We have just begun a new phase – expanding in big ways, spreading our wings across the globe. As we stepped forward paving the way for exponential growth and service, sharing our joy with family and friends, I received a message from my uncle. ‘Today is a very special day – one that happens only once in 600 years! It is the day for new beginnings for it showers the blessing of posterity! Everything you begin today shall last forever!’ I was speechless and surrendered with gratitude. Then I started thinking, as I always do…
Everything is about timing. As the ball hurls through space, the nanoseconds make it a catch or a miss. As I pause to avoid a bus, the nanoseconds make it life or death. Everything is timing. The ancient Indian culture revolves around the ‘panchangam’ or the five attributes of time – vaaram, tithi, nakshatram, yogam and karanam. Tradition believes it is the combination of these attributes that make the timing of each action fruitful or otherwise. While I am not a great follower of this traditional reference points to various aspects of time, I nevertheless do respect the power of timing, revere its incomprehensibility and stand in awe at its perfection. Curious to know more, I called my uncle to chat.
Vaaram refers to the seven days of the week. Each day of the week is ruled by one of the first seven of the Navagrahas – the nine planetary deities – Sunday by Soorya, Monday by Chandra, Tuesday by Angaaraka, Wednesday by Budha, Thursday by Guru, Friday by Sukra and Saturday by Sani. Rahu and Kethu are associated with Tuesday and Saturday respectively. Each day of the week is said to highlight the characteristics of the presiding deity. For example as Budha represents intellect Wednesday is said to be conducive for intellectual pursuits.
Tithi is the cycle of the moon – 14 days of waxing or growing moon and 14 days of waning or shrinking moon sandwiched with the full moon and new moon. Each of these lunar positions are said to contribute to the timing of our actions. During the period the moon traces a path in the sky around the earth in roughly 27 days, the ancient seers split the path into 27 units and gave each unit the name of a star or constellation. These 27 units are the Nakshatrams and are said to represent the feminine aspect of the divine. Yogam is derived from the longitudes of the Moon and Sun. Karanam, the final attribute of time is a further nuance of tithi. A combination of these five attributes along with many many more subdivisions and nuances form the foundation of the panchangam.
The traditional blessings when brahmins introduced themselves to elders with the Abhivaadhaye (introduction with lineage) was ‘Aayushman Bhava Sowmya’ which was actually a reference to an ideal moment of peek performance and perfect harmony. It referred to an attribute of time – Aayushman yogam, Bhava Karanam, Sowmya Vaaram. It was the elders way of saying ‘May every moment of your life be as perfect as that ideal time when there is peek performance and perfect harmony’. But such a day with all these attributes was a rarity for it occurred only once every 600 to 700 years as per the panchangam.
The day we walked into our new expansion plans was one such day! The universe had conspired to be in that ideal state of peek performance and harmony! If I was speechless at first, having understood the details I was in tears. I wondered why they were flowing… Such a moment was so special – especially when I realised people who lived over the last 600 years never came across such a day! It was even more humbling to know that on such a day defined as peek performance something truly magnificent had been set in motion. That set me thinking…
What if it happens from the reverse chronology… We believe the rules of timing are ‘when such are the attributes of time for peek performance and harmony, your actions will beget such an outcome’. What if instead the rules were ‘at any moment of time, during the manifestation of any outcome, time can decide this will be your state of peek performance and harmony!’ What if instead of a productive step towards a useful future, in those moments destined as ‘ideal’, I was simply scratching my back being absolutely useless. What if time decides at that most crucial timing that for the rest of my life I will be blessed to remain just as useless! What if God is simply waiting to say ‘Thatastu – so be it’ at any moment and here I am wasting my life on the totally inconsequential! What if the blessing ‘Aayushman Bhava Sowmya’ which actually means the ideal state, points to a time in my life when I was in my lowest efficiency with no drive or dreams, apathetically lost in the drill of human existence! All because I never gave a thought to that moment as being ‘perfect’!
I realise it is not a question of right timing. It is a question of being right when the timing is right. Lost as we are in understanding the nuances of miraculous time, it is not about identifying when the times will change but changing ourselves to be in peek performance and harmony moment on moment so that when God declares ‘Thataastu – so be it’ and time blesses us ‘Aayushman Bhava Sowmya’ we will truly be in that state of peek performance and perfect harmony.
With a resolve that every moment of my life on planet earth will be usefully and efficiently invested and a prayer that He will keep whispering ‘Thataastu – so be it’, I gracefully and gratefully receive the blessings of the Universe ‘Aayushman Bhava Sowmya’ – let every moment be such an ideal moment of peek performance and perfect harmony.
Written by Gita Krishna Raj | Published in infinithoughts in November 2015