This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
Title - Sadhak and Sathi
Author - Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)
CHAPTER - 6
GOOD USE OF TIME
It is a fact known to us all that with every minute of our
life that passes, we are all moving nearer and nearer to
death. Despite this, only a few persons think over this
fact and make good use of this best opportune time with a
view to truly achieving truth and divine bliss.
TIME DEVOURS ALL:
Time moves on continuously. Nobody has the ability in this
universe to stop it. There are now deep oceans where there were
high mountains. There were empires of rulers whose cry made the
earth shudder, today the dilapidated remains of their kingdoms
are no longer regarded. The rich become penniless, the healthy
turn diseased, youth is quickly overcome with old age.
Physical charms and health come to an abrupt end and are often
replaced by weakness and lusterless pallor. Thus, every
existing object in this universe is suffering from the fright of
the destructive dance (Tandavanrutya) of the horrifying demon
that is time.
Is there any remedy for this? The answer is affirmative. There
is a method to conquer this vast ocean of time. This can be
achieved by a cautious and well planned use of every moment of
our life. With every drop of water, the tank gets filled; with
every pebble, a well gets erected; with every brick a huge
mansion is constructed. In a similar manner, the wise man who
properly utilizes his time for higher purposes can accomplish
advancement and prosperity in this life and the life hereafter.
CONSTANT ALERTNESS ABOUT THE OBSERVANCE OF TIME :
In our life, the desired goals are attained by good use of time.
The student who works hard on his daily lessons, gets good
grades; the housewife who gives up laziness and looks after the
house, keeps her house neat and clean; the farmer who is
constantly watchful of the crop sown, reaps a bumper crop.
Thus, generally speaking, one can acquire wealth and high
position by good use of time in day-to-day life.
In the path of salvation however, it is indispensable for a
Sadhaka to be constantly alert and awake with regard to the
good use of time. For this reason the saints have advised
to remember God every moment.
If one were to get merged in Sadhana only for the time when one
practices it, how can one attain higher pursuits? No doubt, one
must be completely merged in Sadhana with all concentration
during the time of the practice of Sadhana, but at other times
also, the aim of self-betterment and self-purity are not to be
lost sight of. "I must be alert and awake to see whether or not
I pass my time in proper pursuits even when I am busy with other
work in the morning or noon; evening or night; in the house or
outside the house; in a temple or holy place or in a place of
self-study". Thus ponders the vigilant aspirant.
If the aspirant wants to form the excellent habit of
utilizing his time well, he should in all stages of his
development, keep a diary of spiritual pursuits. This will
mean keeping a clear record of how his time passes everyday.
By doing this, he will remain informed of the actual utilization
of time, so that he can well plan the better use of time and
thus improve upon the shortcomings in his life.
Let us closely observe and analyze the lives of great men
who have attained to the highest status in this world. We
will easily concede that the key to their astonishing
success lay in the excellent use made of every moment of
life which was at their disposal. If we respect time, time
will respect us and help in higher achievement.
GLORY OF GOOD USE OF TIME :
1. Every moment of human life is extremely precious. The moment
that has passed away cannot be regained by any effort. Let a
person therefore make his human life meaningful by the good
use of every moment of life that God has presented to him.
2. "Time and tide wait for none".
3. Water placed in one's hands, slowly trickles out and is
eventually lost. In just the same way, every moment of
person's life passes and life comes to an end. If therefore,
we do not pay attention to purification of the self, we would
soon be in a state where all that we had has been lost.
4. One who knows the preciousness of every moment of life that
he has acquired and makes himself engrossed in its excellent
use, conquers all calamities, becomes the leader of all noble
souls, acquires the capability to write great scriptures
(Shastras), is enabled to submit ever-new arguments in
discourses and in learned assemblies and is endowed with the
strength to shatter the whole chain of powerful enemies
5. Our salutations to Time. Having fallen to its rule
everything becomes eventually only a matter of antiquity (old
6. Time does not wait to consider whether or not a person has
completed the mission of his life. It just finishes those
who come under its sway; regardless of whether he is an
emperor or a beggar, a fool or a scholar, or anyone else.
7. Time should be conquered by continuous efforts, while
learning should be acquired through the practice of humility.
8. The continuous ticking of a clock constantly suggests to a
person that his life is being cut short with the passage of
every moment. Let a person therefore, quickly accomplish all
the noble deeds he wishes to do.
9. One who postpones the work of the morning till the evening,
and the work of the evening to the next day, is adjudged a
lazy, procrastinating fool. Such a person achieves no
success in life and is lost.
10. Lord Mahavira preached to make good use of time to his
disciple, the great man Gautama Swami. Let this fact make us
alert about what we should do.
11. One who is vigilant of one's own spiritual progress, should
be absolutely regular in studying the scriptures, praising to
holy people, devotion to God, practice of meditation, and in
one's devotion to his preceptor.
12. One who wastes time, will himself be wasted away by time.
LIVING EXAMPLES OF THE GOOD USE OF TIME :
Shrimad Rajchandra (1867 - 1901) was a great spiritual leader of
the last century. He attained the knowledge of his previous
births at the age of seven. He had a remarkable memory and
could attend one hundred different incidences at a time! He had
super-sensuous knowledge and he was a self-realized soul. He is
considered as a spiritual guide by Mahatma Gandhi.
As a great scholar and spiritual prophet, he wrote very valuable
and subtle spiritual literature which is useful to all seekers
of truth, irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. He has
followers and institutions in his name in many parts of western
and southern India. He practiced meditation and scriptural
studies in lonely places in many parts of Gujarat State of
Monk Chaturlalji and Monk Mohanlalji were two of the seven
ascetic disciples of Shrimad Rajchandra.
This event relates to Shrimad Rajchandra's life. Once Shrimad
asked Monk Chaturlalji, "What have you acquired up to today from
the day you became a recluse (monk)?"
Monk Chaturlalji submitted his experience and observation in
these words, "In the morning we take tea brought as alms. Then,
at the proper time (Jain religion term "Vohorvun") we beg food
and eat it. We go to sleep after recapitulating our sins (Jain
religion term "Pratikramana").
Shrimad Rajchandra said, "Getting tea and food as alms, taking
these and sleeping, is this the right faith, knowledge, and
character of the religion?" He then addressed the head monk Shri
Lalluji Maharaj, that the other monks pass their time in
self-study and meditation and not waste any time in ordinary
things. He also asked him to see that all monks take food only
once. He also expected the monks not to bring tea and snuff
without reason. He insisted that they study Sanskrit and pass
their time in Sadhana.
Monk Mohanlalji pleaded, "Maharaj Shri Lalluji Swami and
Devkaranaji are of elderly age. How would it be possible for
them to study? Shrimad replied, "Queen Victoria is old and yet
she studies the languages of other countries. One should make
use of his time in good things like study, understanding
scriptures and meditation with a firm determination and
Shri Dayananda Saraswati is famed as a great upholder of Aryan
Civilization in the last century. His native place was Tankara
near Morbi in Gujarat State, India. He travelled around the
whole country and established a new Hindu sect known as
Once he was in the city Shahjahanpur in the state of
Uttar-Pradesh. He noticed that the employees of one big
organization were leaving their duties half an hour earlier. On
seeing this, Swamiji said to the employees, "We have forgotten
the great importance of time. If a doctor were to say, that the
patient would have been saved if I had been called five minutes
earlier, but now, the patient cannot be saved. It is here
precisely that we realize the value and importance of time."
Let us note two more examples of how great men are alert
1. During war, Napoleon personally gave orders to his
commanders, on all fronts and he also slept on horse-back
making good use of the time.
2. Haider-Ali was the Sultan (King) of Mysore in southern India
in the eighteenth century. He was highly intelligent, a
great warrior, and an able administrator. His grasping power
was so acute that he used to hear the complaints of ministers
of different departments all at a time, during his morning
duties. He took immediate decisions and issued necessary
orders. Thus, he completed much of his work as a Sultan,
just in the early morning.
Back to Chapter List.
Back to the Home Page.