Sunday, January 1, 2012


CELEBRATIONS AROUND THE WORLD - A multi-million dollar firework display heralded in the New Year in Sydney, while the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, was illuminated in colours in a similar display in Dubai.  Celebrations have also been taking place in Europe, with crowds gathering in many cities to count down to 2012.  In London, around 250,000 gathered to watch fireworks over the River Thames.  Revellers in Spain greeted the New Year by eating 12 grapes in time with the chimes at Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol clock in a national tradition, while hundreds of thousands partied in Berlin to live music in the landmark Brandenburg Gate. In Tokyo, people released helium balloons in front of the Tokyo Tower at midnight with notes attached listing their hopes for 2012.

Many wished for a better year, following the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north-east of Japan in 2011.  A downbeat tone was reflected in the new year’s message of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said 2012 would be more difficult than 2011, but hoped Europe’s debt crisis would bring its member states closer.  In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy, issued a similar warning, but tried to remain upbeat.  Thousands of people gathered in Red Square in Moscow to witness a firework display at midnight.  In Madrid, thousands of people gathered at six indoor “macro-parties” the authorities had organised in big venues across the Spanish capital.  In Brazil, revellers enjoy a fireworks display on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, while hundreds of thousands gathered at New York’s Times Square for the ceremonial ball-dropping at midnight.

A New Year can be a time for new beginnings. New Year’s resolutions are one way to make changes in our life; however, proclaiming a resolution for the upcoming year is something many of us do but very few of us stick with.  Some experts say resolutions are worth it if you make them realistic and have an action plan to stick with them.  So, cheers to you and best wishes for a Happy New Year full of service to the Lord which will allow you to keep and renovate your vows.

We use the pretext of the New Year to take new energy in the service, since the devotee is always renewing his vows. In fact, in each moment he does so, because frequently the mind proposes to him to leave his vows. Therefore there is continuous renovation of vows.  This is a special moment that we use for singing more Hare Krishna. ... So now it is about having a heart. We still have not developed it yet, but Bhakti is for this. It is like people who go to the gym to develop muscles, or who go to the stock market to get more money, but we perform Bhakti to get more heart.  Well, my greetings and my best wishes. A big hug to all of you, and thank you very much for being occupied in your service which bless my life and the whole world.

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Resolutions for a New Year”

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