Just hearing about the New Year fills our hearts with a new awakening, enthusiasm and hope. In Malayalam, the word ‘varsha’ means ‘year’ as well as ‘rain’. The New Year bears a shower’s refreshing coolness and vigour. For those who are growing up, the New Year comes along with the flowers of expectations, and for those who are grown up, it brings the fruits of new responsibilities. People always have new dreams of a better tomorrow. Even amidst sorrows, these dreams lend colour and fragrance to life. We must never give up such great expectations or optimistic faith.
The dawn of the New Year is an opportunity for new beginnings. It is an auspicious moment for taking a new step after releasing ourselves from sorrowful memories. We must be prepared to learn from the past, and, in that light, make changes to our life and lifestyle. Life is like a garden. It is natural for leaves to wither and flowers to wilt. Only if we remove the putrefactions associated with decay can we fully appreciate the beauty of the new flowers and sprouts in the garden. Let us, therefore, cleanse the mind wholly of the murk from the past. Life is remembrance in forgetfulness. Let us forgive what can be forgiven. Let bygones be bygones. Let us embrace life with new awareness.
Actually, every day and every moment in our life must be filled with newness, not just the New Year. Like a newly blossomed rose, we must be able to approach every moment in life with fresh awareness and expectation.
The New Year also reminds us of the flow of time. We might be able to recover anything else that we lose, but never the time that has passed. Therefore, the New Year is not just a time to celebrate with abandon; it is also an occasion to rouse the sense of discernment. Peace and joy will continue to prevail in the world only when festivities are conjoined with samskara (refinement in character). Children, live every moment with alertness and discernment. Life is about giving and taking. When we are ready to give more than we take, we can serve the bonds of karma through karma itself.
Love is the greatest principle in life. Love is what keeps life ever-fresh. Children, may the New Year, nay, may every moment in the coming years bring about the remembrance that love, unity and kinship create a blessed life.
(The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader)