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In the war of Mahabharata, there were days when one or the other side was looking at the sun to set as soon as possible. The rules of the war were set that war will happen between sunrise and sunset. When Arjuna took oath to kill Jayadrath before the next day’s sunset or immolate himself, Kaurava’s were waiting for day to end sooner.

On the other hand when Bhishma was the supreme commander of Kaurava’s army everyday was a mayhem for Pandava’s army. Bhisma killed thousands of soldiers and hundreds of chariot warriors everyday. Krishna’s frustration (though frustration cannot be the right word here) was at peak, when he felt that Arjuna isn’t fighting with Bhishma with all his capabilities and took weapons in his hands to kill Bhishma – Krishna had vowed not to fight from either side, but was a Charioteer for Arjuna.

At this Arjuna requests to Krishna not to break his vow, and he promises to fight with his full might to not just defeat Bhishma but also end the war today itself “only if the sun does not set (as fast for the day)!” Arjuna even if was a great student yet had missed occasionally – Krishna’s loudest message to him in the whole of Geeta was perform your duties, do not think of results. Arjuna kept on missing this during these 18 days. Once here and other time at Jayadrath’s killing, Arjuna wanted the sun to be bit slow – Time to stop. I wish he had remembered the beginning of the war when Krishna was teaching him the Geeta – time must have stopped at that time, how can time fly when the god himself is speaking about the truth. Perhaps time must have not even existed when the Bhagvad Geeta was narrated.

Time is a difficult concept to explain, oxford dictionaries define it as – “the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” What is the start and end of time? There seems to be none. In Indian philosophy time is defined as Kala. Kala has a lot of small to large measurements, that is for some other day. However when I thought about Time as a topic for LBC I could think of two things – one commentator of was Old Hindi TV Serial Mahabharat, and other a consultant saying – time is the commodity I sell. It is the most precious commodity I have, I cannot get it back once it is gone.

The commodity is really very important and extremely perishable plus nontransferable, it cannot be restored once gone or consumed. The best thing is each one of us have the same amount of it – unlike any other commodity. What use we make of it is something to be decided by each one of us.

We all want the time to move slowly when we are happy and to just vanish when we are in trouble. However, we always feel that when we are elated time elapses fast and vice-versa. Isn’t it? The following I wrote long back when I was doing my engineering (about 2 decades back, 1998-99 – my god I am old!) Hindi and English translation side by side

स्वर्ग भी है यहाँ, नर्क भी है यहीं Heaven and Hell are ‘here and now’
तुमने जैसे जिया जो पल The way you pass each moment
तुम ही परिभाषित करोगे, कि तुम जो स्वर्ग याकि नर्क मे You define whether you are in Heaven or a Hell.

Ramana uncleji suggested this topic for the weekly LBC blog posts. You can see what the other writers perspective is on this topic at their respective blogs Maria, Ramana and Shackman uncleji.

Image source – http://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.in/2013/06/bhakti-part-1-story-of-bhishma.html