The Christmas Season is not only a time for celebration but also a time for reflection.
As people look forward to the forthcoming festivities despite the economic hardship, spare a thought for those living in poverty, homeless, lonely and those who have become isolated from their family and friends because of an addiction to alcohol, drugs or imprisonment. For many, the Christmas Season will not feel the same, due to the economic crisis, conflicts and bitterness across the World, but Christmas is all about the spirit of love and looking after one another. Every Religion and Culture preaches respect and tolerance of each other and loving our neighbours regardless of colour, class, creed or race. It is therefore important that these values enshrined in all our religious beliefs are demonstrated for all to receive with open arms.
Spare a thought also for the victims across the World who has been affected by famine, natural disasters, calamities and wars.
“Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all people”……..perhaps this should be the Christmas Season message of peace and goodwill among all people.
Christmas is an extraordinary time for sharing and giving. It is the season for celebration and for renewal with families, just as we Hindus have at the time of Diwali. It is a time for us to forget the things that have divided us during the course of the year and to celebrate the things that binds us together as a community and people. Let it be a time for hope and renewed promise, of joyful expectation for young and old alike, a time for the giving and receiving of gifts, especially the greatest gifts of love and friendship. Show others the generosity, the kindness
of heart, the mercy, the care and love that is consistent with the message of God in all religions.
Anil Bhanot OBE suggested, “In this difficult economic period the British Hindus ought to reflect over this Christmas Season on their ancient heritage of the doctrine of Karma, where we only take what is rightfully earned by us at a ‘fair value’ determined through a competitive market, with the proviso that if we are accorded a surplus we ought to think about giving some back in charity, Daan. As Hindus we worship Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, at Diwali but we sometimes forget that according to ancient Hindu folklore Lakshmi sends her wealth always on the back of an Owl, a nocturnal animal who is blind in the day. That blindness is devoid of the Ethics required of Karma, the right action, and as such we have seen how that blindness, recently through the Banks and their cartel type remuneration committees can lead to suffering for others. Let us remember our place in this inter-connected life, of all life, where under the laws of Karma those who take more than their market worth will definitely end up paying a lot more at some stage and not necessarily in monetary terms. Perhaps Christians this Christmas can equally remind themselves of Jesus saying, ‘You shall reap what you sow.’
On behalf of the Hindu Council UK we would like to wish you and your families a Christmas filled with happiness, God’s grace, togetherness, peace and above all love for one another. We also wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.
~ Sanjay Jagatia, General Secretary Hindu Council UK (HCUK)