11.32 – Time makes the unpalatable unavoidable; Krishna makes the unavoidable palatable
Tick, tick, tick. The ticking clock, or in this digital age the changing figures on a timer, are a common icon of the passage of time.
Whatever be the way we measure time, the fact remains that time is passing away constantly, relentlessly, irreversibly. The passage of time forces us to undergo things that we usually don’t even want to think about, leave alone go through. Foremost among such things are old age, disease and death. The image of an old person struggling to move with a walking stick can jolt us if we think seriously about it. So we prefer the comfort of oblivion to the horror of recognition. But time makes the unpalatable unavoidable.
Gita wisdom informs us that the unavoidable doesn’t have to stay unpalatable. The body’s journey towards disease, debility and destruction can’t be stopped, but our emotional entanglement with it can be stopped.
Time after all is a manifestation of Krishna, as the Bhagavad-gita (11.32) declares. And Krishna manifests himself in a far more palatable and relishable form as the flute-playing, threefold-bending, peacock feather-adorned Lord of our heart. When we offer our love to him instead of to worldly things, we don’t remain so emotionally invested in the body and its fate. The more we rejoice Krishna’s sweet remembrance, the less we suffer the body’s painful deterioration. Krishna by granting us his purifying and uplifting remembrance makes the unpalatable palatable both in the transition and the destination.
For a devotee, the ticking of the clock or the changing numbers on a timer are the visual reminders that Krishna is calling. He is inviting us from the finite to the infinite, from the temporary to the eternal, from the painful to the joyful.
All we need to do is respond.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds