Hello, my dear friends.
I wanted to start this conversation with a wish of a “Happy New Year”.
Then I thought again; it should be “Wish you a healthy New Year” because we are still under the threat of an invisible enemy, which can take our lives away.
The current situation
I don’t think we have experienced, this generation at least, we have not experienced anything like this before. 2020 landed with this virus, and it still continues. We don’t know how long; we don’t know how far. And already, there are so many repercussions connected to this situation.
Being fully aware of the situation, and I’m fully aware of what you feel; the agonies and ecstasies. There are no ecstasies. It’s only agonies, the bad economic situation, a state where if you have a job, you’re lucky. And it’s not about income; it’s about being in a job means if there is a regular flow of income, we have to consider ourselves as extremely lucky. 7.5 billion people out there are pretty much on the threat of losing a job or losing income.
It’s not easy. This is not an easy situation. I really understand this. But at the same time, we are human beings. We have a refined intellect, not like other species. We have the ability to create our own destiny consciously. Being aware of the situation instead of resisting it, try to be aware of the situation. What created the situation is not important anymore. What we will do with the situation is very important and how we are going to handle it. So far, we have handled it, partially resisting, partially complaining, partially trying to fit into this whole new scenario.
Now, we have to look ahead and see how we can redefine ourselves in this restrictive scenario. It’s almost like an imprisonment situation where we do not have any freedom. We don’t have the freedom which we used to have before. And I don’t think it will come back so easily. One of the major things that we need now is flexibility.
We were forced to be flexible since the beginning of 2020. And we will have to continue to be flexible even more in 2021 and beyond because unexpected calamities are happening. We have seen numerous deaths and destructions; not just because of COVID, but many beings died in forest fires, in various calamities. We had landslides, earthquakes, we had so many calamities in 2020, and it doesn’t seem to slow down still. So 2021 also may remain unexpected, or we cannot predict. Unpredictable.
What can we do in this time?
Flexibility. Remain flexible.
The most flexible is the strongest. If you are rigid and you’re resisting, you’re not strong. You’re always weak because time will come and sweep you, uproot you. If you’re flexible, you will sway and stay, i.e. with the winds you will bend, but at the same time, you can come back. The strongest tree is the supplest tree, not the rigid tree. A rigid tree is readiest for the axe, the axe of time.
One is flexibility. Another aspect we must concentrate on in this year is friendship, togetherness, and unity because we are all kind of handicapped. We are bound in a place, and our moments are restricted, our communications are restricted, meetings are restricted.
What can we do?
Extend the friendship, conglomerate our strengths; we all have strengths. This is a time to identify those strengths. Explore it, bring it out and merge with the society so that it’s time to unite people; help each other. We need to redefine our ability to help the helpless. We have to understand and appreciate the situation and act accordingly, not resisting.
In the last few months, especially ever since the COVID situation happened, we have seen overwhelming emotions coming out because of people’s restriction. I heard about so many incidents of domestic violence, people going berserk. The stronger or the mightier always suppress the weaker. This is not human refinement. This is not an expression of human refinement. This is an expression of our inherent weakness. If we are strong, it should be expressed as greater kindness, compassion. So, this is something which we have to consider in 2021.
We have to express ourselves with more compassion, more kindness, more acceptance; then, we are actually expressing our strength. Domestic violence is a weakness, is a tremendous weakness. Of course, any violence is our weakness; it’s a sign of our insecurity. We must do something about it. We all can do a bit of counselling like I’m talking, you can talk to people, the society, to the people around you, it need not be far-fetched.
In 2021, we have to redefine ourselves. We must take a vow that there will not be any domestic violence; and also, the emotional lifestyle that’s causing various types of separations, even emotional separation. Physically, you cannot separate because of the confinement. But emotionally people are separated, then you can’t live together in the house; you should bring back harmony, love.
This is the time when we have to actually accept, appreciate, and love each other. We have to consider everybody as ourselves and love unconditionally. We must extend our hands to the larger world, and we must create a difference in their lives. We can; we really can.
As we approach the new year, as we are coming into the new year, we should look at how our stability can reflect in the world outside. Only what you have, you can share. So, we need to be stable; we need to be really stable.
Our stability primarily is in the stability of emotions. We cannot have wild emotions, resistance, anger, hatred, jealousy, comparisons, competitions, and an abnormal existence, that way. Instead,
We should nurture acceptance, nurture love, nurture the greatest possibilities of human existence and spread this in the world, so that the Earth will be better because of you.
If 7.5 billion people express stability of emotions, and they express love and companionship and compassion, just imagine how the world will be? There’ll be no threats, no wars, no displacements. There’ll be no calamities; we do not have to sleep with fear. We do not have to exist with fear. We have created fears because of our inherent instability. So we have to now change it. This is a good year for that.
This is a good year for contemplations, and this is a good year for being your highest self. So stability is very important along with flexibility. Flexibility is also stability. It means we are accepting life as it comes. We are flexible. They’re going with the flow. We are being the flow.
Now, friendships. Humankind has experienced friendships, and one of the major aspects of human existence is to have realistic friendships. But with COVID situations, meetings and parties are not easy. And there’s no point in resisting either. We have been gifted with this communication platform where we are talking, and this is one of the ways we can strengthen our friendship.
But more than that, we create a larger purpose for our life. Something like making a huge difference, positive difference in the world, can possibly unite people because of our existence. When I started the ACT Foundation in 2003, we got a lot of volunteers coming forward, just because the cause was interesting for them. Even now, 17 years later, we’re doing a lot of work in the world. So it’s important.
What is God for the hungry?
When somebody is cold, what can you give them?
When somebody does not have a shelter, what can you provide him or her?
Commitment to friendship
Like that, if you are able to provide within your capacity, or in the best possible way, that’s how you’re extending your friendship. The friendship that you extend should be realistic. Otherwise, it’s not good enough. For the sake of doing something, if you do, it will not have life. So, everything we do, we can add life to it, energy to it, for which, number one, you should mean it, we should mean what we do. That means we should be sure and we should be committed, which apply to all our activities.
Reduced expectations in friendship
Secondly, we should have fewer expectations. The lesser the expectations, the longer the friendship will last, the more expectations, it can die anytime because disappointments can happen if expectations are not fulfilled.
To keep great friendships, discount or reduce expectations, and do your best each time without expectations and that will strengthen the friendship. Our friendship primarily is with ourselves, we should cut off all the expectations we have about ourselves, and we should accept ourselves totally.
Likewise, to connect to ourselves, we should completely ignore all our weaknesses. We all have weaknesses; we have weaknesses as well as strengths. We have positive and negative sitting together in every personality. We hide the negative; we project the positive; this is what we normally do. We must accept the negative, not that we nurture it, but we allow it to stay and just leave it there; while we strengthen the positive so that our acceptance level will increase. When we increase our acceptance level, we can help the world better.
We all have power and strength. And it’s not about the personal practices we do to attain spiritual awakening. It’s about how we are in this world as well. That’s the real test of spirituality in us; we can consistently purify ourselves by serving selflessly.
What can you share?
You share what you have, very simple, that will nurture friendships.
2021 should be a year to nurture great friendships, companionships, togetherness. The glue that should unite all this should be unconditional love. Without expectations, if you connect to people, it will stay. So three things, I said flexibility, stability, and friendship.
These three things are very important in 2021 and probably beyond. And if we really accept ourselves, let it reflect as our acceptance to the situations outside: cool, calm, comfortable. Situations are not as per our expectations, no problem. What can we do? We are limited, no problem. We do what we can.
Look at everything as a possibility, instead of a problem. Nothing is a problem. It’s all situations. How we handle each situation is very important. And that shows our maturity. If we are resisting, “Oh, I don’t like my job. I don’t like my family. I don’t like the situation”, all the time when you say I don’t like something, understand, you’re fighting with yourself. And when you constantly fight with yourself, how can you accept yourself? So this should be understood very clearly.
Respect the body
One other suggestion, I would like to give you is that look at ourselves. We are a delicate assembly of the basic elements that’s available on Earth: Earth, water, air, fire, space. All put together; we call it a body, and it’s delicately assembled. If this combination is imbalanced in some way, we have an illness, sickness. So, this delicate assembly should be well respected.
Our body should be well respected as a beautiful temple, where the creator himself or herself lives, the soul. The soul is living in this temple.
It’s a beautiful temple, and the soul is expressing itself through the faculties which are associated with this body. So we have to respect the soul, we have to respect the body, which means the in-dweller as well as the shell, which is the body, we have to respect.
Because this delicate assembly put together in this combination only can give us that personality, that expression. Personality is our expression. So we have to start respecting. Add a lot of respect in your life, starting with you, “hey, amazing body”; we are such a beautiful assembly.
There is a great master living inside who’s experiencing through this body but is not at all bound by this body. Even though he’s experiencing it, he can leave anytime like we take a rented house. We pay the rent, and we stay. Here we are paying the rent through our consumptions. We are eating various things, not only food – emotions, knowledge, materials and possessions and positions. They are all our consumptions.
So this is very important to understand that we are full and complete; start respecting that fullness, that completeness.
Then why do we feel incomplete?
Because of comparisons and competitions, we don’t need them. We don’t need them because we are unique. By nature, we don’t need to compete; we don’t need to compare. It’s all our perception.
We are the only species which can really appreciate beauty. Only human beings can understand the beauty of life, beauty in everything. So let’s practise that. To appreciate beauty, we need to respect it. So respect and beauty come together. With respect, elegance happens, (beauty), this is all human possibility. If we can see the whole tapestry of existence, the whole world, you will see the wonder of creation—every object – a delicate assembly, and a soul inside.
Every object, every being, every species, all are conglomerated using the materials of this land, this world, and there’s a gentle soul inside. Really beautiful. And if it starts seeing that in everything, it’s a totally different dimension. And then you can never hurt anybody. You can never kill, you can never, ever consider anything as inferior or superior. They are all creations, in various levels. And it’s experiencing its dimension.
Look at this world – how beautiful it is! This is exactly what we should look at from now onwards. We should see the wonder, the beauty of the whole creation of this world. And then we should start appreciating it.
Don’t get stuck with the mind, ego, intellect, etc. because they are just processors. Don’t worry about people’s emotions and their “Oh, I’m angry, I’m upset. I don’t like this, all this I hate, etc.” These are all things which are basically non-understanding. They are coming out of ignorance, anger, hatred, jealousy; they come out of ignorance. So everything is okay. Everything is natural. And people behave as people are, and we should accept them. Total acceptance is very important this year.
Again, as I said, I do appreciate your condition, your situation. And philosophy is not the right thing at this point. I’m fully aware of it. But we can still extract the positive out of all negatives anytime. And what we do – we come together, hold each other’s hands and develop spaces where we can bring people together and help the world or heal the world or assist the world as we can. We have the power; we have the capacity. Together, we are a huge strength. Together, we are a force.
Now, we have expanded to many countries, so many people are getting involved. We have to work as one team, a force, to serve the world as well as serve ourselves. When we serve the world; we serve ourselves. Like this, it’s a collaboration. It’s a grand collaboration, and we should stay united. I’m not asking anybody to stay. If this is not suitable for you, if this space is not suitable, if I’m not suitable, you’re welcome to go.
But please remember; you have to accept yourself even if you are anywhere because everything has to start with self-acceptance, self-respect, self-love, these things will stabilize you. If you want stability in life, it has to start with self-acceptance, self-love, and self-respect. If we can’t respect ourselves; if we judge, criticize and compare ourselves with another, we cannot love ourselves. When can we love? How can we love? So, this is very important to understand.
We should never harm any species; we should never kill. We should never separate people. No displacements, no wars, no bloodshed. Bloodshed is a complete aberration. Bloodshed is not good, whether it is an animal or a human. It is definitely not good. That is why I am promoting vegan; only because I do not accept cruelty, violence, forced murder, any kind of manipulation, utilization for the sake of pleasure, all those things are not so good.
So, what I would like to say is that:
- Be kind, and let it show.
- Be compassionate, and let it show.
- Have respect, and let it show.
I wish you a great, great year ahead. I wish you stability, friendships, companionships, and flexibility this year. Wish you great success in achieving all this.
I’m walking with you. And you know I love you a lot. I really, really love you. I’m with you. I’m always with you. Let’s walk together.
Lots of love. This is Mohanji.
Transcribed by Ananth Shankaran
Proofreading by Rekha Murali