God and Time
This is a post from guest blogger Mihir Kansara. Mihir writes for Theory of Space Time which covers many aspects of the nature of time. Here, Mihir examines how the concept of time may explain whether God governs our universe.
God and Time
Science is simply a word we use to organise our curiosity. This curiosity is necessary. Without the curiosity of why apple fell downwards we could have never discovered the reason for it. Ever thought why did the apple fall on the first place? Did God do that? The real question would be: Is God governing our universe? The answer to this is with the only unaltered phenomenon – Time.
Let me tell you whatever conclusion that comes out from this, my faith in God is not gonna change. So here it goes.
Everyone loves the fascination and try to find whether GOD exists or not? Let me tell you, He surely does. But does it mean He controls us? Not necessarily!!
The Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first nuclear weapons during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory that designed the actual bombs.
Robert Oppenheimer is called the father of that mighty and terrible progeny known as the nuclear bomb. When the first bomb successfully detonated and its mushroom cloud cast its shadow into history, it was not joy that filled the mind of Robert Oppenheimer. As he watched the room around him “some smiled, others cried, most remained pensive” his mind rested on a passage from the Gita. Even with something designed to bring about the end, there was a beginning.
He gave the entire credit to Bhagavad- Gita.
Our ancestors were certainly not mad. Probably much more advanced than us! For those who understand, dhrona means test tube! It was impossible to withstand the power of bhramastra. All this was real and is still.
The Bhagavad- Gita is considered by eastern and western scholars alike to be among the greatest spiritual books the world has ever known. In a very clear and wonderful way the Krishna describes the science of self-realization and the exact process by which a human being can establish their eternal relationship with God. In terms of pure, spiritual knowledge the Bhagavad- Gita is incomparable.
Examples show that modern physics allows for remarkable transformations of space and time. And apparently, similar ideas are found in Vedic literature.
We find an example in the story of a king named Kakudmi, who was able to travel to the world of Brahma and experience Brahma’s scale of time. Here is the story, as related in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
Taking his own daughter, Revati, Kakudmi went to Lord Brahma in Brahmaloka, which is transcendental to the three modes of material nature, and inquired about a husband for her. When Kakudmi arrived there, Lord Brahma was engaged in hearing musical performances by the Gandharvas and had not a moment to talk with him. Therefore Kakudmi waited, and at the end of the musical performances he offered his obeisances to Lord Brahma and thus submitted his long-standing desire.
After hearing his words, Lord Brahma, who is most powerful, laughed loudly and said to Kakudmi, “O King, all those whom you may have decided within the core of your heart to accept as your son-in-law have passed away in the course of time. Twenty-seven catur-yugas have already passed. Those upon whom you may have decided are now gone, and so are their sons, grandsons, and other descendants. You cannot even hear about their names.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.3.28-32)
One catur-yuga lasts 4,320,000 years.
Another example from Gita is the story of the brahma-vimohana-lila, or the bewilderment of Brahma by Krishna. Several thousand years ago, Krishna descended to the earth as an avatara and was playing as a young cowherd boy, tending calves in the forest of Vrindavana (south of present-day New Delhi). To test Krishna’s potency, Brahma used mystic power to steal Krishna’s calves and cowherd friends and hide them in suspended animation in a secluded place. He then went away for a year of earthly time to see what would happen.
Krishna responded to Brahma’s trick by expanding Himself into identical copies of the calves and boys. So, when Brahma returned, he saw Krishna playing with the boys and calves just as before. Brahma became bewildered. Checking the boys and calves he had hidden, he found they were indistinguishable from the ones playing with Krishna, and he couldn’t understand how this was possible. Finally Krishna revealed to Brahma that these latter boys and calves were identical with Himself, and He allowed Brahma to have a direct vision of the spiritual world.
Now, it turns out that even though Brahma was absent for one earth year, on his time scale only a moment had passed. The Sanskrit word used here for a moment of time is truti (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.40). There are various definitions of a truti, but the Vedic astronomy text called the Surya-siddhanta defines a truti to be one of a second. If we accept this figure, then one year on earth corresponds to 13,750 of a second in the time of Brahma.
These examples are out of many which state similar results. They say the answer to all the questions are in the Gita.
Let’s take this concept to our main concern – TIME.
Relation with time
So according to this, one year on earth corresponds to 13,750 of a second in the time of Brahma. Why does this happen?
Because he surely doesn’t live in our surrounding space. There is a huge difference in time flow where God lives and where we live. Time flows at different speed in different parts of universe depending on the mass of the surrounding space. The speed with which time is flowing in God’s part of universe is much slower than ours.
Before we understand that why God doesn’t / cannot control us, let us figure out why is God immortal?
God – Relatively immortal
It is now understood that time flows differently in different parts of universe. According to the theory above, our generations might come and go but only a day or so might have passed for God.
Considering the average life span of a human or human type entity to be 80 years, knowing the time difference and its flow in the space, we can understand that the time taken for God to turn 1 year old will be equivalent for our great great great great, probably one more great grand child to even born. If you are reading this and understanding it might not be tough for you to understand about his 80 years then. So frankly speaking he is not immortal. He is living his life in another part of the universe. He will still be alive after probably 100000 years on earth. Well that doesn’t make him immortal. We can say that he is relatively immortal with respect to us.
Does He control us?
Well probably now everything is explained and it is easy to judge that he cannot control us. He doesn’t have time to control us. If our years take only a part of second for him, he certainly cannot tick our wishlist. There is no processing time left where he can work on our prayers. Well that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t exists. We just proved that he is immortal.
There are like a billion questions unanswered like how did God who once lived on earth (as the stories say) and then travelled to a part of universe with such a time flow difference. Well, we will surely together find these answers.
Probably that will be the day when we could finally encounter him. But folks meeting him by going to his place is like forgetting our earth’s time for centuries. Are you prepared?
Article by Mihir Kansara.
Visit Mihir on Theory of Space Time.
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Does God exists or Not?
This had never been the question in the question in the first place.
The question that prevails is What is God?
One needs to define God in order to search its existence! Else if we find that ‘so called God’ doesn’t exist , then whatever that would found to exist will be named as the ‘God’.
Its like another misconception of ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ ….. because no one knows what is bound to happen, once it happens we call it destiny, more precisely ‘WHATEVER’ happens we call that destiny. Because destiny/fate is not pre-written , its post-written ( its not a fiction book,its an history book).
Following the root question, if someday we found out that the Nature itself has evolved to this point, then God will be called synonymous to Nature.
So God exists or not is a rootless question, unless God is defined.
If incase , God is defined to be of a human form as in most mythologies, who would have made the God in the first place( as why did apple fall in the first place) … if he/she doesn’t need a creator why would nature need a creator..??
Hi Gaurav, Many thanks for your comment.
I’m not sure that the question of God’s existence (or what (or who) He is) is the focus of Mihir’s article. That said, I generally agree with you that we often need to know what we’re looking for before we can hope to find it and I like your point against an a-posteriori argument when it comes to fate.
However, there is also a line of thought that we don’t always need apriori knowledge – i.e. that you know what you’ve been looking for once you’ve found it. For example, if we misdefine God then we will never find Him because we’ve preconditioned our minds to looking for something else.
As for your question regarding who made God in the first place (which I’ll rephrase as “how did God come into being in the beginning?”) – we touch now on the nature of the universe before time was created, or indeed, the nature of time before the universe was created. And about that I have no idea, but I do think Mihir’s article does bring to light some interesting ideas about God and time! 😉
Hey gaurav . thankyou for your views . I would just say that the main focus was not to decide the definition of God . the main aim was to understand the time flow and structure of universe and thus apply the knowledge to find out that considering that God exists can he control us ?! Look we cannot do more than propose theories because neither you nor me or anyone else reading this article was present during the creation of the universe. The theory that suits the most is accepted !! My article just states that if God exists he certainly cannot govern us due to such a time flow difference !