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Love and Light

Region 4 - An Interview with the Youth at Narborough Centre

Why do you like coming to the centre?

• The centre is like a big family, full of warmth, happiness and so much love. When I first attended the centre I
was really shy and scared of being around new people but everybody made me feel so welcome.

• The centre is my Baba’s house, my Yajur Mandir it feels like home

• I love coming to the centre, because there is lot of love shared.I need that to be happy and feel peace in myself. Love is and will always be my inner oxygen tank.

• I like the fact that the centre is Sarva Dharma and all religions and festivals are celebrated.This has given me a greater insight and broadened my understanding.

• I want to give back what my Sai Centre has given me over all these years.

The devotees taught me everything Swami taught me, to smile, to speak softly, to walk with pride and to love.

• Because the Centre is a family and it is like going home. The good company and bhajans lift my vibrations, so make me feel good and able to keep my energies high and sustained in the world! I love Swami and l love the devotees, that's what makes the Centre what it is.

• Being part of the Centre helps keep our focus and be better people in Society

Do you get the opportunity to do what you like?

• We are given encouragement by the elders and there are lots of opportunities because we are a small centre. However it is also for us to be proactive and get involved.

• I have enjoyed attending some of the committee meetings as I have been able to give my ideas for future activities.

• I feel our views are valued by the committee and this encourages me to do more.

• Yes, l have a role so this is a great opportunity to be involved in the Centre at a deeper level. Lots of seva opportunities too, there is always something to get involved with!

• You learn so much from getting involved, especially the Study Circles. The idea is to share and discuss but the growth is in the preparation too. To be part of the Centre and help in whatever way l can, l am aware l receive the benefit of love, grace, growth regardless of how l get involved, that's why it is such a blessing

What has been your inspiration?

• Seeing elders being committed over the years can only inspire youth like me. Their dedication fuels us with enthusiasm.

• I have learnt from the discussions on Swami’s teachings during the study circles.

• I enjoy listening to the Thought of the Day,to think about what is said and if I can apply this in my week.

• Seeing Baba serve his children tirelessly over years, can anything be more inspirational?

• We as a team of youth inspire each other, both in the centre and when we meet socially outside the centre.

What challenges have you encountered?

• My own challenge is that I bring science and rationality into everything.

I tend to notice contradictions in speech. I have lots of questions in my mind” Is Swami happy with me?” “Will I remember Swami in the future as I do now?

• When I teach the Rudram my deep desire is to see it taught properly and to see more and more people come to learn. When the turnout is low I used to be sad but I have learnt that my duty is to teach without worrying about the rest.

• To resist from I want to do and do what I am meant to do.

• Being a youth from a family who are not Sai devotees and not being able to share my thoughts or have their support.

• Time management trying to balance my work, my family , my social life and the centre work

• I haven't sung as yet and l have the 'singing fear'. Manly because l don't feel good enough (which is ego by the way!) but one day when l have time l will practice and sing on a Thursday.

• I have dealt with challenges by laughing and loving and...understanding each persons point of view is key and staying calm.

• Being kind to yourself and knowing you are doing your best.

• People that are passionate about something, we all want what we think is the best for the Centre and there are bound to be miscommunication sometimes and debates but that's where the growth is, we can learn from this and grow as people

TRANSFORMATION

Would you like to share any personal experiences/ contribution?

• Our Centre first decided to have a have a website 8 years ago. Few months ago when I attended a Committee meeting and this came up again I decided to get the bull by the horns and set myself a challenge! We were going to launch the website on Swami’s Mahasamadhi Day 2014. (I must have been mad!)I encountered lots of challenges but I kept my focus on Swami. And guess what www.nrsaicentre.org.uk was launched on the 24th of April 2014.I have met lots of wonderful people and learnt a lot in the process.

• To imagine my life without any influence of Sathya Sai, I can most definitely say with one hundred percent conviction that I would be in prison-such was my company! The Sai youth
friendship, turned into botherhood and now into a family for me.

• I am from France and Swami has given me the most wonderful opportunity to be with like- minded youth and participate in all the centre and national activities. Swami has made it possible for me to teach the Rudram, play the harmonium and sing bhajans all of which I love very much. Now I can speak gujerati as well!!

• Being one of the older youth, the other youth sometimes look to me for advice and inspiration. Thus Swami has put me into a leadership role. We have some wonderful heated discussions and I have always got to remember that I am a role model and I have to be careful to be good!! But we have lots of laughs and fun-because spirituality is meant to be fun (as Swami says “No Castor Oil Faces”) I have enjoyed writing and directing plays for Swami’s birthday celebrations and Global Service days.

• I am a technical person and like doing technical activities. One project I was involved with was that I had to think of a solution where we could sing any bhajan. The centre had created a bhajan book and the devotees only sang bhajans from the book so that everybody could follow them. This was very restrictive. I finally came up of a solution where I would create a Microsoft Access database and list bhajans on there. Everytime the centre would sing a bhajan they would select it from the database and then an automated process would extract the bhajan onto a PowerPoint presentation. This has saved the centre money and time and Swami does say “Time Waste is Life Waste”.

• In the past I have also Live streamed events nationally. One example was that the centre had organised a local event, Laksharcharna, with the revered Mr Vadgama. Mr Vadgama insisted that even though it was a centre event he wished that it could only be a national event. It was then agreed that the event was to be streamed live to all the centres nationally in the UK. By doing this I felt that many people in the country would have benefited from this. While the stream was happening we received comments on the stream to say “Thank You” as some people would have not been able to make it to this event and they had the pleasures of performing the sacred pooja as a family in their own home. Doing some kind of technical activity gives me a sense of satisfaction and drive.

• Although I am a beginner and not very good, I love singing bhajans. One day whilst travelling to work and listening to Nada Brahma, I was fascinated by one bhajanI “Gauri Nathaaya Vishwa Nathaaya”. I really loved this bhajan and I dreamt of singing it. I went to bhajan practise and they told me you need more practise, which usually means this one is not for you! But I had this intense prompting that I had to sing this bhajan. I practised this bhajan in the car, at home and at every opportunity. 6months later during Shivratri I sang this bhajan to my heart’s content. Now I felt satisfied. The bhajan co-ordinator and several others congratulated me on a fantastic job! I know Swami sang the bhajan through me.The irony was that we think we are singing for Swami, but this time he sang through me to Himself!

• l am part of Swami's organisation in the Sai family and l have so many brilliant opportunities at my feet. What a wonderful thought!
I am involved in various different areas being the current spiritual coordinator. I used to be the Youth coordinator a few years back. Having a role is recommended because of the interactions, discipline, and growth as a person.

• Being part of the youth we have time to grow and put our roots down, so we have a solid foundation for many years to come. The youth are full of energy and enthusiasm and are a great tool to our Centre, they do a fab job and love what they do, serving our dear Swami.

• Many years ago the Sai centre started in my house by my parents, so I was literally born into the Sai fold.I was a typical boy doing what most teenagers do and then wham! Four years ago my dad suddenly passed away, my world was shattered!! Swami fast tracked my spirituality into the awareness of how short life is. As I scattered my dad’s ashes into the Chitravati river, I promised him that I would continue serving Swami and the Centre that he had so loving started and served. Today Swami has transformed me , into a youth who knows his life’s purpose.
I have a long way to go but I have a very strong will and a great sense of humour, and that’s just me!

The Centre has provided an environment for the youth whereby they have the opportunity to harness their vitality ,enthusiasm and skills towards specific tasks or projects. This in turn has given them strength, confidence and courage in themselves, especially when they go out into society. We may have provided encouragement and constructive feedback, but the youth have also provided us with inspiration through their examples. Best one being sense of humour! This journey of spiritual transformation can be lots of fun!!

Centre Chair-Narborough Sai Centre