48 Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 ly, the mahāyuga, the kalpa and the manvantāra – not only is human existence, and history itself with all its countless empires, dynasties, revolutions and counter-revolutions, manifestly ephemeral and in a sense unreal; the Universe itself vanishes into unreality; for, as we saw, universes are continually being born from the innumerable pores of the body of Vishnu, and disappearing like the bubbles of air that arise and break on the surface of the waters. Existence in Time is ontologically a nonexistence, an unreality.” (Eliade 1961, 67). The temporal limitation of profane forms causes them to be illusory and is the cause of all suffering. Buddhism and yoga are based on the principle that all existence is suffering, and therefore offer concrete ways to definitively escape from this continuous sequence of suffering and pain (Eliade 1959, 99). However, there is also another line of thought that does not derive from the Indian teaching about time, but only a total negation and rejection of the world. We can find it, for example, in the Bhagavad Gītā. It is phalatrshnavairagya – “renunciation of the fruits of action” and not the world as such (Eliade 1961, 68). When Eliade tries to interpret the consequences of the active participation of man in history, he is interested in whether the terms history and historicity, in the sense in which European thought uses them, are also found in India. He noticed that due to the meaning he attributed to them, the Indian concept of māyā corresponded very well (the meaning of this word is translated as “illusion”, “cosmic illusion”, “mirage”, “magic”, “sequence of transformations”, “unreality”, etc.). Māyā is an illusion in the sense that it has no part in being – it is a cosmic and historical development conditioned by time (Eliade 1998, 15). “What modern Western philosophy calls ‘being in a state’, ‘being shaped by temporality and historicity’, corresponds in Indian thinking to ‘living in Māyā’” (Eliade 1998, 15). For example, in the Bhagavad Gītā, according to Eliade, māyā carries the meaning of historicity and temporality. Here we encounter the question of how to resolve the paradoxical situation created by the double belonging of a person who, on the one hand, finds himself in time and on the other hand knows that he will be lost if he succumbs to temporality, and further, whether there is a path that leads to the timelessness in this (profane) world. Māyā manifests itself through time, but it is important function is also creativity. This creative force mainly carries the cosmogonic character of an Absolute being (Siva, Visnu). That is why māyā is also a hierophany – a “sacred manifestation”: “the ultimate foundation of things, the Ground, is constituted by both Māyā and Absolute Spirit, by the Illusion and the Reality, by Time and Eternity” (Eliade 1961, 90). Eliade’s dialectic of the sacred, which he considers to be “the original modality of all manifestations of human existence, including the profane” (Vajdová 1992, 48), can be symbolically captured precisely by his interpretation of the meaning of māyā in Indian philosophy. The sacred – the “ultimate reality of all things”– arises simultaneously from the profane world of historical (changeable) events and from universal permanent forms of being. According to Eliade, the desire to overcome contradiction and polar tensions, and to reintegrate the original one being is found in myths and pan-Indian ideas, which are mainly illustrated by myths and accessible to ordinary people, not only to sages and mystics. Eliade finds three main positions of man according to the attitude towards temporality and historicity: 1. the attitude of the ignorant, living in duration and illusion; 2. the attitude of the sage and yogi, who strive to step out of time by rejecting and suppressing the profane world; 3. the attitude the one who continues to live in his own historical time and at the same time keeps open the way to “the Great Time”, while never losing consciousness of the unreality of historic time (Eliade 1961, 91). At the center of Eliade’s understanding and interpretation of the concept of time is the category illud tempus, which he used to formulate the existential status of man in the world. Illud tempus represents Hesiod’s “golden age”, the period of paradise or immaculate beginning, whose existence, according to Eliade, connects the imaginations of many peoples and is part of many mythologies. Eliade therefore considers it a fundamental element of religious thinking in general (Kováč 2008, 21). All these ideas have one common moment and that is a clearly defined border, which Milan Kováč (2008, 21) calls the “horizon of events”. On one side of this horizon is recorded the entire history of mankind, that which is stored in time, while beyond this horizon there is illud tempus, otherwise designated as “at the beginning of time”, “once upon a time”, “in a sacred time”. According to Eliade, the source of every spiritual phenomenon, primordial actions and places, patterns, and models, which serve people as a source of laws and values and legitimize them, is located just beyond the horizon of events (Kováč 2008, 22). It was through the category illud tempus that Eliade showed the importance of archetypes and exemplary behavior in man for his practical life and society as such. Exemplary archetypes considered eternal truths thus become a compass for entire generations. They firmly define a person’s place in the world and give us the freedom to orient in it. Through the imitation of archetypes and the repetition of paradigmatic gestures there comes the abolition of time. “A sacrifice, for example, not only exactly reproduces the initial sacrifice revealed by a god ab origine, at the