The Youth Empowerment Programme(YEP) is a platform for the Leaders of Today and Transformers of the Future; firmly rooted in the timeless wisdom of a glorious past. YEP nurtures the untapped potential through a 3 step process-Learn for 3 months, Serve for 9 months and Grow for life.
It was the eve of 14th August, when 14 individuals from different backgrounds embarked on the journey with One Vision- Empowering Oneself to Empower the Nation. On the 70th Independence Day, PujyaGuruji Swami Tejomayananda inaugurated the 10th batch of YEP. Swami Swatmananda (course acharya) echoed the vision ofPoojyaGurudev of transforming a country into a nation and a population into a people.
The students began their course with SwaminiSupriyananda’s inexplicable understanding on the text ‘I Love You Letters’. Learning the true meaning of love, a set of principles of Management through Chinmaya Mission Pledge by Swami Swatmananda was unfolded next. We were tasked to make presentations on topics from the book ‘Awakening Indians to India’, where we researched and presented on India’s past and present contribution to the field of Management, Science and Arts. Through Hanuman Chalisa, Swami Mitrananda, whose brainchild is YEP, explained to us leadership qualities of Hanumanji and how Hanumanji is an epitome of selfless service, devotion and knowledge. Our jaws dropped with awe, seeing the world’s largest monolithic structure- Ellora caves! We were humbled and filled with reverence for the knowledge the artists portrayed through the carvings. We were opportune to visit a historical monument, Devagiri Fort too. This helped us to inspire ChinmayaVidyalayaVirugambakkam students about our glorious heritage through another visit to Ellora caves, interactions and workshops.
To clear our misconceptions on Hindu Dharma, SwaminiVimalanandabeautifully spoke to us about being a Hindu by practice and not just by birth and belief. Shedisentangled our doubts and filled with great pride for our culture. Swami Advaitananda recharged us with devotion though the textNavadha Bhakti from Tulasi Ramayana.
Amidst our studies, we went to a road trip to Kohlapur. Enroute we offered our prayers to the most popular DagdushethGanapati, KasbaGanapatiMandir- Gramdaivata and TambadiJogeshwari Devi Mandir. We were privileged to visit Shree Hari Hara BhajanaSamajam temple, Rasta peth, where PoojyaGurudev gave His first talk. We stopped at Balaji Temple near Narayanpur and finally reached our very own ChinmayaGanadish Ashram at Kolhapur, where World’s tallest Ganapati resides. Visiting the MahalakshmiMandir, we came back to our pavilion. To add on, each of us narrated a story, explained Vedantic significance and conducted an activity oneone of the names of Lord Ganesha. Apart from watching PoojyaGurudev’s video series on Logic of Spirituality and SadhanaPanchakam, we drew contemporary lessons from movies like Adjustment Bureau, Matrix and of course, On a Quest!
We attended a 2-day Outdoor Experiential LearningProgram organized by Z-Bac Adventures Institute Pvt Ltd designed around the qualities of Hanuman. Our Physical strength and agility was tested in the High-Rope Obstacle Course and Low Rope Course. Our alertness was challenged in archery and rifle shooting. Artificial rock climbing and rappelling taught us to keep moving forward in difficult situationsand ability to let go. Fire walk edified us to face our fears boldly. A collective skill-set of a team was experienced during raft-building and river crossing where we valued the spirit of oneness and togetherness.
Rooted in spirituality and taking the ancient India’s pride forward, professionals from various fields shared their knowledge with us. ShriVinay Nair, founder, school of Vedic Maths gave glimpses on the significant contributions made by Indian Thinkers to World Mathematics and that mathematical concepts have been discovered from the structure of the HomaKunda made for the ritualistic worship. Fifth cadre Yuvaveer, Radhatook sessions on how to innovate systematically and taught ‘Nritya Yoga’. DrSunithaShankerconducted interactive sessions on parenting, youth and drugs. Third cadre YuvaveerPankti helped us fathom on how our personality contributes to our inner call- Swadharma.Yuvaveers Shiva and Mukesh took a workshop on Movie-making and Chennai CHYK Yashaswini shared her experience of working in Rural areas as well as ChinmayaUdghosh. CHYK and Trainers of Transforming Indians to Transform India from Mumbai - Ms. Shaman Aggarwal, Smt. GeetaRaghavan, Smt.Sandhya Rajesh, Sri AravindRaghavan, Sri Deepak Khanna, Sri Sriram Kala and YuvaveerAnaghaVenugopal trained us to take 7 levels of transformation for students in schools and colleges.
In between the packed schedule, we managed joining in the festivities. We learned the various aspects of the festival celebration and its symbolism. Here’s a gist:
Rakshabandhan- learning to untie the knot of attachment through a skit on social, economic and spiritual significance of the festival.
Janmashtami- becoming seriously playful with life with tug of peace, pot breaking and Garbaraas.
Ganesh Chaturti- evolving from form to formless by making Ganapati idols with clay, learning GanapatiAtharvashirsha& its vedantic significance.
Onam-drawing inspiration from traditionspookolam were made, puja was performed, narrative descriptions and traditional dances and sadya was served..
Navratri-rising from baser tendencies to Self Realization by decorating the golu, stotram chanting, bhajans and guided meditation.
“Win the mind and you have won the world” roared Swami Swaroopananda in his unique style expounding through VibhisanaGeeta. Swami Advayananda then unfolded practical wisdom as divulged in the BhagawadGeeta. In just 8 days, Swamiji took the essence of each chapter in great depth. Meanwhile, Swami Swatmananda, completed BhajaGovindam- the answer for all the universal problems. Swamiji not only used the audio visuals and case studies but also practical experimentations to give clarity on the concepts. Swamiji took us along with him in the journey of Tattvabodha too. Though with this, our textual studies ended, the urge to seek within was intensified.
Swami Anukoolanandaji took sessions on Chinmaya Vision Programme with many practical and fun activities. We understood the holistic vision of Education through the sessions and how it is implemented throughout the 108 Chinmaya Educational Institutions throughout the country.
Wealso learnt how to perform Paduka Puja, various stotrams and Vedic chanting, and also did the Easy Sanskrit course offered by Chinmaya International Foundation.
On the 27th October, YEP 10 training valedictory took place in SandeepanySadhanalaya, Mumbai in presence of PoojyaGuruji Swami Tejomayanandaji and Swami Mitranandaji. We presented a short glimpse of what we learnt in the trianing period through a dance, song, chanting, ppt and informal video. PujyaGuruji then announced the various fields where each empowered Yuvaveerwill get posted for service. Swami Swatmananda reiterated the importance of keeping Nation above Self, becoming practicing Hindus, Indians and Global citizens with the vision of VasudhaivaKutumbakkam. We are delighted to get into the field with grit and to empower many more. Treasured with these memories, our next phase called the ‘service period’ begins from 5th Nov.
14 lamps that were lit in YEP 10 will spread His Light and Vision further in different centres.
YV Subbulakshmi – CIRS
YV Shankari- Tamaraipakkam
YV Prasun- Puducherry
YV Prateek- Amritsar
YV Anudeep- ChinmayaVidyalayaTirupati, TADA
YV Tapan and Puneet- Chennai
YV Harshita, YV Vidhi and YV Uma- CIF
YV Ashwini, YV Malvika, YV Varsha and YV Vibin-Mumbai
We thought we were seeking answers for our questions. Who knew, we would end up seeking our own Self! It is indeed true, for Yuvaveers, the world is their classroom, to go beyond the known and explore the unknown.