More than 5000 years ago, the most accurate definition of time was given in the Vedic scriptures.
What is Time?
When atoms move to cover space, this is called time, and time is measured according to the amount of space covered by atoms [Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.3-4]. It is generally accepted that when time stands still (although impossible), there is no movement of anything. This also confirms that the movement of atoms is time. Time is one of the great energies of Lord Krishna (God). Anyone who accepts the existence of time is accepting the existence of Lord Krishna, because He is time.
“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am..” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 11.32)
The Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3, chapter 11, text 5 to 12, gives the details on how time can be calculated based on the movement of atoms. In summary, when 30,375 atoms move, 1 second has passed. This very high level of scientific knowledge is another proof that the Vedic knowledge comes from God. Lord Krishna is the true God, because He is the compiler of the Vedic knowledge. All the Vedic knowledge was given by Lord Krishna to the first living being in the universe, Brahma, at creation. This was 155.522 trillion years ago.
Vedic time term
Movement of number of atoms
Human time measurement
One trasarenu=3 double atoms
One truti=3 trasarenu
One vedha=100 trutis
One lava=3 vedhas
One nimesa=3 lavas
One ksana=3 nimesas
One kastha=5 ksanas
One laghu=15 kasthas
3645 x 10^3
One danda=15 laghus
54675 x 10^3
One praharas=6 dandas
328050 x 10^3
One day=4 praharas
1312200 x 10^3
One night=4 praharas
1312200 x 10^3
Based on the Bhagavad-Gita and the truth, material nature (matter), time, God, and living entities (souls) are eternal.
- It can be proven that time is eternal by the fact that nothing can stand still, atoms are always moving to cover space. This is also confirmed by the physics law of entropy which is defined as “Degeneration or decay of things”. For example, our body is getting older (decaying) due to the movement of atoms (time) within our body and being bombarded from external atoms. Our body cannot stay young because there is always the movement of atoms (time).
“I am also inexhaustible time..” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 10.33)
- It can be proven that God is eternal, because Time is one of His great energies, and since time is eternal, He is also eternal. Also since God is the cause of all causes, He has to be eternal, otherwise there can be no creation. Some person has to be the cause of creation and that person is Lord Krishna (God).
“All created beings have their source in these two natures. Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 7.6)
- It can be proven that matter is eternal by the fact that matter is relative to time and since time is eternal (atoms are always moving to cover space), matter must also be eternal. This is also confirmed by the physics First Law of Thermodynamics: “Energy or matter can neither be created nor destroyed”. Since matter is existing, it is eternal, because it cannot be created. Another proof is that everything is the energy of Lord Krishna (God), and since He is eternal, His energies are also eternal.
“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 10.8)
- It can be proven that the living entities (souls) are eternal by the fact that souls are spiritual in nature, and since God is also spiritual in nature and He is eternal, the spiritual souls must also be eternal. Based on physics, if two objects have the same properties (or nature in this case) then if one is eternal then the other must also be eternal. It is important to understand that every single living entity is eternal, and not just the ones existing today or at any time in the past. Every single living being (soul in a body) has eternally existed in one form (body) or another. The physics First Law of Thermodynamics applies to matter and anti-matter (spiritual beings). Thus if a spiritual being has existed at any time, then he has always existed (eternal).
“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 15.7)
“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.12-13)
“For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 2.20)