Time

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Time

“Prabhu,” Devahūti would request, “please also answer my question about time.”

“The supernatural thing which causes all forms to evolve from the great primal origin is called ‘Time,’” Kapila explained. “It is feared by those with separatist vision.”

“Why?” She would ask.

“Time is the powerful master,” Kapila explained. “In comparison to time everyone and everything is weak and subordinate. It destroys the very things it sustains, and is inescapably omnipresent.”

“Surely some good comes from time, also.” She would say.

“Yes,” Kapila explained. “Time is also known as “Viṣṇu,” since, like Viṣṇu it causes good deeds to bear fruit.”

“Does time discriminate and show partiality,” she would wonder, “giving harsh results to some and gentle results to others?”

“No,” Kapila explained. “Time loves no one, hates no one, and makes no treaties. Time never sleeps, and thus it impartially ruins those who sleep.”

Devahūti understood that if we are “awake” and make good use of time, we can evolve towards auspiciousness. If we “sleep” and neglect to make good use of time, we devolve towards inauspiciousness.

Everyone should observe time respectfully, as if fearful of its punishment. Even the forces of nature obey time, for if they don’t there will be no sequentiality, and nothing will ever happen. Kapila explained, “The wind blows, the sun heats, the heavens send rain, the stars shine, the trees, vines and bushes bear their seasonal flowers and fruits, the rivers flow, the ocean remains contained, fire burns, the mountain-bearing earth does not sink, space holds the atmosphere, seven substances grow into bodies for living creatures, the gods create, maintain, and destroy this world… aeon after aeon everything animate and inanimate evolves and functions due to obeying the sequentiality of time.”

Kapila concluded, “Time is endless, but ends everything. Time is beginningless, but begins everything. Time is never born, never ages, and never dies, but it causes people to give birth to other people, who age, and are finally destroyed by death.”

— From Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.29.3745.

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