Kaala is mighty time and Pravaham is the flow. New Year is the best time to appreciate the cyclical nature of time. Year began, ran fast, and another is starting is the feeling often we share among ourselves. Rarely aspirational goals are set and practiced to achieve the set targets.
Cyclical nature of Kaala is both at macro and micro levels. Starting with 4,32,000 years as the “Yuga”, to a more appreciable 60 year cycle one may experience in one’s life, to 12 month calendar cycle, to 6 seasonal (Rutu), to a quicker month and then mundane week, each looks as an imminent cycle. “Dinayaminyau sayam prataha” cautioned Shri Adi Shankaracharya that day/night cycles happens, seasons get over, meaning years get consumed, and one’s ‘ayu’ (length of remaining life) reduces. Deep thought to be around than light and sound shows of “displayed happiness” over the passing over of the year or “Varsha Sandhya”.
Kaala is represented by “Laya” meaning the practice of consumption. We all are consumed by the dimension of time. It is true that nothing stands against the might of Kaala. Best of the civilizations, structures, and memory of events got faded, and were consumed by time. Thus, Kaala may be perceived as the only strong dimension. As too obvious may not be that obvious, Kaala often is not appreciated even by discerning humans. Animals are on a trip of survival and sustaining their species but humans are supposed to operate at higher levels. Unfortunately many humans act in such a way that their Kaala and that of others is wasted.
In Mahabharata when Yudhisthira was asked by the “Yaksha” who was disguised Kaala that which is the most surprising aspect in the world. Yudhisthira answered that all humans witness the passing away of their fellow humans, but they act as if life is permanent. Yaksha was satisfied with the answer.
The quest of the humans to work for the higher objective should get triggered by the witnessing of Kaala Pravaham. Emptiness of hedonism can then be easily felt. Less the residual life, serious should become one’s effort. When the disciple is ready, the Guru appears. And, readiness should happen before the Kaala is too late, and the real journey shall then begin.
Prof S Ainavolu is a Mumbai-based teacher of tradition and management. He is with VPSM. Views are personal. https://www.ainavolu.in/blog