Thousands of people gathered in the Ashram Main hall on New Year’s Eve with Amma to welcome 2010. The celebrations began at 11 pm with a series of cultural performances. A group of children began with a song “I am the light of the world, I am wonderful, I am beautiful…” The second performance was a monologue in Sanskrit by an Amrita University student on the benefits of advances in technology vs. advances in human relationships and compassion.
Next, a spectacular fire dance and juggling performance entertained the gathering followed by a traditional Indian dance, a classical piano solo, and a short play put on by children. The cultural performances ended with a beautiful rendition of one of Bach’s violin concertos.
As the hour of midnight approached, Amma asked all to pray for world peace and then led everyone in chanting ‘Lokah Samastah Sukinau Bhavantu.’ After the change, Amma gave her New Year’s message during which she explained the true meaning of celebration.
“Celebration is forgetting oneself. It is an attitude. We need to have good control over the mind for that. The thought that ‘I am a limited individual’, ‘I am this body’ will not help us to forget ourselves. The faith that the self in me and the consciousness behind the universe are one and the same is the basis of the celebration.” Amma said.
“Just by the clock striking at 12.00 on 31st December, our life is not going to be a celebration. For that, our mind should be filled with love and compassion. When love and compassion fill your heart, you find newness in every moment, you never get bored, you are always enthusiastic, always happy and life always becomes a celebration,” Amma elaborated.
“We take various vows on New Year but how deep is it? We have to evaluate.” Amma asked everyone to introspect. “We have the ability to overcome our negativities. We sincerely have to try,” she encouraged.
“We are not isolated islands. We are like a ring in the chain, connected to each other. Don’t expect others to change first. If we change ourselves, others will also change,” Amma reminded everyone.
Amma then led all in singing Khol Darwaza which ended with all chanting ‘Jai Mata Di’. Louder and louder, as it grew, everyone echoed Amma’s chanting, throwing their hands up in the air. In the end, Amma said, “Amma’s heartfelt prayer is that everyone should be able to laugh and be joyful like small children, and may divine grace bless us for that. May the darkness be completely eliminated and may the pure light of God shine.” Amma asked everyone to raise their hands with their open palms and shake them while responding to ‘Mata Rani Ki’ with a “Jai”.
And the celebration continued.