The New Year Message from Sri Sathya Sai – By Ashwin Kumar

When a New Year dawns, it brings along with it many subtle gifts. The joys of pleasant memories and the lessons wrought from painful ones. The gift of looking forward with enthusiasm, casting aside failures along the shadowed Year gone by. The gift of hope, rekindled in each man, to look forward to a new world... possibly a better one. 

Truly, every New Year is one, which brings back the excitement and joy in living. That is why it feels so special. In Bhagavan’s presence, even ordinary days take on brighter hues. What to speak of a New Year? We draw so much inspiration from the many lessons we receive each successive year. 

A few of us sat huddled around Bhagavan’s Lotus Feet one memorable New Year eve. Any evening remains memorable in Bhagavan’s presence, but this was one that we would cherish till the end of our lives. “Tomorrow is New Year’s day, My boys,” Bhagavan said. “Are you ready for it?” It was a question which took us all by surprise. Yes, a good deal of mental preparedness would be needed to face a New Year. I’ve always wondered what happens to all of it when Bhagavan pops these little questions at us. We sat not knowing what to say. Bhagavan sat erect, bent forward and asked, “Do you want to know My Message on this New Year?” His eyes glowed with a Divine brilliance as His palm made large circles in the air. All of a sudden, a card appeared in His little palm. It was small, the size of a visiting card, and white in colour. Such a small palm... such a great force. It remains for us to wonder why great power always chooses the gentlest of ways to express itself. Neatly inscribed in beautiful letters of gold, were the following words. 

“The only wealth that you can carry with you after your death is the love of the Lord. You should strive to earn that Love during your life.” “But how?” my mind screamed. The ancients spent years in penance and the intellectuals in debating philosophy. One yearns for the love of God and knows not the means to acquire it. Our goal is clear. Our minds are clouded. The message showered sweet relief. 

“This can be done,” it continued.,. “only by selfless love and by devotion. To earn God’s love, you must dedicate your time, your body and your actions to the service of the Lord.” 

Only the Lord can put so much into so little. In the modern day, as we campaign aggressively in spirituality’s name, so much is said and so little done. We cry ourselves hoarse from public platforms. We can talk endlessly and most of us do just that. Divine love is so deep and we confine it to our shallow speech. Spirituality is so vast. It stagnates in our little pools of thought. The Lord’s message is clear. To win the love of God, we need action, not words. 

The Lord turns seventy five and we scramble around, searching for a little present to offer Him. We try and express the inexpressible. What cannot be expressed in words should be left that way. Instead, let’s take the message from a little card... a Divine little card and take our little steps forward. It would be a beautiful Birthday present. 

- Ashwin Kumar
Alumnus, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning
Prasanthi Nilayam Campus

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