Devotional Thoughts

Time cannot be separated from space

Time cannot be separated from space

Lecture given by Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa on June 26, 2014

Srimad Bhagavatam – 3.11.1

maitreya uvaca
caramah sad-visesanam
aneko 'samyutah sada
paramanuh sa vijneyo
nrnam aikya-bhramo yatah


The material manifestation's ultimate particle, which is indivisible and not formed into a body, is called the atom. It exists always as an invisible identity, even after the dissolution of all forms. The material body is but a combination of such atoms, but it is misunderstood by the common man.


This chapter is titled Calculation of Time from the Atom. If we read this verse to scientists in the year 1890 they would say – your purana is talking about calculation of time from atom, doesn’t make sense. Because it says, the ultimate particle which is indivisible and not formed into a body is always invisible even after dissolution of all forms. It doesn’t make sense as this has nothing to do with the real atom. Suppose today scientists were seated here, they would be shocked, “5000 years back, look at this definition”. This is nothing but the definition of quanta that they have come up with. A quantum is a packet of irreducible energy which has no form. The material body is a combination of such invisible energy, with an illusory form. Scientists, to come this understanding, have taken so many centuries.

It is unbelievable, that is why it is called descending process of knowledge. We know how physics has developed, how the scientist’s quest for truth has come up to a certain level. Prabhupada says, the atom’s description in the Srimad Bhagavatam is almost the same as of modern science, but modern science is still wrong. Scientists finally came to understand any form is divisible.

Before Newton there was no perception of space; it was Newton who for the first time said – There is a reality called stage, in that stage objects are moving. He gave space a reality in physics. He found out that this reality is controlling the motion of particles in specific ways. That is how he discovered the three laws of motion which are characteristics of the influence of space on the objects. In our shastras it is said that space is an element, is a vastu, just like pancha-bhuta. For several centuries, Newton’s mechanics explained motion; it could predict the velocity, the orbits and everything. Then in the 1900s Einstein stated that the speed of light is constant and it does not change. Let’s say, I show the torch, light will run at the speed of C. Suppose I start running with the torch, what do you expect the speed of light? It does not matter how fast you run, light has a fixed speed. Till then in Newton’s world, time was only a variable in the equation to understand the motion.

Einstein, based on this conclusion worked backward – if the speed of light is fixed, movement of something across a specific space is called speed. So what Newton said was right, this world is a stage, but he never thought that space can influence objects. Einstein shook the world. My God! Space is influencing motion. In order to explain this, he had to bring time as a next reality. Just see – since ages we are talking, that kala is a reality, a separate energy. According to Einstein everything exists in space time. It is the fourth dimension. Its influence is not seen in big bodies and therefore we normally don’t find out. But the truth is that time cannot be separated from space.


Till Newton said gravity, nobody understood it; they were thinking gravity means some invisible energy between the moon and earth. Then science proved it is all bogus. Space is creating the motion of the moon. So in other words it changed the entire concept of reality of the scientists. Then by that time quantum mechanics came, they lost the idea of their original searching – what is the fundamental particle – because particles are coming from space, there are so many things happening in space. Would anybody even believe that – if this was told before 100 years? But today this is a fact; they stopped looking for the indivisible atom. The visibility comes when there is observer – that is according to quantum mechanics. In other words – is matter really energy or it is like a well-defined indivisible particle?

Prabhupada says – the material manifestation’s ultimate particle, which is indivisible and not formed into a body, is called the atom. Just like they say today – what is an electron? It is energy, not formed into a body. The moment you want to locate an electron, immediately it is formed into a body. So electron is not the atom. Electron is a secondary manifestation of quantum energy. It exists always as an invisible identity. How many more centuries will it take for the scientists to find out that identity is coming here, invisible identity. Already some scientists are talking about it, that the entire universe is centred on certain constants and these constants are nothing but identities. Based on this idea that the material body is a combination of such atoms – for instance in future how will travel happen? Say, you want to go to New York; you make your payment, get into a booth. The booth will scan your full information, each cell, because ultimately there is no substance, there is only information, they will compress it into a file, and send it to New York. In New York you will open the door and come out. Scientifically today it is possible but technically not feasible.

It is only because we cannot transfer 100% of all your information to another place you are not able to physically move according to them. Today there is no such speed processing of information. Day by day it is increasing. Whether atma also moves we do not know, but assuming the scientist’s own method that there is no atma they say that – Yes, you can move from here to New York. They are saying that the material body is but a combination of such atoms, it is nothing but energy. I will remove your energy here and produce the energy there.

(The above transcripts have been edited for better readability. However they have not been verified and confirmed by the original speaker.)


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