In the great Hindu epic of the Mahabharata, the eldest of the five brothers of the Pandava was Yudishthira, and he ruled the great city of Indraprashtra. One day it happened that a beggar came before Yudishthira, asking for alms. “Come back tomorrow,” Yudishthira told the beggar.
The beggar departed, but Bhima, the second oldest brother of Yudishthira, seized a drum and began to beat upon it furiously while he danced and twirled about the court.
“Brother,” Yudishthira said, “what is the meaning of this? What is the cause of your behavior?”
“I am celebrating!” Bhima shouted. “My brother has mastered time!”
“Mastered time? What do you mean?” Yudishthira asked.
“The need of the beggar is now,” Bhima replied. “For mortals bound in the net of time, tomorrow is a mystery that may never come, or that may come in a way we do not expect. The beggar or the benefactor may be dead, or the beggar may have no need, or the benefactor may have lost the means to help. But you, brother, know that you will ease the need of the beggar tomorrow. Is it not a cause for celebration?”
Without delay, Yudishthira called the beggar back and gave him what he needed.