Look at today's newspapers and what do you find?
Wars! Terrible accidents! Riots Crime is on the increase! New orgy of mass murders! Mob rule threatens big cities!
In the first eight decades of the 20th century more than a 100 million have become cannon - fodder at the hands of their fellow-men.
There has been a cancerous growth of crime and violence. For instance, in the U.S. there occurs a burglary every 10 seconds, a rape every 7 minutes and a murder every 24 minutes.
A Drug Culture has emerged. It is made up of heroin addicts, shooting galleries, psychedelic lights and posters, rock music, underground newspapers, hippies, smuggling, drug pushers and the like. The drug problem is primarily a youth problem.
Man has descended into an abyss of moral evil that staggers imagination. Fraud and greed are triumphant everywhere. As Dr. Einstein said: "There is no defence in science against the weapons which destroy civilization."
Under the circumstances, juveniles commit almost half of all serious crimes. In America, 15 is the peak age for crimes and violence! The key to a peaceful world lies with the care we take of youth who are the citizens of tomorrow
Rebellion… The Generation Gap… Student Unrest… Juvenile Delinquency… Illegitimacy… Sexual Revolution … Pot … Escapism … these are the social problems of today's youth.
Why do children and youths go astray? Because they aren't brought up the rightway. We are failing our children. They are our future and our most precious resource and yet our most lawless citizens. We have never given them any spiritual training.
The world is in torment. The gravest problem scourging today's world is the 'Crisis of Character'. Crime stems from a lack of character.
The simple reason for all the violence is plain Human Nature - uncurbed human nature, allowed to run rampant in a tolerant society. So long as we are dominated by passions and desires, we will flout our neighbor, never leave him in peace, build institutions and societies which mirror our violent impulse, aggression and greed.
Education, however more than any other single factor that can mould the citizen of the follow future. But modern education has failed to provide solid goals and values that its youth could rally behind individually and nationally. It fails to teach students how to live. It commits the crime of developing the machine, instead of the Man. The result is a mixed-up, unhappy and fearful world in chaos.
Ours is a diseased humanity we have plenty of knowledge. Through their, the young people of the world show their utter contempt for the values of a society that has a materialistic way of life through riots, demonstrations etc, what society needs is a spiritual sheet anchor. Man does not live by bread alone.
Religion is the life-giving water which quenches materialism that is burning the core of the hearts of millions. It is meant to refine the nature of man. Some say religion has failed to do that. But it is really not so. In fact, religion has not been tried in its true sense. As C.C. Colton said: "Men wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it, anything but LIVE for it."
Undoubtedly, "The greatest, the highest and the noblest contribution that a man can make for the benefit and prosperity of this world is his pure and spotless character."
Today, the Swaminarayan Sampradaya founded by Lord Swaminarayan two hundred years ago, is a dynamic force working miracles with the youth. The fountainhead of such metamorphosis was Yogiji Maharaj succeeded by the present Head, His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
A Novel University:
His Divine Holiness Yogiji Maharaj's impact on the student is vividly borne out by the following incident:
In 1965 a mob of 2000-militant students at Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, marched towards the Chemistry Department to burn it down as a protest of their grievances. At the head of the mob was a burning torch and the students were in a violent mood. However, to everyone's surprise, a dozen students halted the mob. One of them coolly suggested to the 2000-strong mob: "You may first burn us down before you proceed to burn the institution of education. It has been the source of education for thousands and will still educate thousands more for decades together. What shall we gain by burning down the buildings?"these dozen youths held back the 2000 agitators. This seems incredible. But the Head of the Chemistry Department, could not even imagine that there could be such students who would, at the risk of their lives, make the mob see reason even in their frenzy. The mob dispersed.
The Head of the Chemistry Department, later on, called on those youths to find out in which "University" their moral fibre had been moulded. Pat came the reply: "It is Yogiji Maharaj who has taught us this. We are followers of the Swaminarayan Movement which has always provided peaceful solutions to problems."
This has been so because Swamiji has been an idol of selfless love.
Youth Power Sublimated:
HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj has inspired noble virtues in thousands of youths today. During a grand festival to mark the Bicentenary of Lord Swaminarayan in April 1981, Ahmedabad, 10,000 youth volunteers, were working day in day out, to make the 37-day Festival a grand success. Millions thronged to the festival. However, at that time, there were rampant anti-Reservation Riots with escalating violence going on in Ahmedabad and throughout Gujarat. The situation was out of hand as even the Central Government arbitrators had failed to bring about a peaceful settlement. The Gujarat Government was ill-equipped to curb such riots. Curfew used to be the order of the day. However, the religious festival, held in the very midst of Ahmedabad City went on without a single untoward incident. The youths, the fellow-students of the rioting students, were involved in an activity that transcended the worldly agitations and violence. In spite of the general atmosphere of looting, arson, and violence, these youths remained above the politicking. Not only that but they also assisted for peace in Ahmedabad and Gujarat at large. Peace was soon restored in Gujarat.