Time is Relative

Srila Prabhupada informs us that we learn from Bhagavad-gita 8.17 that 12 hours of demigod life is equal to six months of our time on earth. In other words, time in svarga loka is 360 times slower or longer than hour time. The idea of time being relative was posited only in the last century by modern science. Yet this ‘discovery’ was written thousands of years ago in the Srimad Bhagavatam. In the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 10.13 40, Srila Prabhupada writes, “Lord Brahma had gone away for only a moment of his time, but when he returned, a year of human time had passed. On different planets, the calculation of time is different. To give an example, a man-made satellite may orbit the earth in an hour and twenty-five minutes and thus complete one full day, although a day ordinarily takes twenty-four hours for those living on earth. Therefore, what was but a moment for Brahma was one year on earth. Krsna continued to expand Himself in so many forms for one year, but by the arrangement of yogamaya no one could understand this but Balarama. We may recall the history of Kukudmi as narrated by Srila Prabhupada in his translations and purports to the verses in Srimad Bhagavatam 9.3.28-32: Verse: O Maharaja Pariksit, subduer of enemies, this Revata constructed a kingdom known as Kusasthali in the depths of the ocean. There he lived and ruled such tracts of land as Anarta, etc. He had one hundred very nice sons, of whom the eldest was Kakudmi. Verse: Taking his own daughter, Revati, Kakudmi went to Lord Brahma in Brahmaloka, which is transcendental to the three modes of material nature, and inquired about a husband for her. Purport: It appears that Brahmaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma, is also transcendental, above the three modes of material nature (apavrtam). Verse: When Kakudmi arrived there, Lord Brahma was engaged in hearing musical performances by the Gandharvas and had not a moment to talk with him. Therefore Kakudmi waited, and at the end of the musical performances he offered his obeisances to Lord Brahma and thus submitted his long-standing desire. Verse: After hearing his words, Lord Brahma, who is most powerful, laughed loudly and said to Kakudmi: O King, all those whom you may have decided within the core of your heart to accept as your son-in-law have passed away in the course of time. Verse: Twenty-seven catur-yugas have already passed. Those upon whom you may have decided are now gone, and so are their sons, grandsons and other descendants. You cannot even hear about their names. Purport: During Lord Brahma’s day, fourteen Manus or one thousand maha-yugas pass away. Brahma informed King Kakudmi that twenty-seven maha-yugas, each consisting of the four periods Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali, had already passed. All the kings and other great personalities born in those yugas had now departed from memory into obscurity. This is the way of time as it moves through past, present and future.