Arijit Bhattacharyya

Time travel in mahabharata

Did time travel really exist in past? Probably 6000 years ago in Sindhu Culture? Well time travel is not a recent concept but if we look in the past we can have an idea of what time travel is and what it's likely to be in future. All the ancient civilizations have entertained the idea of time travelling and multiple universes. In each of this universes time passed at a different pace. The Sindhu culture is during Mahabharata and probably before that. The idea of time machines was quite similar as of today. People during that age did not need any machines; they could travel with their Siddhis. The Indus Valley Civilization can be taken into this. All the holy texts whether Gita or Bible speak of time travel. Jesus Christ in Bible says, "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." So the concept was quite familiar years ago. This will be more at par if we look into the tales from the various texts ranging from various ages.
During the post-Vedic era that is during Satya Yug there was a king named Kakudmi who was the ruler of the underwater kingdom of Underwater (Kusasthali). It was a very prosperous kingdom but the king had no son so he was in search of a suitable bridegroom for his daughter Revati who could take over the kingdom after him. But he could not find any suitable match for her so he thought of going to Lord Brahma who is the creator and seek his help. He along with Revati travelled to Brahmalok. Lord Brahma was busy in a musical performance by the his own created Gandharvas. The king waited patiently for the performance to end. After the performance he approached Lord Brahma and said, "O Brahm: To whom shall I betroth this daughter? I have come to you to ask on this point I have searched for many princes and seen also a good many of them and none of them is to my liking and so my mind is not at rest." Lord Brahma laughed at his foolishness and said, "O king: The princes that you thought would become the bridegroom of your daughter, all died; their sons and grandsons and their friends even have all passed away." Brahma then explained to him that time goes on differently on various planes of existence. The time they waited in Brahmalok 27 Chatur Yogas had passed on earth. Everything the king had friends ,family, treasures, his armies everything had vanished during the time they were in Brahmalok. Both the king and the daughter were astonished and shocked. They were grief-stricken at their loss but Lord Brahma consoled them and said Balrama brother of Krishna is the perfect match for Revati. They came down to earth and approached Balrama who in turn married Revati but due to her huge size Balrama had to use his plough to shorten her. King Kukudmi found that species have evolved and are becoming more disconnected with nature, they have weakened their intelligence and so the King went back to Brahmalok as he had no work here. It's an indication that humans are becoming more and more dependent on machines paralyzing their thinking neurons. They are trying to find easy solutions to all thus sacrificing their spiritual and intellectual capabilities. Moreover the king and his daughter returned to earth in Dwapur yug but they went to Brahmalok in Staya yug and this is only possible if one travels though dimension and space.
Arjuna was the third pandava brother. Legend has it that once he travelled to heaven due to some work and when he came back all his friends had grown old while he remained the same. This proves that the wheel of time or 'Kal Chakra' moves differently depending upon the place of existence. Arjuna travelled to different space and time where the time went slowly.
King Manu was a very prosperous and devoted King. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He ruled during the staya yug. One day while he was roaming in the city he found out that vices have crept in the society and people are even asking money in the name of God. He was very troubled by this and he decided to renounce his kingdom and find the way to guide humanity. He along with his wife started to live in a forest searching for the path of enlightenment. One day he found a small talking fish who was seeking his help. King Manu lifted it up and put it in a jar of water to save it. But to his utmost astonishment it started to grow in size and it grew so bigger that it needed a sea for itself. King Manu tried to take it to the sea but faced a lot of troubles; he was even beaten up by the villagers who wanted to eat the fish. Finally he could save it. He took the fish to the sea and Lord Vishnu appeared before him in his Matsya avtar. He was very pleased with Manu and ordered him to build a boat in which he could take the mankind to enlightenment. All the relatives and Manu's friends died. Lord Vishnu took Manu, his wife and animals on the boat. Lord Shiva who is the destroyer finished the earth but these were saved to continue the life on earth. Thus King Manu was a time traveler who came from one space to another and continued life on earth. He saw the end of Staya Yug and began the Treta Yug.
While Vishnu is asleep Lord Brahma sprouts in a lotus from his naval. This is symbolic of the root of creation. Brahma is the creator of this universe in which we all reside. We may take Brahma as the universe as well and the Vedic texts often refer to this universe as Brahmanda. It refers to the universe created out of big-bang described as a lotus blooming out of the naval of Vishnu. According to Puranas this universe is a temporary one in which Brahma lives for hundred Brahma years and then dissolves this and a new universe is born.
In Vedas one Vedha that is 100 Truti is equal to c.a. 30 ms. There are lot many calculations defining the 'Kal-Chakra'. Fifteen days is equal to one Paksha( fortnight). The Paksha popularly called the brighter lunar cycle is day for Pitrus or deceased ancestors and darker lunar cycle is their night. Muhurat is a Vedic unit which measures time. A 24 hour day and night contains 30 muhurtas. Each duration is of 48 minutes further dividing into 30 Kala. "Muhu" is the term used in Brahmanas and Rig Veda to define Muhurta. It means the moment occurring in each day. There are seven muhuratas namely Swati, Visakha, Anuradha, Jyestha, Magha, Poorva, Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni. These are ruled by 7 nakshatras. Two Muhurtas are dedicated to Brahma that is the creator himself. These are called Brahma Muhurtas. According to legends human one year is equal to one day in Heaven on the basis that 15 Jan- 15 July when sun rises inclined towards the north-east is believed to be day for gods and the rest 6 months when sun rises inclined towards the south-east is said to be their night. According to these calculations the Kali-Yuga is 432,000 human years long. A cycle of 4 Yugas is referred to as a Maha Yuga.
Every year of Brahma has 360 days and we are in the 51st year of our present Brahma. According to Vedas Brahma creates during the day and at night he rests. During this time all creation is absorbed back to him. So our life span is only a day of Brahma. If we go to calculations then each day or Kalpa is equal to 14 Manvantaras. We are now in Sweta Varaha Kalpa and Vaivasvata Manvantara. Based on these calculations the age of Yugs is calculated. According to this 50 years have passed for Brahma and we are in his 51st year. According to all this calculations our earth is approximately 155 billion years. Even modern day science has found out the same digit and truly human brain is of a great help if we stop using gadgets and use our brain neurons.
So if we look into the most ancient civilization, one name comes up and that is the Indus Valley Civilization. Now talking about the concept of time travel we all are familiar with the rising fear that paralyzed the humankind of the earth being destroyed in 2012. Well this concept came up because the people of the first ever civilization of the world could make a calendar only up to 2012. Well analyzing it more closely Indus Valley was probably 8000 years old. So it's quite interesting to note that how they knew what would happen 8000 years later. This brings out the point of time travelling. Probably they time traveled whether in mind or physically to future and this point is quite argued by the scientists.
The most interesting part in all this is the similarity in theories of science and mythology. Two thousand five hundred years ago the view was quite similar as of now. In the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein time is relative to the observer's frame of reference- it depends on the observer's motion and strength of gravity. We can argue on the point that time on earth runs slower than in space as gravity slows the passage of time. Same view is put forward by Einstein that time is relative to observer's frame of reference. Brahma tells the king and Revati that the time they waited in Bahmalok twenty seven Chatur Yogas passed on earth. This same theory that different places have different time wheel two thousand five hundred years before Einstein was born. So we can well assume the advancement of science during that era. Hindu philosophy is quite familiar with the concept that time is relative and many passages on Vedic scriptures continuously point out the cosmic time of Gods which runs differently than on earth. One Chatur-Yuga on earth is equivalent to 4,320,000 human years. The question arises whether the king and his daughter were unwitting time travelers as a few minutes in front of Brahma passed millennia on earth. There are loopholes in Einstein's theory though theoretical. Space-time where negative energy brings space and time together into the tunnel mouth emerging in totally a different space and universe. Though these remain hypothetical but they are constantly used in sci-fiction films as objects of time travel. For example, the movie Time Bandits (1998) showed locations on celestial maps. It is almost looking top down into an Einstein-Rosen bridge. Today time is visualized as arrow moving in a particular direction with a beginning, middle and end. But what is interesting is the conceptions of various cultures of their view about time and time travel.
Here we are talking specifically of Mahabharata but during the ages of Mahabharata these siddhis were gained by the saints who could time travel. Siddhi means a state of perfection. In Hindu mythology this is a spiritually related capability. All monks and saints who attained these siddhis or supernormal powers could travel through space and time. We have the mention of many such great sages like Valmiki , Vishwamitra, Durbasa and many others. They travelled through different spaces and different dimensions with the power of these siddhis. Siddhis can also be referred to Yoga and Lord Shiva is often called Mahayogi. A very notable point in this is mount Kailash (dwelling place of Lord Shiva) is on the earth surface that is in Tibet but legends say that the 'Kal-Chakra' goes on differently in Kailash. Similarly we can relate to the fact that the sages who did 'Tapasaya' to please God time-traveled. They retained their age and youth even after so many ages.
When talking of Gita it is the holy text of Hinduism and it is the eternal knowledge given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna. In Gita it is mentioned that vices will reach its peak during Kali-Yug and river Ganga will dry up.
Recent findings show that the mouth of Gomukh( Ganga flows from here) is slowly becoming narrower. So Krishna knew what is going to happen later. Even though he is believed to be the incarnation of Vishnu still he was in human form. So he was a time-traveler bringing us to the concept of 'Trikaldarshis' namely Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. At last to quote Lord Krishna, "There is never a time when I did not exist, nor you. Nor will there be any future in which we shall cease to exist."



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Arijit Bhattacharyya