GURUDEV’S NEW YEAR MESSAGE
EVERY DAY A BETTER PERSONALITY
(Sri Swami Sivananda)
The dawn of a new year has arrived; the new bud of elusive hope has blossomed again. You have woken up in the cool morning of the virgin year, but find yourself in the same like and dislike, the same aptitudes, the same inhibitions within you. Why, then, should the New Year day be a special event?
Life on earth necessitates successive links of solemn occasions to punctuate the chain of time, when one must rededicate oneself to all such values that make life worth living. The New Year day is such an occasion.
How fashions change! The Christian calendar year did not at first begin on 1st January. The Romans celebrated the New Year day on 25th March. In England it was 25th December from 6th century onward, but the Roman practice was adopted by 11th century, whereafter 25th March remained the British New Year day until 1751. In France both these days and the Easter were the New Year days, at different times, until 16th century. Finally in 1952, 1st January was internationally recognized as the first day of Christian calendar year. Every country has one or more New Year days, and in India we have half a dozen of them. Anyhow, to all sensible people the first day of the year should be a day of reckoning and dedication.
Look deep into the past, now stretched supine never to rise again. Examine the lessons that you have learned and resolve upon a wise programme of the future, on the basis of the experiences gained, Repeat not the follies of the past.
In the midst of change and contrast, of candour and deceit, of truce and hostility, of waxing and waning of life, find peace, love and happiness in the solitude of your heart, the mind and the senses withdrawn within.
Question the apparent, consider the worth of your past aspiration, and then decide upon your future course of action. Have a define ideal and a wisely thought out plan for its fulfillment.
Let reason guide your impulses: let wisdom protects your reason; let dedication be your strength. Let conviction, consummated will, perseverance and truth in the grace of God, move the wheel of your destiny.
Noble be your intentions, candid be your dealings, transparent be your motives, forgiving be your heart, and catholie be your outlook.
Cleanse the grime of past obsessions. All is for the best. Be sure, success is real, failure only a stepping-stone. Virtue is real, failure only a stepping-stone. Virtue is real, vice its enunciation. Love is real, hate a misguided impulse, happiness is real. Sorrow an illusion. Life is real, death a change for the better. Turn the gaze from the unreal to the real. Workout your salvation by the dint of your endeavour, as speedily as you can.
What excitement, what impetuous dithyramb, what regalement can suffuse you, simpleton, when there is so much to reckon, so much to ponder over, so much to enquire, so much to amend, and so much to retrace?
Waste not the fleeting moments. All things fade out into the void, sooner or later. Even the finest art, most eloquent classic and the wisest political genius pass away into oblivion on the tumbril of time, and after a few centuries even the ghosts of their once-glittering past are hardly recognized.
Be not heavy-laden at heart, gentle soul ! Languish not in a fetid spell of evanescence. Find new joy, new worthiness, new light, new purpose in life. Blunder not into deception by seeking the oasis in a mirage, but draw inspiration, strength and courage from those that are really true and self-contained. Be your natural self-pure, holy and simple. Be interested in people. Learn as much as you can.
It is impossible to the happy without some kind of activity. Hence you must create interest in your work. Activity has to be agreeable and inspiring, without being unduly exacting, if it is to benefit you.
It is not enough if you are able to get along with ease in normal circumstances. The strength of your character is decided only under adverse conditions. You should, therefore, be ever intent on building a better personality everyday, on strengthening the positive traits ever anew.
Behold the foresight of the engineer! A bridge is designed not only to bear the normal traffic impact but to withstand sudden and unexpected heavy loads at times of emergency. Even so, your character should be an assurity in good conducts, correct decorum and unruffled grace under most awkward and trying situations.
If you lack character, no amount of fine abilities will be of real use to you. If you wish others to trust and respect you, you must be honest, constant, reliable straightforward and selfless.
Have faith in essential goodness, in your own self. Cultivate self-confidence, grit and initiative. Hate nothing but hatred itself. Fear nothing but fear itself. Never leave a pursuit unattained. Adapt and adjust. Eliminate that which includes dislike in others that brings you unhappiness.
May the infinite grace of the Almighty be upon all. May there be prosperity and happiness in every home. May there be more of goodwill and harmony among nations. May the world be progressive in all worthy ways.
Om Shivamastu ! Om Tat Sat !