New Year Message

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

You can make this year what you want it to become. Every year comes like a blank whiteboard with nothing written on it, and it is you who writes on the blank board with a pen. What you write is what is important, not what comes. How you write and what you write is more important than thinking about what you are going to receive.

As a spiritual person, you have to rise beyond the idea ‘What am I going to receive?’ and you connect with the idea ‘What can I be?’ If you can be then that is your achievement, yet if you keep thinking about ‘What I can become’ or ‘What I want to become’, you will never be anything.

Cleaning and writing

Begin this New Year with a clean board. It is easy to say that you have a clean board but it is not that easy to actually clean. You can rationalize about it but you cannot change the basic nature or the qualities with which you act and respond to a situation.

By becoming aware you can reduce the number of times things happen. With last year you fell into the pits and traps one hundred times. This year, if you are aware, you can save yourself from fifty. That is fifty percent less. You will still fall the remaining fifty times. However, the gaps between each fall will be bigger as you will be more aware, more responsible and more alert of yourself to achieve the best in your life.

It is the individual who is the important factor. What do you write, how do you write and with what sentiment do you express it? It is only juggling one aspect of the mind, nothing more.

Here is an example: if you write the sentence ‘I am nowhere’, it is a negation, it is a negative statement. You change the statement of negation into something positive by simply shifting the letter ‘w’ from ‘where’ to ‘no’. Then from the sentence ‘I am nowhere’ you have the new sentence ‘I am now here’.

Shifting and connecting

This is the shift that has to take place. Only one thing has to shift in the mind, nothing more. What has to shift in the mind is the attitude of how you perceive yourself, your nature, your environment, your people, your place. If that awareness can come you will be connected, and in connection there is an experience of love. In disconnection there is an experience of separation and frustration.

Your positive connection will make you happy. Your restrictive responses will make you unhappy. Decide which dog you will feed this year, the white one or the black one.

The black dog is the tamasic one, the white dog is the sattwic one. You are the owner of these two dogs, you look after them both. Both fight, the black dog and the white dog. Which one will win?

The dog who you feed the most will win for it is stronger, better, bigger. The dog you feed less will be weaker. You are the owner of these two dogs, the positive and the negative, the good and bad, the virtuous and the sinful, the uplifting, the limiting and destructive. Look after both, but encourage the one, who can bring you more happiness, more joy and contentment. Interact with the tamasic dog less and interact with the sattwic dog more.

This has to be your effort this year. You should be aware of what you write on your board, on this clean board which you begin today. Your aspiration should be to know what is being written and to ensure that you write the best story this year.

—1 January 2016, Ganga Darshan, Munger