According to the world calendar, generally, 2022 is a new year for the whole world, in which they hope to begin a new life.
Typically, it consists of 12 months with 365 days, except in leap years. If we review this concept, which is accepted by people in the world, it is said, that, it has been created by the sun and other planets, Earth and moon, according to their movement in the solar system in our galaxy. Therefore, the ‘Year’ has been mentioned in the astrology books as well as folk tales as the ‘Soorya Warsha’. And, it is very fascinating to review, by an individual, about the whole universe consisting of many galaxies, though, here, we do not intend to touch it; however, it is a highly complex subject. I am trying to explain it generally. What is happening around us, in the universe, and how has the man on Earth understood it and responded to it.
First, they believed that the sun moves around the Earth and the Earth is statically located. It is called Geocentric. Because the word “ge” in Greek means “Earth”. Therefore, the Earth is statically situated in the center of the geocentric system. The rest of the planets revolve around it, including the sun, also considered a planet. After this theory, the ‘Heliocentric’ theory was discovered by Galileo. That is, the word ‘helios’ means ‘Sun’. Heliocentric means that the sun is at the center, and the rest of the planets revolve around the fixed sun. Thus, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and all other planets and Earth revolve around the sun. But in astrology, they count only nine planets, and according to that, they predict their clients’ future, whether it would be good or bad. But, while there are trillions of other planets in this universe, according to scientists, innumerable. I wonder why astrologists ignore those trillions of planets, saying they have no relevance to astrology. So, isn’t that astrology a myth?
Meanwhile, scientists define this current era as a scientifically rich era and boast of their various inventions and discoveries. They have discovered so many things around the universe after a man (Neil Armstrong in 1969) first stepped on the moon. However, it might be true but how much more to discover about the whole universe? At this juncture, I must mention a saying of Lord Buddha regarding this marvelous universe. Once Arahat Mahā Moggallāna Thēra (a divine monk, one of the two senior monks in attendance to the Buddha) wanted to reach the end of the universe, and after reaching very far from the Earth, he was stranded in the universe and urged the Buddha’s help. Regarding this incident, The Enlightened One imposed a rule to the monks not to get into trouble interfering with the outer world, how it’s been created, and how it functions.
Trying to enlighten about the journey of the Sansāra, or the cycle of reincarnation and by which the human beings fall to suffering from the ‘Dukkha’ of sorrow, caused by Craving and Aversion. Buddha advised monks to find the way out of that suffering without experimenting on the universe.
Psychologists, especially in behavioral psychology, “Behavioral psychologists have come up with new views, not only based on animal behavior but of human nature as well. These views all concern a process that we take for granted by learning because we are all truly born to learn.” This view is depicted by philosopher Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849) in his Behavioral Psychology. According to Ivan Pavlov’s psychology, all animals and human beings have been learning something in their whole life willingly or unwillingly. Because otherwise, they cannot even eat and drink something for their survival if they haven’t learned to eat and drink. On the other hand, psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908) was known for creating ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ “a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.’’ According to his humanistic psychology, a human being has so many needs to be fulfilled; though he fulfilled all requirements, he could not reach the state of a real human being without spiritual needs. Then, if he doesn’t intend to reach self-actualization without any norms and concepts, he is just like a being. Because he just leads a life. Therefore, the view of Pavlov that “we are all truly born to learn” is fundamental for every human being to gain some knowledge for the betterment of human nature.
While we are stepping into a new life in 2022, shouldn’t we create a new fresh view about a new life with positive thinking? For that, we can remind a verse in the ‘Bhagavadgītā’ to get a piece of knowledge about ourselves. So, it has been mentioned in a book written by me the ‘Mānasika Getalu Saha Samāja Getalu’ (mental problems and social problems) quoted from Bhagavadgītā as:
“Mana ēwa manushīnam kāranam, bandha mōksha yōh…” – Gita 6.5
“For man, the mind is the cause of bondage, and the mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in a sense objects is the cause of bondage and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”
It is a brilliant view for anyone on this planet to understand the self rather than, whether, where it is stated or who has said it. We can understand it clearly, by perusing its commentary: “That the mind is the friend to that person who has complete control over the physical body, the senses, and the mind have conquered their lower nature. The mind is the enemy to the person who cannot control the physical body, the senses, and the mind due to not having conquered their lower nature.’’ Not only that, the Bhagavadgītā explains again how the human being makes friends and enemies by own self.
“…Āthmaiva hi Āthmanō bandhur, Āthmaiva ripu āthmanah.” Gita 6.5
‘One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul and its enemy as well’. It means the enemy or the friend is created by our own mind, not outside or another way. In a situation like this, no one can blame others for their own fault. And cannot be assigned to someone else outside. So, we are the responsible persons for our fault. Therefore, how we can get rid of it? For this purpose or to get rid of this, the same Bhagavadgītā has given us the answer, like this: “For him, who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of a friend; but for one who has failed to do so; his mind will remain the greatest enemy.” According to this explanation about the mind, we can understand who is responsible for the problems of our own self, our own society, and all issues of the whole world where we live. What is the reason for this? The answer is stated in the ‘Dhammapada’ as: “(The mental) natures are the result of that we have thought, are chieftained by our thoughts, are made up of our thoughts…” – The Dhammapada –
S. Radhakrishnan, Oxford university press.
His commentary to this stanza is also fantastic to a wise person who searches for wisdom. ‘’The influence of thoughts on human life and society is great. All that we are is the result of what we have thought. In one sense, we live in a world of hard facts, but we live in a world of thoughts in a more important sense. By changing our thoughts, we change our life, and indirectly we change the character of the world.”
Besides that, anyone can say this is religious or older sayings, but the same thing has been shown by philosophers, like René Descartes, as: “I think; therefore I am.” Therefore, if someone does not think, there is nothing in this world like sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch by five senses. It means that everything is created by human beings by using their mindset, good or bad. Then if we can change the way we think, without prejudice, hatred, jealousy, or cravings and aversion, we can change the whole world towards a better world.
I wish all world, a Happy and prosperous New Year – 2022 (Āyubōwan is a salutation in Sri Lanka, which means Long Live.)
Ven Diyapattugama Revatha Thero (B.A., M.A., M.Phil.)
Expert Psychological Counselor and Meditation Instructor
Siriwardhanarama Buddha Dhamma College
Mano¯daya Meditation Center
Mano¯daya Asapuwa (Face Book)
Siriwardhanaramaya, Temple Lane,