When did it begin? No answer. Even if we say it started from the moment the universe was formed, then the question arises from which universe. Our universe, the Milky Way is only a part of a big one; the end to end is still not known. Then when did it start?
So not knowing it, we created a benchmark of time with reference to the rotation of this earth on its axis and around the Sun.
Then it is good or wise enough to ask this question: So from where we do want to make a calculation for time for our life span? Are we drifting backward or forward? We again created a benchmark for our life span. It is aging and this aging process we take it forward as it is slipping away from us.
The Julian Gregorian and other calendars of day appeared only from the Neolithic period and afterwards in the Bronze Age.
As per Aristotle, Time is the prime mover, that which moves without itself moving.
We created the time zone based on the more or less spherical formation of earth converting it into 360 degrees. Then for example the morning 6 Am drifts from one degree to the other westwards and thus it goes on and on. It is still only a reference. It is a continuous process of tessellation. Thus the time shifts without leaving a space between.
Then think about the Vedic time. When did it actually start? Impossible to calculate. Only assumptions can be made.
An Upanishad verse says that it is not time that has passed. It is the living beings, that is, we, who are aging and decaying. From moment to moment right from the womb, it is growing and moving towards death and decay after birth.
Aum in the Mandukya Upanishad
The Mandukya Upanishad is one of several Upanishads that discuss the meaning and significance of the syllable Om (Aum).
The Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad opens by declaring, “Om!, this syllable is this whole world”. Thereafter it presents various explanations and theories on what it means and signifies. This discussion is built on a structure of “four fourths” or “fourfold”, derived from A + U + M + “silence” (or without an element
Aum as all states of time
In verse 1, the Upanishad state that time is threefold: the past, the present and the future, that these three are “Aum”. The four fourth of time is that which transcends time, that too is “Aum” expressed.
Aum as all states of Atman
In verse 2, states the Upanishad, everything is Brahman, but Brahman is Atman (the soul, self), and that the Atman is fourfold.
Aum as all states of consciousness
In verses 3 to 6, the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad enumerates four states of consciousness: wakeful, dream, deep sleep and the state of ekatma (being one with Self, the oneness of Self). These four are A + U + M + “without an element” respectively.
Aum as all of etymological knowledge
In verses 9 to 12, the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad enumerates fourfold etymological roots of the syllable “Aum”. It states that the first element of “Aum” is A, which is from Apti (obtaining, reaching) or from Adimatva (being first). The second element is U, which is from Utkarsa (exaltation) or from Ubhayatva (intermediateness). The third element is M, from Miti (erecting, constructing) or from Mi Minati, or apīti (annihilation). The fourth is without an element, without development, beyond the expanse of universe. In this way, states the Upanishad, the syllable Om is the Atman (the self) indeed.
When it says there was a time before the present moment, it trails backward endlessly and there is time far ahead which we can never attain.
So Aum comes from the Big bang theory of this Universe. Similarly Aum would have started from earlier formations of universes other than this tiny Milky Way.
Astonishing isn’t! What types of Vedas and Upanishads those Universes will be having!
Repetition of this Manthra or meter Aum and a silence thereafter is nothing but a transient response to start again. The cycle never stops. The sound Aum creates an aura around the space and moves far far forward with increased radius up to infinity. We talk about microwaves and all that. So, if we can know at what frequency Lord Krishna taught Bhagavath Geetha to Arjuna, we can tap it even today! It is resonating. It is beyond space and time!
Our time surrounds around 24 hour span and we reckon it as a day and 365/366 days as one year.
So Happy New Year and let us all resolve assuming it as the first day after our birth and let us turn Satwic and remove the impurities that got accumulated in our mind, brain and body in the previous years and pray for the prosperity for everything on this good earth in the years to come.
Time will never vanish!
Aum Shaanthi Aum
By Sundareswaran Date: 31st Dec 2016.