The year 2004 is fortunate because you are living at this time. When you are living for the sake of the world, the world is fortunate. You are not living for yourself, but for the world. Whatever the world needs or wants, you are there for that. So the year is fortunate that you are on the earth at this point in time.
Let the time celebrate your presence. Usually people make a wish for the New Year. This year, make no wish. Let the New Year celebrate you. If it wants to bring you nicer things, let it. It's up to it. Usually you are lost in celebration. When you let time celebrate you, you are a witness amidst celebration.
There is a place you can come where everything is beautiful. Tourists go from place to place looking for beauty. They try to take beauty from that place. They only get tired and tanned. Yet the most beautiful spot anywhere is right here. When you come here, you find that wherever you are, everything is so beautiful.
Where is this place? Don't look here and there. It's within you. When you come here, then any place is beautiful. Then wherever you go, you add beauty there. Book yourself on a trip to this most beautiful place in the universe. Then you find that every day is a celebration.
Often people are running after parties and celebrations, but for the one who is not running after them, parties and celebrations follow him. If you are running after parties, loneliness comes to you, but if you are in the solitude of the self, parties surround you. All sensory pleasures in the world are like wrapping paper; the true bliss is the present inside. Divine love is the present, yet we are holding onto the paper believing we have already enjoyed the gift. Unwrap the present. The whole world is there for you to enjoy.
The message for 2004 is... just be!
Relax and just be.
That doesn't mean be lazy... No!
Be very busy... and just be.
The events come and go, they perish like flowers.
But every event and every person contains some honey.
Like a bee, just take the honey out of every event and every moment and move on.
Be like a busy bee and be in the being.
A poor man celebrates the new year once a year. A rich man celebrates each day. But the richest man celebrates every moment. How rich are you?
Review the year while you celebrate. This is your homework. What did you do? What did you achieve? How useful were you this past year? Sit for an hour and think about every week, one minute per week, and see the year's growth in less than an hour. With a flower, on New Year's Day, offer the whole year to the Divine.
Conflict is the nature of the world; comfort is the nature of the self. Amidst the conflict seek comfort. People who love peace do not want to fight, and those who fight do not love peace. Those who want peace want to run away. What is needed here is to be peaceful within and then fight. The whole message of the Gita is to be peaceful yourself and then fight. Krishna tells Arjuna to fight but be in peace at the same time. Does this ring a bell?
In the world, you resolve one conflict and another one comes up. For example, Russia is solved and then Bosnia arises. You make one better, and then another starts up. Your body gets a cold, then you get better; then your back hurts, then it gets better. Your body gets better, and then the mind goes. The world runs like this, isn't it? Without any intention, misunderstandings happen. It's not up to you to try to resolve them. Ignore them and be alive.
Habits and you
How to get rid of vasanas (impressions)? This is a question for all those who want to come out of habits. You want to get rid of habits because they give pain and restrict you. The nature of vasana is to bother you, or bind you, and wanting to be free is the nature of life. Life wants to be free and when a soul doesn't know how to be free, it wanders through lifetimes wanting freedom.
The way to come out of habits is vows. This is samyama. Everybody is endowed with a little samyama. A vow should be time bound. This would bring good conduct and save you from being wayward. Consider the time and place for vows to be taken.
When the mind dwells on useless thoughts, two things happen. One is that all those old patterns come up and you feel discouraged. You blame yourself and feel that you have not made any progress. The second thing is that you see it as an opportunity for samyama and feel happy about it. Without samyama, life will not be happy and diseases arise. When there is a direction for life force, you can rise above habits through samyama.
Take vows according to time and place. For example, suppose someone has a habit of smoking cigarettes and says, ''I will quit smoking'', but cannot do it. They can take a vow, three months or 90 days; a time-bound vow. If someone is used to cursing and swearing, take a vow not to use bad language for ten days. Don't take it for a lifetime; you will break it immediately. If you happen to break it in between, don't worry. Just begin again. Slowly increase the duration until it becomes your nature.
You are Knowledge. Every atom in you is shimmering with Knowledge. Often you become friends by: Gossiping, complaining, etc. Coming together in knowledge is rare. Be a friend in knowledge. Uplift each other in knowledge.
From the moment you wake up in the morning you are always with people and your mind is caught up in worldly thoughts. So sometime during the day, sit for a few minutes, get into the cave of your heart, eyes closed, and kick the world away like a ball. But during the day be 100 percent attached to the work. Eventually you will be able to be both attached and detached simultaneously. This is the skill of living, the art of living.
A wise one is happy even in bad times. And the stupid one is unhappy even in good times. You make the time good or bad. Even if an astrologer says that you have a hopeless time, you can make it a good time! So realise that you are more than time and that you can move the time by your connection to the Divine.
As time rolls and as we flip the calendar, we need to keep flipping our mind as well. Often our diaries are full with past memory. See that you don't feel your future dates with past event. Allow the space for creativity to dawn.
Celebration of the New Year allows you to be wise. Learn and unlearn from the past and move on with creative zeal and enthusiasm. Celebration of new year is to remind oneself that as time is passing fast some time is rewarding and some others are trying. The trying time brings the best out of you. The rewarding time gives the best of the world to you.
The heart always longs for the old, the mind for the new. Life is an combination of both. Let the New Year bring into our life ancient wisdom and modernity, as life is incomplete without either of them. Don't feel shy to speak about human and spiritual values. The time has come now to call the whole world!