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Why Time Is Cyclical In Hinduism And Not Linear?

In Hinduism, the concept of time is indeed often viewed as cyclical rather than linear. This perspective is deeply rooted in Hindu cosmology and philosophical beliefs.

Concept of Yugas: Hinduism describes time in terms of cycles called "yugas" or ages. According to Hindu scriptures like the Puranas, each yuga has its own characteristics and durations. The four yugas are Satya Yuga (Golden Age), Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga. These yugas follow each other in a cyclical pattern, with the universe undergoing periods of creation, maintenance, and dissolution in a recurring manner.

Eternal Recurrence: The idea of cyclical time is also connected to the concept of "eternal recurrence," where the universe is believed to go through infinite cycles of creation, existence, and dissolution. This cyclic process is driven by the cosmic forces of creation (Brahma), preservation (Vishnu), and destruction (Shiva), known as the Trimurti.

Karma and Reincarnation: Another aspect of Hinduism that contributes to the cyclical view of time is the belief in karma and reincarnation. According to this belief, the soul (atman) undergoes a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) determined by one's actions (karma). Individuals accumulate karma over successive lifetimes, influencing their experiences in future incarnations. This cyclical process continues until the soul achieves liberation (moksha) from the cycle of rebirth.

Cosmic Cycles: Hindu cosmology also describes larger cosmic cycles known as kalpas, which encompass the lifespan of the universe. These kalpas are immense time periods in which the universe undergoes creation, sustenance, and dissolution. After each dissolution (pralaya), a new cycle of creation begins, perpetuating the cyclical nature of time.

Overall, the cyclical view of time in Hinduism reflects the interconnectedness of all existence and the recurring patterns observed in the cosmos. It provides a framework for understanding the transient nature of worldly phenomena and the eternal nature of the soul's journey towards spiritual liberation.