Placing his right foot in the car, and bowing slightly, Swamishri was just about to get in, when abruptly he called out, "Where's it gone?", as if something precious had been lost.
The mail usually kept on the gear box was not there today.
Dharmacharan Swami had already sat in the car ahead. Swamishri pulled at Narayancharan Swami, "Quick, get the letters before the car leaves." Only after the mail arrived, did Swamishri's left foot, which had been planted patiently on the ground, moved into the car. Swamishri began reading the first letter before the car could even set off....
That which untiringly marches on is time. It's journey is always in one direction. Its destination? The End! The sands of time that stealthily trickle away cannot be pulled back up. "Time and tide wait for none."
In the Mahabharat, when Yaksh asks: "What is the scarcest commodity of today's day and age?" We would unanimously agree with Yudhishthir's answer, "Time." (Time deficiency seems to be an eternal affliction - this question was asked over 5,000 years ago!)
Franklin D. Roosevelt has painted our era's portrait perfectly: "Never before have we had too little time to do so much." "I've got no time" has become a common cry for young and old alike-regardless of whether you have a cellular phone or not!
But may be this is just a facade, a diplomatic cover-up for our procrastination - the simple art of keeping up with yesterday. By a mile 'Tomorrow' beats any computer, fax, dishwasher or pager as our greatest and most ingenious labour-saving device.
The Nagar Brahmins of Junagadh had also fallen prey to this cosy stance. They would say, "We'll go later. What's the rush? Swami is here everyday, isn't he?" To that Gunatitanand Swami remarked, "... your jobs will still be here long after you've gone. But is this Swami going to stay forever?"
As a satirist puts it, "The child says 'when I grow up', the youth says 'when I get married', the married says 'after I retire'...." But, when in the December of life he looks back upon the withered away days of yesteryear, its already too late. He has become a fugitive of time.
It makes you wonder, when we are out to 'kill' time, who is left more injured - Time or Us?
Swamishri's life teaches us the value of every fleeting and fragile second that our brief existence is made up of.
True it is: Eternity is nothing but the summation of our lifetimes; each lifetime merely each year end to end; each year is of course, nothing more than one day after another; and each day is indeed, little more than a collection of seconds. Verily, Eternity is the aggregate of each passing moment. Take care of each individual moment, and the days and years will look after themselves.
As helpless prisoners of time, if each elusive instant is adorned with meaning and purpose, vistas as wide as space and as long as time can unfold before us. Florence Fare reveals, "This passing moment is as good as any I shall ever know." And isn't 'Now' also a part of eternity? 'Now' - too immature to be the future, too instantaneous to be the present, and not quite ripe enough to be the past. Now is 'Now'. Now is 'Here'. Now is ours.
To regurgitate the digested moments of the past is as fruitless as a baby trying to suckle milk from a dead mother. To take off on fantastical and romantic expeditions of the future is as foolish as digging one's own grave. True wisdom lies in living in Now. Swamishri many a time emphasises, "To render this moment's work onto another moment, is nothing short of laziness." That's probably why, tomorrow is the day on which the laziest have the most to do!
No wonder Swamishri could not afford even the 10 minute journey from Vidyanagar to Mehlav to go unlaboured.