Look at every moment anew and enjoy all the blessings hidden therein. I wish all the members of Chinmaya Mission worldwide a very happy New Year, which also ushers in the new Millennium.
It is said that to realise your dream, you have to stay awake. Chinmaya Mission is living proof of the power of the firm, strong and noble resolve of an inspired master who worked day and night to realise his dream. Param Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayanandaji had the dream of reaching the vision of the Upanishads to each and every individual to lead to his or her inner transformation. With the same selfless, far-reaching vision, he wanted to bring out the pristine glory of Hindu religion and culture which was so misunderstood over centuries. He thus presented the rationale behind it all in a most logical and simple manner.
Now the result of his tireless work is in front of you in the form of a global spiritual, cultural and educational movement – the Chinmaya Mission which spans 25 countries and encompasses over 250 centres, 75 schools, colleges, women’s, youth and children’s wings, social service projects including a hospital, clinics, old age homes, orphanages, temples and centres and the unique Vedanta schools for the systematic dissemination of Hindu scriptures in the traditional gurukula spirit.
A question is generally put forth that inspite of all this work, if we look at life in general today, it appears rather dismal and one may wonder what impact all this work has made. The question is valid if you look at it in a superficial manner. But let us look at it differently.
Despite every country having a government and a system of governance as well as the law enforcement authorities like courts and the police force, the law and order situation all over the world is worsening. Does it imply that all systems are useless? Inspite of hundreds of medical colleges and varieties of systems of medicine, man is not free from diseases. Does this mean that medicine is useless? Though in the totality, not much difference is seen, all the individuals who do come in contact with the medical field are benefited, infant mortality has dropped, life expectancy has gone up, pain is managed so much better etc. So too, it is only because individuals have been positively influenced and benefited that they support Chinmaya Mission. This is a process of spiritual evolution not a one time revolution. While revolutions come and go, evolution is slow but sure and lasting.
Fill your heart with love and gratitude. The rest of the things just happen. When I first went to the centre, my only concern was for my self to study Vedanta. As I stayed there and kept learning, the depth and beauty of this knowledge grew in me but more than anything else, what struck me most was Swamiji’s (Gurudev’s) vision, compassion and love that there are seekers and their need must be met – with absolutely no other expectation. The Vedanta course was free and it had no precedent in centuries, yet people identified with Gurudev’s vision and kept funding the course. When we remember all this, our hearts are naturally filled with love and gratitude.
A brahmachari once asked Pujya Gurudev, “What do you expect from me?” He said, “Nothing. Only give me a smile when you meet me.” And some people did not give even that! And yet he kept on. Each day I discover how great Swamiji was. (We know he was great but can never wholly fathom how great he was.) And with each new discovery there is so much joy.
As sevaks/sevikas and devotees our area of work may change and we may face so many conflicts but only one thing keeps us going – love and gratitude to Gurudev and the whole society. In a family, is there any constitution or law? Where there is love, rules are not required and where there is no love, again rules are not required (for they will not work)! Don’t keep asking – what to do for Chinmaya Mission? If you have love, you will find some way to serve. Sometimes we have to be in the front and sometimes at the back. We should be ready for both.
As the year 2000 came to a close, according to the English calendar, a millenium came to an end and the new millennium has been ushered in with a New Year, which is a very significant one for the Chinmaya Movement. Pujya Gurudev started his work in 1951 and worked tirelessly till his Mahasamadhi in 1993. For the Golden Jubilee, special programmes will be conducted at all Chinmaya Mission centres throughout the world culminating in the Grand Finale at Mumbai from 24th to 31st December 2001. This will be a grand global celebration of the living legacy that Pujya Gurudev gifted us, for us to cherish, nurture and perpetuate.
Such a global gathering has a great purpose – to see for ourselves how Pujya Gurudev touched countless lives. We expect atleast 10,000 to participate in the Grand Finale. Though this is a small number compared to the millions who came under his influence, still, by itself it would be a grand gathering of the Chinmaya Family world wide. I personally request each and everyone to get motivated to express our gratitude to Pujya Gurudev in action, through our own inner transformation and our loving service to the community. I invoke Pujya Gurudev’s and God’s blessings on you all and once again wish you a very happy New Year.