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God is Beyond Time

Posted on: 13 Nov 2018
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami, A person in quora forum asked the following doubt.

What is time? Can God exist outside of time? Is it possible for anything to happen without time? at Your Lotus feet, Anil

Swami Replied: Shankara proposed that God is beyond space and time. According to Him space and time are conventional and they are myths (Mithya) with respect to God. Based on this, scholars say that an event (paristhiti) is defined by space (Desha) and time (Kaala) (Desha kaala paristhitih). The same concept is proposed by Einstein, who says that any event in creation can be defined with the four-dimensional model of space-time, where three coordinates belong to space and the fourth coordinate, is time. Time is based on the activity of an item composed of matter and energy and the duration for which the activity continued. The sun is an item made of matter and energy. Its activity is the movement in the sky. Actually, after Aryabhaṭṭa, Brahmagupta established that the earth moves around the sun and around itself too. But from our point of view, the sun moves in the sky.

In any case, the study of time proves that time is a component of creation. It is certainly not beyond creation. The first created item is space, which is the subtlest form of energy. Time is always associated with space. From space (space-time), the rest of creation evolved. The unimaginable God is beyond creation. He is beyond the first created item, space and also beyond time, which is always associated with space. The First Energetic Incarnation is called Datta. He is also called Eshvara  or Father of heaven. Even God Datta is beyond the concept of time. He is eternal and changeless. This is because the unimaginable God has permanently merged with God Datta.

Before the creation of the first item of creation, i.e. space (subtle energy); only the unimaginable God existed. No concept of time existed in the unimaginable God. The word ‘before’, which indicates time, is associated only with creation. It cannot be linked with the state of the unimaginable God existing alone up to that point of the beginning of creation. The concept of time appeared only after creation. God Datta exists in creation, but for all practical purposes, He is beyond this creation due to the eternal merging of the unimaginable God with Him. This creation will never end even though it had a beginning. Hence, there is no possibility of the disappearance of time at any point in the future. Since the entertainment of the unimaginable God (or God Datta) continues forever, this creation will never disappear.

Even when God withdraws from the entertainment, creation is maintained in a very subtle state (avyaktam), only to be projected again whenever entertainment is required. The disappearance of creation or space cannot even be imagined. If it were possible to imagine the disappearance of creation and space, it would also be possible to imagine the unimaginable God. Of course, that is impossible! The existence of the unimaginable God alone is imaginable (Astiityevopalabdhavyah—Veda). In fact, the existence of the unimaginable God can be logically experienced. Through the authority of experience, the existence of the unimaginable God is shown to be valid (Anubhavaikavedyam Brahma).

Of course, the unimaginable God perfectly has the potency to make the entire creation, including the First Energetic Incarnation, disappear at any time. But this potency is never exhibited practically for the sake of maintaining the eternality of God Datta, who is perfectly identified with the unimaginable God. The energetic body of God Datta is to Him as your body is to you. Your human awareness or soul pervades all over your material body. Similarly, the awareness of God Datta also pervades all over His energetic body. The important difference is that the unimaginable God has merged in the awareness of God Datta. So, along with His awareness, the unimaginable God also pervades all over the energetic body of God Datta. Hence, we say that the soul as well as the body of God Datta are pervaded by the unimaginable God. Any human being who destroys his own body commits the greatest sin called suicide. Such a thing can never be imagined even in a dream, in the case of the unimaginable God! So, the First Energetic Incarnation, with whom the unimaginable God is completely merged, will never be destroyed. It remains eternal and changeless.

In the case of the unimaginable God, you should not think about the time in which the unimaginable God remained in His inherent state. It is the state even before the creation of space and His First Energetic Incarnation. Even if you assume that some such time existed, when God was in that unimaginable state before creation, that time is also unimaginable! You cannot consider the unimaginable time as a separate unimaginable entity because two unimaginable items cannot co-exist. The result is that the unimaginable time is also the same unimaginable God. Hence, you cannot imagine the unimaginable time in which the unimaginable God alone existed until the starting point of the imaginable creation.

 
   

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