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New Year´s Message - Find Shelter, Not Relief

By Sacinandana Swami

What could we wish to accomplish in the year 2017 that would satisfy all of our spiritual and material needs?

To begin to answer this question in any meaningful way requires an open heart and an open mind.

When I was young, I would have answered: I would like to have a magic wand, which could instantly produce anything I fancied… Simsalabim!

Nowadays, I strongly doubt that even the best magic wand or magician could ever perform the miracle of purifying the heart and inviting the Lord into one’s life. Such blessings are simply not found in magic.

So then what would satisfy all our needs?

We know this theoretically, but we must invest in the reality. It’s only divine shelter that satisfies fully.

Most of us spend our lives struggling in search of relief. Relief from poverty, relief from loneliness, relief from boredom, relief from purposelessly running through life, relief from external threats… There is no end to the list! Such relief comes and goes like a drop of water on a shaky leaf. And it never satisfies the soul’s need.

If you find only relief from a problem, rest assured that another problem will soon raise its ugly head, or that same problem will return, in time, like hunger that was once satisfied.

If you find real shelter, however – divine shelter, all troubles are taken care of in one go.

The Lord promises:

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham

“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.” (Bhagavad-gita 9.22)

A person who has found shelter is carried by the merciful Lord through life and maintained by Him. And if the Lord should decide that His sheltered servant needs to be corrected, still that shelter is never withdrawn. Even if the servant should choose to leave the Lord momentarily, the Lord will not leave his side, but will periodically send him reminders until His servant turns back to Him!

I wish all of you a most fulfilling new year. May all of your deepest desires, especially for spiritual life, be fulfilled in the shelter of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet!

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