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Report: Youth Day 2022

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The theme for the International Youth Day which was celebrated on 12 January 2022, was "It's all in the mind", a key teaching of Swami Vivekananda. On 16 June 2022, Youth Day was celebrated in South Africa. The theme: "Promoting sustainable livelihoods and resilience of young people for a better tomorrow".

The youth of Divine Life Society of South Africa arranged a special online programme on 16 June to celebrate this day. The programme included messages, short stories, meditation on the Peace Series, Bhajans & Kirtans, recital from the Ramayana, an audio message from Pujya Swami Sahajananda and musical & dance items by guest artistes.

In the book Enlightened Education, the Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, had the following to say about youth: "The youth are the most precious treasure of the nation. Students are an important asset to the country, for leaders all over the land recognise that they are to guide the nation of tomorrow. The present generation of students are the potential leaders in all the different fields of national life of the future.

"The most precious period of a man's life is youth. This is the formative period in a human being's life. The moulding of one's nature and the development of the character and personality take place in this period".

Whilst the current focus in the world is on secular education, which prepares one for a material life and the ability to earn a living, in the above book the Divine Master enquires as to whether this education is indeed equipping the youth for the tasks and challenges of the future. We note the recent turmoil in the province and the world at large, and ask the same question: Has our secular education prepared us for the trials and tribulations of life? The answer is: No.

Only a life in God, with God or the Guru as the centre of our existence, can truly equip us to cope with the harsh realities of life.

The Master continues: "A person may be formally religious and yet possess an undesirable character. Therefore, the practice of spirituality in the right sense of the term, by students as well as their parents, is of great importance".

One has to eradicate vices, and develop virtues to a high degree in order to earn the Grace of God. When the Master was asked whether it was acceptable to lead a divine life, and have a few vices at the same time, his reply was very succinct: "So they want light and darkness at the same time."

Sri Swami Sivananda states: "If you want a simple and easy method of meeting all the challenges of this stressful life and enjoy peace of mind, practice these 3 things. They will take you to Him without tears.

  1. Surrender to Him completely
  2. Repeat His Divine Name at all times.
  3. See Him in all beings and creatures".

In the audio message, Pujya Swamiji dwelt on the purpose of life. He said, "Today, I will speak a few words, a few thoughts came into my mind. What is the purpose of the householder's life? Why do people get married? Is it to get pleasure out of each other, or to have a home, to have children, to have wealth? An answer came from inside, 'None of these'. People get married because they want companionship. All the other things are secondary. If we look at ourselves, we all want companionship. That desire for companionship is innate in our hearts. It is really a desire for God, for the companionship of God. Because God is not visible to us, we want an external companion. That's what I thought the whole purpose of married life is. We want a companion, we want a friend, we want security. We want to be free from fear. But, if this is not understood, by both partners, then a tug-o-war takes place. But if we understand the meaning of marriage, and if husband and wife discuss the matter, have a reasonable understanding of it, both can make progress towards God. That is why the disciple also goes to the Guru. Gurudev says in his books that we don't get that peace from external things, because we have not found God."

It was pleasing see that the youth chose relevant reading materials on Bhakti and two short stories entitled "The Little Boy & the Waitress" and "An Attitude of Gratitude". These inspiring articles provided us with coping skills. Our gratitude to our guest artistes, Avijay Harichand for the excellent musical item and Shivoham Fine Arts for a well-choreographed dance item. The entire programme was compiled by the youth of Divine Life Society of S.A. The efficient manner in which the programme was conducted, augers well for the future leadership of the Society.

We encourage our youth to take up the challenge of leading a Divine Life in the midst of all the trials and tribulations of the world. Dare to be different! Take up the challenge of control of the mind and the senses and aspire for the Divine.

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 June 2022 09:50
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