Volume 10 - Issue 01
January 2011
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Posted on : Jan 01, 2012



- Reflecting on Baba's New Year message

Come New Year and one is tempted to do two things – one, go down the memory lane and look at the tapestry of our life as it has unfolded in the last few months or years, and relive those moments of excitement and joy, and also instances of sorrow and disappointment.

It could be how one finally managed to fulfill their ambition of starting a new company or another got the opportunity to do their debut concert, a third might be thrilled as his child finally spoke in his choo-chweet voice, the fourth might have received his much awaited and rightfully due promotion and pay rise, or the fifth might have realised his dream of working for Radio Sai!

Or it could also be the moment when someone was set back five years financially thanks to the schizophrenic stock market, a second might have missed the opportunity of a most promising career because of organisational politics, or a third would not have gotten over the deep pain gnawing his heart because of a relationship that has not worked, a fourth might have lost someone who is so extra special in their life that any amount of consolation and self-reconciliation does not help, a fifth's life would have turned completely topsy-turvy as their 'bundle of joy' has now become the nest of a terrible bacteria... and so on.

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As we stop and pause at every twist and turn of our life's journey we feel elated and depressed. Sometimes the moments of low are so disheartening and harrowing that they overpower our instances of happiness; we are unable to 'celebrate life' as many other people seem to be doing. It seems our life is just one tragedy after another but the neighbour next door has a reasonably comfortable and easy going.

One evening six people were in a restaurant relishing their evening cup of coffee during a weekend. One of them cracked a fantastic joke and all of them burst out laughing. Encouraged, this man enthusiastically narrated the same joke again. Four of them laughed their hearts out one more time. The entertainer did not stop. For the third time, he spinned the same funny tale. Now, only three of them just smiled. When he cracked exactly the same joke the fourth time, only one of them flattened his lips to offer a plastic smile. Even now the man hadn't had enough; he slowly described the rib-tickler yet again only to receive in response absolute silence. Disturbed, the man said, “Why cannot you people laugh?! I am narrating to you such a cracker of a joke?”

“What else do you expect us to do?” One of his friends shot back. “You have been saying the same boring tale again and again!”

The man then took a deep breadth and said, “Well, you are unable to laugh at the same wisecrack more than once or twice even though it is a real good one but you go over a hurt that has deeply pained you in your life over and over again! You relive it scores of times and continue to recreate those scars in your hearts repeatedly, thereby filling your being time and again with sorrow.”

Isn't this true? All of us love to live in our past to some extent or the other. Often we never let go of our past and see the present through the viewfinder of the past; and this is precisely what stops us from living life fully in glee and joy. Bhagawan says, “Past is past; forget the past. Future is uncertain...”

They say we lose our health always busy with making money and later lose our money in taking care of our health! By thinking too much about what the future will offer, we forget the present; so at the end we live neither in the present nor in the future.

Living life always in the fast lane, seldom do we pause to reflect and relish the simple joys of life – about appreciating the glory of God through a fantastic sunrise, or seeing God in action as He works within us incessantly beating our heart non-stop or digesting our food silently every time we put something in our mouth, or witnessing the numerous manifestations of God through the smile of a innocent child, the serving nature of a saintly soul or the unconditional love of a poor mother towards her little one.

We immerse ourselves completely with our plans for our 'grand future' almost as if we are never going to die and finally we die as though we have never lived.

What we forget is how much ever we may plan, what will pan out in our life in the end is what He has designed. The more we accept and be grateful, the better the things are going to be in the days ahead. Therefore Baba says, “Future is uncertain... Do not live in the past, do not live in the future. Live in the present; indeed this present is omnipresent.”

Now, how do we live in the present? How to do we make the most of this present? Baba guides us. He says:

sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year sathya sai baba on new year

“Your primary duty is to make right use of Time. For this purpose, there is no need for you to wait for the beginning of a new year. Every moment is a manifestation of Time. From seconds to minutes, from minutes to hours, from hours to days and months, and from months to a year - this is the endless procession of Time. The second is the basis for the year. Hence every second should be filled with purposeful action. What is the meaning of a life in which from waking in the morning to sleeping at night one is concerned only about their belly and has no thought of God? What is the result of all this hectic activity? Has it given a single moment of real joy? Purposeful living can come only by contemplation of God. People talk about service. Whom are you serving? When you render service, you are really serving yourself. You have to perform all actions in a spirit of dedication, only to please the Divine.”

In His New Year message in 1991, Baba gave a clear direction. “Sanctify the New Year by engaging yourselves in pure, selfless and ennobling activities,” He advised. “As far as possible, avoid causing harm or pain to others. As you sow, so you reap. Whenever you feel disturbed by a sense of anger, envy, pride, jealousy and the like, be alert and resort to the contemplation of the Lord.”

When Swami says 'this present is omnipresent' what He is referring to is very profound. If we strive to purify our present by divinising our life through the practise of unconditional love and selfless service, does not matter to whatever extent it may be, then not only will our present be well spent but also it will take care of our past as well as our future.

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The power of the present is immense. Let us harness this! Let us 'let go' of our past in this very instant and create for ourselves a life where every moment is spent doing every act as an offering to Him be it singing bhajans in the temple or performing our duties at our workplace or attending to domestic responsibilities or serving the homeless during a weekend. Let us start a new chapter in our life where the header of its every page says 'For God I Live” and the footer declares “To God I Dedicate.”

- Radio Sai Team

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