According to Vedic cosmology, there is no absolute start to time, as it is considered infinite and cyclic. Also, the space and universe has neither start nor end, rather it is cyclical. The current universe is just the start of a present cycle preceded by an infinite (countless) number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes.
We are programmed to experience time in a linear fashion. It’s simple and easy to conceive. Because what goes shall never come back! You cannot walk back in time. Your time starts from your birth and ends with your death. That’s how we experience time in linear form.
In Santana Dharma, time is a cyclic concept. Everyday Bhrama wakes up, creates the multiverses, creates earth and humans and the four Yugas come one after other as quickly as the four quarters in a day. By the end of the evening, he winds up his play and goes off to sleep. So what a day in bhrama’s life is becomes billions of human years. Everything that is happening now has happened before and will happen again, is the philosophy on which time in Hinduism works. In western part, the same concept is explained through the theory of multiverses (multiple / parallel universes) . How on various parallel earths, we lead our life in varied or same manner. Hence, time as a cyclic concept is well explored, but not observed (ofcourse its too confusing to observe).
Therefore we believe and choose to see a portion of time in linear form. Those who believe and conceive to see the entire circle of time, they will understand and say, yes! it will happen again and again !!
In his latest book, “The Grand Design” Stephen Hawking said: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.” With reference and understanding of his love of M-Theory, time may be considered as cyclic. Time starts when forces (super-gravity) and matter manifest or procreate themselves into universe spontaneously and it ends when big crunch occurs and again starts with the big bang spontaneously produce space. Current science (Big Bang Theory) does not say that the Universe was created out of nothing. If one assume that the Universe was created out of nothing using some mathematics then it is assuming that the Universe emerges from mathematics and this is not nothing.
Our Vedic scriptures (Vedanta, Srimad Bhagavatam, Vishunpuranam etc) ) explains the process of creation and time precisely.
The concept of time being cyclic may sound weird for some but this is true that it will happen again and again. Based on modern scientific research let us understand something about parallel universe which scientists have been working since long time. Parallel Universe or multiverse is a concept in science that proclaims there are possibilities of other Universes also far away from our universe and Galaxy. One of the hypothesis states that there is even possibility of having same Earth as ours and the same events (or story) are taking place there also which means you are experiencing this moment somewhere else also which may sound weird !! But this is a possibility as per science and Vedic scriptures and even in other Universes one may be living in the future or may be in the past. For example may be you are experiencing a part of Ramayana or Mahabharata or (or any other event of past history or future event of any part of this earth — including events involving dinosaurs/hitler/Aristotle or Jesus or Prophet or Alexander or Rama) in some other universe in the same time of now. As per science these possibilities can be there but Hindu Mythology believes that there are multiverse and other parallel universes in which things are being repeated since ages and it is a non stoppable and cyclic process.
A story found in Ramayan
When the time of Lord Rama was over to be on Earth the Yamaraj had to come to inform Lord Rama but he was afraid that if he’ll go to take life of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman would kill Yamaraj and would not not allow to harm Lord Rama as in Hanuman Chalisa it is mentioned राम द्वारे तुम रखवारे , होत न आज्ञा बिन पैसा रे। Lord Rama was very much aware of this fact and decided to confuse Lord Hanuman so that he could not be present there when the Yamraj will arrive so he drops his ring in crack of Earth and called Hanuman ji to bring back the ring. Hanuman ji turns himself very small and went inside the crack in search of ring and he went to naga loka where he met with Vasuki (king of snakes) and asked him wether he has seen ring of Lord Rama and Vasuki took Hanuman ji to a place and told him search from there. Hanuman ji was shocked as there was mountain of rings and the strange fact was all rings were of Lord Rama . Then Hanuman ji asked Vasuki how is this possible, so Vasuki explained Hanuman ji that whenever a ring falls down here a monkey comes in search of the ring and Lord Rama on Earth dies… That monkey were Hanuman ji itself.. Vasuki further explains that this is not first time you are coming here , this is a never ending process you’ve came here thousands of time and will continue to do same for ages.
This proves the existence of parallel universe as many a times this process is taking place and will take place further too. Be cool and be Happy as somewhere in other Universe there is possibility of Lord Rama being in Lanka attacking Ravana also… now.
These concepts are bit complicated and we need not worry about that as on this (present) Earth Lord Rama had already come before and next incarnation of Lord Vishnu namely Kalki will arrive in the future.
Another Story from the Ramayana
when rama going to forest for compliance of his father’s promise to her step mother.
Sita request rama that she want go with him. But rama refused her and asked that he will go alone.then sita replied him that in every Ramayan I am going with you in forest. Then why you refused me now?
From above stories, we can understand that Rama and Krishna will come again and again. Yes, whether or not History repeats itself! we may not be able to remember but Bhagawan (God) will be able to remember past/Present/Future.
Kalpa and Mahakalpa
Kalpa is one day in the life of Brahma. A Mahakalpa is a hundred years in the life of Brahma. We are living in the 51st year of the life of Brahma. That is why in the Sankalpam that we utter in the beginning of any Hindu ritual, we say “Adya Brahmanaha, Dvitiya Paradhe”, meaning that we’re living in the second half of Brahma’s life.
Yes, cycles repeat themselves. There is scriptural evidence that says this. But there is change in ‘jiva’ that is inhabiting a person’s body in this life is not the same jiva from his/her life in the previous cycle nor will it be the same jiva in the next cycle, So although the body will repeat its actions, the jiva experiencing ‘its life’ in the next cycle will be a new jiva whose karma is then suited for birth in its body.
The jiva will have already accumulated new karma and taken birth in another higher/lower body or the jiva may be in a heaven or better yet attained Liberation.
Modern science presently lacks full explanation on cyclic Universe. Cyclic Universe concept is accepted by many scientists. They are doing deep research on Vedic theories of Cyclic Universe.
Parallel Universes Theory
(From New Spotlight magazine):
Dr. Michio Kaku, physicist and a renowned scientist in the field of cosmology, who was teaching at Princeton University, has said that string theory has demonstrated the existence of parallel universes. According to that theory, the universe is a bubble that exists alongside other similar parallel universes.
According to Andrei Linde, a Russian Professor of Cosmology and Physics at the University of Stanford, USA, who is playing the lead role in advancing the theory of PARALLEL UNIVERSES, the cosmos, a gas like entity is similar to a Swiss cheese. The cheesy part of the cheese is the energy. At various parts, energy dissipates and creates the little opening which grows over time. According to inflationary cosmology, the burst is not one single event. There can be many many inflationary bursts each time accompanied by the creation of the universe.
Prof. Andrei Linde has said to his audience in one of his lectures about the vastness of the cosmos described in the Hindu philosophy to draw a kind of similarity with his own vision of the parallel universes. He has described that according to the Hindu Puran the Arjun was terribly shaken with fright when the God Krishna on his request showed him the awfully vast expense of the cosmos.
There is yet another amazing example of a striking similarity between an incident described in the Hindu Puran and the concept of the existence of several universes. It is described in the Puran that once God Krishna took Arjun into Cosmos. Arjun was utterly surprised to find that there were other Goloks ( Universe) also in the cosmos very similar to our universe. To his great astonishment, he found another Krishna and also another Arjun in that Golok ( or Universe). How surprisingly similar is the description of the parallel universe presented by Prof. Brian Green in a lecture on Parallel Universe to amuse his audience (for full article https://www.spotlightnepal.com/2017/12/09/einstein-parallel-universes-and-hindu-philosophy/)
The Hinduism is the only faith in the world dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, in a cyclic manner, number of destructions and rebirths explaining the concept of the time scales going beyond those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang or creation. And there are much longer time scales still. (From the Bhagavata Purana one can get these details)
Rig Veda has over 108 verses that cover various aspects on Creation Destruction and Beginning/End cycles of Multiverses. Some scriptural references on multiverses include
Rig Veda :“The Lord creates in this cycle the sun and the moon as they existed in the previous cycle.”
The Brahma Sutra (1.3.29):“And because of the sameness of names and forms (in every fresh cycle) there is no contradiction (to the eternity of these Vedic words) even in the revolving of world cycles, as is seen from the Sruti and the Smriti.”
The Bhagavad Gita (2.12) :”Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor these kings of men. Never will there be a time hereafter when any of us shall cease to be.”
The Bhagavad Gita (9.7) :“At the end of a cycle all beings, O son of Kunti, enter into my prakriti, and at the beginning of a cycle I generate them again.”
The Vishnu Purana (I. v. 65.) says:“As in the rotation of the seasons, the very same signs of the different season are see repeated, so also at the beginning of a cycle the various things are created as in the previous cycle.”
The Age of Universe as per Vedic Scriptures
This Universe has existed for 155.522 trillion years and this is just in the current cycle of creation and annihilation. Before this cycle there were infinite (countless) other cycles and after this cycle which will end in 155.518 trillion years time. There will be again countless (infinite) other cycles. The cycle of creation and annihilation is based on the life of Brahma, the creator of the Universe. At the beginning of each day of Brahma, he creates everything in this Universe and then at the end of each day, there is partial annihilation Each day (12 hours) of Brahma is 4.32 billion years. Brahma lives for 311 trillion and 40 billion years, after this time there is complete annihilation of this Universe and the current Brahma dies. Then there is another Brahma and cycle repeats itself. This Universe is the smallest in Gods creation. There are other Universes, which are thousands and even millions of times bigger than this Universe ((Excerpts from various scriptures and sources)