 4.32 Billion
Earth Years)

The figure becomes astronomical. One KALPA i.e. one day of BRAHMA works out roughly to 4.32 Billion Earth Years. It is said that THE PRESENT BRAHMA had been there for 55 YEARS. And we are in the SEVENTH KALPA (DAY) OF HIS 55th YEAR. What happens there after, say after 45 BRAHM/DIVINE/COSMIC YEARS? Vedic people say it is MAHAPARLYA—the end of life. Time comes to a STANDSTILL--THE ARROW DROPS. Will life again begin on THIS PLANET ONLY? NO SIR, IT MOVES to a DIFFERENT Planet. (I link it with theory of ID here.) May be life on EARTH came from some different PLANET. Heard of recently discovered EARTH-II? It is, the scientists say, some 20.5 LIGHTS YEARS AWAY. Or some 193 TRILLION Kms. Did we come from there, is the crucial question?
Other civilizations, too, talk of PARLYA or KYAMAT or DOOMS DAY. But they talk of its occurrence on this earth only. As per Vedic philosophy they are different from MAHAPARLYA. This kind of ‘parlay’ or the ‘dooms day’ of others, according to Vedic thought, does occur at the end of EVERY KALPA of BRAHMA. HE sleeps for a KALPA (NIGHT) at the end of HIS one day. Thus human life faces much repeated destruction on this earth before it is FINALLY EXTINCT. THE ENERGY IS SUCKED INTO THE BLACK HOLE –totally churned out of shape. New ENERGY emerges out of a WARM HOLE. NEW LIFE BEGINS SOMEWHERE IN THIS COSMIC KINGDOM. It runs parallel with some other form of life somewhere in UNIVERSE. This is what ID says. The VEDIC PEOPLE TALKED OF THREE WORLDS (LOKAS). They knew about the existence of other forms of more advanced life somewhere in PARLOK and PATAL LOK. Did you say you that have found EARTH-II? You are far away from their LEVEL of ADVANCEMENT, MAN! On this, some other time if the response is OK. THANKS.
http://rajee.sulekha.com/blog/post/2007/05/vedic-concept-of-time.htm