On Saturday 17 November 2018, over 150 Hindu youths from schools and universities in and around London visited BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir for a third event in the ‘Timeless’ series, following previous events in March and April
of this year. The seminars explore the continued relevance of Hinduism in today’s modern world.
The day began with the participants meeting each other over a traditional Indian breakfast, before having the chance to participate in the arti and abhishek, and receive a guided tour of the Mandir’s upper sanctum.
The students then listened to thought-provoking talks delivered by swamis on positivity and the perceived conflict between religion and modernity. These covered topical contemporary issues that many youths experience in their day to day lives, such as dealing with stress, busy lifestyles, and situations where the outcome is not what is expected. Opening the dialogue on religion and modernity allowed the participants to see religion in a fresh light, and understand how the two are not mutually exclusive.
Following the talks, the participants engaged in interactive workshops where they had a chance to get to know other attendees through team-building activities and group challenges. They also explored how Hinduism helps one navigate the many greys of life by looking at Hindu teachings from the Ramayan and Mahabharat.
The day ended with a traditional Indian vegetarian meal, and participants departing with a memento of their day at the Mandir.
One delegate, who had never visited the Mandir before, later wrote, “I really enjoyed the event! It completely changed my perceptions of what religion is like in the 21st century; I used to think it was completely outdated. The event was also really well organised, and everyone here is so open and willing to answer any questions that I had.”
Another participant added: “The talks and sessions were presented in a really imaginative way. I had never thought that Hinduism would be relevant in dealing with issues that we're facing and seeing all around us everywhere. The event has definitely inspired me to try and find out more about my religion.”