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Article XCVIII: Time in Vedanta

"He is never born, and He never dies. He is Eternity; He is for evermore. Never-born and eternal, beyond times gone or to come, He does not die when the body dies." Bhagavad Gita (II:20)

Realizing the infinite and eternal Self within is the goal of Vedanta. Realization of the Self is enlightenment - infinite and eternal bliss and peace. Although the Self is infinite beyond space and eternal beyond time, the unenlightened experience is limited by both space and time. The power of maya produces the manifold universe with superimpositions of name and form upon the Self. Thus limitations of space and time exist to the unenlightened. The finite exists within the infinite. The ephemeral exists within the eternal.

In Vedanta, the perspective on life, death, and reincarnation allows for opportunities to approach enlightenment beyond the limits of a single lifetime. Unlike some other traditions, Vedanta does not involve a time pressure to reach enlightenment in a single life. Yet until one is freed from the unenlightened experience, the constraints of time still apply. The existence of time and space in the unenlightened experience also allow for the existence of transient happiness and sorrow. Nonetheless, the approach toward enlightenment can gradually dissolve both the boundaries and time and space and the boundaries of transient happiness and sorrow.

Each action aligned with dharma and the Divine allows for a step of ascension toward enlightenment, and that step reveals a greater peace and bliss from within. Until one reaches enlightenment, time, space, happiness, and sorrow will all persist, but the quality of that time is determined by the orientation of actions with respect to the Divine. The closer actions are oriented to the Divine, the more peaceful and blissful unenlightened time will be.

The human birth is said to be the only birth, which allows for the potential of enlightenment. Even the devas in heaven must be reborn as humans to have the possibility of enlightenment. Utilization of time to the fullest to perform dharma will improve the quality of the unenlightened limits of time and space. Dharma continually leads one closer to enlightenment, with each action of dharma revealing greater peace and joy. Ultimately, dharma reveals the pure, untainted peace and bliss, eternal and infinite without limitations of time or space. Dharma reveals moksha!

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