Cosmological Time

Romila Thapar

in Time as a Metaphor of History: Early India

Published in print September 1996 | ISBN: 9780195637984
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081912 | DOI:
Cosmological Time

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This chapter discusses constructions of cosmological time in early India. In what has been called the yuga astronomy of the fifth century AD, Indian astronomers calculated that a kalpa — the longest period of time — consisted of 4320 million years. Cosmological time is also described in Manu's Dharmaśāstra and in the Mahābhārata, and is further elaborated upon in the Purāṇas. Concepts of time, integrated with ideas on creation, go into the making of what might be called cosmological time.

Keywords: yuga astronomy; early India; kalpa; Dharmaśāstra; Mahābhārata; Purāṇas

Chapter.  2276 words. 

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