As the old year is left behind and a new one is brought on, temple bells are rang solemnly 108 times in my country. This sound is said to cleanse away all kinds of impurities we built up in our minds over the past year that hinder ourselves from thinking clearly and cause disturbance to our well-being, so that we can welcome the new year afresh.
If the bells were rang but you were not there to hear it, did they make a sound?
Maybe the bells made no sound to you, for you have no way of knowing the existence of what cannot be sensed.
Or, maybe the bells did not make a meaningful sound to you, because you did not know of the purpose of ringing them and so, your ears selected not to listen to the sound.
But then, maybe the bells did make a sound even if you did not know they were rang, because you felt some kind of refreshment when the new year came.
And just maybe, the bells will come to make its true sound when you read this post, for that is when you find out the spirit of ringing them – that the sound is made with hope of reaching everyone in due course.
This year, just like in any other year, the temple bells were rang 108 times and the new year came to us quite peacefully in my country. Knowing that some of you are not able to celebrate the new year the same way you have done in the past, I am all the more grateful for this same-old. I would like to think that the last “maybe” has some truth in it – I hope the sound of the bells will be heard by you, and wish you well in the year that has begun anew today.