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Region 1 - Young Adults Programme (YAP)

Youth of Region 1 were blessed on the 18th of May 2012 with a visit by Uncle Balakrishnan, an ardent devotee of our beloved Bhagawan (all the way from India!). The YAP session was held at the Sai Mandir in Merton and commenced with introductions and three Aums.

We were blessed to have as our first speaker, Uncle Balakrishnan who has been a devotee of Swami for many decades and has been blessed with many Divine experiences. His son, Ganesh Balakrishnan studied at Swami’s College at Prashanthi Nilayam. Our second speaker was Sai student, Partishbhai, who is most blessed having traversed every domain of Sai education. He currently works in the finance industry in the City.

Uncle Balakrishnan commenced YAP narrating his experience with the Divine Lord, and he explained how he yearned for an interview with Swami for 32 years. The key message that he highlighted was that patience is a virtue and Swami will shower His grace, and provide what we need at t¬¬¬¬¬he right time, and at the right moment. We all pine for things, but only receive them when the moment is right. Swami had spoken to him about how an interview doesn’t make a devotee any more special than another. The value of an interview is specific to one’s individual need. In fact, Swami explained to Uncle Balakrishnan that a devotee, who doesn’t have an interview, has unwavering faith in Him. Uncle shared stories of yearning to speak in Swami’s presence and how he was given that opportunity in Summer showers. He poignantly concluded with a story when Swami had asked him to translate Vedam into English. Despite Uncle not being entirely fluent in speaking English, he proceeded with Swami’s grace and Swami was most pleased!

Next, Partishbhai spoke about his experience of being a Sai student. Swami has always emphasised to regard the youth as leaders of tomorrow. He discussed¬ the importance of upholding the value of a Sai devotee including his response to the question asked by one of the youth girls:

“What methods can we approach to practise and strengthen our spirituality in the society we live in today?”

Partishbhai explained that time-management is crucial and that if “we really want to do something; we will find or make time to do it”. Partishbhai spoke about determination and related this to a Catholic devotee, who made himself a promise that every Sunday he would go to church. However, he was put to the test one day when it coincided with a match and everyone had been pestering him to play in the finals! After much debate, the devotee had decided no matter what – he had made a commitment and so, he missed the finals and went to church to do his prayers. We should use this as an example and he recommended for all youth to read, The Harvard Business Review article, "How will you measure your Life?" by Prof Clayton Christensen.

He gave another example: “when commuting to work you will witness travellers on their gadgets such as IPhones/Blackberries. This is an ideal opportunity to listen to gayatri mantra or vedam chanting and what better way could you start the day!” Or another example could be setting aside as little as ten minutes a day to regularly read Sai literature or to perform daily meditation (as mentioned in the nine-point code of conduct). He emphasised sincerely and addressed that we should make every effort to hear speakers such as Sri. Sanjay Sahani who have been in Swami’s presence. Other things youth could do is regularly attend youth meetings, do Seva and visit Prashanti at any opportunity.

Partishbhai then said we must always remember the four goals of life - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. Dharma must be the bedrock of our lives. Artha (wealth) has to be attained by Dharma and Kama (Desire) must be for Moksha. As youngsters we may have an aim of earning a lot of wealth. We must remember that wealth earned must be used for the welfare of society. We must give some of it back to society by participating/supporting various Seva projects. We are bound to get bad thoughts in our head – just think you are a human being and not an animal. He concluded with the analogy that our life decisions are like Roman weighing scales. Imagine one of the scales to be the world and the other to be the Lord. Naturally if one of the scales is lighter than the other scale, it will be lifted - and therefore let it be your choice to make either the world or god your priority: as you start to make God your priority you can slowly detach yourself away from worldly desires.

The next YAP will be June 15th 7:30-9:30PM at Sai Mandir. If anyone would like more information or give suggestion to topics, please feel free to email region1saiyouth@hotmail.co.uk

Sindhu Sivagnanasithyar
Active Youth, Merton Sai Centre