Entering Transcendental Time and Space

The Temple of Love and Affection Verse 3

Continuing our series of posts about the verses which adorn the Temple of Love and Affection we are presenting in this post another verse on the theme of Hari-kathā which Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj cited frequently in his preaching.

The following is a short article compiled primarily from a lecture Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj gave in 1993 in California in which he elaborately explained the verse indicated above by our dear Hari Gopāl Prabhu of Latvia.

Entering Transcendental Time and Space

Time is infinite, and in this mundane world we see that time does not wait for any one. It is always passing. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we find,

āyur harati vai puṁsām udyann astaṁ cha yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
  
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.3.17)

“The rising and setting of the Sun decreases duration of everyone’s life, except those who utilise their time by dedicating themselves to the message of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

Every day the sun rises and the sun sets. It is not a happy thing. We want to enjoy with the sun and enjoy with the moon, but we cannot. They are simply a passing show. Each day they pass by us, and a day from our lifetime is subtracted. The meaning of the sun rising and the sun setting is that another day has been stolen from our lifetime. We cannot control time, and day by day our lifetime passes: day after day is withdrawn from our lifetime’s account. If our son turns six years old, that means that six years have been subtracted from his lifetime.

Time is always passing in this way and does not wait for us. So, we can understand that this world is a passing show. Everything that happens is taken by time and will never come back. This means we cannot wait, and it is best if instead we try to do something with our time. Whenever we get an opportunity, we must try to do something.

Time is known as samaya, but time is also known as Kāl, the lord of time. And other names of Kāl are Yama, Yamarāj, the lord of death, and Dharmarāj, the lord of justice. All time is recorded in the office of Yamarāj. What I am doing at every second is recorded there. Now we can record things with computers, but Chitragupta’s kāthā, the account book of Yamarāj, automatically records everything: what millions and billions of souls are doing at every moment. Yamarāj’s account book records everything we do and everything we do not do. According to that record, we receive the results of our activities. Depending on our activities, the results sometimes come to us very quickly and sometimes later, but in no way can we avoid our karma.

Yet here in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam it is said,

tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
  
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.3.17)

This means that all time is counted in Chitragupta’s account-book except the time which we spend in service to Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga Gāndharvā-Govindasundar, in the service of the Lord and His beloved devotees. That time is not stolen by Kāl, the lord of time. We do not lose that time. Rather, we get transcendental benefit by using it in the Lord’s service. That time is not taken into account by Yamarāj. It is registered in the account of Vaikuṇṭhaloka, the spiritual world, and once that time is recorded there, the results of that time come to us in a transcendental way and take us from the jurisdiction of Yamarāj to Vaikuṇṭhaloka. At that time, the whole account Yamarāj has for us becomes insignificant. So, transcendental service is the perfect use of our time. When we listen to Hari-kathā (glorification of the Supreme Lord), immediately our whole account here is closed and everything goes into the account of Vaikuṇṭhaloka.

In another place in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is it written:

tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta na nirvidyeta yāvat
āmat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā śraddhā yāvan na jāyate
  
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 11.20.9)

Until the time when we fully dedicate ourselves to the service and glorification of Lord Hari, we will engage in karma in this mundane world. Tāvat, ‘until that time’, means until that time when we engage ourselves attentively to hear Kṛṣṇa-kathā. Only then will all the karma we do in this mundane world be demolished. Then our account will merge with the Lord‘s account. Transferring ourselves into the Lord’s jurisdiction is known as bhakti-yoga.

Devotees have no personal account with Yamarāj, yet they do keep an account for themselves, “I am doing this, I am doing that,” like a progress report. “How much of the time within the last twelve hours have I spent for the service of Kṛṣṇa? And what kind of service have I done?” The devotees keep this type of account for themselves. But actually their account merges into the account of Kṛṣṇa and no reaction comes to them for their service.

tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
  (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.3.17)

It is necessary to spend our time for the service of Guru-Vaiṣṇava in this way. That is the advice of all the scriptures, saints, Vaiṣṇavas, Gurus, and finally Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. Time cannot take away what we use in the service of Kṛṣṇa’s dearmost eternal servitor Śrī Gurudev. No one can take that time away from us, not the sun, or the moon, or anyone, and that time can give us the super-benefit of our life. So, our time is that type of chance in front of us.

āyur harati vai puṁsām udyann astaṁ cha yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta uttama-śloka-vārtayā
  (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 2.3.17)

Time is passing, shortening the life of everyone, but those who dedicate themselves to the service of Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of Guru-Vaiṣṇava (Uttama-śloka-vārtayā) transcends the bondage of time and realises the perfection of life.

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