Terms

Kala

Kala is one of the most complex terms in Sanskrit. Ka is the first consonant Lā is the last consonant These combine to produce kala In the Vaiseshika School kala becomes one of the 4 Eternal Substances: atma, kala, dik, akaza In the Nyaya school kala combines with the 5 elements to become one of the 9 Elementray substances: pRthivI, ap, tejas, vAyu, AkAza, kAla, diz, Atman, manas These become part of a system of 25 Elements or causes of creation (tattvas): In the Vedanta school this number expands to 36. Kala is now one of the 7 Pure-Impure Tattvas: Maya Tattva, Kalā Tattva, Vidya Tattva, Raga Tattva, Niyati Tattva, Kāla Tattva, Purusha Tattva In the Tantric schools a focus on combinations of 5 makes kala one of 5 Limitations of Maya: Action, Knowing, Desire, Time, Fate Kala also has a complex link with the feminine through Kali and Mahakala and Kali Yuga. Within the Tantrc schools there is also great devotion to Kali, Durga and Sarasvati as manifestations of Devi also called Tripurasundari. In this context kala becomes linked with the phases of the moon. The period of waxing moon is divided into 16 kalas or 16 nityas, each of which is linked with a goddess (matrika) and with one of the 16 vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet. Division of kala into 16 parts led to more complex divisions: 16th part; also a cycle, variously given as 1/900 part of a day -- 1.6 minutes; 1/1800 -- 0.8 minutes; etc. Used for the seven substrata of the elements or dhatus of the human body (flesh, blood, fat, phlegm, urine, bile, semen) there being 3015 kalas or atoms in every one of the six dhatus. cf. http://www.experiencefestival.com/kala In masculine terms, Kala is linked most closely with ziva, a primordial form of Siva. Kala becomes one of the All Gods: Visvadeva 05. Kala. Indian Time uses the same word, Anu for an Atom of Matter and an Atom of Matter, i.e. a Time-Matter continuum more than a Time-Space continuum. This Time-Matter becomes the first of 7 Places (Lokas) or Higher Worlds: 1. Atomic Form Patra or Anu one appears as innumerable objects 2. Space Desh division is produced in Ever-Indivisible 3. Time Kal change in the Ever-Unchangeable These connections mean that time is one of the ingredients of creation as reflected most obviously in the Kalachakra which has a complex Kalachakra Monogram. ------- In the Indian as in the Chinese systems there is also an integration of: Kalā Kāla Power Time There was a revolt against this Indian approach which was championed by Zoroaster and made famous by Zurvan whose religion focussed on the time dimension. Subsequent relgions have developed a God of Time, who is invariably overthrown by a God of the Sky or Heavens. The familiar Western version of Ouranos, replaced by Chronos replaced by Zeus is part of a much larger shift in the ordering of the gods which is linked in India with the shift from 3 to 6, 7 and then 12 Adtyas and reflects a larger story of a War in Heaven. -----
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