31. Time Space & Relativity - Einstein Vs India's Perspective

In the year 1916, Einstein had proposed his general theory of relativity after postulating special theory of relativity in the year 1905.

According to the General Theory of relativity

1. Time and space are relative to each other.
2. Rate of flow of time changes according to the size and shape of planets. In the vicinity of larger planets, the rate of flow of time shall be slow. In the vicinity of smaller planets, the rate of flow of time shall be fast. It means various planets shall have different rates of flow of time.
3. If a person after traveling at the speed of light in space and returns to the earth, the changes that happened on the earth shall be many times more than the changes that happened to him. Many centuries would have elapsed on the earth during that interval.

Before Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Western world never considered the view that time and space are relative to each other. But, in India every "thing" is described with reference to time. Prasistapada in his commentary on Vaisheshika Sastra of Kanaad says, a thing's (matter) creation, sustenance and destruction can only be described in terms of time.

Jyotish Sastra (Indian science of light, popularly called as astrology) considers the movements of various planets and relates them to the human behaviour. It means it is co-relating various rates of flow of time of various planets on the human behaviour on the earth surface.

For example, while preparing a Jyotish chart (Horoscope) or kundali of a new born, the time of birth and place of birth were taken together and are compared with various planetary positions (which vary according to the respective rates of flow of time). Different life pictures would evolve for the babies being born at the same time, but at different places. The birth chart of a baby born at Delhi at 8.30 am would be different from the birth chart of a baby born at Madras at the same time.

The reason for this variation is due to Time & Space relativity.

Aryabhatta in his famous text Aryabhattiyam explains concept of relativity differently with a wonderful example. He says for a person who is traveling in a boat sees the tree on the bank traveling in the opposite direction. Similarly if a person stands at the centre of equator and observes the galaxies, they appear to him that they are moving in the western direction. He means that our observation of universe is relative to our presence on the earth and is a factor of our rate of observation.

In books like "Yogavashishta". there are concepts like going beyond time and space. These concepts were thoroughly debated in Indian philosophy and Indian schools of logic like Saankhya, Nyaya, Mimamsa and Vaisheshika Darshanas.


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