January 1, 2021
Happy, Happy, Happy New Year 2021—to each Siddha Yogi now reading this letter and all those who are new to the Siddha Yoga path! Welcome to the month of January.
Every New Year’s Day steps toward us brimming with promise and bearing the gift of new possibilities for our lives. On the Siddha Yoga path, we honor and bring our full attention to such potent beginnings.
For all of humanity this new year is unlike any other. Many people are eager to say farewell to the year 2020 and move into 2021. They have been counting the days to the turning of this challenging page of time—and finally, it is upon us. Yet the global pandemic is still affecting humanity on a global scale, and other tribulations continue to abound.
As Siddha Yogis, we can recommit to our sadhana with an enhanced sense of purpose and with the intention of becoming anchored in the Truth, even as the world swirls around us.
When a new segment of time begins, it invites us to move beyond the past, enter the present with openness, and greet the future with expectancy. On this day, our eyes open wide, filled with a combination of yearning and hopeful enthusiasm.
This morning, after inwardly welcoming the first sunrise of the year, I walked to my screened porch in Florida. Accompanied by birdsong and greeted by a host of nearby palm trees and the ripples of tranquil Lake Sherwood, I offered prayers of goodwill to all—the people, the land, the animals, and the earth. In the fresh dawn air, holding Gurumayi Chidvilasananda in my heart, I noted the scene before me in some detail and pondered the feeling of this new year.
While standing there, I thought of all of you who would be reading this letter from wherever you may be in the world. In whatever climate or neighborhood you call home, wherever you happen to be, one thing is true for us all: Gurumayi’s love and grace are with us as we cross the threshold into this new year.
Let me share with you one tangible way I experience this blessing. In my work as an editor and writer, I tap into Gurumayi’s grace with each new project. For example, as I write this letter, I imagine being with all of you. I visualize all of us traveling into the month ahead, knowing that each person who reads this letter will experience Gurumayi’s grace in their own unique way.
May this New Year 2021 contain bright new beginnings, coupled with new understandings, as we step forward through this threshold as sadhakas on the Siddha Yoga path.
Celebrations and Holidays
And now, let us look at some significant days that are coming up in January 2021. Each of these occasions is an opportunity for us to reenter the present moment, recognize the divine virtues, and practice them. Three January holidays give us unique opportunities to focus on our spiritual practices and the origins and teachings of the Siddha Yoga path in these fresh days of new beginnings.
- On January 14, we will celebrate Makara Sankranti, marking the day that, according to Indian tradition, the sun begins its Uttarayan, its six-month arc northward, bringing ever-increasing light to the Northern Hemisphere. On this holiday, Lord Surya, god of the sun, is the deity we honor for blazing as he does into each day, accompanied by brush strokes of breathtaking color.
- On January 26, India observes Republic Day—the day the country adopted a new constitution and established a democratic republic. We celebrate India, whose beneficence, rich traditions, and reservoir of knowledge have given so much to the world and to us, in particular, on the Siddha Yoga path. Republic Day is an occasion to honor the noble values and spirit represented by the country’s flag.
Once again, I wish you all a happy, safe, and fulfilling new year 2021!