Time A sobering reality

Meditations on The Journey Home – Lesson from Chapter 1

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

time-is-DeathIn
 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.

Source: http://www.radhanath-swami.net/time-a-sobering-reality/time-a-sobering-reality

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