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Time to celebrate the New Year?

It has become a ritual to celebrate the new year. But is celebrating justified?

Yet another year is drawing to a close. It is customary for us to celebrate the new year with parties, fireworks, and wishes to friends. The present pandemic will play spoilsport this year, at least to the extravagant bashes, but some will still find a way around the regulations. The first few days of January will resonate with ‘Happy New Year’ messages. In the past, people used to send each other cards; nowadays, it is on the phone and social media.

But exactly, what are we celebrating? What did we do the past year that deserves a celebration? Have we come closer to our goal of achieving everlasting happiness - the sole purpose of human birth - in the past year?

Business people take stock of their revenues and expenditures at the end of the financial year. In that way, they come to know where they stand; if a company suffers losses, then it will not start the next year by splurging and partying. If the company wishes to succeed, it will double down, put in more significant effort, introspect, and rectify the areas where it went wrong. People become rich by being super vigilant with every penny earned and spent. Often, the profits are only in pennies, but it amounts to a lot when they add up.

What about us? Are we similarly vigilant with our spiritual earnings and losses? Have we taken stock of where we stand at the end of the year? If we have not, we should. To be successful in the divine’s world, we must show significant commitment and care; there are no short-cuts, neither in the material world nor with God.

We have time for everything and everyone but God. Some of you may protest - but I pray and worship God every day. How can you say that I don’t have time for God? You deserve praise if you worship God every day; you are better than most. Many people have no interest in God, a number that is increasing in the modern age. Of the rest, most do not know the basics of worship. For them, God is a wish-fulfilling tree, and the wishes run like this - job, relief from disease, money, career advancement, and sundry. It is incorrect to describe such people as believers or worshipers of God. They are worshipers of material desires, and they believe, mistakenly, that God will fulfill these desires.

As for the rest, a tiny number who understand divine philosophy because of a saint’s association, most of us have only a perfunctory relationship with the Almighty. We know what we have to do, but we do not put in the effort.