The third and final phase of the ‘Become Adarsh’ project – a spiritual development programme designed for youths in the UK – was held on 30 November and 1 December 2013 in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs in Leicester and London, respectively.
Both days began with a special sabha in the morning to welcome the more than 400 candidates. Following the traditional opening with the lighting of divas, Satyavrat Swami addressed the audience, explaining the spiritually balanced life that is fostered through the project.
Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami provided further encouragement, speaking of the improved understanding of scriptures that can be acquired. He also underlined that becoming ‘adarsh’ – ideal – is a continual, day by day process of spiritual improvement.
The morning assessments began thereafter with candidates reciting passages from Hindu texts, while also presenting their learning of the traditional styles of scriptural reading.
In the second part of the day, participants had the opportunity to demonstrate their various skills across a variety of disciplines, including public speaking – with short speeches, nirupans, akhyans and sankirtans – mono-acting, singing, and also playing musical instruments.
Group competitions included dramas, kirtans and presentations, underlining the spirit of teamwork that had been developed during the project.
The outstanding talent displayed on both days by the youths far exceeded expectations.
The culmination of this overwhelmingly successful year-long project drew reflections from participants as well as organisers and judges:
“I wanted to offer my gratitude to the entire Become Adarsh team for this wonderful project – and for also providing the personal encouragement to me as well as the tools to help me to learn. The website and preparation materials were excellent and helped me to learn and understand, and the continual motivation and guidance has motivated me to continue to practise the daily rituals with greater enthusiasm and regularity. Thank you once again.”
“For my family, Become Adarsh has removed our inertia and procrastination and helped us to bond. We now truly feel and experience the strengthened spirituality in our lives.”
“As a judge I was immensely impressed with the calibre coming through – their hard work and passion was reflected in their performances and their achievements are exceptional. Congratulations to the organisers as well as the participants.”
“I felt proud that our youths are striving to become adarsh by not just being knowledgeable, but so polite, respectful, enthusiastic and taking up these challenges.”
Above all, the Become Adarsh project has helped youths to strengthen their spirituality through knowledge as well as values, practices and the drive to make continuous personal improvement. The aim was always to help young adults lead a value-based, God-centric life guided by the adarsh (ideal) of Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself.