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Love and Light

Youth Wing - National Youth Conference 2013: Workshop Summary

What a fantastic and inspiring weekend. The theme chosen was perfect – Master, Message, Messenger. This was broken down perfectly whereby everyone was able to understand the sub-topics within each of these themes. 2013 finally saw a National Youth Conference which I felt had been long overdue. Since the last National Youth Conference in Leicester a number of years ago this had definitely lived up to the expectations and more.

The guest speaker Dr Sunder Iyer was such an inspiring speaker. He really was able to relay Swami’s message to the youth through his speeches in a perfect manner engaging the audience with his style. Through the various stories and his experiences with Swami, he was able to draw the audience with such amazing charisma. The key message from his speech which has been imprinted in my heart is to remove the barrier we place between Swami and us.


The Master themed workshop set itself the ambitious task of achieving three objectives:

1) Understanding the attributes of a master and, in particular, why we have chosen Swami as our Master;
2) Agreeing how our connection with Swami can be sustained, strengthened and deepened; and
3) Understanding how we can become masters, through mind and sense control.

The workshop activity varied from observing video clips and personal reflection, to group discussions on various questions, including a case study.

One particular aim was to encourage the participants to be introspective, for instance when considering the effectiveness of spiritual practice. Swami clearly guided the workshop: this was demonstrated at one point when, in response to a challenge from one participant that the workshop was not exploring issues deeply enough, the next topic focussed on addressing exactly that point in greater depth!

After over two hours of reflection, the workshop ended with participants expressing how much they had enjoyed it and found it useful to their lives.


The objectives of the Message workshop were as follows:

• Understand the teachings of “Love All and Serve All”
• Explore the ideals of Love and Service.
• Begin to think about the practical application of the ideal in our lives.
• Be aware of the underlying Truth that connects all His teachings.

In this workshop we learnt what Swami meant by the word love and discussed how selfless love is the purest form of love and this can be experienced through loving God. We explored how loving our self is important before expanding love to others. Swami says we can reach a state of loving oneself by removing bad habits and evil thoughts and striving for perfection.

We also explored Swami’s teaching on Service and we talked about how to develop a service project in alignment with a checklist process prescribed by Swami. The checklist was follows:

• Bhava – Intention and Attitude - whether his heart is full of selfless love, humility and compassion
• Understanding and know how - whether his head is full of intelligent understanding and knowledge of the problem and its solution
• Preparedness - whether his hands are eager to offer the healing touch
• Ability and Capacity - whether he can gladly spare and share time, energy and skill to help others in dire need


In this workshop, we discussed the characteristics of a messenger – looking at other great messengers such as Hanuman, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela. We explored our role as messengers and tools to become better messengers.

In the workshops it was really interesting to hear different people’s opinions and views on various topics. In particular on how they connect with Swami. One person in the group has ‘virtual Darshan’ this means, that whenever they want to have Darshan they’ll go on to Youtube website and see Swami. Dr Sunder Iyer mentioned in one of his talks that our connection with Swami is unique to us and between us and Him.

What was learnt overall from the weekend was the fact that Swami’s message is so simple and therefore it confuses us. The language of the heart and love is the message. ‘I am God and so are you’ but we create that distance that Swami is up there and we are down here. However, there should be no barrier or distance between us. Swami’s will and determination was supreme. What He willed happen.

Written by members of workshop groups