The New Year is always a joyous occasion. It is a time that people look forward to, a year full of challenges and promises, of prosperity and good times with their loved ones. In India, during the course of the year we celebrate many new years. According to the Hindu calendar, the first day of Chaitra, the first month of the year, is the beginning of the Hindu New Year. In Maharashtra, it is called Gudi Padwa, whereas the Sindhis call it Cheti Chand. We also have Vishu, Baisakhi and Holi.
It is customary to wish each other “Happy New Year”, but have we ever thought about what really constitutes such a year? A year becomes really new when we bring to it a fresh outlook and vision. Material pursuits will lead to us gaining more and more of the same or similar things. They can only bring about a quantitative change. A millionaire can become a billionaire. However, they cannot bring about a qualitative change. More of the same material things cannot bring a real change in our lives. You may win the rat race, but you still remain a rat — maybe a fat rat!
Once, a businessman told me, “In spiritual life, one follows the philosophy of live or let live; in business it is kill or get killed.” What can be the quality of such a life, with this type of thinking? How many will you kill? How many are waiting to kill you? Is this a situation in which one wishes to find oneself?
It is only when we seek and work for something greater, higher and nobler that we can accomplish a qualitative change in our life.
All of us wish for a beautiful and joyful New Year. Only that which is new and fresh, moment-to-moment, can be called sundaram or beautiful. Like a sunrise or a full moon night is ever beautiful: It has a freshness and newness to it at all times. Sundaram is that which melts your heart, which inspires you when you think about it, look at it or hear about it. It evokes deep emotions. We should not only cultivate outer beauty but inner beauty of the mind and intellect.
In addition to a year that is beautiful and joyful, we should wish for our loved ones a year that is auspicious — shubhamand joyful. Indulgences and pleasures can give us sensational joy or thrill but not auspiciousness. They can lead to destruction. True greatness comes only with spiritual vision. Therefore, the wish for the New Year is to bring us the joys of the world; and auspiciousness and goodness through higher, greater, nobler pursuits leading to success and fulfilment in life.