The thoughts extracted from the Peace Series were highly inspirational. One of the thoughts highlighted was: "If you give happiness to another, you give happiness to yourself". The next topic covered by our youth dealt with various forms of fear and effective methods to overcome them, based on the teachings of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. The presentation on social media was well researched, with a balanced view of the good and evils associated with it. In the panel discussion on COVID and spirituality, the effectiveness of Sadhana as a coping skill during the pandemic emerged. The following noteworthy comments were made: "During these uncertain times, the Covid pandemic has given us a lot of time to introspect and focus on our Sadhana, more specifically the spiritual diary. Fortunately for us, Pujya Swamiji (Pujya Swami Sahajananda) has helped capture the essence of Sri Gurudev's teachings in the spiritual diary, which focuses on Pranayama, Meditation, Asanas, Smaran and Likhit Japa. This little spiritual dynamite should be kept in one's pocket all the time as it promotes the king of all spiritual Sadhana, Guru Bhakti Yoga. It is a constant reminder of what we should achieve in Guru Bhakti Yoga. It has a checklist containing six virtues viz. appreciation, communication, cleanliness, obedience, forgiveness and punctuality.
"We should all make fresh attempts to abide by these virtues and thereby hasten our progress. Morning Sadhana is of utmost importance. All the great saints and sages have been unanimous in saying that the best time for spiritual practice is the Brahmamurta period, between 4am and 6am, as this is the time during which all the great Masters like Sri Gurudev send out their powerful vibrations. If we do Sadhana at this time, then we benefit from these vibrations".
Pujya Swamiji focussed on the importance of the Divine Name. "Whenever possible you should read books that will extol the glory of God's Name. That will give you faith. When we read about the saints who have realised God by means of the Name, then our faith starts growing, and we also start repeating the Name. So, it is necessary that we should read those types of books. Swami Ramdas's book, In the Vision of God is very inspiring. He quotes many cases during his travels, where people had cases pending in the court and they used to come to him. He used to say, 'Take God's Name', and everything used to come alright. Such is the greatness and glory of God's Name! So, you must have faith, that the Name is all-powerful, that the Name is invincible. It can drive off anything. I told you the story of the little boy who was being possessed. The moment we started the Maha Mantra, he would wake up from his slumber. And, nothing else could wake him up. You could slap him, you could pinch him, or do whatever you wanted, he wouldn't wake up. But the Name alone would wake him up. So, in whatever way you can do it, loudly or in whispers, you should bring the mind back to the Name. Again, and again, we should bring the mind to the Name. There is no other rule; there is no other way."
In the rendition of the Bhajans and Kirtans, our youth showed much promise. They showed initiative in compiling and presenting this programme. With their skills and experience, we are confident that in the years to come, they will take up responsible leadership positions in the Society.
Let us pray to our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda, to make us all young at heart, vibrant in mind, energetic and receptive to change, thereby enabling us to spread his teachings together, with cheer, goodwill and peace to all parts of the globe.