Is the new year really new?
It may not be so much new. We are the same person. Our surroundings are going to be more or less same. The months in the year are going to be same. The seasons are going to be same. The problems confronting us – the global recession, Russia-Ukraine war, pandemic in China are going to continue for quite a while. Our body is going to be same with its limitations of strength and energy. The world is going to remain limited in terms of resources and facilities for enjoyment [BG 5.22]. The dualities of heat and cold, honor and dishonor, success and defeat are going to remain the same. Our life is going to be filled with pains and pleasures though the forms may slightly change. We need to continue to work hard with all our might to increase the pleasures and reduce pains. Prahlad Maharaj aptly describes this in SB 7.5.30 as punaù punaç carvita-carvaëänäm – chewing the chewed.
Making the new year new
One thing new we can do this year is to reflect on and realize this unchanging nature of the world around us i.e. it can offer us only limited happiness. It cannot quench our thirst for unlimited happiness. None from the top celebrities to all-time billionaires could derive unlimited happiness, anytime and anywhere in this world. We can look beyond this world for happiness as advocated by Bhagavad Gita [BG 9.33]. It is to find and focus on the happiness within – the spiritual happiness which is eternal and ever-increasing, beyond limitations of time and space. This happiness can be revived by connecting to the all-attractive God – Krishna through the process of yoga. When we begin to see the world around us in terms of our relationship with Krishna and direct our activities to pleasing God, our life will remain ever-new and ever-fresh as described in SB 12.12.50 –
tad eva ramyaà ruciraà navaà navaà
tad eva çaçvan manaso mahotsavam
tad eva çokärëava-çoñaëaà nåëäà
yad uttamaçloka-yaço ‘nugéyate
Those words describing the glories of the all-famous Personality of Godhead are attractive, relishable and ever fresh. Indeed, such words are a perpetual festival for the mind, and they dry up the ocean of misery.
We can make this new year really new by improving and increasing our Krishna consciousness – our service to Krishna and his devotees, our hearing, chanting and remembrance of Krishna.