With the grace and blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and with the presence of Pujya Doctor Swami, over 450 yuvaks and yuvatis arrived at Warwick Conference Park on Saturday 29 August 2009 for the UK National Yuvak-Yuvati Shibir of 2009. This year’s theme was the Vachanamrut.
Following the powerful opening video presentation, a live procession enacting a scene from the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan introduced the Vachanamrut and its compilers to the delegates, providing a unique opening to the event. Following the deep pragatya, Satyavrat Swami discussed the aims and objectives of the shibir, after which Amrutvihari Swami explained how the Vachanamrut contains the essence of the Hindu scriptures.
Yagnatilak Swami elaborated upon the authenticity of the Vachanamrut by touching upon a number of the scripture’s distinguishing features. A video of Swamishri’s blessings was followed by a breakout session where groups discussed the relevance of the Vachanamrut in daily living.
Tyagprakash Swami later provided some historical context to the Vachanamrut, and Anandpriya Swami eloquently described the personality of Bhagwan Swaminarayan with a collection of prasangs. Manoharmurti Swami then provided a detailed insight of the opening paragraph in each Vachanamrut. In the evening session, Doctor Swami elaborated upon Vachanamrut Gadhada II/13, before a question-and-answer session with sadhus concluded the opening day.
The second day of the shibir began with group exercises focusing on how to study the Vachanamrut. Amrutnayan Swami concluded the discussion in the auditorium with an insightful summary and practical tips. A question-and-answer session with Doctor Swami was held before lunch, with the afternoon dedicated to sports and games. In parallel, delegates were given the opportunity to attend a drop-in clinic with the Anthony Nolan Trust – BAPS UK’s chosen charity of the year – to provide a blood sample and enrol on the national register to become potential bone marrow donors.
Paramtattva Swami lead an interactive discussion with three yuvaks on the body, mind and soul, placing the Vachanamrut’s teachings in context with modern thoughts and concepts. Following a speech by Yogvivek Swami discussing the historical and current relevance of the Vachanamrut, a special Question Time was organised where Yogvivek Swami and Amrutnayan Swami tackled a series of questions. Doctor Swami concluded the second day with an introspective insight into the Vachanamrut. After an overwhelming demand from the yuvaks and yuvatis, an extra question-and-answer session with sadhus was held at night to conclude the second day.
On the final day of the shibir, Shukmuni Swami enlightened delegates of the ‘living shastra’ in the form of Pramukh Swami Maharaj through touching and inspiring prasangs. Amrutnayan Swami demonstrated how to use the Vachanamrut to achieve success (contentment and stability) in life, after which Doctor Swami’s powerful concluding speech helped the audience understand how to enhance one’s relationship with the Satpurush.
Throughout the three days, special crèche facilities were made available for delegates with young children. This allowed the children to enjoy themselves and be cared for in a safe and supervised environment while their parents also enjoyed participating in the shibir.
In all, the three-day shibir provided a vast wealth of knowledge and learning through a series of inspiring discourses, interactive sessions and group activities. The yuvaks and yuvatis departed with a genuine feeling of fulfilment and personal benefit with an aim to read the Vachanamrut regularly.
Here are a few of the opinions shared by the delegates:
“I found the topics, content and delivery of the sessions excellent. It catered for the target audience making it very understandable and applicable to every aspect of our lives. The Q and As were very interesting and helpful.”
“The sessions were very good. I gained a lot from coming to the shibir. I plan to read the Vachanamrut daily.”
“The research, content of speeches and format of presentation was simply excellent.” Yuvak, Leeds “Excellent content and delivery. Easy to absorb and digest.”
“I always enjoy our shibirs and always feel 2½ days are not enough. Q and A sessions were excellent, as always.”
“The presentations and sessions were exceptional and has definitely given me a deeper insight of the Vachanamrut.”
“Tremendously useful for me and my family. A great booster for improving the self.”
“Quality of videos was great and well timed during the sessions. Thank you for a great shibir; understandable and well planned and executed. Thanks to all involved.”
“I read the Vachanamrut every day but do not always understand it. After the shibir, I feel really inspired to read it in more depth and use it as a tool to apply it in my daily life.”
Yuvati, South London.