Laws of Transmigration

The Doctrine of Time

Figure 13.4: The Five Doctrines of Advaita Samkhya

The Passage to Equality

The subsequent theory (corollary) of string theory (gunavada) is the doctrine of time (kalavada) [1].  It states that time (kala) is the cyclical passage (chakra samsara) toward equality (samya).  It’s the attempt to equalize the inequality (vaishamya) of the spiritual and material triads (paurusha and prakrita trayas) [2].

A Nonlinear Cycle

The passage (samsara) of time isn’t linear, but cyclical.  In ancient times, this was symbolzied by the mythical snake that swallows its tail (ouroboros).  Similarly, the seven strings (saptaguna) “close up” on themselves to form a circle like the Calabi-Yau manifolds [3] of modern string theory.

The Wheel of Time

[The Wheel of Time]
Figure 31: The Twelve Spokes

Twelve Spokes

The seven strings (saptaguna) are enclosed (samvrita) by the twelve spokes (dvadashara) of the wheel of time (kalachakra). [4]  They circumscribe it like the twelve signs of the zodiac.  Existence (sat) is twelve o’clock, bliss (ananda) is one and eleven o’clock, and so on down to physics (tamas) at six o’clock.


The twelve spokes are successive, impermanent, and dependent (parampara, anitya, and pratitya). [5]  Each having a “time” when its prominent.  Furthermore, they’re grouped into two pairs of overlapping arcs (sarpinis).

The Law and Rebirth Arcs

[Law and Rebirth]
Figure 32: Happiness and Suffering

Arc of Law

The arc of law (dharmasarpini) turns from the third spoke (tritiya ara) to the ninth (navama). [6]  This includes consciousness, bliss, and existence (chit, ananda, and sat). [4]  They’re the three subjective states of manifestation.  The arc of law is associated with happiness (sukha). 

Arc of Rebirth

On the other hand, the arc of rebirth (bhavasarpini) turns from the ninth spoke to the third. [6]  This includes physics, emotion, and mind (tamas, rajas, and sattva). [4]  They’re the three objective states of manifestation.  The arc of rebirth is associated with suffering (duhkha) on account of the afflictions (kleshas).

Boundary Line

Finally, the third and ninth spokes are the boundary line (samdhi).  They overlay the soul (jiva) [4], which is the equilibrium (samya) between happiness and suffering.

The Ascending and Descending Arcs

[Evolution and Involution]
Figure 33: Evolution and Involution

Descending Arc

The descending arc (avasarpini) turns from the twelfth spoke (dvadashama ara) to the sixth (shashtha). [7]  This is evolution (samchara), which is the journey from the spiritual (paurusha) to the material (prakrita). 

Ascending Arc

The ascending arc (utsarpini) turns from the sixth spoke to the twelfth.  This is involution (pratisamchara), which is the journey from the material to the spiritual.

Boundary Line

Finally, the twelfth and sixth spokes are the boundary line (samdhi).  They overlay existence and physics (sat and tamas), which are the extremes of happiness and suffering (sukha and duhkha) [4].

The Doctrine of Modification

Figure 13.5: The Five Doctrines of Advaita Samkhya

[Evolution and Involution]
Figure 34: “Wheels Within Wheels”

Living Aggregates

The subsequent theory (corollary) of the doctrine of time (kalavada) is the doctrine of modification (vrittivada).  It states that modifications (vrttis) are transmigrating aggregates of seeds (samsarana skandhas of bijas) in the wheel of time (kalachakra). [8]  In other words, they’re living beings (jivas).

Recursive Time

Just as hours are infilled by minutes and seconds, the wheel of time is infilled by recursions, or modifications, of itself.  The root of “vritti” is “vrit,” which means “to turn,” “turn round,” “revolve,” or “roll.”  Thus, modifications revolve through the wheel of time.  In other words, the wheel of time consists of “wheels within wheels” (chakras antar chakras). [9]


Charge is fundamental in the wheel of time.  To explain, modifications have a positive/spiritual charge, or a negative/material charge. [10]  In the arc of law (dharmasarpini), they’re spiritual laws (paurusha dharmas); in the arc of rebirth (bhavasarpini), they’re material things (prakrita bhavas).


Consequently, modifications spin toward or away from worldliness.  In the descending arc (avasarpini), modifications are spinning without (pravritti). [11]  This path (marga) is turning toward worldliness.  In the ascending arc (utsarpini), modifications are spinning within (nivritti).  This path is turning away from worldliness.

Modifications as Waves

[Ripples on the Pond]
Figure 35: Ripples on the Pond

[Unit Circle]
Figure 36: The Sine and Cosine Waves

[Helix Spinning Up/Within]
Figure 37: Helix Spinning Up/Within

[Helix Spinning Down/Without]
Figure 38: Helix Spinning Down/Without

Like waves (taramgas), modifications (vrittis) are mutually (anyonyam) interactive, suppressive, supportive, and generative (mithuna, abhibhava, ashraya, and janana). [12]  In other words, they intefere with each other like ripples on the surface of a pond.  The unit circle in figure 36 is a spinning modification.  The horizontal sine and vertical cosine waves represent its wave-like motion.  Figures 37 and 38 show the same modification from a different perspective.  But the sine and cosine waves are combined into helices.  The former is spinning within (nivritti); the latter is spinning without (pravritti).

The Role of Karma

[Continuum of Karma]
Figure 39: The Continuum of Karma

Circular Consequences

The doctrine of karma (karmavada) [13] refers to the circular consequences of our actions.  It’s described by phrases like “what goes around, comes around” and “you reap what you sow.”  This concept is contained within the aforementioned doctrine of modification (vrittivada) [1].  But karma itself plays a limited part within it.

Archetype of Karma

To understand its role, we must first understand its archetype, the oversoul (ishvara).  It’s the union (samyoga) of spirit and nature (purusha and prakriti). [14]  Of the four causes (karana chatushtaya), it’s the efficient cause (nimittakarana). [15]  In other words, it’s the direct agent of transmigration (samsara).

Sphere of Karma

Karma is the recurrence of the oversoul within physics (tamas) [16].  So, physics is the sphere of action (karmabhumi).  Moreover, karma is the efficient cause of all physical activity.  As such, it governs physical birth, physical death, and all physical activities in between.  But it doesn’t exceed this sphere.

Continuum of Karma

Other spheres have corresponding versions of karma.  Being similar principles [17], they resonate with it [18].  In this sense, they’re part of the “continuum of karma.”  This continuum being the seven yogas (yoga saptaka) [19].  They are absorption yoga (samadhiyoga), meditation yoga (dhyanayoga), concentration yoga (dharanayoga), royal yoga (rajayoga), knowledge yoga (jnanayoga), devotion yoga (bhaktiyoga), and action yoga (karmayoga).

Types of Consequences

However, we don’t experience the consequences of physical actions in metaphysical spheres.  We only experience them during physical rebirth (tamasika bhava).  Moral consequences are experienced in metaphysical spheres.  So, our intentions do, in fact, matter.  An example of this is near-death experiencers reporting that they deeply felt the effect their actions had on others during “life reviews.”


  1. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.1.
  2. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 4.14.
  3. Greene, B. R., 1999. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory. pp. 207-209. New York: Vintage Books.
  4. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.2.
  5. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.3.
  6. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.4.
  7. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.5.
  8. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.7.
  9. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.6.
  10. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.8.
  11. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.9.
  12. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 6.10.
  13. Flood, G. D., 1996. An Introduction to Hinduism. pp. 85-86. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  14. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 4.7.
  15. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 4.8.
  16. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 5.10.
  17. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 5.15.
  18. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 5.16.
  19. Vyas, S. K. Advaita Samkhya Sutras 5.4-10.