Loving and Divine Ones,

Let the choicest blessings of God and the masters be upon all of you. I take this opportunity to pray for you during the celebration of the Festival of Light, which is also the New Year in many parts of India. Light is life and light is knowledge. We are children of light. Without light and knowledge, it is difficult to live. If we follow the Divine Mother, she will be the light of our lives and she will lead us on the path of love and compassion.

Life is an opportunity to grow and to be useful, not only for our selfish achievements, but for others and the entire creation. When we truly grow in love and consciousness, we feel our loving affinity to all without a bond of emotional attachment. Life is short and time is flying. To be successful in life, we should use our time and talent intelligently to shape our lives so we can be effective instruments of God.

To make our lives meaningful, we should carefully consider a few things that have been described beautifully in a Sanskrit verse:

kah kala kani mitrani ko deshah kau vyayagamau
kasyaham ka ca me shaktih iti chintyam muhurmuhuh

"We should constantly ponder the following: What is time or death? Who are my friends? What is my own country? What is my income and expenditure? To whom do I belong? What is my strength or power?"

Let us reflect on these points:

Time or death: Life is nothing but a short span of time between birth and death. Time is constantly slipping from our hands, so we must make the best use of time. One who honors time is honored by time. One meaning of kala (time) is "death." To be prepared to die means we must be free from the fear of death, and we must taste the bliss of immortality.

Friends: Who are our real friends? God is our friend. A good mind is our friend. A good nature and values in life are good companions, as are prayer and meditation. In childhood I was taught that good books are good friends who never leave or betray us. We should maintain a good relationship with them.

Own Country: We may belong to a country or nation, but we really belong to God and His creation. Everything belongs to God, even the trees and plants, insects and animals, not to mention humans. We should love all and serve all as our own.

Income and Expenditure: It is not about money. No doubt we should take care of our finances. Our real income and expenditure is the productive use of time and cultivating good qualities.

To whom I belong: We belong to our family, friends and relatives, society, and others. But we should not forget we belong to God and goodness.

Strength or power: People think physical strength, monetary strength, or manpower is real strength. But love and compassion, prayer, and meditation should be our strength.

Let us live life like this and walk in light and knowledge.

I pray to God to bless each one of us and the entire creation with peace and prosperity.

With Love,
Prajnanananda

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