New Year, New Beginings

Sant Rajinder Singh ji Maharaj
A new year, is a new beginning, something to look forward to. It is an opportunity to achieve all that we could not achieve in the year gone by, an opportunity to better and improve our lives. At this time of year, we generally take stock of the year gone by and plan for the year ahead, and how we can improve in various aspects of our lives.
At this time of the year, many of us make resolutions and we do it for our progress and development based on our priorities in life. Some of us resolve to exercise daily, some determine to work hard, some to wake up early in the mornings, some for professional advancements whereas some resolve to abscond from smoking, consuming alcohol etc. Some stick to it just for a day, some for a week, and some for a month. There are very few people who stick to their resolutions all the year long.
As we resolve to improve physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually, we should not forget the most important arena-the spiritual arena. Along with all the worldly resolutions we should also make resolution for our spiritual growth. We should make an effort to become a righteous, pure and good human being for which, we need to work on our inner selves by ameliorating our thinking and sense of understanding. If our spirit is healed, we will be well in all other arenas, so we should focus on those activities that will heal our spirit.
Reminding us of the golden opportunity of this human birth and the fragile nature of life, it is up to us to take stock of what we need to achieve in our lives. The main reason we have come into this world is to know ourselves. The more we focus on what is truly important, the better use we are making of this precious opportunity that God has given us, to realize ourselves at the level of the soul.
We need to be focused on our greatest gift–the gift of this human birth. Living at the level of our physical senses, we believe that the input received through our senses is all we can experience. We spend our time searching for lasting joy and happiness in this transient world, without realizing that there are spiritual worlds beyond this earth.
This world is a reflection of these spiritual worlds, which are within us and exist concurrently with the physical world. Living in this physical world, shrouded by layers of illusion, we have forgotten our true essence. We take ourselves to be the body and assume that what we experience through our physical senses is all there is to this life. As we embark on the spiritual journey, and we listen to the words of the saints and mystics, we awaken to the reality of our human existence.
Just as there are many channels of a television, the channel of God is available to us at all times. We just need to take our attention away from the channel of the physical world and direct it toward the channel of God. We can do this through meditation. In meditation we can experience the divine Light and Sound of God. We can bask in the spiritual sunshine of God’s Light, much as we bask in the outer sunshine here on earth.
Our time in this existence is an opportunity given to us by God. Having experienced our divine nature, we find the oneness of our soul with the Creator. In meditation, we take our attention away from the world outside and focus it within. Journeying within, the reality of who we are becomes clear to us; our angle of vision changes, and we begin to embrace our oneness with God and all of God’s creation. Then we recognize that we are conscious beings. This is what the saints and spiritual Masters speak of as enlightenment.
As we reflect on how we can better our lives in this new year, here is a blueprint to help us lead the kind of life God wishes for us. Our lives should be centred on love-love for God and love for our fellow beings. When we open our hearts to them and take time to be with those we love, think more about others, and try to show them how we feel. When we radiate warmth and love to all around us, when we are more patient, more tolerant, more compassionate to others. When we give, give, and give to all around us to bring joy and happiness to their lives and to alleviate their burdens.
It all begins as we connect with God’s love through the process of meditation. Our true nature is soul, and as a part of God, our soul is full of the love of God. It has an existence that is unconstrained by the limitations and boundaries we place on our body, mind, and intellect. When we live at the level of our soul, we can transcend the walls of separation and embrace one and all. We develop the godly virtues of truthfulness, nonviolence, selfless service, compassion, and humility, and we lead the life that God wishes for us.
When we experience the Light of God within us through meditation, we also see the same Light in all people and all life forms. We realize that each person is valuable, being made by God, and carrying God within them. Just as astronauts look down and see the beautiful gem of planet Earth floating in space and realize the unity of all life, so do we witness the Light of God in all. This makes us recognize all life as one human family.
True spiritual development comes when we realize that we are all one. With that realization, we no longer feel superior to others. We stop feeling that we are special and that all others are inferior. We reach a state in which we recognize that all are important.With this elevated vision, we then develop love and respect for all life. We care about others and do not want to see anyone in pain. We become loving, selfless human beings committed to helping others. If each person awakened to the oneness of all life, there would be peace and happiness on the planet.
The commodity that is most valued in the realms beyond this world, to which we all will go, is spiritual love. The soul is measured not by our financial records, but by the amount of love we have radiated to others. Did we love God? Did we love our fellow beings? Did we love all creation? Love is translated into thoughts, words, and deeds that are expressed in kindness to others. It is expressed in how much we care about others. It is demonstrated by how much we give of ourselves to help or serve others.
So this New Year, for our overall and wholesome development, we should also make a spiritual resolution to meditate regularly everyday and experience the divine power within so that our understanding matures and we become a righteous, pure and a conscientious human being.