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Is it really 2004 already? Where did 2003 go? How quickly the time passes!

Thursday, January 1st, 2004

Moscow, Russia

The Year Ahead

The future is now

It is the morning of the first day of the new year here in Moscow. Snow flutters gently by the window of my room in the new temple in Kiselny, just a few blocks from Red Square, as the plangent bells of the gold-domed Saint Basil's Cathedral and the surrounding cathedrals of the Kremlin ring in the new year.

Is it really 2004 already? Where did 2003 go? How quickly the time passes! I feel disappointed when I recall the first two verses of Longfellow's Loss And Gain:

When I compare
What I have lost with what I have gained,
What I have missed with what attained,
Little room do I find for pride.

I am aware
How many days have been idly spent;
How like an arrow the good intent
Has fallen short or been turned aside.

But new hope and determination arises with the third and final verse:

But who shall dare
To measure loss and gain in this wise?
Defeat may be victory in disguise;
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

All is not lost! Another stanza from another Longfellow poem, A Psalm of Life, urges me to live in the now:

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act — act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

And the futility of lamentation or speculation is sententiously reinforced and reiterated by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Sharagrahi Vaishnava:

Forget the past that sleeps and ne'er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

The future is now! My new year's resolution, my new year's prayer is this: I shall try to live every day in the present; I shall try my best, at all times, to serve Sri Guru and Vaishnava.

chadiya vaisnava-seva / nistara payeche keba

I know that I can achieve everything if I can just try to gain the favor of Sri Guru and Vaishnava. Let me therefore try to dedicate every day of the new year to their service.

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Layout by imonk — January 1st, 2004.