Thursday, February 19, 2015


BEIJING (AP) Chinese were seeing in the Year of the Sheep on Thursday, but with fortune-tellers predicting accidents and an unstable economy, it wasn't exactly warming everyone's heart. “In around June, when it's getting hot in China, the Western economy will fluctuate quite a lot and will be very unstable,” Shanghai-based astrologer Dong Jialing predicted. “But August or September will mark the start of a very stable economic period,” he said. 
This animal sign, which comes once every dozen years, can be said to have an identity crisis. Known variably as the Year of the Goat, Sheep or Ram, the sign's confusion stems from its Chinese character, "yang," which broadly describes any of the ruminating mammals, with or without horns.

Many Chinese prefer to translate it as the “Year of the Sheep” because sheep are more cute and cuddly, and large sheep figures have appeared around the capital's shopping areas in recent weeks. The goat, however, is more likely to be the original meaning because it was a popular farm animal. During the seven-day holiday that started Wednesday, the world's second-biggest economy largely shuts down. 
Many mainland Chinese tuned into the annual New Year's Eve TV gala Wednesday evening, and this year's mascot managed to achieve the problem-solving feat of not being clearly a sheep or a goat. The previous year, the Year of the Horse, is generally considered to be an auspicious time - never mind that Asian airlines had a string of high-profile disasters.

Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the beginning of the lunar calendar used in many parts of Asia and celebrated around the world. But, are we in the Year of the Sheep or the Ram or the Goat? The confusion stems from a bit of ambiguity in the Chinese language. The Chinese character "yang" describes any of the ruminating mammals, with or without horns. A goat is "shanyang," while a sheep is "mianyang." (A ram is just a male sheep.) The Chinese character "yang" is present in other characters with positive meanings, such as "beautiful," ''auspicious" and "goodness." Still, some superstitious Chinese find the year inauspicious. Some parents say they'll avoid having a child this year. Astrologists interviewed said this year would bring a volatile economy, more transport accidents and windy natural disasters such as tornadoes in the United States and typhoons to Southeast Asia. Feng shui master Clement Chan said he sees a lot of fire this year, and "fire means accidents." He anticipates plane crashes in the first half, but not as many as in 2014. He also sees a lot of road accidents. On the positive side, he sees female managers and company leaders doing well this year. "I think you'll see a lot of female world leaders - they'll achieve something great, actually," Chan said. Beyond the popular superstitions and predictions of psychics and astrologers, one thing is certain: This year will be a new opportunity to try to know God and cultivate our inner being. A new chance that God has given us to reflect on towards where we direct our life. God willing, we have twelve months to improve ourselves, purify our spiritual essence and release of many conditions that for countless ages have chained us in this material world. (Editor's note).

A new year is a land mark in our lives and a time for reflection on where we have been, where we are and where we want to go. It's also time to ponder on our failures and mistakes in our spiritual lives. In the path of Bhakti every occasion and everything is for the purpose of transformation. If the previous year bought sufferings in our lives we can take solace in the fact that all sufferings and punishments in this world are for our healthy rectification. Today we need to meditate on what I really want in life. ... On this day let's resolve to go, with determination, to where we really want to go in life. To achieve meaning filled success in our lives, we need strength beyond ourselves and association of sincere souls. We also need to resolve to take shelter of the holy names of God and soberly remember that today we are one year closer to death. At the same time we need to meditate on our purpose in life and that will guarantee an eternal life, beyond the temporary existence of this world.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“'Bless'-ful New Year 2013”
Talk at Sri Radha Gopinath Temple 
Mumbai on New Years Day, 2012

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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