Loving and Divine Soul,

Let the choicest blessings of God and the masters be upon all of you. I take this opportunity to pray for you and the entire creation while we celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. These celebrations have two meanings: honoring the coming of the Prince of Peace and remembering to use our precious time intelligently. Love for Christ and intelligent use of time are in reality one and the same thing.

Our love for anyone is reflected in our daily lives and in our attitudes during our day-to-day activities. As honey added to milk increases sweetness, similarly the teachings of great ones like Krishna or Christ add beauty to our lives.

When we begin a new year, let us ponder a few questions asked by ancient seers in India long before Christ was born:

ko deshah kani mitrani kah kalah kau vyayagamau
kascaham ka cha me shaktih iti chintyam muhurmuhuh

"Where is my homeland? Who are my friends?
What is time? What is my income and expenditure?
Who am I? What is my real strength or my source of energy?
A sincere seeker should deliberate on these again and again."

Let us contemplate on this verse:

Where is my homeland?
No doubt, we should love our home, village, town, or country. But we should expand our love for the entire universe, and we should live to serve all with the feeling that all belong to us and we belong to all. Our lives should not be directed toward hurting others, especially living beings. Above all, we should remember that this earth is our temporary dwelling place. We come to this world in joy for others, and we will leave the world joyfully. Our real place is at the feet of the Lord.

Who are my friends?
The entire world is our temporary home, and all in the world are our friends. No one is an enemy and we should dislike or hate no one. All living beings are ours. In reality, only God and gurus are our real friends. Good books are our friends. Silence and seclusion belong to us as friends.

What is time?
Time is not calculated in days, months, or years; it is calculated with every breath and every deed. Life is nothing but time accompanied by talent and opportunities. We should make the best use of it. We should not waste a single breath.

What is my income and expenditure?
People calculate their life's achievements by measuring accumulation of material wealth. But our real wealth is the love, devotion, and knowledge accumulated through sadhana and good deeds. Let all our sense organs, minds, intelligence, and time be used to earn the spiritual treasure.

Who am I?
This is the fundamental question, and we should try to find the answer through meditation and right action, and through self-enquiry and self-analysis.

What is my real strength or my source of energy?
Some think it is health and strength of the body; others think it is money or friends and relatives, but we should reflect deeply and find the real answer. Breath is our strength. Sadhana is our strength. Good thoughts are our strength. Good deeds are our strength. Above all, God and the masters are our real strength.

Let us begin this New Year with positive transformation, creating more love, joy, and peace so that every breath will be a celebration. Let the blessings of the Divine be upon all of us and everywhere.

With Love,
Prajnanananda

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