There is absolutely nothing to suggest that God had intended any particular day or event to be more important or significant than the others. It appears that in God’s scheme of things every month, hour, minute and second is an old one dying and a new one being born.
And yet we have special days: our birthdays and those of people close to us, our anniversary, graduation day and days of festivities.
New Year is really different. It appears that if we didn’t have something to peg our lives to there won’t be any beginning or end to anything.
The Guru Granth Sahib talks about God being there before the Universe and that He would be there after the Universe. In the Bhagwat Gita there is a description of God saying that He is the Beginning and the End. Therefore, in order to avoid ourselves into falling into the illusion (actually reality!) of a Universe without Time, we have ourselves devised the Calendar year.
The other day I shared a discussion in latest issue of the Time magazine that until the sixteenth century there was no particular date to celebrate the Birth of Christ. According to the Bible He was born sometime in Spring. It was only then that the Pope decreed that it should be universally accepted as twenty-fifth of December. Nowadays, we have become so sacrosanct about this date that at the stroke of midnight on twenty fifth December we burst into sudden rejoicing for Christ having been born.
India too got its freedom from the British at the stroke of midnight, universally accepted as the beginning of a day.
It is really very convenient for us. Timelessness, as God had intended, would have killed us; we won’t have known what to do with it. In the olden days, we measured time by the Sun and the Moon or the changing seasons. Indeed, there are many Hindi songs about measuring time likewise; eg, “Chaand phir nikla, magar tum na aaye.” (Moon is out again, but my Love has still not returned); or “Tere bin saawan kaise beeta” (Love, do you have any idea of how I the monsoons weighed on me without you).
There is an article in my blog titled ‘The Virtual World’ (under Philosophy section of http://sunbyanyname.blogspot.com/) on this issue. It may just be worth reading it to remember that the concept of Time that we have devised, just like any other virtue, makes all of us to live in a Virtual World. And yet, when a lover gets affected by Time playing tricks on him awaiting his love, we tease him for living in a world of his own.
So, there is as much New about the New Year as is about every moment.
However, having said that, lets realise that Time is amongst the best known discoveries or inventions of Man. If it hadn’t been for it, Life would go on without any newness! Everyone would use relativity of time (which it is) than absolute terms to describe events, eg, Boss to Employee, “You are later than Sunita in coming to office but, you are earlier than Rakesh. Next time, be earlier than the most”.
Or, the train is late today but is earlier than it was last summer.
Or, Happy New Year to those in India now. In Europe, wait for another few hours.
Since all this is, in any case, an illusion (maya), there is one thing that depicts it really well; it is the New Year Resolution. Since, we set the meter to beginning or start again, we are filled with great resolve to reset our Life starting….well, you guessed it…the stroke of midnight. Some of the popular resolutions are:
- I shall lose weight.
- I shall give up smoking/drinking.
- I shall stop worrying.
- I shall be kinder to my parents.
- I shall become leaner and fitter.
- I shall stop lying about small things.
- I shall become more punctual.
The illusion of these resolutions lasts for a few days and then we realise that the year has become as old as everything on earth must and we don’t have to treat it with renewed resolve. We slip back into timelessness!
So, friends, Happy New Year 2011
I resolve that in 2011 I shall write at least fifty percent articles about things that at least fifty percent of the people around me can understand if they find time to read them. For the others who actually rejoice in ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ (which is exactly how God intended it to be):
“Aage bhi jaane na tu,
Peechhe bhi jaane na tu;
Jo bhi hai, bas yehi ik pal hai”
(Future is unknown to you,
Past is not known,
What IS, is only this moment)
© 2011 – 2014, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.