The concept of time dilation, the phenomenon that time moves slower for masses accelerated to the speed of light, is part of Einstien’s theory of relativity. The prediction was verified by science.
You might be surprised to learn that time dilation was experimentally verified in 1977. Scientists were able to accelerate a subatomic particle called a muon near the speed of light, allowing it to exist into the future. In 2014, physicists in Germany used to particle accelerator to prove that time moves slower for a moving clock than a stationary one. Quite recently, the Russians claimed they invented a primitive time machine using a quantum computer.
The concept of time travel is not science fiction anymore, though the kind of time travel seen in the movies isn’t a reality yet. Maybe one of the only people to have already traveled through time would be Nikola Tesla, who claimed to use a magnetic field to witness the present, future, and past at once in 1895.
Unfortunately, Tesla hasn’t traveled from the past to let us know how it ultimately worked out for him. At least, not that we know of. (!!) For that matter, neither have the ancient Hindus. After all, one of the first written works to discuss the concept of time travel or time dilation was from ancient Hindu texts.
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, dating back to at least 400 BC. It tells the story of King Kakudmi, who traveled to another dimension to visit the god Brahma to ask for help in finding a suitable husband for his beautiful daughter, Revati.
When the King and his daughter arrived in Brahmaloka, the home of Brahma, they listened to a musical performance. Only when it had finished were they allowed to speak to Brahma.
After the music played, King Kakudmi asked Lord Brahma to help him find a husband, but Brahma laughed at him. He had no idea that by coming to Brahmaloka, he had traveled far ahead into time.
“O, King! The princes that you thought would become the bridegroom of your daughter, all died; their sons and grandsons and their friends even have all passed away,” said Brahma.
Brahma explained that time existed on a different plane in his world. While they listened to music, over 27 Chatur-Yugas, had passed on Earth. Each Chatur-Yuga is equivalent to many thousands of years, so everyone they knew on Earth was already dead long ago. There would be no husband for Revati, at least not a mortal one.
To comfort the now grieving King and daughter, Brahma suggested Revati marry the elder twin brother of the deity Krishna, Balarama. Although everything they ever knew on Earth would be long gone, the gods would still be there to greet them.
Apart from time travel, we find stories of spacecraft, advanced extraterrestrial beings, and devastating weapons in Ancient Hindu history. These stories may seem far-fetched to the casual observer. But isn’t it interesting these mythologies become less fantastical and more realistic as we all travel through time ourselves?
See more about time travel in the Mahabharata from The Magical Indian below: