New Year Message

Namaste all!

It is that time of the year.. when we wish everyone a happy new year.. and let me also do the same.. here’s wishing you all, all happiness in 2010.

But, on a more thoughtful note, we should know that happiness does not come by wishing it. In our philosophy, nothing simply happens. Instead everything that happens is an effect; a result of causes and conditions, or to be more precise, karma and karma phala. (action and fruit of action).

In the year 2010, we can experience happiness as a phala (fruit or result) only if it has been preceded (in the previous years) by appropriate thoughts, words and deeds. Though thoughts are normally associated with mind, words and deeds are often seen as physical activities and not as mental operations. However, as taught in Sankhya philosophy, mind is both a deliberative faculty of awareness as well as a faculty of action. So, whether a physical action or mental action, it all comes within our term – manasa.

In the Dhammapada, through the first two verses, the Buddha clearly lays down the importance of manas in bringing about either happiness or suffering.

The first verse says,

‚ÄòAll actions are preceded by the mind, led by the mind and experienced by the mind. Speak or act with a corrupt mind and suffering follows, like a wagon wheel follows the hoofs of the ox’.

And then the second verse,

‚ÄòAll actions are preceded by the mind, led by the mind and experienced by the mind. Speak or act with a pure mind, and happiness follows, like a never departing shadow’.

In 2010, whether we are followed by the never departing shadow of happiness, or the ominous rumble of the wheel of suffering, will depend on how we manage our mind in the time prior to today. So if happiness follows us throughout the year, then great. Try to share that happiness.

However, if we feel burdened by suffering, let us remember that it is in suffering that we learn valuable lessons in life.. about anitya (ephemeral nature of all things), ashuchi (the inherent impurity in all things), dukha (the inherent suffering in all things) and anatma (the tendency for wrongly identifying ourselves).

So since both happiness and suffering are needed, let us take everything in our stride, in an attitude of upekhsanam (equanimity) at whatever sukha and dukha that might befall us.

A wisdom bestowing new year to all!