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Message on New Year - 2018
There are three principles that are closely interlinked – Time, Mind, and Events. None of the three are stagnant, they change. Time, Mind, and Events move all the time.
When the Mind is stuck to Events, then there is suffering. If the Mind flows with Time, it is fresh and alive. Time and Events have a tendency to get linked to the mind. For example, your birthday. Every year, when the date comes, you remember, “Oh, it is my birthday!”
Celebrations are an imposition of Events on Time. For example, Christmas celebrations, Buddha Purnima celebrations, or Guru Purnima celebrations – they are all Events sticking on to Time, through the Mind. It is the Mind that remembers, “Oh, today is Buddha Purnima.”
Whether it is a celebration, or it is some bad memory, the Mind sticks to that Event.
9/11 – an Event happened on that particular date, and so, that particular Event got stuck to Time. Every year, when you remember 9/11 or 26/11, you are sticking that date to the past.
Similarly, national days. On the 1st of July, Canada says it is their national day. On the 4th of July, America says it is their national day. On August 15th, India says it is their Independence Day. The Mind connects an Event to Time. And this connection could be pleasant or unpleasant.
Pleasant connections don't last too long, but unpleasant connections create a scar on the Mind and last longer. Now, what is the place of wisdom in all this? Wisdom makes your mind non-sticky.
Have you seen non-stick frying pans, in which you can make pancakes? When those non-stick pans were not available, people still made pancakes. The pancakes would get stuck to the pan, and they would have to struggle each time to get them out. The cleaners had more work to do, to make it ready for the next use.
So, Events are like pancakes that stick to the pan. Now, just imagine, if you don’t clean the pan, and you continue making more pancakes day after day on the same pan and consuming it. My Goodness, how unhygienic!
For years, you are using the same pan. One side of the pan is all burnt because of the stuck pancakes, and it smells because you have not cleaned your pan. Yet you continue making pancakes (causing pain to yourself), and you are serving such pancakes to others (causing pain to others).
This is what is happening. You have forgotten to make your Mind a non-stick pan. It is wisdom that blows the Events out of your Mind, and helps you flow with Time.
Imagine there is a river in which there are boulders and little puddles. Water gets stuck in those little puddles, and then what happens? It starts having fungus, algae, and the water is not clean, pure, or fresh anymore. This is because it is stagnating in one place.
When the river is flowing (when you let go of the past), the water (Mind) is clean and pure; the water moves over all those boulders and runs to the ocean.
The Mind is also like that – it gets stuck in a few events. It cannot get stuck for too long; somewhere, it has to move on, right? Be it pleasant or unpleasant. And wisdom helps you to move with Time and through Time.
Whatever events happened in 2017 is all gone. There were some pleasant days, some unpleasant days; some happy days, some worthwhile days, and some days when you did nothing. The days you did nothing have not left any impression on your mind because nothing worthwhile happened on those days. The impressions of the other days are on your mind because you think something worthwhile happened during those. Wisdom makes you realize that nothing is worthwhile, or rather everything is nothing.
Do you know that pleasant moments make you more unhappy than unhappy moments? Pleasant moments make you unhappy because they are gone. With unpleasant moments, time heals you. But the craving for the pleasant moments, time carries them along with you for a long time; to heal from it takes a long time. Impressions from pleasant moments cause cravings in you, and the cravings don't go so easily.
This is why the wise one sees all Events to be unpleasant – because whether pleasant or unpleasant, they are all gone. What do you say? Almost everyone of you agrees with me on this.
The funniest thing is that our Mind does not want to let go of Events.
Recently, this one gentleman became an Art of Living teacher. Once you become an Art of Living teacher, self-pity is not allowed. If you pity yourself, how can you bring happiness to someone else? If the doctor is chronically sick, how can he conduct surgery on you? Impossible.
Now, this person used to get a lot of pity and compassion from others. It used to make him feel so good. Everyone would give him so much attention and sympathy. After becoming a teacher, it was a dichotomy – it was very difficult to let go of the enjoyment that was coming from people feeling sorry for all his misery.
Why am I saying all this? This is because I want you to see how the Mind works. The Mind wants to stick to unpleasant things because it gets some attention. If people pity you, you enjoy it somewhere.
See, as a child, you have been getting this attention. When a child starts crying, everyone comes and attends to it. They tell the child, “Don't cry”, and the child gets the lollipop, or the toys it was crying for. Somehow, it got programmed in you that if you throw tantrums and become miserable, you will get what you want.
These are Events that are creating impressions on the Mind. Wisdom is, you getting out of all the impressions. When you get out of the impressions, then you are flowing with Time. In fact, you go ahead of Time – that is wisdom.
This New Year, make your mind like a non-stick pan, and enjoy your pancakes, fresh and new. And don't even think back that you never washed your pan in the past; that too is gone. In this sense, every day is a New Year’s Day for you – every day is a celebration. Today is today. Calendars and calculations don't exist then.
When you are happy, you don't feel that you are growing old. You don't feel Time is dragging. You don't feel Time at all – it could be millions of years; nothing has touched you or shaken you, and you have no plans. And even if you have a plan, Time runs so fast. When Time runs so fast, it also stands still.
In the morning, when you wake up, just sit and feel how Time stands so still. When Time stands still, it is meditation.
When Time runs fast, you don't feel it; that is karma yoga. And when Time stands still, that is dhyan yoga, meditation.
See, if you are not used to the stillness of Time, if you are only on the run all the time, you will get depressed. We have this tremendous ability of enjoying both – running and being still.
As you grow older, the body has its limitations. If you have no ability of being still and don't enjoy being still even for a short time, you will feel bored, confused, and depressed. That is what happens to all the so-called very active people when their bodies don’t allow them to be active anymore, and they cannot be still either.
This is where your Mind is not with Time. So, your Mind should be with Time. When the Mind is with the Time, it can be still.
With wisdom comes happiness. You don't have to specially wish everyone a Happy New Year; happiness comes with wisdom. If wisdom does not bring happiness, nothing else can bring it. Wisdom brings real and ultimate happiness. So wish everyone a "wisdom filled year" instead.
Wisdom is not about the books you read. Wisdom is an expanded state of consciousness. It is your mind being non-sticky, not getting stuffed but becoming hollow and empty. The moment you think of wisdom, you think of reading books. No! That is just information. Wisdom is being still and being non-sticky to Events. Let this year be a "Wisdom Filled Year" for everyone.