Date: March - April, New Year of the Hindu calendar.
Legend: Kali Yuga started in the year Pramaadi, in the month
named Shravaana, and in the fortnight named Bahula, on the day called
Ashtami. According to the western calendar this will be described as
February 20, 3102 years B.C. In order to bring this aspect of the commencement
of the new Yuga, our ancestors have been calling that day Yug-Adi,
or the day of the beginning of a new era. We should also learn a different
aspect, although not a very pleasant one. This particular day is also
the one on which Krishna gave up his mortal body in a sacred place called
Prabhas, near Dwaraka (in Saurashtra, Gujarat).
"The word Yugadi means the day of the inauguration of
the Yuga or Age. The spiritual discipline for each Age has been
prescribed by the shastras (scriptures); for the Krita or the First
Age, it is Dhyana; for the Treta, the second, it is Dharma; for
the Dwapara, the third, it is Archana or Ritual Worship and for
the present, the Kali Age, it is Namasmarana, the Repetition of
the Name of God. So on the Yugadi day, you must dedicate your life
anew to the discipline enjoined, and resolves to accept it and practice
it to the utmost. This involves giving up all the habits that interfere
with the constant remembrance of God."
"The New Year comes regularly year after year. But do
you have any new thoughts? You do not shed your old, mistaken ideas.
They should be given up, yielding place to new, sacred and sublime
thoughts. Of what use is it to celebrate New Year days if you do
not change your old ways of thinking and behaving?
Today the nation needs unity above everything else. It is
through faith in God that unity can be promoted. Look at the diversity
of people in this hall, the different creeds they profess, the different
nationalities to which they belong. All are united in their common
allegiance to Swami. By this single feeling of faith in the Divine,
unity can be achieved. It is the absence of this faith that is the
cause of division.
All of you are embodiments of the Divine. All of you are
embodiments of love and peace. You are the Divine in human form.
Develop that conviction. Immerse yourselves in Divine love. Offer
that love to the Divine. Thereby you will have love for all. It
is only when you develop this love principle you will be realizing
the meaning of festivals like these. Stand up for your belief in
God, even as you stand up for your father or mother.
Render service to society, without which you cannot exist.
Your welfare is bound up with that of society. Develop the feeling
of oneness with all, loving all as members of one Divine family."
Legend from Summer Roses on the Blue Mountain
Quotes from Discourses: Yugadi, Mar 27, 1971
New Year Message, Jan 1, 1996