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Time- a sobering reality
June 24, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Meditations on The Journey Home – Lesson from Chapter 1

Inspirations 
from 
‘The
 Journey 
Home ‐ 
Autobiography
 of 
an 
American
Swami’

In
 Rome,
 one
 day
 Gary
 and
 Richard
 entered
 a
 monastery
 and
 meditated
 in
 the
 underground
 cemetery.
 These rooms
 were
 filled
 with
 human
 skulls
 and
 skeletons,
 and
 many
 were
 artistically
 arranged
 to
 make
 furniture
 and chandeliers.
 The
 monks
 there
 meditated
 on
 the
 impermanence
 of
 the
 body,
 and
 the
 ravaging
 power
 of
 time. One 
sign
 above 
the
 skeletons 
read,
 “As 
you 
are 
now, 
we 
used 
to 
be. 
As 
we 
are 
now, 
you 
will 
be.”

Later
 they
 hitched
 to
 Pompeii.
 Pompeii
 was
 destroyed
 and
 completely
 buried
 during
 a
 long
 catastrophic eruption
 of
 the
 volcano
 Mount
 Vesuvius
 spanning
 two
 days
 in
 79
 AD.
 The
 volcano
 collapsed
 higher
 roof‐lines  and
 buried
 Pompeii
 under
 20
m
 (66
ft)
 of
 ash
 and
 pumice,
 and
 it
 was
 lost
 for
 nearly
 1,600
 years
 before
 its accidental
 rediscovery
 in
 1592.
 Since
 then,
 its
 excavation
 has
 provided
 an
 extraordinarily
 detailed
 insight
 into the
 life
 of
 a
 city
 at
 the
 height
 of
 the
 Roman
 Empire.
 Today,
 this
 UNESCO
 World
 Heritage
 Site
 is
 one
 of
 the
 most popular tourist
 attractions
 of 
Italy, 
with 
approximately 
2,500,000 
visitors 
every
year.

Now
 walking
 through
 the
 ruins
 of
 this
 ancient
 civilization,
 Richard
 was
 lost
 in
 the
 thought
 of
 the
 impermanence of 
material 
life:

“What
 could
 we
 learn
 from
 the
 tragedy
 of
 Pompeii?
 At
 any
 moment
 disaster
 can
 come
 upon
 anyone.
 In
 our complacency,
 we
 fail
 to
 grasp
 the
 impermanence
 of
 all
 that
 is
 material.
 I
 thought
 of
 the
 bubonic
 plague
 that
 had ravaged
 Europe,
 the
 atomic
 bomb
 that
 levelled
 Hiroshima,
 the
 earthquakes
 and
 fires
 that
 had
 destroyed
 cities
 in America.
Through 
the 
history 
of 
mankind, 
the 
powers 
of
 nature
 take
 everything 
away 
from
 us.
Why 
put 
off 
seeking the
 eternal 
jewel 
of 
enlightenment? 
Now
 is 
the 
time.
“

Time
 is
 a
 powerful
 energy
 of
 God
 that
 brings
 an
 end
 to
 all
 our
 material
 hopes
 and
 dreams.
 If
 we
 confine
 our ambitions
 to
 the
 temporal
 pursuits
 of
 this
 ephemeral
 world,
 we
 too
 are
 lost.
 As
 huge
 waves
 of
 time
 toss
 us insignificant
 pebbles 
around,
 we
 desperately 
seek 
to 
hold 
ground. 
History 
is 
filled 
with
 names 
that 
are 
worthless to
 us.
 Our
 exploits
 too
 are
 no
 big
 deal
 to
 successive
 generations.
 Yet
 we
 long
 to
 etch
 our
 names
 in
 the
 pages
 of history,
 and 
to 
be
loved 
and 
adored 
forever.

During
 one
 class,
 Radhanath
 Swami
 drew
 the
 attention
 of
 the
 audience
 to
 the
 huge
 wall
 clock
 hanging
 at
 the rear 
of 
the 
hall.
He 
graphically
 described
 the
 havoc
 caused
 by 
time 
in 
our 
lives,
“Just 
see 
this 
clock. 
Both 
a 
young teenager
 and
 old
 man
 look
 at
 the
 same
 clock
 differently.
 The
 teenager
 laments
 ‘why
 is
 the
 clock
 going
 slow. C’mon
 speed
 up.
 I
 want
 to
 grow
 to
 be
 independent
 and
 enjoy
 all
 the
 pleasures
 of
 this
 world.’
 An
 old
 man
 looks at 
the 
same
 clock 
and 
laments
 ‘Oh
clock, 
why 
are 
you 
going
 so 
fast. 
Please 
slow 
down.’”

A 
spiritual 
seeker 
therefore 
searches 
for
eternity 
that 
transcends 
barriers 
imposed 
by 
time 
and 
space. The 
term
 of 
human 
bodily 
existence 
is 
a
 rare 
chance 
for 
self‐realization, 
a
 chance 
to 
be 
reunited 
with 
the
 Lord 
of our
 heart.
 For
 a
 spiritual
 aspirant,
 life
 in
 this
 world
 is
 a
 springboard
 to
 enter
 the
 Lord’s
 eternal
 abode.
 Thus
 a truly
 intelligent
 person
 searches
 for
 transcendental
 happiness.
 Radhanath
 Swami
 practises
 and
 teaches
 the process
 of
 bhakti‐yoga,
 Devotional
 service
 to
 God
 in
 which
 the
 spiritualist
 realizes
 his
 or
 her
 personal relationship 
with 
God.

Although
 all
 designations
 pertaining
 to
 the
 body
 are
 fleeting,
 the
 eternal
 soul
 dwelling
 within
 the
 body
 is special.
 God
 cares
 for
 all
 souls
 and
 eagerly
 awaits
 their
 taking
 the
 initiative
 to
 turn
 to
 Him.
 Through
 daily chanting
 of
 holy
 names
 of
 God,
 the
 original
 dormant
 love
 for
 God
 within
 us
 starts
 flowering.
 As
 our
 relationship with 
the 
Supreme 
Lord
 blossoms, 
it 
also 
lends 
freshness 
and 
excitement
 to 
our 
lives.

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70 Comments


  1. Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s realizations are very deep & holistic. His life has really been a very inspiring spiritual journey for all of us.

    To know more about Maharaj, please click on http://radhanathswami.com

    Hare Krishna!

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  2. wonderful,incredible ,excellant , heart melting narration . Radhanath Swami is really : THE REAL SPIRITUALIST.
    http://www.thejourneyhomebook.com

    View Comment
  3. Amazing point on how a clock is perceived differently by a young man and an old man. Superb!

    Also check out this site for some more amazing stuff http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info

    View Comment
  4. All Glories to Guru Maharaj, HH Radhanath Swami.
    I am highly inspired by his book, The Journey Home, which has captivated my heart to realize the essence of human form of life.
    http://radhanathswami.co.uk

    View Comment
  5. Virendra Singh Chouhan

    Wonderful insight of how we are bound by the time dimension.
    You can find more such articles of HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj on: http://itsohappened.com or http://radhanathswami.com/About

    View Comment
  6. Pawan Sabharwal

    In one class Radhanath Swami said …. Time is most precious … Money lost can be earned back, Collapsed empires can be build again … But a moment wasted will never come back again

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  7. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is truly a liberated & compassionate soul who is trying to deliver every other soul from the endless cycle of birth & death.
    To know more about Maharaj, please click on http://radhanathswami.com

    View Comment
  8. Time and tide wait for no man!
    We have to achieve our goals and ambitions in the short period of our lifespan. Thus, not a single moment should be wasted on unnecessary things.
    (http://www.radhanathswamiquotes.com)

    View Comment
  9. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is helping us prepare for the ultimate test – the time of death, so that we can remember Lord Krishna at that time & go back home, back to Godhead.

    To know more about Maharaj, please visit http://radhanathswamionline.com

    View Comment
  10. Saroja Manohar Kisla

    HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is truly a liberated & compassionate soul who is trying to deliver every other soul from the endless cycle of birth & death.
    In one of his lectures Radhanath Swami said …. Time is most precious … Money lost can be earned back, Collapsed empires can be build again … But a moment wasted will never come back again.

    So try to achive the best of it and go back to Godhead!

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  11. We can see that we all have to die one day or other.

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  12. Wow !!A beautiful analysis on the power of TIME. Nice article.

    Thanks

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  13. Its true.we are really doing time-PASS. we should use each and every second of our precious life and not let the time pass. Some beautiful lectures also i found on http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F02_-_ISKCON_Swamis%2FHis_Holiness_Radhanath_Swami%2FLectures

    View Comment
  14. A surperb analysis on TIME!!

    For more information:
    http://radhanathswami.com/

    View Comment
  15. No one could ever think like Radhanath Swami on TIME. Everyone is so forgetful about the time and in ignorance is continuing with his life not realizing soon he will be his turn to face the reality. At time of death we will be faced with the final exam we have been working hard to achieve temporary goals but not at all focused on our final exam which could allow us to achieve the real goal of life which is Kingdom of God. Radhanath Swami sincere spiritual seeker is showing through is example on how we should realize the harsh reality.

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  16. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is absolutely correct. Everyone has to eventually surrender to Time, irrespective of one’s name, fame & all the material opulences one may possess.
    Time is indeed the great equalizer, doesn’t differentiate between rich & poor. And Time is Krishna!
    As much as our ego may resist, we have to one day succumb to Time, to the will of Lord Krishna. If we live our life in the service of the Lord & His devotees, then we will be in an extremely happy situation, otherwise we have to once again go through the miseries of cycle of repeated birth & death.

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  17. simply wonderful

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  18. Narendra Rakibe

    We generally focus our attention and efforts more on acquiring the things of this world and in the process we realise that life is finished……just acquired the things but now will have to leave them behind…..TIME will take away everything.

    View Comment
  19. Amazing piece on Time. What we take for granted every day is a very precious commodity that has to be used for the most enduring result which is to achieve the ultimate perfection
    i.e. Love of God.

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  20. MANISH VITHALANI

    Do we ever think about time in this manner? Amazing.

    View Comment
  21. Dr.Anjali S. Palav

    Time is running. we are going near to death every moment, every second.
    Hence, we should prepare for the final exam of death & then, be happy, no more exams.
    So prepare hard, use every second of your life.

    View Comment
  22. A really eve opening part from this book.
    We hear many times about importance of time and our fragile life.
    Unfortunately our materialistic life-style always wraps us under blanket of illusion that we are safe.

    Hoping to read this passage from book again and again.

    Hare Krishna.

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  23. Amazing Article

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  24. It is said time and tide waits for none.

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  25. Neha Viral Chaglani

    This reminds me of how devotees of the lord become happy as they progress in their age as each passing year brings them closer to the Lord but the one who wastes the rare human birth in animalistic acts, is going near to inevitable onslaught of time in the form of death.

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  26. Yogita Jagannathan

    Radhanath Swami’s realisations on various aspects of life are truly eye opening. Time has such a destroying effect in this world, but people seldom realise this and far from working towards the real purpose of human life, they try to defy ageing by artificial means. Radhanath swami has captured the essence of it nicely here.

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  27. Nayana LINESWALA

    We should learn to take lessons from everything around us in a positive manner as our Gurudev did.

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  28. Sooner we realise better it is for our spiritual progress. “what comes in this world has to go”. Thanks Maharaj for helping us understand the value of human life through this realisation.

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  29. Time waits for no one.Thank you Maharaj .

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  30. HH Radhanath swami the great!!!!!!!!!1

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  31. rambaboo maheshwari

    I can very well relate to the example of the Clock. Vrey thought provoking presentation.

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  32. Many times we get sobering experiences but we dont contemplate on them enough to learn something from it. We just miss these wonderful learning opportunities.

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  33. the story of pompei also tells us that in front of time everyone has to surrender.thankyou maharaj 4 ur wonderful book

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  34. Though we see everywhere that finally this life is temporary still our lifestyles are such that we are unable to give the neccessary time to find out the answers to most important questions of our lifes. How unfortunate!

    Saintly people like Radhanath Swami showed such a deep commitment to find these answers and now working so hard to share with all of us…

    We need to make ourselves fortunate, just by accepting the help provided…

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  35. Hi you can subscribe to our rss link here’s the link
    http://www.radhanath-swami.net/feed/
    Regards

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  36. M. Pandurangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami is a self realized person can mitigate our ignorance and take us to light of spiritual knowledge.Please read his Book, “The journey Home”

    View Comment
  37. rambaboo maheshwari

    As 
you 
are 
now, 
we 
used 
to 
be. 
As 
we 
are 
now, 
you 
will 
be. is a very though provoking statement. Almost every day we see a clock or an old person…now it also make us think of this Sobering Reality.

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  38. We tend to forget that everything we are so attached to is perishable. Time destroys all.

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  39. very nice article, thanks for posting, bhakti

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  40. time is healer for everthing, and time can change things in a fraction of moment, and as radhanath swami maharaj says we must live our life moment by moment with submissive and selfless service to the lord, haribol, rajesh karia

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  41. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj has wonderfully explianed about the “Time – a sobering reality”. Thank you Maharaj!!

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  42. Manish Raikundalia

    Very nice!! If only everyone understood what Maharaj is saying here peopl won’t be greedy and materialistic.

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  43. Radhanath Swami talks very clearly on what is shadow and what is the substance. This has taught me as to what should I give importance to, in my life. Thank you.

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  44. This is all very new to me and this article really opened my eyes.Many thanks for sharing with us your wisdom.

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  45. You are making a lot of good points in this article nevertheless its very hard for me personally to focus on this article on the broken blog layout!

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  46. Very good page! I really like your weblog, is it acceptable to use it for syndication?

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