According to human imaginations, an old, debilitated, apprehensive, fearful year passes out. And a vibrant, young, expectant, and colorful year makes a grand entry. People all over the world celebrate with abandon. In many cases, the elderly behave like young people and vice versa. And conducted themselves with no restraints. In the name of celebrating the New Year, The Divine, Timeless Peace, Bliss, and Joy seem to forgotten or ignored. The animality covers the human. And the human covers the Divine. Progress and evolution, in many cases, are put in reverse gear, either knowingly or unknowingly. Scientifically or psychologically speaking, the limbic system in the human brain (the old or animal brain) suppresses the new brain or the cerebral cortex.
If this is what is referred to as celebration or expression of joy (or stress), consider the following style of celebrating and welcoming the New Year (or the so-called New Year as a fresh or face representation of the Timeless). In many places (though a minority), people conduct marathon prayers, meditations, charity, serving the poor and suffering. An attempt is made to reduce the sufferings of the downtrodden and the homeless. In most cases, this is selfless work carried out. This brings out the Divine and spiritual (Karma Yoga), which enhances Divinity. This leads to Self Realization. Scientifically speaking, the minimal part of the human brain, in such cases is controlled and superseded by the spiritual or Divine propensities. Thus leading to onward progression and perfection.
The celebration of the New Year is a very significant phenomenon for human beings. It is a combination of Vidya and Avidya. God’s Power appears in every new name and form of The Nameless and The Formless. For spiritual and Self Realized persons, it is interesting to realize the originality and diversity of appearances. Human beings forget the sufferings, failures, and frustrations of the past. At least temporarily, and are filled with hopes and expectations. Knowing fully well that, the experiences of the past years as a hope against hope, they feel as if by magic something good and great might happen to them. Knowing fully well that the problems and difficulties will not disappear automatically, they rejoice at the prospect of better things to come. This is a special human quality. The indomitable human spirit shines brightly in spite of the clouds of problems.
The basic truth is that human beings are souls essentially. Its basic nature is joy, is timeless, is neither new nor old. It was, It is and it will ever be. It appears to suffer because it has forgotten its real aspect. Ignorance of its identity with The Timeless, The Ageless Spirit or Soul brings about a sense of darkness, sufferings, dualities, fears, hopes, and hopelessness. Any attempt to remove the darkness of ignorance of one’s unity with The Timeless, Deathless, Ageless Soul or The Spirit is known as Yoga. The most important method to achieve this Yoga is Yagnya. It is another expression of sacrifice or Tyaaga. By practicing Yagnya, Tyaaga, or sacrifice, one overcomes the limitations of personal or biological ego. This, in turn, brings the achievement of Universal Oneness. Thus leading to Self Realization or God-Realization. Action brings results, positive or negative. So, the styles of celebrating the New Year give different results.
The Path of Light and Path of Darkness
Earlier in this article we have mentioned 2 styles or methods of celebrating the New Year
Path of Darkness
- Letting go of restraints, some people enjoy sense pleasures, thinking that they are the body, senses, and mind (animality or biological egoism at its height). These people forget and hence forego their divine immortal inheritance of the Spirit.
- They themselves cause the negative experiences of problems, difficulties, and sufferings in times to come. This is the Path of Darkness.
Path of Shining Light
- Some other people, even if in minority, celebrate in the name of God. They overcome their ego and bondage to sense pleasures, by bringing cheer, joy, and happiness to others who can’t overcome their misfortune otherwise. They are true to their real, Universal Self.
- At this emotionally critical time of the New Year, they remember God, their own Soul through prayers and meditations. They feel Universal Oneness, by rejoicing and bringing cheer and joy to others who are less fortunate. They, without any reservations, practice charity, goodness and helping others. This is the Path of the Shining Light.
The Path of Light takes one to the ever enjoyable Immortality of God-Realization. It is pure Spirituality. The path of Darkness is Pure Materialism. This leads to Birth, Death, and Sufferings. Instead of God-Realization, it leads to dog realization. The choice is yours. It is wise to try to reduce the sufferings of others, in the name of God. If you can’t do it fully, try to share your joy and enjoyments as much as possible. By this, you are contributing your individual sacrifice to make the world a better place to live. Daily try to pray for others. Try to improve yourself through sincere hard work and meditation. If you don’t perform these, try not to cause harm and sufferings to others with your thoughts, speech, and action.
- Blessed are the Poor,
- Blessed are the Meek,
- Blessed are the Humble,
- Blessed are the Generous,
- Blessed are the Peacemakers,
- Blessed are the Ego-less
ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः।MAHANARAYANA UPANISHAD 1.1
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु।
मा कश्चित् दुःख भाग्भवेत्॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
om sarve bhavantu sukhinah
sarve santu niramayaah |
sarve bhadraani pashyantu
maa kashcid-duhkha-bhaag-bhavet |
om shaantih shaantih shaantih ||
May All enjoy happiness, May All be free from sufferings, May All become good, noble, and spiritually oriented, May All sufferings disappear from The Creation, May there be peace, prosperity, health, and harmony in our Wakeful State, Dream State, and Deep Sleep State.
om asato maa sad gamaya
tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
mrutyor-maa amurtam gamaya
om shaantih shaantih shaantih
O God, Please lead us to the Light of Knowledge. Please lead us to the Truth and Absoluteness. Please lead us to Immortality. Peace, Peace, Peace
May the All-pervading God, Who is present in the heart of all beings and everywhere, protect you, guide you, inspire you and energize you.
With Love and Best Wishes,
Paramahansa Atmananda Ji