Thought for the Day, as Broadcasted on BBC Radio 4, 30 December 2013 by our President Bharti Tailor

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Good morning and Namaste

With the excitement of Christmas cleared away, we are now entering that time of year when the western world starts reflecting on the past twelve months. Evaluating and determining the resolutions to make in order to improve the coming year.  It’s the opportunity to leave behind a failed strategy or policy and start afresh, a new beginning – emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

As Michael Palin will have seen on his travels not all cultures follow the same calendar and therefore go through this process at different times of the year.

Hindus who follow the Vikramik calendar, will have gone through this process in the autumn, and those who follow the Kaliyuga Calendar will do so in the spring. Indeed for us each birth cycle gives us an opportunity to improve our karma, and which if we utilize to the fullest will lead us to Moksha, our ultimate aim, a release from the cycle of birth and death which will take us to the place without a beginning or an end where there is bliss only. However we should make the most of this opportunity of having been born as human. As human beings we have the unique opportunity to learn from our history; to understand that our actions can lead to the betterment or destruction of individuals, societies or countries. If we cannot take the opportunity to improve our journey during this lifetime then we have lost an enormous window of time, as we do not know when we will be born as human again. And who knows how many times we have been on this journey before and never achieved the ultimate aim? This cycle of reincarnation is central to Hindu belief.

Thinking of those whose physical journey has ended, we usually pray that the departed have reached the ultimate goal and are in bliss. For those whose journey has just begun, the new-born – like parents all over the world we have hopes and aspirations for the health and happiness of our children.

The annual cycle gives us an opportunity to take out a few days, reflect, contemplate and evaluate the year, plan and hopefully resolute to implement changes. However, there is an opportunity for all of us to make resolutions at the beginning of each dawn. Whatever calendar you follow, every day is an opportunity to improve on the previous one, to learn and contemplate to set or reset our spiritual radar and to work on our ultimate goals.

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