The next tenet to take up is Cycles and Periodicity.
“By the study of this Law of Cycles we learn that natural
progress of all kinds does not occur in one steady stream,
like the rush of a railway train on a straight track, but on
the contrary, it proceeds by a spiral or screw-like course,
in which the same points are successively and continually
reached on higher circles of existence. It might, perhaps,
be compared to the flight of an eagle, which soars upward in
circles one above the other, until lost to sight in the
vault of heaven. An onlooker would apparently see a periodic
return to nearly the same place, but it is clear that the
soaring bird occupies a more distant position on every turn
of the circle in its spiral flight upward.
“These cyclic periods are so well defined in our everyday
experience, that we are apt to pass them by, without
recognizing their importance. Every day is a cycle, in which
we pursue almost the same round of duty, and every day is
followed by a night or period of rest in which the circle of
twenty-four hours is rounded off and completed. Month by
month, in a larger cycle we find similar occurrences in our
business and home circles. Year by year we follow the same
round of occurrences in Nature, so that spring, summer,
autumn and winter promote the well-being of each other, and
minister to the perfect whole of which they form successive
phases. All these are well known to us, but because by habit
we have grown familiar with them, we fail to perceive that
herein lies a great secret of the world’s advancement.
“By pursuing the subject we may discover that the Law of
Cycles rules every phenomenal experience in the world around
us, that it governs even our states of passing happiness or
misery, and rules also what men call life and death. Thus
the continuous growth of Nature and of all beings is divided
and punctuated by successive periods of rest and activity,
or, to express it more completely, by rounds of birth,
growth, subsidence and rest.”
The only place we seem to get arguments in regards to the
universality of cycles is with cycle of human birth, death
and rebirth. Most of the modern world does not
acknowledge this as a cycle. Everywhere else cycles
rein supreme. This incongruity alone should cast some
doubt on the linear outlook on the life of man.
(b.) The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless
plane; periodically “the playground of numberless Universes
incessantly manifesting and disappearing,” called “the
manifesting stars,” and the “sparks of Eternity.” “The
Eternity of the Pilgrim”† is like a wink of the Eye of
Self-Existence (Book of Dzyan.) “The appearance and
disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux
and reflux.” (See Part II., “Days and Nights of Brahma.”)
This second assertion of the Secret Doctrine is the absolute
universality of that law of periodicity, of flux and reflux,
ebb and flow, which physical science has observed and
recorded in all departments of nature. An alternation such
as that of Day and Night, Life and Death, Sleeping and
Waking, is a fact so common, so perfectly universal and
without exception, that it is easy to comprehend that in it
we see one of the absolutely fundamental laws of the
The Sandhya and Sandhyhamsa referred to in the quotation
taken from Isis Unveiled are respectively the twilight and
the dawn, each being said to be of the same length and
containing the same number of years as the first or golden
age — i.e. 1,728,000. It is in strict correspondence with
our own solar day which has its twilight and dawn between
day and night.
In going over the figures of the four ages, a peculiarity is
noticed to which I refer at present as merely a curiosity.
It is this:
The digits of Satya Vug 1. 7. 2. 8. added together make 18;
those of Treta Yug 1. 2. 9. 6 make 18; those of Dwapana Yug
8. 6. 4 make 18; while those of Kali Yug 4. 3. 2 sum up only
9; but if those of the grand total of 4,320,000 be added
together they make 9, and that with Kali give 18 again. 1 8
is a number peculiar to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, and
the poem has 18 chapters in it. If the three 18’s and one 9
found as above be added together, the result will be 63, and
3×6=18, and if added make 9, and 18 added gives nine. If we
multiply the three 18’s and 9 produced from the different
ages, we get 5. 8. 3. 2. which, if treated as before, give
18 again. And in the process of thus multiplying we discover
a recurrence of the three eighteens and one 9, only
inverted, as: The first 18 multiplied by the second one
gives 3. 2. 4, which added results in 9; 324 multiplied by
third 18 gives 5. 8. 3. 2, which being added gives 18; and
the product of the multiplication of 5,832 by 9, which is
the result of adding the figures of Kali Yuga, is 5. 8. 4.
1, which on being added gives 18 again. Now, as the last of
these apparently fanciful operations, let us add together
the results gained by multiplying the figures which were
obtained during the various steps we have gone through and
then adding the results.
The first figures are 1×8 = 8.
The second 3x2x4 = 24.
The third 5x8x3x2 = 240.
The fourth 5x8x4x1 = 160.
These added together give 4.3.2,
which are the digits of Kali Yuga.
From Mr. Wadia's Studies in the Secret Doctrine: The
Law of Cycles
To enable us to understand the interrelationship between man
and the solar universe in which he lives and of which he is
a part, let us consider — without going into particulars —
the correspondence between the movements of both.
Our earth as a planet of this solar system has three
movements — it rotates on its own axis, completing it in 24
hours; it revolves around the sun, completing it in 365
days; it participates in the movement of the whole solar
system as it goes through the sidereal cycle of a little
over 25,800 years.
The diurnal cycle may be regarded as corresponding to the
daily experiences of the lower personal self. The routine of
waking and sleeping is, of all of them, the most fixed for
the human body, which has to be fed, exercised, cleansed
periodically. Habits may vary but the sleep and waking
periods are almost the same for same classes of human
intelligences. The weeks of seven days, each forming the
Lunar and the Solar months, affect the personality. Just as
tides and ebbs of the ocean on earth are affected by the
movements of the moon, so is our lunar body affected by the
lunar cycle. Then there are the lunar and the solar years,
with their seasons. The yearly cycle may be regarded as
corresponding with one incarnation of the Individual Ego,
every new birth being analogous to a new year. Lastly there
is the sidereal cycle which may be regarded as corresponding
to the whole cycle of evolution of the human jivatma.
I think this is describing the concept of time without using
linear concepts. This view, in fact, seems more
correct than the linear view of time. The Law of
Cycles is really the law of change; growth and evolution
imply change and, hopefully, improvement. Nothing in
this word lasts forever and it is for this reason that we
must not let our desires and aversions get the best of us
because whatever we desire or hope to avoid will eventually
come to pass or will eventually end.