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Love and Light

Pre World Youth Festival LEGACY OF LOVE;

1-3 April 2016 UK

Zone 7 has been expanded with a new region 74, the United Kingdom, on the 23rd of November 2015. The UK had organised a Pre World Youth Festival and invited the other youth of Zone 7 to participate. Three youth from the Netherlands had the opportunity to join in this meeting.

“Be good, see good, hear good, talk good an do good. The basis for such discipline is to think good which entails the control of mind. You must perform all actions as offering to God. Meditation on God is one of the steps for achieving steadiness of mind. Concentration is needed for every action such as walking on road, talking, reading, etc. you must concentrate with single-minded devotion on God. Performing work as worship is also tantamount to meditation. When you have the feeling of divinity in you, you will not think, see hear, talk bad or do any evil. Having full faith in the Divinity within is self-confidence. This is the foundation on which the walls of self-satisfaction have to be raised, self-sacrifice as roof, so that the mansion of Self-Realisation is complete...” - Discourse on 18-7-1997, Sai Kulwant Hall, First World Youth Conference 1997

After an unexpected delay in our journey, we arrived slightly after midnight at the Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire. We were welcomed with open arms by the youth who were busy with the preparations for the next day. After a few hours of sleep, our Saturday started with Suprabhatam, bhajans and yoga, followed by a sublime breakfast. A few speakers gave talks and we had our first workshop on the subject, ‘Our Younger Years’, where one of the questions was how Sai Baba enriched our lives. A question for you to think about: How did He influence your life?

Lunch was fun and very original. The ladies and gents were split up in two groups and competed in a game. Quotations of Swami were shown with multiple choice questions about teachings where a word needed to be filled in. The 2 groups who won were allowed to choose from two types of lunch menu. The gents could choose between Italian and Asian, the ladies had the choice for Mexican or Indian. After making the lunch together, we had our respective lunches and we tasted each others’ lunch as well.

After the lunchbreak, there was a beautiful musical offering and a panel from UK answered questions that were earlier collected in a Q&A box. The second workshop had the title: ‘Sai Youth – Life is a challenge, Meet it’. During this workshop the groups were split into three and discussed topics like ‘Sai Youth – personal life’ and ‘Sai Youth in the organisation’. The result was shared in the workshop. What does being a Sai Youth mean to you?

The evening had some more speakers, talking about their personal experiences with Swami in India. In between, there were games based on bhajans. First pictionary: beautiful to see how simple (and quick to guess!) a bhajan is, when expressed in just a tiny sketch. We also had a game where the first lines of bhajans were played, and we had to remember them and write them down afterwards in the right order.

W – Watch your Words
A – Watch your Actions
T – Watch your Thoughts
C – Watch your Character
H – Watch your Heart

“The real watch is when you keep a watch on hour words, actions, thoughts, character, and heart, not the one you wear on your wrist. The wristwatch may go for repair, but the word ‘watch’ will never be damaged. It will always bring purity of thought, word, and deed. How great these words are! Education in the olden days contributed to making man a noble and ideal human being.” – Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 35, 20

The Sunday started similar to the Saturday. We had our third workshop ‘Our task at hand – What are we doing, and what CAN we do?’ This workshop was about Selfless Service. In the group that I attended the National Youth Coordinator was present as well. He shared ideas for doing seva close at home. This workshop was the introduction to the next seva-activity. There were a few options: collecting garbage in the local community, near Beaumanor Hall, or help clean up the areas we used. What does Selfless Service mean to you? Why do you do it? For whom? What do you get out of it?

After the lunch we looked forward to the coming World Youth Festival in Prashanti Nilayam, from 12 to 14 July 2016. The following workshop had the same topic. What can you contribute to the World Youth Festival?

The weekend of the Pre World Youth Festival was closed with bhajans and a talk by Dr Veeru Mudigonda, the National Council President of the UK.

The length of our journey back was just as interesting as when going to the UK. The waiting gave us the opportunity to reflect on the weekend. The warm welcome by the Youth of the UK, the inspiration from all the talks we had with everyone during the weekend, the loving care from the devotees in the UK who cooked all the food, the friendship we found, and especially the atmosphere and the feeling during this weekend was as if we were in Prashanti Nilayam, our Home!

“All that you see outside is a reflection of the inner being. Good and bad do not exist outside: they are mere reflections of what is within you. No one has the right to judge others. Give up all that is bad in you and you will find goodness all around. As the colour of the glasses you put on, so is the colour of the world you visualise. The defect lies in your vision, not in the creation. Heart is the dwelling place of God. So, only noble feelings should emerge out of it. If there are any evil qualities like lust, greed, and anger in it, then it ceases to be a human heart. It is verily the heart of an animal. If your conduct is devoid of humanness, then you are not a human being. Act in a manner that befits your human birth. When you are angry, remind yourself, ‘I am not a dog, I am man.’ When your mind wavers, tell yourself repeatedly, ‘I am not a monkey, I am man.’ Patiently think about your real nature.” – Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 32 part 2, Second World Youth Conference 1999

The UK Youth have started during the Pre-World Youth Festival their Sadhana Program that runs until the month of the World Youth Festival. With a diary you can check whether you have done your morning prayer, your evening prayer, your meditation, what Selfless Service you did that day, three good things you did and three things you want to improve. In the diary you can also point out whether you have had contact with your ‘buddy’. Your buddy is there to help you focus and to inspire each other.

Feel inspired and join with the Sadhana Program!

On behalf of the Dutch Youth that were present,

Célestine,
Netherlands