Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Ramana and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get different views of the prism, colours of the same topic.
Today’s topic has been chosen by me….and frankly I didn’t know what I was letting myself into!!
The oldest texts of Hinduism speak very little about time and eternity. Gods are born but gain immortality through their deeds. In the Atharvaveda, the Veda that is the practical manual for living, Time is personified as Creator and Ruler of existence. Time is an endless repetition of the year and thus of creation. There is no day or night and creation, maintenance and destruction are an on going ceaseless process
Hinduism puts up many prisms of viewpoints, theories and philosophical arguments. Underneath all this there is a common search for Truth, the ultimate end Moksha or Mukthi (salvation) when the soul merges with the infinite. Every interpretation is put forward without demolishing or denigrating other view points.
Religion to Hindus is a way of life and society is made up of different faiths. At the basic level, it originated as a simple form of worship of the forces of Nature just as other religions began. It incorporated in its system social organisations, local cults, various deities controlling particular aspects and modes of worship.
The thousand-headed Shesh Nag, symbolising Eternity is the couch of Lord Vishnu. The word GOD stands for—
• Brahma as the Generator or Creator
• Lord Vishnu the Operator
• Siva the Destroyer!
Lord Vishnu reclines on the 1000 headed coiled snake on the seas of Eternity between the time of the dissolution of one Universe and creation of another. Hindus believe in the immortality of the snake because it sloughs its skin and grows another. It is an important part of the symbolism associated with every God in the pantheon. Eternity in Hinduism is often represented by a serpent swallowing its own tail.
Concepts of eternity are connected to the development of the idea of God in Western thought as well. Ancient Greek philosophers theorised the idea of God’s relation to time, the idea of divine perfection, and the difference between the Creator and the created. Eternity as timelessness, and eternity as everlastingness have been discussed for centuries.
The word ‘eternal’ comes from aeturnus in Latin, a derivation from aevum, an age or time. So ‘eternity’ actually means everlastingness. In philosophical discussions, everlastingness has become identified with two contrasting concepts of ‘atemporality’ and the other ‘sempiternity’ or ‘everlastingness’.
Thinkers like Augustine and Boethius lead the thought that God exists apart from time, or outside time. “There is the absence of temporal sequence, though not, in the view of some, the absence of duration. So it is not that God has always existed, for as long as time has existed, and that he always will exist, but that God does not exist in time at all. He is apart from his creation, transcendent over it”.
In Hinduism the theory is that those who exist in time have successive lives….so the theory of re-incarnation is prevalent. In fact Swami Juggi Vasudev says (as have other philosophers and Gurus) that memories of human beings are
• parts of what existed earlier
• present awareness is that part that exists now or recently
• hopes and expectations concern those parts that will exist later.
An evolved soul can look into the seven layers of the mind and see past lives.
Did you know that a puzzle called the £1m Eternity puzzle sparked off a gaming frenzy in 1999? A sequel to this raised the bar to a prize $2 million!!
The 209 pieces ‘Eternity’ is a tiling puzzle created by Christopher Monckton and launched by the Ertl Company in June 1999. It was marketed as being practically unsolveable, with a £1 million prize for whoever could solve it within four years.
The puzzle consists of filling a large almost regular dodecagon with 209 irregularly shaped smaller polygon pieces of the same colour. All the pieces were made from a combination of equilateral triangles and half-triangles, with each piece having the same total area of 6 of those triangles, and between seven and eleven sides. An estimate stated that the puzzle had 10500 possible attempts at a solution, and it would take longer than the lifetime of the Universe to calculate all of them even if you had a million computers.
Christopher Monckton, put up half the prize money and the other half was put up by underwriters in the London insurance market.
The second 256 piece combinatorial puzzle, Eternity II, was launched in Summer 2007 with a prize of US$2 million. Lord Monckton said: “Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have taken up the challenges posed by the simple yet difficult Eternity and Eternity II puzzles. I hope they enjoyed trying to solve these record-breaking puzzles as much as I enjoyed creating them.
The final date for the correct solution of the Eternity II puzzle passed by without a winner, and the $2m Prize for a correct solution was unclaimed.