Time is fleeting. Time and tide wait for nobody. Time is the greatest healer. Time is the greatest teacher. We frequently hear and read such statements about the entity called time. Truly, time, a seemingly abstract entity, holds us completely and continuously in its steely grip. It is witness to all we do, all we experience. It seems to have no beginning, no end. As an eternal entity, it is privy to our unknown past and will be privy to our unknowable future. During the present, it provides a mathematically precise frame for gauging thoughts and actions—moment to moment.
It is important for us humans to understand the conceptual nature of time and regulate our life accordingly so as to get the best out of its priceless moments. For this, we will have to touch upon the fundamental metaphysical principles.
There are three eternal, basic entities in the universe—the one omnipotent and omniscient creator, the countless living souls and the inanimate matter which forms the building blocks of the visible universe. The universe has countless celestial bodies like our earth, the sun and moon, and other planets revolving continuously around the sun. The earth is the habitat of humans and other living beings—various species of flora and fauna. These celestial bodies as human habitats are also under continuous rotation around their own axes. The above types of motions produce the notion of time as a physical entity for the humans who see the alternating days and nights and the sequential arrival of seasons on a continual basis.
However, time has not only a physical dimension as indicated above but also a spiritual dimension. It is the veritable agent of the creator God who runs and regulates the entire universe and operates the law of karmic retribution on the sentient beings. We humans get rewarded for our noble karmas and punished for the ignoble ones. Time becomes the dynamic instrument of the retribution of our karmas. Time is the most valuable and vital resource available to us to make use of and for elevating ourselves.
Wasting moments of precious time is wasting life itself. It is verily the denominator of life and hence we would do well to use it for doing work that is both productive and righteous so that it promotes the welfare and progress of all.
Time, as the agent of the creator God, has been eternally with us and will remain forever with us. So, to achieve progress in life, both materially and spiritually, we must endeavour to be ever in sync with its flow—to perform our actions in accordance with enlightened dharma. Dharma is the set of harmonising and elevating principles of life. The flow of time is regulated by both ‘sat’ (dharma) and ‘rit’ (divine order) and hence we must attune with it to remain in alignment with both dharma and the divine cosmic order. Therein lies the secret of sublime living which can enable us to live a full, complete, happy, successful and most progressive life.
If we fail to understand the true and complete nature of time, we will not be able to respect it and utilise it optimally, and will lose out on the opportunities that life presents to us. Let us value time and reorient ourselves to spend a most productive life, while at the same time, aligning ourselves with the universal currents of harmony. We shall then live a life free of regrets and remorse, and achieve victory in all our mundane endeavours.
Truly, the key to human progress and salvation lies in being in harmony with the continuous currents of time, the true basis of life which mirrors our past and present actions and will subtly and silently give us what we deserve as the fruits of our actions—no more, no less. Time is the instrument of regulating the lives of sentient beings by their creator, who dispenses full justice to them. Valuing time is not only valuing life but also valuing the supreme creator and his immanent laws which work with perfect precision, delivering complete justice to human beings in the context of their karmas. Understanding the nature of time, valuing it and harmonising our lives with its flow is, therefore, the key to human emancipation from all sorrow and all bondage. It is the gateway to freedom and divine bliss.