Bhaja Govindam 13: Wheel of time endlessly rotates depleting our life-span (Verse 12)

Dina yāminyau sāyaṃ prātaḥ śiśira vasantau punarāyātaḥ |

Kālaḥ kridati gacchatyāyuḥ tadapi na muñcatyāś́āvāyuḥ || 12 ||

Meaning – Day- night, dawn- dusk, spring- winter keep recurring throughout the lifetime. Time plays with us while the lifespan diminishes quickly. Yet desires do not let go of the person.

Our experience teaches us that the movement of time cannot be stopped. Kālo jagat bhakshah is an old adage. It means that time has the capability to swallow the entire creation in one go!

Yama is the synonym for kāla (time). Time is a form of the Supreme Lord. Up to now how many times has the Sun risen and set? How many mornings and evenings has this world seen until now? How many more are yet to come? No one knows. The Sun will keep on rising and setting in this manner every single day. Each year has 6 seasons beginning with spring and ending with winter Seasons are cyclical and go on endlessly.

The wheel of time keeps rotating eternally without any beginning and end. As this wheel rotates, the lifespan of the being depletes. We are however unable to grasp this important point. Just as the water from a broken pot drains out, the lifespan of a person gradually ebbs away. Our life is like a bubble in the ocean. What can the beings, controlled by time, do in such a situation? All this is the divine sport of time.

Time happily sports with all living beings. Even after this realization if we continue to move about carelessly then it is truly foolish on our part. We do not seek to understand the true aim of this human life and take the appropriate measures to reach the goal. Not knowing his past, unable to truly understand the present and learn from it, a foolish person swelled up in his arrogance moves about carelessly. He builds great hopes for his future and swings in those dreams. He goes on increasing his desires and gets trapped within this deep unfathomable hole.

Akin to horses, these senses keep chases objects of enjoyment. The agony that is undergone to enjoy these materialistic sensory pleasures is unimaginable. Just as the golden deer enticed Mother Seeta, these glittering materialistic sensory pleasures attract us. They drown us in this ocean called worldly bondages. The root for all this is our desire. One who chases materialistic desires can never entertain the desire to reach the Supreme. He can never set his aim upon reaching the supreme.

The Supreme Lord is the root behind all this creation. Just like water bubbles in the ocean, He creates, sustains and dissolves these millions of universes. Shankara Bhagawad-pādāchārya sought that even those people who are at the bottom rung of ladder in life i.e. the ignorant persons should be elevated and hence through this stanza he is reaching out to everyone.

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