Thousands of years ago, in the epic Ramayana, … Rama shows a puzzlement over the fact that people celebrate the dawns and the dusks, the sunrises and the sunsets. They rejoice at the change of seasons. They celebrate the terminations of the years, not realizing that with each sundown and sunrise, one night and one day of their life span has passed. That there is one less season now left available in our karmic scheme to perform debts we have come to perform. That there is one year less to pursue the ideal goal of moksha, of spiritual liberation. The only moment, the only change of moment worth celebrating is the moment of enlightenment. The only moment, the only change of time worth celebrating is the moment of enlightenment. We need times to celebrate but the celebration should be internal ones. The meaning of celebration here should be consecration. That we consecrate ourselves. That we say one year has past. In this one year how much did I manage to cultivate my spiritual self?
(Excerpt from the 1999 New Year's message)