Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Time as a Metaphor of History: Early IndiaThe Krishna Bharadwaj Memorial Lecture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Romila Thapar

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195637984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195637984.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2019



(p.38) VIII Eschatology
Time as a Metaphor of History: Early India

Romila Thapar

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that new chronological forms did not result in a new eschatology at the beginning and end of creation. For this, the cyclic theory continued to be the basis of cosmological time. Elements of the eschatology of linear time do occur even within the broadly cyclic, but there is no single deity controlling time as in the Semitic religions. However, some elements of the eschatology seemed to have encouraged deviations. Even the Buddhist wheel of time is discussed in this context. Among these may be noticed the variations in the structure of the cycle itself, as also the innovative idea of the coming of a saviour-figure (the Maitreya Buddha in Buddhism, Kalkin in Visnu Purana) who could intervene to change conditions and who assists in taking the cycle towards the next golden age. The coming of such a figure, it would seem, may not have been unrelated to the linear perceptions of time.

Keywords:   time, cyclic theory, cosmological time, Maitreya Buddha, Kalkin, Visnu Purana, Kaliyuga, wheel of time, saviour-figure

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .