Through the grace and blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the National UK Yuvak-Yuvati Shibir, entitled Madhya 7, took place during 28-30 August 2010 at Warwick Conference Park. Approximately 320 yuvaks and yuvatis from across the UK and parts of Europe were enlightened about antardrashti, seva and the Satpurush, and how they play a major role in our lives to eradicate our base instincts.
Following the introductory videos and traditional deep pragatya ceremony, Yogvivek Swami set the scene by delivering a short speech about the purpose of the shibir and what all the attendees would be learning over the three days. This was followed with a discussion by Satyavrat Swami who explained the theme title Vachanamrut: Gadhada II 7 and how it was important to control the instincts within oneself.
A series of sketches were then performed by yuvaks which aimed to introduce each of the swabhavs in light-hearted manner.
This year, a questionnaire entitled ‘Swabhavmetric’ was included to help participants accept that swabhavs innately exist within everyone, allowing them to reflect on how the content of the shibir could help them to reduce their dominant swabhavs over time.
Each swabhav was then discussed in more detail through a number of interactive classroom sessions, conducted by yuvaks and yuvatis, which involved both presenters and participants identifying the traits and consequences of natures such as ego, anger jealousy, deceit, etc. The first day was concluded by Anandpriya Swami’s summarising speech and an enlightening question-answer session with the sadhus.
Day Two began with a Vachanamrut nirupan by Pujya santos who eloquently conveyed Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s message from Gadhada III 6 – ‘The friendship between the mind and the jiva.’ Through a presentation, he explained how the mind could be used as a tool for performing devotion and in turn strengthening one’s own atma. A drama then followed in which the yuvaks portrayed methods through which swabhavs could be overcome. Classroom sessions elaborated upon these further before an afternoon of sports was enjoyed by all.
Yogvivek Swami resumed the auditorium sessions by speaking about nishkam dharma and the importance of this on the spiritual path. Discussion sessions followed thereafter which provided delegates with an opportunity to dwell on topics from the previous two days.
The final segment of the penultimate day was related to nishkapatpanu and the benefit of being frank and honest. Using various quotes from the Vachanamrut, Pujya santos explained how taking refuge in God and the Satpurush was the main way of creating a two-way trust. Following the inspiring speech, all yuvaks and yuvatis were provided the opportunity to express their thoughts by writing. This poignant moment brought a close to the second day of the shibir, leaving everyone something to reminisce about.
Shukmuni Swami began Day Three of the shibir by delivering a sankirtan on swarupnishta. He sang bhajans composed by Muktanand Swami, Nishkulanand Swami and other paramhansas of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and explained how their firm faith in the manifest form of God helped them attain salvation. Yuvaks and yuvatis had another opportunity to discuss swabhavs and how they affect their daily lives in a discussion session on Vachanamrut II 13 before the final auditorium session.
The shibir was concluded by Yogvivek Swami who summarised the three days and provided all attendees with a thought provoking message. In essence, he said we should assess where we are on the spiritual path and always persevere to please God and His Sant. A video containing a collection of Swamishri’s blessings provided a fitting and emotional conclusion.