(Last Updated on : 21/07/2010)
The twelfth yoga sutra speaks about the illusory notion of time to ordinary humans, who consider it as past, present and future. Time is described by Patanjali as just a single moment. As these moments pile up into movements, one's quality of knowledge gets influenced upon. The reality of past and future is though quite real, just like the present. Time is but a progression of actions, which had to happen before or after, succeeding one after another, revealing it as past, present and future. The present can die out into the past, or manifest itself in future, giving humans the realisation that time is changing. Moment is always eternal, and a yogi who understands this, remains isolated from materialistic cravings, and is free from the earthly bondage.
in its true form, essential form, real nature
condition being different
characteristics, inherent properties
The existence of the past and the future is as real as that of the present. As moments roll into movements which have yet to appear as the future, the quality of knowledge in one's intellect and consciousness is affected.
The understanding of time liberates one from bondage. Time is a system revealing the sequential relation that one event has to succeed another and another and so on, as past, present, or future. Time is regarded as an indefinite continuous duration, wherein events follow one another.
The past and future are as real as the present. The orderly rhythmic procession of moments (ksana cakra) into movements is the wheel of time (kala cakra). Its existence is real and eternal.
The present may fade into the past, or manifest clearly at a future time. Due to the play of the gums of nature, conditions change, raising the illusion that time has changed.
Past and future are woven into the present, though they appear different due to the movement of moments.
Desire nurtures action aimed at its gratification. The interlude between desire, action and fulfillment involves time, which manifests as past, present and future. True understanding of motivation and the movement of moments release a yogi from the loop of bondage.
Moment is changeless and eternal. Moments flow into movements eternally and are measurable as past, present and future. This measurable time is finite, when contrasted with eternity.
The negative effects of time are intellectual (lack of spiritual knowledge, avidya, and pride, asmita); emotional (attachment to pleasure, raga, and aversion to pain, dvesa); and instinctive (the desire to cling to life, abhini-Qesa). Time's positive effect is the attainment of knowledge. The experience of the past supports the present, and progress in the present builds a sound foundation for the future. One uses the past as a guide to develop discriminative power, alertness and awareness, which smoothens the path for Self-Realisation. The yogi who studies in depth this unique rotation of time, stays detached from the movement of moments; he rests in the present. Thus he becomes clear of head, clean of heart, and free from time, which binds consciousness. When the concurrence between the movement of moments and consciousness terminates, freedom and beatitude - kaivalya, are experienced.