||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya
I salute and make my humble pranams to the eternal atman within you. Upon the conclusion of the final blog last year, I indicated that I would start again in the New Year with no clear date or guideline as to when exactly I will pen the next one. With the festive mood still dishing out tamas as the daily main course, it becomes a challenge to gather thoughts and collect them on paper.
Today was indeed a special day when our Revered Swami Vimokshananda spread magnanimously a vaccine against this tamas. His words were verily Shiva (auspiciousness) flowing like the Ganges, knocking on every part of the mind and body saying “wake up”!!!
Yes, today is the 1st January 2012, the commencement of the New Year in terms of the Gregorian calendar, as explained by Swamiji. In India itself there are many different calendars according to the culture and language practiced in the region. As intercontinental trade and business flourished, there was a need to standardise a global calendar to facilitate smooth operations.
The New Year has become a reference point from which we can clearly gauge our progress against the resolutions that were made the previous year. The success and failures; the relationships that were made and broken; our progress made in secular and non secular activities. So an account of all this is tabulated, and a result is put before us from which we can deduce whether 2011 was good or bad.
But today as I sat and listened to Swamiji, I was able to glean something very important from his message in terms of making sure that when we sit to do this reflection next year, the result will definitely yield positive.
When we decide to set our goals for the New Year we must factor in one very instrumental tool. That tool is viveka (discrimination). Is what we asking for in the New Year going to add to my progress or my detriment? Is the goal within my means of achievement? Will the time and resources spent in achieving this goal dovetail into my life’s mission.
In my opinion it is no coincidence two very important days of the Ramakrishna Mission and Math fall in the first month of the New Year. Starting off today with Kalpatru Day (when Sri Ramakrishna showed his infinite mercy and grace on all devotees) where the pure and sincere desires of devotees are fulfilled.
Legend has it that there is a wish-fulfilling tree (Kalpatru) in the heavens, and when one stands before it and asks, one may get whatever one desires. However, Sri Ramakrishna being the most gracious and merciful becomes the Kalpatru who grants that which will help you lead a comfortable and spiritually rewarding life. It is the inflamed ego of man that makes him feel he knows what he needs.
Brothers and sisters, we all want success in our lives. If the goal is a noble and pure one the secret is to resign this at the feet of God. But this is only half the work done. Sometimes I think if only we lived in the times where great Rishis were able to materialise things or success with a mere sprinkle of Ganga water. Success comes with equal hard work and effort to be put in from the aspirant.
In this month we celebrate the birth anniversary of a saint whose brilliance and power, for a lack of a more suitable comparison, is described as brighter than a million suns put together. I bow to that great Swami Vivekananda whose life’s work was to show and help man realise the potential divinity within each and every one of us.
In helping us achieve success with our goals for the year provided that they are pure and noble Swamiji declares:
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life- think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.
How wonderfully explained by Swamiji. As youth, if I may still refer to myself as that, we feel because we are young we have the ability to take on many things at once. Yes sometimes it is possible, however is the quality of what we did in the category of excellence? In anything that we undertake we must strive for excellence. All our work is an offering to God, therefore only the best must be offered.
A cluttered mind, busy hopping around like a monkey will not be able to focus on the task ahead. Therefore youth and others should practice japa, meditation and regular exercise to help focus the mind and bring success in our activities. In all activities we must strive to excel in a humble way. But at all times, as asked of us in the Bhagavat Gita, we should never lay claim to the fruits of our actions. Always resign everything to God. Whatever the outcome of our work is, we must humbly accept it as His divine will. We must never give up hope and must continue doing work in this attitude.
Let us all resolve this year, to make our mind and body temples to the Lord’s energy. Let all our activities and thoughts be an offering unto Him. Let us accept whatever comes our way as prasadam from Him. Caste aside all fear knowing well that He is the sailor of our lives. Take instructions from Him and you will never lose your way.
In concluding, I close with this beautiful quote from Mother Theresa:
We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature -trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to touch souls! Let us work to unclutter our minds and hearts. In that new found wave of silence and stillness we will find God and success in all we do.
Happy Kalpatru Day. Happy New Year to all of you. May success and peace find you in 2012 is my sincere prayer.
With Love and Prayers Always