Time is a very deep and incredible subject matter. Now we may have a superficial conception: we look at the clock and we think we know what time it is. But really, what is the power of time? It is all pervading within the material creation. It is working imperceptibly and invisibly in the background of everything, but how it affects everything and everyone! If we study history, history is the subject of dead people. Some were great, some insignificant; some were good, some bad; some did wonderful things, some horrible things. Many lessons to be learnt, but everyone was washed away by the waves of time. Therefore a saintly person sees human society, however developed it may be, as foolish children just building their little empires, only to be washed away by the waves of time.
The powerful time brings everyone to the same equal state. There may be many castes and divisions within society based on birth, race, religion, caste, or economic considerations. But after death, whether we are burnt in fire or whether there’s elegant memorial built for us, everyone becomes equal. During the battles between the Hindus and the Muslims after partition of India and Pakistan, so many thousands and thousands of people were killed. All of their dead bodies—without consideration of whether they belonged to Hindus or Muslims—were just piled up and disposed off by the municipality.
Interestingly, however, the first fundamental principle of Sri Bhagavad Gita is that the soul is beyond time. The body is always changing from childhood to youth to old age, but the soul remains the same. For the soul there is no birth, and there is no death.
By Radhanath Swami