Man has never been more creative in his lifetime than in the prime of his youth. Why else should the best qualities require to be inculcated in every individual especially during this phase? Why have educationists, philosophers, psychologists, social reformers, etc. not bothered so much about the ways of the old people and why have efforts to improve the lot of the old fallen flat? Because 'habits die hard.'
Therefore, when flexibility is maximum during the young age everything that is best in thought and action must be acquired by one and all. The growing menace of juvenile delinquency, students' unrest, violence, frustration, etc. are caused by an aimless, directionless and a mad race run by the young generation throughout the world. Education has failed in developing a global personality of the educated. The gap between the parents and children is widening everywhere. The government cannot control the unrest among students. The youth do not know what future has in store for them. Unemployment, corruption, nepotism, lawlessness, etc. are so rampant that the young world is baffled and berserk. Values have changed for them and with the increase in their vulnerability to general deterioration in all spheres of their lives, the young world faces a vertical collapse.
Educational centers throughout the world have not only failed to produce civilized people but they have, on the contrary, multiplied many social evils causing irreparable loss to the governments and the society at large. The aspirations of the young world have not been fulfilled. Their problems have not been heeded. The immense potential is not directed into constructive channels, but instead they have been made tools by politicians, bureaucrats and the authorities. Neither do they study well nor are they qualified in any way so as to be absorbed profitably by any institution anywhere. 'Empty vessels' is what they are deemed to be and who could be held responsible for this? The teachers, professors or lecturers are too worried about their own pay scales to feel concerned about the fate of the millions of students, who in turn, are accustomed by now to laxity, irresponsibleness and 'a devil-may-care' attitude. Parents cannot manage their incorrigible children as the children claim independence and freedom for everything. The 'Western ways' have become their way of life which has led them to discard ethical values. Where goes the young world amidst such a chaotic, vicious, corrupt and a degenerating social set-up? Who is to be blamed for the colossal drain of the youth's potential? Isn't there any way to utilise the energy that gets devoured by immorality, violence and destruction?
Western countries have admitted that in building the foundation of the lives of the younger generation, education has proved absolutely inadequate, especially because of spiritual hibernation. To make matters worse, education has, on the contrary, stimulated the appetite for material pleasures and as a consequence, the aesthetic values and the rich cultural heritage are mortgaged. Many a youth have gone berserk and many have sought peace in wrong corners. Education has no relevance at all with the professions that graduates take up. The wastage in terms of money, time and energy spent in education is flabbergasting. Most of the educated unemployed then become desperate and resort to any occupation. Usually they subserve either a political party or a big shot in the bureaucratic ladder or an anti-social group. Many in the Western countries have taken to opium, marijuana and other drugs, whereas only a few have felt appeasement in spirituality. The spiritual journey is taken under the guidance of spiritual heads who themselves have not attained that stage of divine bliss wherein Godliness, with all its eternality, gets magnified into the soul. Consequently, the quest for eternal bliss remains unsatisfied. On the other hand, reverting to worldliness which the aspirant has renounced is equally inconceivable. It will cause exorbitant strain in conquering the whims of the unreliable and diffused mind. He has led the dictates of the soul under the process of gradual enlightenment. Where had this magical power disappeared during the days of miseries and frustration? Why had the same individual behaved in a despicably uncivilized manner till he took to the spiritual road? How miraculous does it appear that a destructive savage-like man should chant the name of God and so the others, too, if they were to listen to his discourses. What has brought about this transformation?
His Divine Holiness Yogiji Maharaj, a brahmanised saint belonging to the hierarchy of such saints who are the divine abodes of the Supreme Almighty, Bhagwan Swaminarayan, used to say that the youth is like a vast land that apparently looks barren. But as soon as the rain water seeps into the soil the seeds sprout and the barren land becomes green. Similarly, with the touch of a lighted candle the spiritually hibernated souls of the youths get enlightened.
The youth feels bereft of certain basic values of life without which all his potential does not develop. During this (sterile) age the industrial and agricultural revolution failed to usher peace in the lives of man. Yogiji Maharaj came to enlighten the youth. He had determined to cultivate the best in thoughts and action in the youths. The potential within him began to develop, which had all been a waste so far. He kindled their hearts with motherly love and selfless service. He wanted the youth to be his heart. He captured their heart and made them feel his warmth. His love for them was so spontaneous that the youths surrendered themselves at his lotus feet. There has never been a more epoch-making event in the history of Saurashtra and Gujarat.
Thousands of students began to see through the myth of worldly luxuries in the divine company of the great spiritual fountain. They began to live a simple, unadulterated life. Learned and brilliant doctors, engineers, artists, etc. renounced the world. The year 1961 was historical: 51 talented young students were initiated with Bhagwati Diksha. Within a couple of years a powerful force of youths was built and those who joined hands experienced for the first time the divine joy. Students in schools and colleges started living a simple and austere life which set an example to the teacher as well. They excelled in their studies, cultural activities, social service and spiritual growth. Parents felt obliged to the great saint. Educational institutions appreciated the efficiency of the Akshar Purushottam way and philosophy. Doctors, engineers, teachers, rich, poor, old and young, all came to feel peace within. The soothing spirituality emanating from the person of Yogiji Maharaj, in whom manifested the Supreme Almighty with all His powers, made a great impact on their lives.
The movement spread overseas particularly in the West. The youths here also came under the increasing influence of this movement. They also surrendered and shed all their habits which were not in consonance with the pure being. They accepted the strictest code of conduct and abided by it, irrespective of the hazardous constraints of the weather and the social conventions. Armed with invincible faith and charged with an indomitable desire to propitiate Him, the youths brought a revolution in their lives. So great was their austerity that in the biting cold in the UK youths never skipped their daily bath and puja, before which they never ate nor drank water. The teachers, professors, leaders and politicians wondered at this achievement. It is the act of none less than the Almighty or a brahmanised saint in whom the divine powers dwell.
Today, Pramukh Swami Maharaj knows no sleep for developing this movement. Every moment of his life is devoted to the service of humanity, who he feels is the image of God. His life is solely directed to the welfare and happiness of all those aspirants who come into his contact.
Talent and quality of the youth receive a divine touch when used for this service. They obey and respect the elders. They study hard, work more and serve their people honestly, develop new faculties like music, painting, decorating, etc. They also willingly undertake social services. They also learn and teach the philosophy of atma and Paramatma.
Philosophical tenets are best understood by acquiring them through His blessings. Blessed are those who believe in Him and endeavor to propitiate Him.
The young world of today is going to be the heart of any nation tomorrow. For the survival of the Nation, its potential energy in the youth has to be developed. Yoga, scriptures, alms-giving are all incomplete and inadequate means to attain salvation. Why should we not take shelter under that which is complete and perfect in itself? Why should we make vain endeavors by clinging to the leaves and branches instead of sticking fast to the roots? Let wisdom prevail in us by the grace of His Divine Holiness and let us obey Him fully, He knows what we lack and what we ought to do for our good. He knows how to make us realize and understand ourselves. Dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti, the four attributes of an Ekantik Bhakta, can be acquired by unflinching faith in the words of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and obedience of his commands.