भेको धावति तं च धावति फणी सर्पं शिखी धावति
व्याघ्रो धावति केकिनं विधिवशात् व्याधोऽपि तं धावति।
स्वस्याहारविहारसाधनविधौ सर्वे जनाः व्याकुलाः
कालस्तिष्ठति पृष्टतः कचधरः केनाऽपि नो दृश्यते॥
bheko dhāvati tam ca dhāvati phaṇī sarpam śikhī dhāvati
vyāghro dhāvati kekinam vidhivaśāt vyādho'pi tam dhāvati|
svasyāhāravihārasādhanavidhau sarve janāḥ vyākulāḥ
kālastiṣṭhati pṛṣṭataḥ kacadharaḥ kena'pi no dṛśyate||
The whole world with all its occupants, dead or alive are tossed around as time forges ahead .
Many of the movement cannot be traced back or reversed..
But time just watches on mischievously holding the handle over everything..
This impishness of time and the helplessness of things that move around dancing to the tune of time is brought home poignantly by the philosopher king Bhartruhari
The frog is jumping around.. perhaps in search of flies for breakfast.
Behind him the snake is moving on its scales swiftly and within moments the frog could become the food for the snake..
The peacock is hungry and is flying around directly turning its whole attention on the plump middle of the body of the writhing snake.. again for a sumptuous feast
The tiger is watching with all attention to jump on the peacock and gobble it up the moment it lands to pick up the snake.
And there is a hunter, with great alacrity, training his arrows at the jumping tiger, to finish it off.. may be for flesh, nails, teeth and skin..
Thus everyone around is anxious and are acting with earnestness to eke out their livelihood ..
And while all these things are happening, the enigma that is time is watching over all these, as if controlling all these by holding on tight to their hairs.. but no one sees the time..
Yes, everyone is in hot pursuit for what he wants, desires, or covets..and is running away from what he is afraid of
But each one is thwarted or defeated in his action by someone who is more strong, more alert..
And everyone is very active, and anxious and is disturbed
But time just watches on without any emotions..
Time knows that he, the time, alone will be the final victor..
Ultimately the one who attacks and the one who succumbs all get swallowed by time..
time which would appear eternal,
regards Have a nice day
k v ananthanarayanan
The food cycles.. which enables the biological systems to thrive on this earth is also described in this slokam.. if we forget time for a minute.. The lesser being gets eaten up by the stronger ones..