Mata Amritanandamayi Devi
Another new year is here. All people dream of a happy and fortuitous future. May this New Year be filled with happiness and peace, with less war and conflict than in the year gone by. It’s not enough to pray and hope for a favourable future. We should also be ready to work with alertness, determination and self-confidence. Realising our past mistakes and learning from them, we should move forward and work with enthusiasm. If we put in effort, we will definitely receive God’s grace. Then, we may be able to create a world filled with goodness, peace and love. May the New Year enable us to come closer to God, nature and our fellow beings.
All of us enjoy newness, but what is it that lends something that sense of freshness? It is when our heart has love and openness – that is when we are able to see goodness and beauty in everything.
A garden filled with fallen leaves and dry twigs will cover all the flowers and their beauty will be lost. Wild plants growing in the forest do not require watering or fertiliser. They get their nutrients naturally from the soil. Yet, if we want the same plants to blossom after being transplanted into our garden, we will have to regularly water and nurture them. It is the same with the garden of our heart. Currently the flowers that exude the fragrance of pure love are covered with the dead leaves of selfishness, anger and jealousy. This prevents us from being able to awaken the goodness within us. Let us clear away hatred and jealousy and awaken positive thoughts. Let us nurture a mind that does not harbour past animosities but welcomes everything afresh. If we can do this, we will be able to see newness and beauty everywhere and discover joy in that.
Two friends were sitting in a flower garden. One thought, “My girlfriend would be so pleased if I gave her one of these flowers!” He began thinking of her, enjoying the flower and soon became lost in dreams about the conversations they would have. His friend, on the other hand, was reminded of a time when he had given flowers to his ex-girlfriend: “We loved each other so much. But then she left me for someone else!” Angry, he ripped out a handful of flowers, threw them down and stomped on them. Both friends saw the same flowers. The angry one could not enjoy their beauty.
Everything depends on the mind. If we have an open heart, we will be able to see goodness in anything and enjoy its beauty.
At the end of each day, lemonade sellers, for example, will calculate exactly how many lemons they used, the quantity they sold, and how much was wasted. If sales were poor, they will reflect and find out if there is something else they could sell instead. They are constantly thinking about ways to increase their profits. Similarly, daily, just before going to bed, we should reflect on our day: “Selfish, I became angry and hurt this many people today.” And then we should earnestly resolve, “Let me not do this tomorrow.”
Nurture a mind that finds joy in loving and giving – a mind that accepts criticism with love. This should be our New Year resolution. Those who have this will never fail.