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The Euphoric SRMD Youth Festival 2019
Youth from various countries around the world came together for the SRMD Youth Festival 2019 – a two-day extravaganza of sports and seva in the divine refuge of Pujya Gurudevshri. Let us relive the spirited moments

Leaving behind the routine of their daily lives over 1,500 youth from 15 countries across the globe congregated for the first ever Youth Festival at the sacred and serene Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Dharampur.

Param Krupalu Dev’s radiance filled the Ashram’s Amphitheatre with divinity on 27th morning as the young devotees began to assemble. Pujya Gurudevshri was lovingly welcomed by the gathering. The Master accompanied by Atmarpit Nemiji waved the Youth Festival flag heralding commencement of the event, triggering waves of jubilation among youngsters. Kicked off with the slogan – “One Goal – Rajipo” the Youth festival created an energetic buzz in The Ashram.

To stimulate the physical and mental well-being of youngsters the first day of the Youth Festival was dedicated to Sports. Various activities were designed to inculcate values like fairness, teambuilding, discipline, perseverance, respect and more. Along with the second World Cup Finals of Sahebji’s Football Club several other events were planned.

Youth set sail on an inner exploration session through dynamic meditation exercises. Youngsters practised being mindful and meditative while painting and dancing and imbibed the art of de-stressing through focussing activities. The session was a power packed experience of empowering exercises and active meditations.

The youth also deepened their connection and learnt many interesting facts about the Ashram through an enriching Ashram tour. Youngsters absorbed details such as the vision behind the Ashram, the thought process that led to the Sadguru Prerna construction and measures taken to make it an environment-friendly development. They took a detailed tour of the Amphitheatre, Community Garden, New Dining Complex and the upcoming Jinmandir and Swadhyay Hall. They were blessed to offer seva at the Jinmandir.

A blood donation drive was organised for devotees to contribute in this selfless endeavour. Other engaging activities included sports like Zorb Football, Human Foosball and Knockout.

In the evening session Pujya Gurudevshri arrived at the Shrimad Rajchandra Sports Arena and venerated Param Krupalu Dev. He blessed the Youth Festival Core Committee by having dinner with them. Then came the highly anticipated Finals of Sahebji;s Football World Club. Heartfelt rendition of Navkar Mantra and Mahadevya Kukshiratnam filled the air with piety. Amidst the cheering crowd He unveiled the World Cup and met teams playing the finals.

Team Australia was pitted again Team India in the boys’ finals while the girls’ finals was played between Team India and UK. Boys Team India and the Girls Team India emerged as the winners. The Golden Glove Award in girls was bagged by Jivanarpit Arishthi Sheth (India) while the Golden Boot Award was handed over to Yuvarpit Kiara Jhaveri (India). The Golden Glove Award in boys was given to Rahil Mehta (UK) and the Golden Boot Award was jointly handed over to Nimit Batavia (Australia) and Prasham Bafna (India). The Master conferred the winning teams with the Cup and medals.

Several youngsters shared their elation in the form of experience sharing and dances. As the elevating evening culminated with an arti, all the young hearts experienced was a downpour of His Unstoppable Grace.

Along with sports SRMD Youth Festival 2019 was also an opportunity for the youth to engage in service initiatives in the rural hinterland of South Gujarat. The seva activities were dedicated to the bond of deep love shared between Pujya Gurudevshri and Sarvarpit Dhaval Mehta – Coordinator, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, who passed away recently. A Microbiology laboratory was named after him at the Shrimad Rajchandra Vidyapeeth while a tree was also planted in his fond memory at plaza in the heart of the Ashram by Pujya Gurudevshri and Dhaval’s family.

After energising themselves with an early morning Yoga session with Pujya Gurudevshri, the youth set out for the seva activities of the day.

The activities were as:

  • A Mega Medical Camp for rural patients: Since the last 15 years, Shrimad Rajchandra Hospital has been conducting routine medical camps in remote villages. The youth participated in one such Mega Medical Camp at Jhagiri village, where they assisted the team of doctors in managing the patients, writing case papers and conducting basic check-up. A sense of contentment filled their hearts when they cooked a hearty meal for the patients and distributed blankets and slippers to them.

  • Compassionate care for the specially abled: Shrimad Rajchandra District Early Intervention Centre at Dharampur is working towards ensuring that the district of Valsad becomes disability-free. The youth volunteers interacted with young patients at the centre, witnessed on-site treatment and distributed cerebral palsy chairs to the patients. They made specially designed adaptive items like chairs, spoons, pencils etc so the patients can perform their daily chores. They also conducted a dance performance to entertain and energise the patients, and prepared a delicious dessert for all.

  • Education and entertainment activities at rural schools: Several youth visited 9 rural schools surrounding Dharampur, to spend time with students; engaged them in activities such as quizzes, story-telling, origami and dance. A session on Computer Literacy and English kept the students engrossed and captivated.

  • Spreading smiles at the Aanganwadis: Youth volunteers visited aanganwadis (courtyard shelters), where they painted the walls of the structures, set up a toy library for the students and made puppets for them. Sessions of story-telling and arts-and-craft enthralled the rural children. The youngsters also went about beautifying various Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care institutions.

  • A Helping hand for less-privileged women: Shrimad Rajchandra Mahila Gruha Udyog empowers rural women with employment opportunities and sustainable livelihoods. The youth got an opportunity to participate in the production of a wide range of products including foodstuffs, body care products, incense sticks, jute bags, bamboo baskets with Warli art etc.

  • ‘Anand Mela’ in Dharampur: The youth set up ‘Anand Mela’ at 6 locations for the local community, which had multiple stalls for creative activities, games and food. At the end of the mela, they distributed gifts to participants, leaving them with fond memories.

  • Animal Welfare initiatives at Shrimad Rajchandra Jivamaitridham: It was an experience of a lifetime for the youth to visit Shrimad Rajchandra Jivamaitridham, and extend love to animals by bathing, feeding, and milking them. Activities such as making rotlas, making cow-dung cake, pottery, ploughing of agricultural fields, harvesting of vegetables, tractor rides added to their excitement. A photo with calves, rabbits, and goats served as a sweet memory for the youth.

Over 7,000 hours of selfless service was indeed a stupendous effort, spreading joy to over 10,000 lives!

The youth then spent a delightful evening in the presence of the Master. Through an electrifying Sadguru Udghosh Pujya Gurudevshri addressed the youth inspiring them to ponder over the need of spirituality. He elaborated on 4 points to achieve the Mission of their life –

  1. Purpose – Find the goal.

  2. Path – Clarity of how to achieve the goal.

  3. Passion – Strong intention to achieve the goal will bring your attention to the path.

  4. Perseverance – Check daily have you moved towards the goal, review it and reprogram your next day.

A group of 5 cyclists – championing noble causes – rode all the way from Pune to Dharampur, covering a distance of 360 kms in 4 days. 2 of them were children aged 9 and 13 years. The group was blessed to receive a token of love from the revered hands of Pujya Gurudevshri.

The finale evening also witnessed the formation of the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur Global Youth Committee – a body chosen by Pujya Gurudevshri to strategise, streamline and synergise the youth’s sadhana and seva activities across the Mission’s youth centres around the world. A couple of youngsters shared heartfelt experiences of their seva journey and how at every step Pujya Gurudevshri has been their constant guide and support.

The Youth offer deep respect to Pujya Gurudevshri – the One who has envisioned a dream for them and it is only His Grace that will take them to their goal of rajipo!

#SadguruWhispers Satsang occurs when there is a transfer of knowledge from a blissful heart to a humble heart.