Earth-bound time and timeless timeLong Island University; Brooklyn, New York, USA
10 April 1970
Time: earth-bound time and timeless time. When I look upward, I earn time. When I look forward, I utilise time. When I look inward, I save time. When I look backward, I waste time.
How do I use my time? I use my time serving sincere seekers. When do I use my time? I use my time when God commands my service and man, the aspirant, needs my light. There are only two things: time and life. Time is for life and life is of time. In life, we see God. In time, through time, we become consciously one with God.
Albert Einstein, the world-renowned scientist, said something most striking: "When we sit with a nice girl for two hours, we think it is only for a minute. When we sit on a hot stove for a minute, we think it is for two hours. And that is relativity."
In the spiritual world we come across a similar experience. When we go to a real spiritual Master and drink deep of his divine Peace, Light and Bliss for two hours, we feel we have been with him for only a fleeting minute. And when we sit on the stove of wild ignorance for just a fleeting second, we feel it is for an endless hour. This is spirituality, an eager aspirant's reality.
Francis Bacon also said something striking: "To choose time is to save time." This is a most significant statement. Now, why do we choose time and how can we choose time? We can choose time by loving time. How can we love time? We can love time by meditating constantly on our life's promise to God. What is our life's promise to God? The promise is that God's Light Divine will grow and glow in human life.
What happens when we save time? Opportunity knocks at the door of possibility, and possibility knocks at the door of inevitability. Possibility says to opportunity while opening the door, "My child, you are wise." Inevitability says to possibility while opening the door, "My child, you are no longer your searching soul. Today you have become your fulfilling Goal."
"I am the mighty, world-devouring Time." This message is from the Bhagavad Gita, the Song Celestial sung by Lord Krishna. We have to know what is actually devoured and destroyed—ignorance, limitation, bondage, imperfection and death. Sri Krishna has already told the human aspirant, Arjuna, why He has appeared on earth: "Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails, I embody Myself, O Arjuna. To protect the good, to destroy the wicked and to establish dharma [the inner code of life], I come into being from age to age."
In our day-to-day human experience we very often feel that time destroys us. Herbert Spencer, on behalf of suffering humanity, says, "Time is that which man always tries to kill, but which ends in killing him." We try to kill time. But what actually happens is that time ultimately kills us, devours us. Our hopes are dashed, our desires are frustrated. When founded on insincerity, doubt, worries and anxieties, our aspiration unfortunately fails to bear fruit.
Earth-bound time and timeless time. In our day-to-day life we use earth-bound time. This time measures all our activities and can itself be measured —- one hour, two hours, three hours. Again, one hour is divided into sixty minutes, one minute into sixty seconds. We can break earth-bound time into pieces. We can pick the time; we can be on time. Early in the morning, at six o'clock, we will get up. At eight o'clock we shall be in the office. At eleven o'clock at night we will go to bed. Time is registering our life-activities.
But timeless time is totally different. It is like a river flowing into the sea, merging into the sea and, finally, becoming one with the sea. On the strength of its oneness, it becomes the boundless vast. Here the finite enters into the Infinite and loses itself. What happens when the Infinite plays its role in the finite?
Earth-bound time. The body uses this time. The physical consciousness uses this time. The physical mind uses this time. We can use or misuse this time. But once we use or misuse it, this time is exhausted. We cannot get it back.
The soul uses boundless time. Infinity looms large in this time. And if we are consciously one with the soul, we can use the boundless time, the eternal time. We also can misuse it if we want to. But fortunately our soul will not permit us to misuse this time. And even if we do misuse it, the time still remains boundless, eternal.
In our earth-bound time we observe one thing: today we have a headache, tomorrow time cures it. Today we suffer from some ailments, tomorrow we are cured. Time comes to our rescue. Similarly, our soul sees a disease in the earth-atmosphere. The soul itself has no disease, for it is beyond disease, beyond death. But in the earth-atmosphere the soul sees the most fatal disease of all, ignorance: ignorance within, ignorance without. The soul wants to put an end to this ignorance. That is, the soul feels that each human being can swim across the sea of ignorance and, finally, dive into the sea of the soul's infinite plenitude. The hour has to strike. When it does, it is up to us how we utilise this hour.
The Lord Buddha, teaching his disciples, was reading something from a sacred book. After a while he said, "The evening has set in," and closed the book. Immediately his disciples realised that it was time for them to meditate, so they entered into meditation. On that particular day, two newcomers, a thief and a woman of ill repute, had attended Lord Buddha's discourse. The thief immediately decided that it was time for him to go and commit a theft. So he left the place. The woman of ill fame realised that it was time for her to go home and wait for her friends. And this she did. At the same hour a seeker of the infinite Truth enters into meditation, a thief does what he thinks best for him and a woman of ill repute does what she feels best for her.
In our spiritual life also, when the hour strikes, three different types of seekers play three different roles. There are lamentable seekers, able seekers and admirable seekers. Lamentable seekers are those who come to a spiritual Master out of curiosity, because they see that thousands of other seekers are flocking towards him. They have countless problems, and they feel that the moment they come to a spiritual Master all their problems will be solved: family problems, financial problems and other kinds of problems.
The able seekers have faith in themselves and faith in God, fifty percent each. They feel that God is pleased with them, and showers His choice blessings upon them just because they meditate. They feel that their realisation is due in part to their personal effort and in part to God's Grace, and they are happy when they finally reach their Goal.
The admirable seekers feel that their realisation has taken place precisely because God has showered infinite Grace upon them. They feel it is God's Grace that has enabled them to realise the highest Truth. Their prayer is, "O God, fulfil Yourself in and through us. If You want us to remain unrealised, unknown and imperfect, we are fully prepared. If You want us to realise the highest Truth, to enter into Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, then we are also prepared to do this. Our only prayer is to please You, to fulfil You, the way You want to be pleased and fulfilled. We reject all personal choice. It is Your Choice that we want in our life. We have one aim, one Goal: to fulfil You in Your own Way, at Your own Golden Hour."