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Kāla (T. dus དུས་) is translated as "time."

Abhidharma-samuccaya states:

“What is time? It is cause and effect occurring in a continuous stream.”[1]

Science and Philosophy in the Indian Buddhist Classics states:

One of the nine factors of the upper Abhidharma system that indicates “cause and effect occurring in continuous stream”.[1]

Khenjuk states:

Time has three aspects.
The past [of a certain thing] is the completed enacting of both cause and effect. It is the completion and cessation of what has previously happened. Present means that the cause has been enacted but not the effect. Future is the incompleteness of causes, although a cause may be present, while an effect has not been enacted.[2]

The Sanskrit term adhvan is also translalted as དུས་ in Tibetan, or "time" in English (in the Buddhist context).

Sanskrit terms for the "three times" (of past, present and future) are trikāla or triadhvan.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Thupten Jinpa 2017, s.v. Nonassociative formative factors.
  2. Mipham Rinpoche 2004, s.v. Chatper 8.