Time is born of his eyelashes: Puranic measurement and conceptions of time

Date

2021

Authors

Taylor, McComas

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Routledge India

Abstract

‘Greed arose from his lower lip, affection from his upper lip, lustre from his nose, animal desire from his touch, Yama from his brows and time was born from his eyelashes: may the Almighty favour us’. The puranas constitute a genre of Sanskrit texts which preserve the foundational accounts of Hindu cosmogony, cosmology, orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Embedded in puranic accounts of the world and its creation are detailed descriptions of units for the measurement of time, ranging from infinitesimal fractions of a second to cosmic units extending to billions of years. Identical or similar blocks of text defining these units have been shared among different puranas. Four-armed Visnu is usually represented as holding a sword, mace and conch, but his most famous and effective weapon is his discus, Sudarsana. This chapter draws the manifest universe of gross objects and the three subtle qualities back into a state of non-manifestation

Description

Keywords

Citation

Source

Type

Book chapter

Book Title

Retelling Time: Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.4324/9781003202783-6

Restricted until

2099-12-31