Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
The Netherlands

2th April 2017

Where and when 

“Here and now”


Daily life is full of events and situations. The events and situations are varied and multiple as well. They may happen either in the day or in the night. Events and situations are known by a man or a woman to be real.

Man or woman always wants to know ‘where’ and ‘when’ did anything, meaning an event or a situation; happen, if anything does happen. They also explain ‘where’ and ‘when’ it happened, if anything does happen to them.

There is no one who does not enquire ‘where’ and ‘when’, because it is normal to know ‘where’ and ‘when’ anything happens in daily life. Man enquires ‘where’ and ‘when’ either to advise the other or to console the other. 

Is the notion of ‘when’ an actuality or not an actuality is the question? If it is an actuality, the actuality is valid. If not, it cannot be valid. The validity of ‘where’ and ‘when’ would be non–existent, meaning an illusion, which does not exist. 

‘When’ implies the moment, meaning the time and date of anything that has happened. But neither a moment has numerical time within it nor is there a distinct, actual division between one moment and the next. 

So is it possible to determine without any doubt the actuality of ‘when’? It is impossible to determine accurately the actuality of ‘when’, because ‘when’ does a moment happen cannot be determined accurately or known.  

Therefore, no-one can either determine ‘when’ the first drop of river was formed, or determine ‘when’ the first drop flowed or ‘when’ the entire river was formed to flow. Similarly, ‘when’ life was formed cannot be determined accurately. 

Man or woman need to understand that it is wise to accept life as it flows ‘when’ it flows, just as a river has to be accepted as it flows ‘when’ it flows, because man can neither make a river nor life flow other than the way it flows. 

Similarly, it is impossible to determine accurately the actuality of the place ‘where’, because a place ‘where’ cannot exist separately from the place which is ‘here and now’.

Therefore, a place ‘where’ is merely an assumption and not an actuality, just as the word ‘when’ is an assumption and not an actuality. It is therefore wise to understand that anything that happens in the moment is the way it is meant to happen, albeit illusory.

The enlightened have rightly pointed that life flows ‘here and now’ wherever it is meant to flow. They also point out that life flows the way it is meant to flow in the moment and it cannot change the flow.

The enlightened flow with life in any way life flows in the moment ‘here and now’. They neither say ‘where’ and ‘when’ life flows nor how it should flow. A river too always flows here and now wherever it flows and cannot flow other than the way it flows in the moment ‘here and now’.

The enlightened have understood deeply that ‘where and when’ is illusory and this understanding makes them live life in the ‘here and now’. Therefore, if this deep understanding happens to either man or woman, they too become wise and begin to live life in the ‘here and now’.

Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar 2017

Editor’s Note:
‘Such is life’ is an expression of man’s acceptance of his experiences of the unpredictability and uncertainty of what happens in his life. However, he has developed scientific tools for establishing levels of certainty and precision in life. The clock, the compass and the telescope are remarkable examples of his sophisticated methods for establishing his place, his origin and almost his destination. Such are the gifts of the creativity, ingenuity and perseverance gifted to him by life itself, albeit illusory. Deep understanding that ‘such is life’, as revealed in this article, is the supreme gift of the enlightened, the gift of the ‘here and now’.
Julian Capper, U.K

German Translator’s Note:
Our life seems to exist of lots of stories we tell others or ourselves. In any daily conversation the authenticity of stories told to the other depends on “where“ and "when“ it supposedly has happened. Otherwise the story is not believed. But how real could this life be? Pondering would reveal that such detail as to “where“ and "when“ something has happened changes from time to time when the story is told once again. This could be a first hint that the story of our life is not real but an illusion of thoughts, storytelling which happens to our mind. In the article “Where“ and When“ Dr. Shankar shows clearly that the life in our minds at a particular place or in a numerical timescale is not real life. In the “Here and Now“ there is neither time nor space for a thought let alone a story.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany

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