Welcoming The New…

Adieu to 2008 and welcome to 2009!

What a farewell and what a welcome. What memories! What expectations! What resolutions! Prasanthi Nilayam is gearing up to welcome yet another New Year. Of course, Prasanthi Nilayam is blessed with diverse New Years, as New Year Days of various states and even some countries are celebrated in Prasanthi Nilayam in the Divine Presence. By all accounts 2008 was verily a memorable year in the Sathya Sai Era. Among various other things what distinctly marked its presence was the Sahasra Poornachandra Darshana Shanti Mahotsavam which is usually celebrated when a being on earth gets to gaze upon the full moon for a thousand times but in this case, we celebrated the fortune of a thousand full moons to gaze at our dear Lord. Bhagawan amplified our happiness by another thousand fold by granting us the boon of seeing him ride on the Golden Chariot.

While Guru Purnima time witnessed a Sri Sathya Sai World Education Conference, coupled with Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Exhibition, an exhibition on Educare, attended by thousands from India and abroad, there were two rare festive occasions, first of their kind in Prasanthi Nilayam, Srimad Ramayana Sudha Pravachana and Srimad Bhagawata Saptaaha Yajnams conducted in June and November respectively with the spiritual significance of both the epics coming to the fore. While the usual festivities found their due share with added extravaganza, the 83rd Birthday celebration saw a week long festivity with a spate of dramas and ballets that thrilled one and all…

After a glorious Christmas, now, what welcomes the New Year? Is it lighting of candles and the cutting of the New Year cake followed by a stream of New Year gifts and resolutions… Times are not appearing to be good. The year has seen the world economy crumbling bringing financial gloom. Hate and violence have run amok paving way to unrest all around… Today when moral structures are crumbling and the spirit of man is being crushed under the weight of rank materialism and technological encroachment, mankind needs the pure restorative injunctions and guidelines of the pristine…and we have the ray of hope…as was told by Bhagawan…reiterating the greatness of Bharath, Mother India. Bhagawan in His Christmas Divine Discourse, exhorted one and all to develop self-confidence…faith in innate Divinity that would save the world from disaster.

In his "Ode to the West Wind", Shelley declared: "Oh wind! If winter comes, can spring be far behind!" The promise in Prasanthi Nilayam is not seasonal but sacred. Here it is: If Christmas comes in all its glory, can the New Year be far behind with its hopes? May the New Year be sweet and happy for one and all by the grace of Bhagawan!               

Now we are ringing in the ‘new’ wondering if it will top the last year…and yet somehow knowing that with Bhagawan amongst us, it surely will! As someone rightly expressed,

We all trek back to God, from whom we strayed.
Let others call this, New Year Day. Let them!            
I treat each moment as a little step
To God, with God, in God.

We wish all our readers a happy, holy and blissful New Year!