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Happy New Year 2017!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Time teaches you lessons and makes you wise. If you are intelligent, you will learn from time and celebrate. If you are unwise, you will lament and become sad with every passing year.

2016 has been such a wonderful year. We had a great event (The World Culture Festival). What people thought was impossible, we made it possible. We built the world’s biggest stage ever, of seven acres in New Delhi at the banks of the Yamuna river to the astonishment of the world. We built this stage in a place which was considered to be unusable (due to foul smell). This place was cleaned and made a field of celebrations which was one of the world’s biggest event ever. 3.5 million people attended the program, 1.8 billion people from 188 countries around the world watched it on live stream. We had 107 different performances with 182 dignitaries from around the world participating. And most of all, the presence of 2500 religious leaders made it the largest inter-faith gathering ever to the amazement of the world! All this happened without an incident… that is something that gets jotted down in history.

So, in 2016, we all together created history. The credit of this goes to every single individual of The Art of Living. Your participation, your intention and your attention made it possible for this event to manifest. That was a very grand time for The Art of Living and for the world.

In the year 2016, The Art of Living has had so many achievements that we cannot list them all. This year, we organized The World Summit for Ethics in Sports at the FIFA headquarters in September. For the first time in history, we made people realize that it is needed to bring ethics in sports. It was a very good event.

There are people who move with the time, and there are others who move time. The Art of Living moved time. We have celebrated in the past, and we continue to celebrate year after year as our motto is to make life a celebration. True to its motto, we welcome 2017.

If you add up 2017 (2+0+1+7=1), it equals to number #1. So, I wish every one of you a bright and shining 2017. #1 is the number of the Sun. In this year let knowledge dawn in your life.

What is most important is, for knowledge to take the front seat in your life. Everybody has knowledge, but sometimes it takes the backseat. It is not in the driving seat. When knowledge is sleeping, it is ignorance. When knowledge is in the backseat it leads to regrets later on. When knowledge is in the driving seat, there is only joy and celebration in life. Then you celebrate in every situation for life is celebration. So, wish for knowledge to be in the front seat in 2017.

There are good qualities in everyone. The courageous will accept the good qualities in everyone. Even if it is in one’s enemy, it should be appreciated. Appreciating good qualities is a very wise quality itself. So, let the Sun which is coming bring you wisdom in this new year. Happy New Year to everyone!

Life is so magnanimous! What you think about life is only the tip of the iceberg. We think of life as survival – a job, relationships, money or just making ends meet. This is what we think life is all about. Our whole life revolves around money, relationships and reputation – these three things. In trying to get these three things we lose our health, and then life starts to revolve around four things (money, relationships, reputation and health).

We end up going round and round trying to get hold of these four things and finally become so miserable. And when you become miserable, you lose all these four things. This is what people consider to be life! Now what we are saying is completely revolutionary – Life is celebration, commitment, wisdom and service.

— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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