31 Dec 2019 – New Year’s Eve, Amritapuri
The new decade was ushered in at Amritapuri with a beautiful tableau of dances and musical performances representing the cultural traditions of Amma’s children of all ages from across India and many parts of the world, to the delight of the thousands assembled to celebrate and reflect with Amma.
When the performances came to a close, Amma offered her New Year’s Message, excerpts of which follow. Listening, one had the feeling that Amma was offering a message that could and should be contemplated not just on that one night, but for every day of the year to come, as a guiding light to help one walk the right path and bring about peace within and to the whole world.
“This is the auspicious moment of welcoming in the New Year 2020. May the new year usher in goodwill, prosperity, health, happiness, peace and abundance for everyone, in every endeavour. May Mother Nature forgive our mistakes and bless us with a year in which there are no natural disasters. May everyone have a full stomach and a roof over his head. May there be peace in every corner of the earth. Maybe my children think such prayers are unrealistic. But it is dreams like these that show us how to direct our life and efforts. Every journey starts with one small step. Each of us can create small positive changes in our life. If we could all do this, it would mark the beginning of a new age.”
Amma continued, “Positive change doesn’t come with just a change in numbers. For positive change to come, we need to make proper, focused effort in the right direction.
Let us sow good thoughts and reap good actions. Let us sow good actions and reap good habits. From good habits and behaviour, we can create a beautiful life. Through living a good life, we can rewrite our destiny. If we have a heart that doesn’t lose hope and a mind that’s always cheerful, we will be able to see newness and find happiness in everything. Along with this, if we have the qualities of love, friendliness and contentment, there can be no greater celebration. May all of you, Amma’s children, become messengers of love and peace in this world! May grace bless my children so that their lives become filled with peace and happiness!”
After her New Year’s message, Amma led a set of bhajans including Shantamayozhukkate Jeevitam, with its heartfelt chorus of simply Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu (May all beings everywhere be happy and peaceful.) The crowd sang along with Amma with all their hearts, and the air was permeated with a solemn and prayerful atmosphere. Finally, Amma surprised everyone, taking to the stage and leading the entire crowd in a meditative traditional dance of Baduga’s. Amma encouraged everyone to participate, and thus the previous decade ended and a new one began – in meditation, in reflection, in joy and in love, led as always by Amma’s beautiful and graceful example.