This New Year, embrace life which is bitter-sweet
By: Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
In the ancient days, people celebrated the new year by having neem leaves with jaggery on them. So the first thing you eat on a new year is a combination of bitter and sweet. And then you see the calendar, that tells you about the time, date, yogas, star of the day. The knowledge of time along with acceptance of sweet and bitter gives enormous strength for one to move ahead.
In life what you consider bitter has given you some depth, has made you strong. The challenges that have come in your life have somewhere made you grow stronger, more powerful and the sweetness in life gives you comfort.
If life is only bitter then it has no sustenance. If life is only sweet then there is no depth. Life is a combination of both and such is the nature of time too. In the cycle of time, there is always something wonderful happening and something that is not so pleasant. When something happens that is not so good, you need to have strength, courage, and the knowledge and when good things happen you should have the ability to share and serve others. When you meditate every day what happens is the effect of the bitter times is reduced and that of the benevolent or good times increases. So knowledge, satsang and service is all so important for a true honest celebration to happen. Real celebration happens when there is total acceptance of nature.
Whatever the challenges, we need to keep making efforts to create a better world. This is possible when we are established within ourselves. In you, there is an actor and there is a witness. As you go inwards, the witness aspect grows in you and you remain untouched by events. And as you go outwards, the actor in you becomes more skillful in responding to situations. These two entirely opposite aspects of our being are nurtured by meditation. When you come closer to the Self, your action becomes powerful in the world and right action in the world brings you closer to the Self.
As the new year approaches, let us resolve to be unshakable within and move towards a better world. Time changes people but there are people who change the time. May you be one of them. Happy New Year!
(The author is a spiritual guru)