Concept of Time

Concept of Time – As enquired by Rama –  In Yoga Vasishta


Prince Rama, when in a philosophical mind frame, more leaning towards depressive thoughts questions the travails of human life with its childhood, youth, old age, disease and death, the vagaries of time, destiny, effervescence and mutability of the world and in general all that hails the world. He questions the futility of life. These questions are raised towards Sage Vasistha amidst his kingly counsel. These questions were praised by everyone present for they bring out what is there in every one’s mind but that many of us cannot express. Read on.

Time and tide does not wait for none. It does not spare anybody and consumes everything in its own time.  It is the overlord of all things and everything in this world. He abstracts, produces and destroys everything. Mountains, rivers, lakes, land mass are created and destroyed in the course of time altering the visible world. Time has devoured everyone, the kind and cruel, generous and miserly, young and old, the king and the pauper. It uproots all proud living beings in the world.

Time is the subtlest of all things. It is unseen and yet the ravages of it is known throughout. Time like mind is strong enough to create and demolish anything and everything.

At periodic interval time assumes the terrific form of fire to dissolve the world into empty space, whatever and who ever, gods, god heads and humanity ceases to exist only to be created anew. Like waves after waves in a sea, time creates, nurtures and destroys. Time accompanied by action, entertains himself in this world.

As the high and huge rock supports its body upon the earth so does time rest itself in endless and interminable eternity. It assumes multi colors of black, white, red – that of night, day, sunrise and sunset – as its vest. It supports all the constituents of the world. Billions of years may pass, eternity may rollout, yet time keeps continued to do without pity, compassion or feeling of anything or for anybody.  Time is the one who with the least sense of pain or effort brings this world into play and makes it exist. Time is said to be the clock work of the actions of sun and moon to light up.

After playing for eternity, the play of killing and crushing of all living beings time comes to lose its own existence and becomes extinct in the spirit. After a brief period of rest time start again its actions of creator, preserver and destroyer of all. He shows the shapes of all things whether good or bad, keeping his own nature beyond the knowledge of all. Thus does time expand and preserve and finally dissolves all things by way of sport.

This world is like a sporting ground and a forest of times where the living beings are lost. The transcendent time announces the death of us in this sporting arena called world.  This world is like a forest in which sorrows are everywhere and like a sportive prince one wanders, walks, plays and wins game.

Time is the most deceitful player in this world. Time has the double parts of creation and destruction and of action and fate. The existence of time is known to us only through action and movement that binds all beings by way of thought and action. Time creates the worlds, oceans, the mountains, the localities and living places alive with people. The forms the movable and immovable substances, establishes customs only to dissolve them

  • Ref – Yoga Vashista by Valmiki, Translation of Vihari Lal Mitra