It’s the dawn of a new year today. There is something hopeful, almost magical about this date…the 1st of January! The more cynical amongst us may dismiss it as just another date. The vast majority however is suddenly overcome by this need to make new resolutions, to reflect on the hits and misses of the past year and to formulate a plan of action for all that they want to achieve in the coming 365 (In this case 366!) days.
Feeling blessed after an opportunity to watch the previous year’s last sunset as well as the rise of the new dawn in the new year, and that too from the serene foothills of the Himalayas…all i can offer in gratitude is the traditional Hindu grace. ‘Divine grace’ is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as “the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.” Most cultures have a tradition (albeit a dying one) of offering ‘grace’ before a meal. Amongst Hindus, the 24th verse of the 4th chapter of Bhagavad Gita is used as the traditional prayer or blessing before a meal. Once the food is blessed it becomes ‘prasadam’ or is sanctified as holy.
So here’s the verse as ‘grace’ for this New Year…may it truly be special and blessed…
Brahmaarpanam Brahma Havir
Brahmaagnau Brahmanaa Hutam
Brahmaiva Tena Gantavyam
Brahma Karma Samaadhinah
Which translates to ‘The act of offering is God (Brahma), the oblation is God, By God it is offered into the fire of God, God is That which is to be attained by him who sees God in all.’
May His Benevolence be the force with us all…