According to the Vedic calendar this year is called ‘Nanda’ which means bliss. This is the year of bliss. Last year was the year of Certainty. The year before was of Chaos and Confusion. But now the coming year is the year of bliss and the year of happiness. So this year we must all resolve to spread more happiness in society.
If you see, in life, everything is geared towards happiness.
Entertainment is geared towards happiness. Politics is to bring happiness to people. Economy is to bring happiness, knowledge is to bring happiness. You take any subject or any avenue, all of it is geared to bring happiness. But somewhere our human society seems to forget this. Instead of keeping the attention on the goal, we are lost in-between. We think the means itself is the goal. We think the road itself is home.
You are driving in the autobahn, on the highway and you forget that you have to go somewhere and you keep driving thinking this is home. That is what has been happening.
We think money is the goal, politics is the goal, entertainment is the goal; No! All this is only geared towards happiness. In fact happiness is unconditional. In spite of having this one can miss the goal or even not having these means one can still have the goal.
You can be happy come what may, that is spirituality.
Come what may, however everything is, topsy turvy or not, you can decide to be happy and you can be happy!
It is interesting to observe in the world today people are talking in terms of Gross National Happiness. It is not GDP but GDH: Gross Domestic Happiness. I think they started talking in terms of this in England and then America and in Europe everywhere. Countries like Bangladesh and Bhutan which are very tiny, where they have very little resources have a higher GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) than those countries that have higher economic growth like Scandinavia, where there is very little happiness. What is the point? What is the matter and how do we look at it?
This is where we need to give a wakeup call to the world and tell them, ‘Come on, Wake up. Be happy!’
We need to bring a wave of spiritual awakening and a wave of human values. The lack of human values will reduce human society into an animalistic world. Without values society cannot be called a human society. And it is not even fit to be called an animalistic kingdom because even animals live by some rules and they have some norms.
No lion will go for hunting if its basic instinct is satisfied; if it is not hungry. No animal in the planet pollutes the forests. For millions of years the forests exist but you will not find pollution in the forests. They keep everything clean.
It is the human society out of its greed and consumerism that is spoiling the planet. Making it unfit for the coming generations. That is where this year is of significance. People will wake up to human values, spiritual values and ecological values, and as members of the Art of Living, you all have a major role to play. You are the pioneers and you have to create and spread this awareness in the society.
In the year 2011, we have seen many upheavals. All the suppressed societies woke up to the dictatorships, violence and selfishness of just a few people.
2011 has seen upheavals and revolutions in the Arab world.
We all hope this coming year will be a balm to heal the wounds of the people who are hurt. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. So we all have this responsibility. We all have to wake up and mend and heal the broken hearts and give hope to the society.
The Art of Living has been having this vision of a society free from stress and violence for some time now. We are marching in that direction and our achievements are good. We are proud of what we have achieved in the past years, both in the corporate sector and in general. We have been able to conduct many programs and bring solace to so many people and yet there is much more to be done. And so we will happily continue doing what we need to do.
Today already we did a very beautiful meditation for forty minutes; so still and enthralling meditation. People from all over the world have joined in this meditation and I am sure this is going to bring a big change in the world.