Bhagawatam 054: Time should be spent only on meritorious activities

Maharishi Śounaka says to Maharishi Suta, “Please answer my question only if bears some connection to the Supreme Lord. Topics that do not pertain to the Supreme Lord are nothing but a sheer waste of time. Ordinary beings like us have a fleeting lifespan. Why should our precious time be wasted on useless topics?”

When, with good feelings, time is dedicated towards useful activities it amounts to proper usage of time. It will add to our good balance. Wasting on useless topics depletes this balance. The secret of life and birth are contained in time! Is it right to misuse time?

It is important to maintain a record of every minute spent during the entire day from morning to evening! How much time was spent on fruitful and good activities? How much time was wasted on useless matters? Every night before retiring to bed, recollect all what you did during the day. ‘How did I spend my time in the morning hours? Did I hurt anyone’s feelings today? Did I utter lies? In which occasions was I truthful? Did I spend the day without hurting the feelings of anyone?’

Once a week tally your record and note down the final balance. Observe whether you have more positive or negative balance. Then you can extrapolate what will be your balance by the end of the year. You will be able to assess how much time you would be wasting till the end of the year at this rate. You will also realize how much time you have wasted in the past. You will learn to be cautious about the usage of your future time.

“O Maharishi Suta! In this sacrificial hall, the Lord of death has been invoked to hear the divine names. As long as Yama-dharmaraja, the Lord of death, is present here, none of us have to fear death. Let us therefore use his divine presence to listen to the divine nectarous stories of Supreme Hari. He has been invoked here for this reason. Human beings who are lazy, foolish and short-lived waste their night time in sleep and day time in other wasteful activities”.

Let us assume a person has a lifespan of 100 years. Of these 100 years, time equivalent of 50 years is anyways lost in sleep. Of the remaining time, period of 12- 15 years is lost in childhood and youthful activities. Then the person begins to earn. This is followed by marriage and birth of children. In these activities, 45 years of his active time would have been spent. What is left for him? 5 years of time that too in old age when neither can he sit, nor stand nor walk properly. What is it that he had actually accomplished in this lifetime? 100 years worth of time given to him was simply wasted.

Did you utilize any portion of it for listening to divine stories? Did you put in any efforts so that you could move up in the spiritual ladder? Did you listen to Sadguru’s messages? Did you hear Bhagavad Geeta? Did you listen to Guru Geeta? Did you read Guru charitra? Did you chant the Guru-given mantra lakhs of times? Did you visit temples and sit there in meditation? Did you at least clean the temple premises? Did you go and help the poor, hungry and needy at least?

Maintain a record of how you have spent your time. This entire life you have spent exclusively for your personal needs. One lifetime is wasted for this. Did you spend any of your time for a cause greater than yours?

Normally people say, “Oh there was so much work, we had no time to breathe”. Is there any meaning in this? Time was spent exclusively on wasteful work. This is the truth. Have you ever come across any person who says, “I am so busy thinking about God that I have no time even to breathe”. I don’t suppose there is any such person.

After all, we live to eat dosas, have coffee, sleep sufficiently and so on. We seek to grow up and become supremely educated persons, obtain visa to travel to America, marry there, earn sufficient money, nurture children, and lead a luxurious life. This is our life story.

All this story of your life will get washed away in one second. Your plan may or may not work out. It is not wrong to plan this life; what is important is that along with your plans, you should walk on the right path towards God. Complete your life under Guru’s guidance. Seek shelter under a good Guru. Under any circumstances, maintain friendship only with good persons. Irrespective of whether you are in Golconda or in America, select only those people who have noble traits, as friends. Engage only in worthy deeds with a good frame of mind. Do not waste your time!

An ordinary person wastes his entire night in sleep and his entire day in wasteful activities. This is what Maharishi Shounaka states.

Hare Krishna! Srikrishna! Narayana!

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