Friday, January 06, 2006

To one who outmeasures space, outlasts time

Sudheendra Kulkarni The Indian Express Sunday, January 01, 2006
All of us, in our thoughtful moments, have wondered how tiny we are in this universe that stretches to infinity and how short-lived we are in a timeline that stretches to eternity. It’s so humbling a thought as to make some minds conclude that life is without any meaning and without any purpose. But the same thought can produce a cathartic spiritual experience revealing to us that we are, after all, not dispensable in the architecture of the universe, nor irrelevant to its little-known but undeniable design. Could it be that a part of us does not really die after our death? And aren’t we linked to an unbroken chain of life before our birth? To think so is to affirm that, for man, life is not merely a continuum but also evolutionary with a purpose. And history is the process through which mankind, if awakened, can realise that Great Purpose.
All religions have tried to create this awakening of the divine in man. They urge us to develop a worshipful attitude towards the Timeless (Akaal), which regulates all life in Time (Kaal). It is only our ignorance and arrogance that make us behave as if there is no tomorrow, as if there is no Higher Power surveying what we think and what we do in our transient physical existence. Of all kinds of arrogance, the one fed by political power creates the highest intoxication and produces the greatest harm. World history is full of tales of power-drunk kings, badshahs and fuhrers who thought that their empires would never crumble and that Time would never make their takhts bite dust. I am often mesmerised by the concept of ‘‘Akaal Takht’’ in Amritsar’s Golden Temple. It refers to the takht or the royal throne that is everlasting. Now, whose power and padshahi is everlasting in this universe? Of God alone.
In his poem ‘‘Who’’, Maharshi Aurobindo describes the Timeless One:
In the sweep of the worlds, in the surge of the ages,
Ineffable, mighty, majestic and pure,
Beyond the last pinnacle reached by the thinker
He is throned in His seats that forever endure.
New Year’s Day is hence a time for bringing the lost sense of awe back into our humdrum lives; for letting our imagination wander from micro to mega reaches of space and time and realise our connectedness to both; and for offering a grateful prayer, in Aurobindo’s words, to ‘‘the One, who outmeasures Space and outlasts Time’’. Write to

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