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SB 1.9 - The influence of inevitable time

Upon Pāṇḍu’s death, Kuntī became a widow with many children and thus suffered greatly. And when the children grew up, she continued to suffer because of their actions. This means Kuntī was destined to suffer by providence. This was all due to inevitable time, under whose control everyone in every planet is carried, just as the clouds are carried by the wind. Speaking the words of the common people, Bhīṣma said that it was due to time that the Pāṇḍavas suffered. Yudhiṣṭhira was well known as the direct incarnation of dharma. If he had prārabdha karmas how could he have had any sense of dharma? Therefore the cause was not karma but time, which cannot be countered and cannot be explained. Everything is controlled by the supreme kāla, a forceful representative of the Lord within the material world. Thus Yudhiṣṭhira should not be sorry for the inconceivable action of time. Even the most pious has to suffer the condition of material nature including Brahmā. One should be faithful to the Lord being guided by the devotees following the religious principles. Therefore, one should not grudge being controlled by time despite being a true follower of religious principles.

The influence of time is wonderful and irreversible. Otherwise how could there have been reverses in the presence of Yudhiṣṭhira, the son of religion; Bhīma, the great fighter; the great bowman Arjuna with his mighty Gāṇḍīva; and above all, the Lord, the direct well wisher of the Pāṇḍavas? Materially the Pāṇḍavas were well equipped with two great warriors, namely Bhīma and Arjuna. Spiritually the king himself was the symbol of religion, and Kṛṣṇa was also present. Still the Pāṇḍavas suffered so many reverses which can only be explained due to inevitable time. The wheel of time does not afflict the devotees according to SB 3.25.38. Thus it was most astonishing that time could attack the Pāṇḍavas who were filled with dāsya, sakhya and vātsalya for Kṛṣṇa. Kāla is identical with the Lord, and thus the influence of kāla indicates the inexplicable wish of the Lord Himself. Śrīdhara Svāmī says that Bhīṣma pointed his finger at Kṛṣṇa saying that all events happened by His desire.