11. Time is God : make best use of it
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 27 (1994)
Time is God : make best use of it
EMBODIMENTS of Love! Nature is the best teacher for mankind to learn, the noble and sacred lesson of selfless sacrifice. Look at the trees which yield fruits for the enjoyment of others, without any trace of selfishness. The rivers flow for the benefit of others, providing water for quenching their thirst and helping them in many ways. Cows give delicious milk to the people without even a trace of selfishness. Similarly, a good person is one who strives ceaselessly to render help to his fellow beings. Ugadhi or New Year day is a festival that teaches lessons in selfless service. It is not intended for feasting. It is sacred day when wholesome wisdom should dawn and enlightenment should blossom in the hearts of people. There are four yugas (aeons), namely, Kritha Yuga, Thretha. Yuga, Dhvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. The Kritha Yuga commenced in the month of Vaishakha. Thretha Yuga in the month of Karthika, Dhvapara Yuga in the month of Margashirsha and Kali Yuga in the month of Chaithra. As the present Kali age started in the month of Chaithra, the first day of the Chaithra month is called Yugadhi. The aeons are only measurement of time. Time is God. God is called Kala-svaruupa (the very embodiment of Time). Hence, we must respect Time and spend it in useful pursuits. Wasting of time is ungodly
Every created thing is born of Time
This world is termed as Jagam. Ja means taking janmam (birth) and gain stands for going. Jagam means that the world is a place where beings are born and die. In this changing world, God is the changeless entity. God is all-pervasive and can be experienced anywhere. He is worshipped as Kala kalaya namah, Kala svaruupaya namah and so on. Without Time, there is no world. Without the world there is no creation, without creation there is nothing. Every created thing is born of Time. This New Year Day proclaims the truth that God is the Master of Time. Unfortunately, man fails to understand the power of God. He wastes three quarters of his time in unworthy earthly pursuits. Spiritual pursuit is the right way of making use of time. It calls for numbing good feelings and doing good deeds without selfish motive, extending love and compassion towards - all beings. This is real sadhana. Sa means Atma and dhana means wealth. By utilising your time in spiritual pursuits, you can enjoy spiritual wealth. But, man wastes all his time in unholy thoughts and evil deeds without understanding the divinity within him. One should understand the value of time, each moment of which vanishes faster than lighting. If you want to sanctify your hard-earned human birth have to cultivate divine thoughts.
Behave in a manner befitting your status
This is the age of Kali, which is often described as Kalaha Yuga (the age of discord), in which there will be misunderstanding and quarrels between husband and wife, father and son, preceptor and disciple. Giving up the quarrelsome attitude, people must cultivate love and compassion and shine as embodiments of love which they really are. The heart is termed as Hridhaya, in which dhaya (compassion) is in-built. Only when one has dhaya towards others, can he be deemed fit to be called a human being.
We find today people indulging in creel deeds, devoid of even a trace of compassion, and behaving worse than birds and beasts. Even trees and rivers help mankind selflessly. But humans are not behaving in a manner befitting their status as superior beings. They do not have the attitude of helping one another.' Trees are helpful even when they become dead and dry, serving as firewood. Trees are the best example of Thyaga bhava (the attitude of Sacrifice). They are the greatest teachers of the quality of sacrifice. But, human beings, who get all the benefit from trees, are not having the same spirit of sacrifice. They are attached to their bodies and spend their energy and time to provide comforts for the body How long will the body last? It is a bundle of diseases, a repository of filth and foul excreta. It cannot help one to cross the ocean of samsara (worldly life). It is subject to changes such as childhood, adolescence, youth, adulthood, old age and finally death. One does not know when, where and how death will occur. M;m neglects svadharma (his rightful duty) and relies on this transient body, behaving like a beast. He does not make any effort to realise that in the changing body there is the changeless and eternal Atma (Spirit). This Divinity is the same, in all beings and changeless through all the stages of life.
Man is in quest of happiness that eludes him
Everyone wants to achieve happiness and makes all sorts of efforts for this purpose without knowing where to find it. He thinks he can get happiness when he gets a job to earn his livelihood and pursues his studies only with this end in view. After he gets a job, he is still not happy. He wants to get married. He marries and sets up a family. Even then them is no happiness. He wants progeny. He gets a child. Still he is not happy. He wants promotion so that he can earn more to maintain his family: He gets it. Even then he is not happy. And he goes on like that in quest of happiness that eludes him. Happiness is not there in all these attainments or possessions. It is only in the heart within. He is himself the embodiment of happiness. Yet, without realising this, he goes on seeking happiness elsewhere. "Nithyanandham paramasukhadham." Permanent bliss is only within and once you realise that you are the blissful Atma and not the transient body, you will always be happy Some people raise the question, "Where is God?" God cannot be seen outside. You must direct your vision inside. Then you will realise that the entire world is a reflection of the Atma within you. "Puurnamadhah Puurnamidham Puurnath Puurnamudhachyathe Puurnasya Puurnamadhaya Puurnameva avashishyathe." 'That' (Brahman) is Whole. 'This' (creation) is also Whole. From 'that' Whole 'this' Whole has emerged. Even though 'this' Whole has come out of 'that' Whole, yet 'that' Whole remains WHOLE only.
What does this mean? From whatever source a thing is born, it retains the quality of the source in full. For example, this tumbler is made of silver. It retains the quality of silver fully. This mike set is made of stainless steel and it retains the quality of stainless steel in full. A pot is made of clay and it retains the quality of clay Similarly, man has come out of God and, therefore, he has the divine quality in him. God is Paripuurna Svaruupa (Total personality). You should engage yourself in wholesome divine pursuits and fulfill the purpose of this valuable human life. You should thus reflect your divinity in the human form.
The lesson taught by Ugadhi
Ugadhi teaches man the lesson that he should perfect himself as an embodiment of divinity. You should not waste time, because a moment gone, will not come back. You are only looking after the needs of the body; eager to make it last longer. But you forget that Time is God. There is nothing that can supercede this. So the Sadhana you should do is to utilise your time in doing good deeds for the benefit of the society at large and not to satisfy your self-interest. Don't waste your energy in unnecessary talk or gossip. God has endowed man with all the organs of perception and action, not for selfish activities, but to do godly deeds and help others. In the Purusha Shuktha it is declared that "Brahmanasya Mukhamaseeth" (Brahmana came out of the face of Cosmic. Purusha). The reason for this is that all the organs of perception which help man to acquire knowledge, namely, ears, nose and tongue are in the face. Brahmana does not mean one that is born in the Brahmana community. It refers to one who has knowledge of Brahman - - "Brahmajnani Brahmanah."
True meaning of real sadhana
Since the organs of perception are in the face, Brahmana is described as "The face of the Supreme Lord." Through these organs you can see, hear and speak. You must see no evil but see only good. You must hear no evil, but hear only good. You must speak no evil, but speak only good. You must do no evil, but do only good. This is real sadhana. You need not do japa, dhyana and thapas. Your monkey mind wanders elsewhere when you sit in meditation. Then it becomes only a waste of precious time. Do your duty as dedication to the Divine. You can thereby transform work into worship. For sadhana, the nine-fold path of devotion has been prescribed for humanity: Shravanam (hearing God's glory), Keerthanam (singing His Glory), Vishnunamasmaranam (remembering the Lord's name constantly), Padhasevanam (serving the Lotus Feet of the Lord), Archanam (offering worship), Vandhanam (prostrating}, Dhasyam (doing service as a servant to the Lord), Sneham (worshipping as a friend), Atma-nivedanam (total Self-surrender). You must listen to the glory of God being chanted, and do service to humanity, chanting His name and singing His glory. You should have the attitude that all are embodiments of God, that the whole Universe is a manifestation of God. In Vandhanam you should dedicate all the ten organs of perception and action as an offering to God. This is symbolised by bringing both your palms together and offering namaskaram. All the ten fingers represent the ten Indhriyas (sense organs). Namaskaram also implies that "nothing is mine." The limbs are intended for service to others only. Dhasyam means that you should render service to humanity considering the persons whom you serve as masters.
Sneham means friendship. It is not the type of friendship that you generally cultivate by saying "hello." You must keep the heart hollow so that it will be filled only by Divine thoughts. All human relationships are based on the body, while the relationship with God is from heart to heart. It alone is permanent and unchanging.
The entire creation came from the One
Spirituality means seeking to realise the oneness of all beings. There is only One. All came out of this One only. The entire creation itself came from the One. This truth is proclaimed in all religions. For instance, the name of Yesu (Jesus) itself spells out this truth. Ye means one, su means good. There is only one good. In the term Allah, A stands for Atma, la for layam. Invoking Allah signifies merging in the Atma which is the One God. Names and forms are momentary and transient. Atma (Divine Self) is permanent and changeless. In Vedantha it is called Sath-Chith-Anandha. Sath is changeless while Chith is subject to change. To give an example, sugar is changeless and retains its sweetness in whichever way it may be used, while water is subject to change. If the two are Combined, you get syrup, which is comparable to Anandha. Thus the combination of the changeless and changing entitles gives happiness or Anandha. (Bhagavan sang a Meera Bhajan and explained how Meera in this song, directs her mind towards Krishna and appeals to him to enter her heart and experience-her pure love). It is only by fostering love you can win the grace of God. The Prema Rasa (sweet juice of love) will be drained away if you have holes in your heart (spiritual heart) in the form of bad feelings and evil thoughts. If you plug these holes by curbing the evil qualities, the juice of love will be retained to some extent.
Service to the Lord brings lasting happiness
You should avoid following the body or the mind and follow only the Conscience. The purpose of life is to help others and not to indulge in sensuous pleasures. From dawn to dusk, you are engaged in acts for the sake of maintaining your bodily comforts. What have you achieved by this? Only mental unrest and physical weariness or illness. Your aim must be to achieve Divinity. Thyagaraja questions his own mind in a song whether wealth or service to the Lord will give sukham (comfort) and comes to the conclusion that service to the Lord brings lasting happiness. Service involves thyaga (sacrifice). You should sacrifice that which you consider very dear to you. Sacrifice brings about real communion with the Divine while carnal pleasure results only in disease. Control of the mind alone will lead to union with the Divine. This day is celebrated as Yugadhi as Kali Yuga started on the first day of Chaithra. It represents both Sukham and Shubham (comfort and auspiciousness). Power or wealth cannot confer both. You must use the time well for the benefit of all. As you think, talk and act, so will be the results. Think of God and do good deeds by way of service to society, chanting the name of God. Embodiments of Love! Love is God. Start the day with love. Fill the day with love and end the day with love. Live in love. There is no need to fear. It is only a mental creation. Foster love. Then only Divinity can be realised.
When the sun rises, all the buds of lotus in the lake will not open out in full bloom. Only those which are full grown can blossom; so the rest have to bide their time and grow.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba