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‘Young, free and single’.

These three words best describe

the mentality of today’s youth.

They are at a delicate transition

in their lives, expected by society

to be responsible and yet by that

same society trusted with

sponsibilities or allowed to think

for themselves. It is a period

where they have to leave their

childhood dreams and accept the

realities of life. If we can learn to

trust them, to respect their views,

to treat them as the young adults

they are - and at the same time

still love them as we did when

they were children, then may be

they will be able to accept these

realities and take on the task to

improve the world we live in.

If not, they may rebel against

society and in effect, against us.

We can see Swamishri preparing

yesterday’s children to become

tomorrow’s leaders...
    Swamishri With Youth
    Far Away In Body, Close At Heart...

A debate was organised by students of the Akshar Purushottam Youth Hostel in Vallabh Vidhyanagar. The topic of discussion was ‘Shriji Maharaj is ours because...’ After a vigorous debate the judgement was left for Swamishri to decide...
    Question 8

Youth: You are constantly exerting yourself, yet you are forever cheerful! Don’t you ever feel the strain of your work?

Swamishri : We only feel strain if we believe we are working hard. Otherwise there is no strain. Our efforts are not for our body or for our personal happiness; they are for Shriji Maharaj and our gurus. If it’s a question of pleasing them, then what is a little strain? You are striving day and night in this world yet do you feel it’s a strain? And if we felt that this was a strain, would we come and sit here? If we can accept that we have been given this body to serve God and to please Him, we will never feel strained. We all have to do God’s mission and we all have to endure the strain of doing it. If we consider this mission to be our own we wouldn’t feel anything, but because we cannot do that, we find it demanding. But why should we take the load onto our own heads. Shriji Maharaj is the all-doer. If we do this seva sincerely, we will experience eternal joy - ‘Wow! I’ve got the chance to do such a great seva!’

What type of youths make you feel happy when you see them?

Swamishri : We feel extremely happy when we see a youth who follows niyam-dharma, who is firm in upasana and who has a resilient character. We naturally develop affection for such an ideal youth who fulfils all that is expected of him. Seeing all of you striving to become such youths we also have affection for you.
Another thing, no matter where we go, we should be staunch in our principles, have faith in our gurus, and be unshakable in our knowledge of Satsang. We should not be lured elsewhere, and we should be able to explain our message to others. We should be proud of being Hindus. We have come to please Shriji Maharaj so should we not imbibe all these qualities? Is He going to be pleased by any other method? Will He be impressed if we keep a fashionable appearance and wear fancy clothes?
No matter how well we dress and make ourselves up for an interview, will it guarantee that we will get the job or admission? For that we need a good education or qualifications. If we have these qualifications, we will not even have to ask Him for His blessings; He’ll give them automatically.

Whom do you love more, sadhus or youths?

Swamishri : Each one of you should put your hands on your hearts and introspect. You’ll know whom we love more and whom we love less.

There are many attractions and temptations in this city. How can we control our senses? Also, you travel all over the world yet you keep so much discipline in your life. Will you teach us how to do that?

Swamishri : There will be temptations everywhere we go. If we want to keep control, we should keep our eyes on agna. We are Shriji Maharaj’s disciples, Yogiji Maharaj is our guru. We must have complete faith, trust and conviction in what they have taught us. We should follow the niyams prescribed by them, by any means, under any circumstances, and at all costs. The more niyams we follow, the greater the control we will develop over our senses. Remember, our desires will never be fulfilled by indulgence. We should not indulge in everything we get either. Poison is made for some uses, we discriminate and stay away from it. Fire has been created for us to use but we don’t put it in our mouths, do we!? We are only attracted to our own fancies. If we can pay more attention to our niyams and believe, ‘I will benefit by following these’, then we will have no problems.

In the scriptures it is written that a Satpurush gives his disciple four types of bliss - darshan, prasadi, vato and malvu. But with the expansion of Satsang, it is natural that we are not able to get such opportunities very often. So is there another way to attain that bliss?

Swamishri : The four types of bliss mentioned in the scriptures are still attainable today, those who have the determination do attain such happiness. Bliss which we can attain from beholding his image is greater than all the happiness we can get from the sensual pleasures. With this conviction, if we do bhakti of God and obey His commands, He will never be far away. We will feel that He is with us at all times. Because the image is inherent in the agna. By following agna we attain the image and through that we experience the four types of bliss. But if we have preconceptions that ‘the Satpurush should give me this bliss or he should do that...’, then we’ll never be fulfilled. In the present circumstances we may feel that ‘Swami doesn’t meet us, he doesn’t give us any prasadi, etc...’ However we should realise that he has seen us and so he has met us.

When did you firmly decide to sacrifice your body for the Akshar Purushottam Sanstha?

Swamishri : [jokingly trying to evade the answer] When I met you! When did you determine to do so?

When I met you.

Swamishri : Similarly when I met my guru I made my decision.

How did you feel when you had your first darshan of Shastriji Maharaj?

Swamishri : When I first met Shastriji Maharaj, I felt that I should live according to his wishes and please him.

Please grace us with a message for us youths.

Swamishri : Yogi Bapa has given our message, but with time we tend to forget. We should become honest youths in Satsang and live according to his wishes and please him. That is not to say that you all have to don the saffron garb of sadhus, but we should colour our hearts saffron (become like sadhus at heart). Our bodies are turned towards the world, we should turn around and face God. We should not get overexcited after hearing discourses only to become disheartened afterwards. We should become stable.
Shriji Maharaj is our God, Swami is Akshar and Yogiji Maharaj is our guru. This conviction should remain unshakable under any circumstances. If we don’t have firm conviction we will be thrown aside. We should read Satsang literature; by doing so we can learn about our principles and be able to explain them to others. Otherwise, others will be able to convert us. This is essential for our youths.
What do we gain from reading magazines which corrupt our lives and discourage dharma? Until we don’t have total conviction in God we will always be interested in reading such magazines. We falter because we have no pride in our culture. We should be firm that we want to be pure Hindus. But we shouldn’t do it just for the sake of it.

(10 March 1986, Bombay)

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