Almost 600 yuvaks and yuvatis attended the National Yuvak-Yuvati one-day shibirs held at the newly inaugurated BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Leicester on Saturday 19 November 2011 and at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London on Sunday 20 November 2011.

The theme of the shibir – Social Satsang – was aimed at understanding the importance and concept of the social elements of Satsang through an insight into sabhas and engagement through seva.

In the opening address, Gnanpriya Swami (of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, Canada) discussed the practical meaning of Social Satsang. He talked about various aspects of serving others, through aani (being welcoming), vaani (talking), paani (helping) and khaani (feeding).

Yogvivek Swami spoke about ‘Opening Doors’ and how to keep them open. He explained that Social Satsang is helping everyone amalgamate and feel welcome. This was supported by Tyagprakash Swami’s speech on suhradbhav (good-heartedness) which touched upon how technology can sometimes influence relationships.

The afternoon session began with an in-depth discussion by Anandpriya Swami on katha and sabha. Using the Vachanamrut, he illustrated how both are fundamental and essential sources of spiritual knowledge and nourishment, and relayed that without either, one cannot progress on the spiritual path.

Satyavrat Swami gave an interesting insight thereafter on the seva of the past gurus and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He emphasised that Social Satsang is also about serving each other and realising one another’s greatness.

In the final section of the shibir – Opening Hearts – Shukmuni Swami highlighted how Pramukh Swami Maharaj has universally opened his heart to and been a guiding force for everyone; he lives for us. He concluded by explaining how we should place our heart in Swamishri’s hands and, in doing so, allow him to guide and protect us spiritually.

Audio-video presentations, video blessings of Swamishri, skits and interactive discussions also helped to reiterate the important concept of Social Satsang, sabha and seva, making the whole shibir an enlightening and enjoyable day for everyone.

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