We, the whole Iskcon Vrindavan community, wish everyone a very Happy New Year. May this coming year fill all our lives with bhakti and bliss. May Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Krsna Balarama and Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara bestow their unlimited blessings on everyone.
For many, the New Yearbrings an opportunity for new beginnings. Devotees can utilize the New Year to make fresh efforts for spiritual advancement. It is a time to consider our previous year and whether we have inched forward on our path back home back to Godhead or still standing at the same place. Acaryas such as Srila Bhaktivinoda Thaura advise us to regularly check our progress and make necessary adjustments to ensure a constant forward march towards the goal.
Those who are unsure about the goal of this human life must strengthen their endeavors to understand the purpose of their life. All secrets of life and the purpose of life can be understood by carefully studying the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. This will lead one and all to realize their eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord and their eternal occupation of serving His lotus feet in one of the five mellows of devotional service.
For those who have understood the goal (sadhya), the endeavor should be to ascertain the means of reaching the goal (sadhana). This process of achieving the shelter of the lotus feet of Syamasundara has been given by all our previous acaryas. The best way forward on any path is to follow in the footsteps of previous great personalities who have chalked out that path for us. In this way, we may reach the goal with complete certainty and without having to face unnecessary stumbling blocks. Being in the anugatya, or guidance, of the great spiritual masters is the assured way to reach the desired destination. In order to give instructions in this regard, the previous acaryas have written numerous bhakti literatures, which we should read in the association of other like-minded senior Vaishnavas. This will ensure that we clearly and unequivocally understand the best way to reach the desired destination.
Once the path is understood comes the endeavor to enthusiastically, determinedly and patiently follow the authentic process with complete faith in the instructions of the spiritual masters and the disciplic succession. This endeavor is best done in the association of devotees and with complete dependence on the mercy of the Lord. It is definitely crucial to endeavor to the best of our ability, but at the same time, we must understand that it is only by the mercy of the Vaisnavas that we will make any progress at all. Therefore, while remaining meek and humble, we should execute the various limbs of bhakti while constantly praying for the mercy of the Lord and the Vaisnavas.
This new year, let us all look deep within our hearts and see where we are at. Let us pray to Krsna to show us the way forward so that we may be able to make progress in our spiritual lives. And let us resolve to invest our endeavor in moving forward in our journey back home back to Godhead.