How to perfectly utilise every moment in time.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Time is infinite, and in this mundane world we see that time does not wait for anyone. It is always passing. In Srimad Bhagavatam we find,

ayur harati vai pumsam udyann astam cha yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita uttama-sloka-vartaya
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 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 We cannot control time, and day by day our lifetime passes: day after day is withdrawn from our lifetime’s account.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 Kala, the lord of time. And other names of Kala are Yama, Yamaraj, the lord of death, and Dharmaraj, the lord of justice. All time is recorded in the office of Yamaraj. What I am doing at every second is recorded there. Now we can record things with computers, but Chitragupta’s katha, the account book of Yamaraj, automatically records everything: what millions and billions of souls are doing at every moment. Yamaraj’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 Srimad Bhagavatam it is said,

tasyarte yat-ksano nita uttama-sloka-vartaya

This means that all time is counted in Chitragupta’s account-book except the time which we spend in service to Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga Gandharva-Govindasundar, in the service of the Lord and His beloved devotees. That time is not stolen by Kala, 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 Yamaraj. It is registered in the account of Vaikunthaloka, 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 Yamaraj to Vaikunthaloka. At that time, the whole account Yamaraj has for us becomes insignificant. So, transcendental service is the perfect use of our time. When we listen to Harikatha, immediately our whole account here is closed and everything goes into the account of Vaikunthaloka.

In another place in Srimad Bhagavatam is it written:

tavat karmani kurvita na nirvidyeta yavat
mat-katha-sravanadau va sraddha yavan na jayate
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 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. Tavat, ‘until that time’, means until that time when we engage ourselves attentively to hear Krishna-katha. 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 Yamaraj, 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 Krishna? 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 Krishna and no reaction comes to them for their service.

tasyarte yat-ksano nita uttama-sloka-vartaya

It is necessary to spend our time for the service of GuruVaisnava in this way. That is the advice of all the scriptures, saints, Vaisnavas, Gurus, and finally Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself. Time cannot take away what we use in the service of Krishna’s dearmost eternal servitor Sri 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.

ayur harati vai pumsam udyann astam cha yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita uttama-sloka-vartaya

Time is passing, shortening the life of everyone, but those who dedicate themselves to the service of Krishna under the guidance of Guru-Vaisnava (Uttama-sloka-vartaya) transcend the bondage of time and realise the perfection of life.


Spoken on 17 June 1993.