The Eternal Time is without origin, middle, or end, self-begotten, and the lord of all attributes. Contrariety or non contrariety of the natural attributes of drugs or substances endued with characteristic tastes, such as sweet, etc., are brought about by time; and time is the principal factor that controls the births or deaths of beings.

Etymology Of The Term Kala (Time)

The Kala or the Eternal time is so called from the fact of its not suffering even one of its own minutest particles or subdivisions (Kala) to perish, though perpetually moving, and in constant motion in itself; or it derives its epithet from the. fundamental quality of its destroying all beings and laying their dead remains in heaps in succession. Some assert that the name is due to the fact that time blends (kalanam) all beings with misery or happiness according to their respective acts, or to its leading all beings to destruction (kala).

The Sun-god, by his peculiar motions, divides eternal time which is measured by years (Samvatsaras) into (increasingly progressive but smaller subdivisions) such as, Nimeshas (lit: - time taken in closing the eyelids), Kashthas, Kalas, Muhurtas, days and nights, fortnights, months, seasons, solstices, years and Yugas.

Time taken in articulating any of the short vowels (such as A. etc.), is called an Akshi-Nimesha. Fifteen Akshi-Nimeshas make one Kashtha. Thirty Kashthas make one Muhurta. Thirty Muhurtas make one day and night. Fifteen days and nights make one fortnight. A fortnight is either dark or bright. Two fortnights make one month. The twelve months such as, Magha, etc. are divided into six seasons such as, Winter, Spring, Summer, Rains, Autumn and Hemanta, each consisting of two months.

The two months known as Tapas and Tapasya (Magha and Phalgunai constitute the season of winter. Spring consists of two months called Madhu and Madhava (Chaitra and Vaishaka). Summer is marked by two months known as Shuchi and Shukra Jaistha and Ashadha). The rains or the rainy season is marked by two months called Nabhas and Nabhasya (Shravana and Bhadra). The two months known as Isha and Urja (Ashvina and Kartika) constitute what is called the season of Autumn. Hemanta is marked by two months called Sahas and Sahasya (Agrahayana and Pousha). These six seasons are respectively characterised by cold, heat, rains, etc.

The two Ayanams are ushered in by the sun and the moon changing their respective courses in the heavens (passing over the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn) as the measurers of time. The rains, autumn and Hemanta follow one another in succession when the sun is over the Tropic of Capricorn or is in the Winter Solstice (Dakshinayanam and the moon gains in strength in this part of the year. Rasas (Serum or sap) possessed of acid, saline and sweet tastes, grow strong and become dominant when the sun is over the Tropic of Capricorn (Dakshinayanam) and all beings gain in strength and energy more and more. Winter, spring and summer mark the passing of the sun over the Summer Solstice (Uttarayanam). The sun grows stronger in heat and light, and saps rasas) of bitter, pungent and sour tastes increase in intensity, and all animals gradually begin to lose strength and energy.

Authoritative Verses On The Subject

The moon imparts the moisture and humidity to the earth which is soaked up by the sun in his daily course, while the wind in conjunction with the sun and the moon, contributes towards the preservation of animal life. The successive change of the two solstices marks a year.

Five such complete years count as a Yuga. The subdivisions of eternal time from the minutest Nimesha to a complete Yuga, are constantly revolving like a wheel, and this constant or perpetual revolution is called the wheel or cycle of time Kala-Chakra by certain authorities.

The six seasons such as, the Rains, etc., have been again adverted to in this chapter for the purpose of fully describing the accumulation, excitation aggravation and pacification of the bodily humours, such as wind, etc. According to some, the rainy season consists of two months known as Bhadra and Ashvina; Autumn consists of the two months of Kartika and Margashirshya; He-manta consists of the two months of Pousha and Magha; spring consists of the two months of Phalguna and Chaitra; summer, of Vaishakha and Jaistha; and Pravrit, of Ashadha and Shravana.

Oshadhis Medical plants and cereals sprout during the rains and are enfeebled in their properties. Water becomes muddy or turbid and the earth is covered over with fresh deposits of washed off or silted mud. The sky becomes overcast with clouds, and the wind, charged with an excess of humidity, dulls the appetite and organisms of beings. Hence the food of beings which principally consists of tender and new-grown vegetables of feeble potency, considerably vitiated by the turbid water partaken of as drink during the season, proves acid in its digestive reaction, and germinates excessive bile in the human system. In autumn the sky becomes cloudless, the mire is dried up, and the bile originated and accumulated during the rains, is liquefied by the rays of the sun and gives rise to bilious diseases. *

Plants and vegetables (Oshadhis) that grow or sprout during the rainy season, are matured in course of time and ripen in their virtues and potency in the season of Hemanta. The water becomes clear, cool and heavy in this season. The sun's rays become feeble and mild; and the winds moistened with frost and snow, make the human system a little numb and heavy. Hence water and vegetables partaken of in Hemanta are divested of their properties of acid reaction after being assimilated in the human system, but they give rise to an accumulation of phlegm in the body owing to their heaviness, sliminess, and cooling and oily character. In spring, the phlegm thus accumulated in the body is liquefied and ushers in diseases due to a deranged state of that bodily humour. †

The said plants and vegetables, in their turn, lose their sap, moisture and nutritive element in summer, and become dry and extremely light. In the same manner water becomes drought-making [produces a state of parchedness in the organism - Ruksha] in its virtue, and considerably loses its natural coolness and nutritive properties. The sun's rays dry up the natural moisture of the human system, and accordingly water and vegetables largely partaken of in summer, give rise to an accumulation of wind in the system owing to their lightness, dryness, or expansive and drought-making properties. Subsequently wind thus accumulated in the summer, is agitated by the rains and cold winds in the forepart of the rainy season (Pravrit) when the ground is flooded with water and thus gives rise to diseases which are incidental to a deranged state of the bodily wind.*

* This should be regarded as the excited, aggravated or agitated state of bile (Pitta) in the parlance of Ayurveda.

† This is called the excited or agitated state of phlegm (Kafa).

The fundamental bodily humours such as, wind, bile, etc. augmented and accumulated during the rains, Hemanta and summer, should be checked as soon as they become aggravated (manifest themselves) in autumn, spring, or in the forepart of the rainy season (Pravrit).

Diseases which owe their origin to a deranged state of bile, phlegm and wind, are respectively ameliorated in Hemanta, summer, and autumn by natural causes, [such as the variations of atmospheric or earthly temperature, rainfall, etc.]. Thus far we have discussed the accumulation, excitation and pacification or alleviation of the deranged bodily humours.

Likewise the features, which specifically mark the different seasons of the year are observed to characterise the different parts of a complete day and night, [or in other words] traits peculiar to spring time exhibit themselves in the morning; the noon is marked by all the characteristics of summer; the evening by those of the rainy season; the midnight by those of autumn; and the hours before dawn by those of Hemanta And similarly, like the seasons of the year, the different parts of the day and night are marked by variations of heat, cold, etc. [or in other words] the deranged bodily humours such as wind, bile, etc. naturally and spontaneously accumulate, aggravate, or subside during the different parts of the day as they do in the different seasons of the year [represented by those parts of the day and night as stated above].

* This is called the excited state of wind (Vayu).

Water and vegetables retain their natural properties when the seasons are natural, and do not exhibit contrary features, and they then tend to increase the appetite, vitality, strength, and power of the human system. Contrary or unnatural seasons are but the consequences of sin committed by a whole community and portend the workings of a malign destiny. A season, exhibiting unnatural or contrary features, affects or reverses the natural properties of water and vegetables peculiar to it, which, drunk or partaken of, cause dreadful epidemics in the country. The best safeguard lies in not using such defiled water and vegetables when an epidemic breaks out in the country.

Sometimes a town or a city is depopulated by a curse, anger, sin, or by a monster or a demoness conjured up by a spell or incantation. Sometimes the pollens of poisonous flowers or grasses, etc., wafted by the winds, invade a town or a village, and produce a sort of epidemic cough, asthma, catarrh, or fever, irrespective of all constitutional neculiarities or deranged bodily humours agitated when the Towns and villages are known to have been depopulated through malignant astral influences, or through houses, wives *, beds, seats, carriages, riding animals, gems and precious stones assuming inauspicious features.