By : Seetha ‘Priya’
Time is a precious resource. Life is made up of time. When you squander time, you squander life. How would you invest this resource?
The average person invests his money in his career, business or children’s education according to his priorities. There are those who lavish their resources on entertainment or building up an ‘image’ for themselves. Those with talents, invest in them to earn money or to gain power and influence. Some with the ‘get-rich-quick’ mentality go for gambling, share market and other short-cuts.
“I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life in taking Sai Baba to as many people as possible” wrote Sri Narasimha Swamiji, who, despite being ‘Sixty-plus’ and a limping right foot, made a great impact on our world by taking ‘Sai Baba out of Shirdi and placing him globally’ through his ‘Sai-prachar’ work.
With hardly anything in his pocket and a heart full of love for Sai Baba and fellow beings, Sri Radhakrishna Swamiji too started investing his life, and tens and hundreds of people in Bengaluru since 1952 have felt the impact of his compassion as never before.
Life is a precious resource. What do we do with our lives? You are a trustee of your time, money, effort, energy, talent or abilities. God gave them to you. You did not bring them into this world, neither can you take them with you when you leave. Whatever you don’t use, you lose.
For everyone, the precious life span consists of 86,400 seconds in a day. You cannot hoard it for the next day. No overdrafts, either. All the wealth in the world cannot buy you another second. That is how precious it is. How will you spend it? That is life’s great question. The eighth shloka of Vishnu Sahasranama gives the guidance.
‘Ishanah Pranadah Pranah Jyeshtah Sreshtah Prajapatihi
Hiranyagarbhah Bhugarbah Madhavah Madhusudanah’
Lord Vishnu as ‘Ishanah’ is the ruler as well as ‘Pranada’ the giver of our life. As ‘Pranah’ Lord Vishnu is our entire life – the Atman. He is the eldest ‘Jyeshta’, noblest as in ‘Sreshta’ and Lord of all beings as in ‘Prajapati’. He is of excellent source ‘Hiranyagarbha’ having the Universe in his womb ‘Bhugarba’. As Goddess Lakshmi’s husband. he is ‘Madhava’. As slayer of the demon Madhu, he is glorified ‘Madhusudana’.
The majority spend time on acquisition of the good things of life; wealth, power and influence on sensual pleasures only to discover towards the end of their existence that they were chasing shadows. God calls us to invest our time-capital — our very lives — primarily in people, not in projects or possessions, because, only a life for others is worth living.
The differences between individuals get reflected in their priorities, in the way they live their lives. For a majority, self comes first, in accumulating possessions for self and family.
The less privileged deserve our attention and help. There are those who need a push, an encouraging word or guidance. When you thus invest your life in the personalities of others, you make the wisest investment of all. When you invest your life in teaching young people to choose good over evil, to seek excellence instead of mediocrity, and to set goals worthy of their highest efforts and loftiest dreams, you enrich eternity.
When you invest your life in alleviating pain and suffering, in lending an understanding ear to the tired and discouraged, the ill and the aged, you merit a seat beside angels.
When you invest your life in uplifting the fallen, in visiting the imprisoned, in feeding the hungry, in clothing poor, you achieve what your creator envisioned you to become – a person of compassionate love, benevolence and wise generosity.
Invest your life in great ideas. “You will become,” wrote Sri Narasimha Swamiji, “as great as your dominant aspiration.” Great ideas are the seeds of immortal deeds, the fountainhead of dynamic movements and reformed individuals and societies.
Dasa Ganu Maharaj speaking on the highlight of Sai-Bhakti exclaims:
“For the worship of other deities, the articles required, and the rituals are specific. But for your worship, there is nothing in the world which is worthy of you!”