‘Become Adarsh’ – a spiritual development programme designed for youths in the UK – culminated with grand appreciation assemblies on 12 and 19 November 2016 at BAPS Swaminarayan mandirs in London and Leicester, respectively.

Become Adarsh was launched in May 2016 with the aim of helping youths progress towards becoming ideal spiritual aspirants by mastering spiritual knowledge, upholding Hindu traditions, and developing their skills and talents.

The appreciation evenings recognised the collective efforts of more than 1,000 yuvaks and yuvatis who had completed various assessments throughout the year. The initiative had identified and nurtured a variety of proficiencies amongst the youth, a selection of which was demonstrated during the finale programmes.

Live performances included recitation of creative poems that were written in the ‘Thoughts on Paper’ component, narration and analyses of episodes from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Gurus, and oral presentations from the ‘Spoken Word’ section. Participants also presented a sample ‘simulated debate’, which demonstrated how to think laterally and engage in insightful, fact-based dialogue.

Anandpriya Swami emphasised the equal importance of devotion and knowledge – which were both harnessed throughout the Become Adarsh project. Satyavrat Swami and Yogvivek Swami reflected on the ability to develop and articulate Satsang knowledge, and explained how to apply its concepts in one’s day-to-day life.

Specific high-achievers from the various facets of the programme were then recognised for their achievements. A special smruti gift sanctified by Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj was given to all the participants as a memento of their endeavours.

One of the participants who attended the assembly in Leicester shared her impressions of the initiative: “The Become Adarsh programme has provided me with perspective, motivation and confidence. The learning experience has been invaluable and I am very grateful to the mentors and volunteers who have supported me. The finale evening shows what can be achieved if one is given the opportunity and platform to develop. Thank you to the organisers for this wonderful event.”

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