I had just spent a blissful one hour immersed in bhajans at a Sai bhajan program. I had not participated in any of these programs for a while now and felt thankful that I had chosen to attend today instead of being at another work-related program. I had chosen to attend the one that gave me maximum satisfaction.
My resolve to spend more time with my parents even at the cost of some public engagements, recently led a friend to comment that my parents should be very proud of me as I was like a ‘Shravankumar’ to them, prioritizing their happiness above all else. It was a very weighty comparison! And here too, I had made a choice – a conscious one.
It set me thinking – what is it that gives us the power of choice? The ability to reject some choices over others? What is it that gives us the power to use our time as we choose to do so?
In Hindu mythology, Kala Bhairava is a fierce form of Shiva, a protector. But of course, there are many interpretations. According to one of the philosophies of Shaivism:
“Kala Bhairava is the supreme ruler of time of this universe as per some Śaiva tantric scriptures (āgamas). There are eight Bhairavas who are said to represent five elements viz. ākāś, air, fire, water and earth and the other three being sun, moon and ātman. Each of the eight Bhairavas are different in appearance, have different weapons, different vāhanas (vehicles) and they bless their devotees with eight types of wealth representing Ashta Lakshmis. All of the Bhairavas are ruled and controlled by Maha Kala Bhairava otherwise known as Kala Bhairava”
“Both Mahakala and Kālī (काली, “the power of time”) represent the ultimate destructive power of Brahman and they are not bounded by any rules or regulations. They have the power to dissolve even time and space into themselves and exist as Void at the dissolution of the universe. They are responsible for the dissolution of the universe at the end of Kalpa.”
You get the drift – time is all powerful and the right use of it can confer enormous blessings on you! Most people spend their time earning money. But has it ever crossed your mind that when you have made ‘enough’ money, will there be enough time left? One never knows. I have seen friends rue after losing loved ones that they wished they had spent more time with them when alive. But time cannot be reversed. For some, enlightenment kicks in when they are confronted with a life-threatening disease. Most often it is too late that realisation kicks in that they should have made better use of time. The regret can be very painful. It was Bob Dylan who reportedly said,
“All the money you make can never buy back your soul.”
But if we were to examine more closely, which is the situation you would prefer – more money and less time or less money and more time? Probably neither. One would likely say ‘enough money and enough time’ is the sweet spot! Define ‘enough’, my friend….and the world is yours.
I know of many who are very rich, but alas are not happy. Can one call them wealthy? In the race for money, one forgets that it is only an instrument and not an end in itself. Find out what is money meant to do in your life, what is it an instrument for? I do have a few clients who are very clear on this and have put a ceiling on their wants. They are the ones who are enjoying their time. The world belongs to them.
The other approach is to have a balance right from the beginning, being mindful of every moment and of the impact of every want. A life of moderation, not compromise.
Getting your priorities right early on is important to avoid regret. Helping people to prioritize is one of the things that gives me satisfaction in my role as a planner in their lives.
“The rich invest in time; the poor invest in money.” – Warren Buffet
In a nutshell:
- Without time, money is meaningless
- To enjoy time and money, understand and implement ceiling on desires.
- Get your priorities right early on.
- Understand that money is only an instrument – do not chase it at the cost of time.
- Draw a balance between the present and the future.
T. Srikanth Bhagavat
Managing Director & Principal Advisor