caṇḍavega iti khyāto
gandharvās tasya balinaḥ
caṇḍavegaḥ—Caṇḍavega; iti—thus; khyātaḥ—celebrated; gandharva—belonging to the Gandharvaloka; adhipatiḥ—king; nṛpa—O King; gandharvāḥ—other Gandharvas; tasya—his; balinaḥ—very powerful soldiers; ṣaṣṭi—sixty; uttara—surpassing; śata—hundred; trayam—three.
O King! In Gandharvaloka there is a king named Caṇḍavega. Under him there are 360 very powerful Gandharva soldiers.
Time is figuratively described here as Caṇḍavega. Since time and tide wait for no man, time is herein called Caṇḍavega, which means “very swiftly passing away.” As time passes, it is calculated in terms of years. One year contains 360 days, and the soldiers of Caṇḍavega herein mentioned represent these days. Time passes swiftly; Caṇḍavega’s powerful soldiers of Gandharvaloka very swiftly carry away all the days of our life. As the sun rises and sets, it snatches away the balance of our life-span. Thus as each day passes, each one of us loses some of life’s duration. It is therefore said that the duration of one’s life cannot be saved. But if one is engaged in devotional service, his time cannot be taken away by the sun. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.17), āyur harati vai puṁsām udyann astaṁ ca yann asau. The conclusion is that if one wants to make himself immortal, he should give up sense gratification. By engaging oneself in devotional service, one can gradually enter into the eternal kingdom of God.
Mirages and other illusory things are sometimes called Gandharvas. Our losing our life-span is taken as advancement of age. This imperceptible passing away of the days of life is figuratively referred to in this verse as Gandharvas. As explained in later verses, such Gandharvas are both male and female. This indicates that both men and women lose their life-span imperceptibly by the force of time, which is herein described as Caṇḍavega.
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