Today is the last day of this year. Tomorrow, the world will joyfully celebrate the new year. But this is wrong. Because this is actually not a joyful situation. Rather it is an occasion for remorse. Imagine you saved 100,000 rupees. If you spent 50,000 of this, you don’t celebrate. Instead you think, “Oh, now only 50,000 are left!” Eventually only 2,000 are left. Now only 1,000 are left. Similarly, this human body was given to us by God to attain our ultimate aim. How much closer have we come to that aim? How much devotion or upasana did we do? Upasana (devotion) means to go ‘pas’, close. The meaning of upasana is to go close to God. How much closer to God have we gone?
If someone is in jail for ten years, after one year passes he thinks, “Now only nine years are left.” Soon there is only one year left, then only one day – so if he celebrates the passing of time, this is fine. What are you celebrating? Are you going to be liberated after you die? Have you attained release from this jail of the 8.4 million species of life?
So our aim is not to celebrate happily but to think deeply about this and do an appraisal of our own personal situation. So when you do this review, you will discover that you were very careless. However, there is still a chance. Now think about doing something for your soul. You are the soul, not the body. You have to leave the body – the body will be forcibly taken from you. Therefore, every year review your devotional progress, realise your mistakes, and make preparations for the next year, and feel that, “This year, I should attain my goal.” You don’t know if you will receive the whole year or just 6 months or even one month. You may or may not live to see the next day. Once there was an engineer from Agra who did a lot of sadhana in Mangarh. One night he went to sleep in his home in Agra and never woke up. His own family had no idea what happened. He had a heart attack while he was sleeping.
This is death. When your time comes, death is not going to give you even one extra second. No matter who it is, everyone must go. When even God realised Saints must leave this world, what could be said about the souls bound by Maya?
So tomorrow is the start of the new year. Celebrate happily when you have accomplished detaching your mind from the world and attaching it to God. It won’t become attached to God on its own. You must practice attaching it to God. You have practiced attaching your mind to the world in uncountable previous births. The one who practices attaching his mind to God feels attached to God. Ved Vyas has said very beautifully in the Bhagwatam, If you keep on thinking there is happiness in worldly objects, you will become attached to them. If you repeatedly think there is happiness in God, you will become attached to God. It’s just a question of thinking. The more thinking you do, the more attached you will feel. We have to increase this kind of positive devotional thinking.