With Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebji’s inspiration, Pujya Shantibhai, Pujya Harshadbhai’s guidance and Anoopam Youth’s hard work a Yogi Youth Camp in Allentown was organized in Thãkorji’s Divine presence during July 17 to July 23, 2011.  This year’s theme was Satpurush: The Gateway to Liberation.  Shibir youth were divided based on age: pre-campers (age 5 to 8), juniors (age 9 to 13), and seniors (age 14 to 24).  Each category of campers participated in specific activities.  Seniors were divided into senior 1 (attended camp for the first time or less than 2 years) and senior 2 (attended camp for more than 3 years). There were 25 pre-campers, 76 juniors and 90 seniors.

Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada inaugurated the shibir in the Mandir Hall by lightning of the lamp and Pujya Shantidada, Pujya Vishnubhai, Pujya Harshadbhai, Pujya Virendrabhai, Pujya Mukeshbhai Kadhiwalla, Pujya Vinubhai Nakarja (UK) and from youth Pujya Neha (LA), Pujya Sanil (CT) joined Him.  While giving Aashirwãd in sabhã, Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada addressed the youth that they need to come out of the “why” generation and step into the “yes” generation. In other words, don’t question certain situations and just accept that the answers will come from an experience within. He closed with explaining that the Saint is God’s officer because he is the pathway to experience Him.  So, it is in your best interest to follow what the Saint instructs you to do.

Every morning started with Aarti and Pujã as a group, and each individual then distributed according to their assigned sabhã.
Pre-campers were instructed how to do pujã, malã, darshan etc. in this shibir.  They were told stories of Ganshyãm Mahãrãj from Ganshyãm Chairitra and Guru Paramparã was also discussed.  This followed with an explanation of our foundational Saints of Anoopam Mission and an understanding of Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebji’s Mahimã.  They played games, discussed, did bhajan and prayer, and learned how to become a well-cultured and ideal child to make Sahebdada happy.  This education was provided by Pujya Snehaliben (Pujya Benaben (MD), Pujya Harshidaben (CA), Pujya Rajalben (NY), and Pujya Chandniben (FL)).

Juniors started mornings with sabhã and were led by Pujya Harshadbhai, Pujya Shreebhai, Pujya Chetan, Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebji, Pujya Shantibhai and Pujya Virendrabhai. Pujya Harshadbhai said attending weekly sabhã is of utmost importance just like brushing one’s teeth. Pujya Shreebhai answered a question on how is God pleased? Through service, suhradbhãv, refraining from eating meat, helping one’s parents. 

Pujya Chetanbhai explained how Nilkanth Varni tolerated extreme heat and cold during his vicharan and liberated each soul he encountered. Today, Saheb Dada, ignoring ill health, does vicharan in Western Europe and the continental US for the same reason. 

Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada clarified two lessons via stories.  Dr. CV Raman was a very naughty child and his father gave him a lesson. He took a magnifying glass and directed solar rays through which burned a cotton ball. This very intellectual boy instantly learned his lesson of why concentrating on education is important and led him to become a great scientist. Due to the influence of bad company Albert Einstein’s educational level was very poor. For this reason his father would become very angry with him but, Einstein couldn’t understand why. Through his mother’s love and explanation of his father’s actions, he dropped his bad company and became a famous scientist. In this way, Sahebdada showed the danger of keeping bad company. 

Pujya Shantidada asked the youth to remember three things: 1) Sahebdada is Swãminãrãyan Bhagwan’s Swaroop 2) All day, from morning to night Sahebdada is with me 3) I will behave such that Sahebdada will be pleased. 

This information was all given by Pujya Swatiben (MD), Pujya Ritaben (IO), Pujya Jignasaben (MD), Pujya Jyotiben (FL) and Pujya Tejalben (NJ).

Pujya Shreebhai and Pujya Virendrabhai led Senior 1 sabhã the first two days.

Pujya Shreebhai asked a question of why we do pujã/pray ?  Pujya Charvee answered with a statement that praying to God shouldn’t be your Emergency brake in your life whenever you need it, but rather the steering wheel in your daily life.  Pujya Shreebhai continued through his own experiences, the utmost need of a God-realized Saint, who helps us to achieve complete happiness.  This happiness is like a river that flows with the current and is undisturbed by anything.

Pujya Virendrabhai spoke of his experiences of meeting Sahebdada. When he first met Sahebdada questions came up in his mind; who am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Over time he understood that Sahebdada is part of his existence just like his parents and his siblings have been. 

Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada and Pujya Shantidada led Senior 2 sabhã the first two days. Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada described Newton’s famous story of the apple falling from the tree.  He was the only one that questioned why the apple falls “down” from the tree and not up or side-ways.  He discovered the Law of Gravity.  Just how scientists are rare, it is also extremely rare for an individual to be able to recognize God. 

Pujya Shantidada defined liberation as being two-fold: 1) through equanimity, that is to be stable regardless of circumstance, in both happiness and distress, understanding that God is the all-doer, 2) to keep our swabhãv (anger, lust, avarice, jealousy, etc.) under control despite circumstances. This is possible when we believe Saheb Dada as antaryãmi (all knowing) and act accordingly to make Him happy.  Through Sahebdada, Swãminãrãyan Bhagwan is present and by holding Aatma, Buddhi and Preeti with Him, we are able to fulfill his aagna more easily.

Addressing Senior 1 and 2 sabhã on July 19th Guruvarya Param Pujya Sahebdada mentioned that God has said the Saint is a bridge between Him and us.  God in the murtis is the same God that is in this Satpurush, and by having this mentality we can connect with God. ‘To join with God means to join with the Satpurush. The Satpurush has surrendered his entire life to God. If we join with santos like Pujya Shantidada and Pujya Ashvindada we ourselves will become like them. We will attain their good qualities.’

In Thursday’s Senior 1 and 2 sabhã Pujya Shantidada emphasized the importance of will power and how to use it to focus on making God happy in our thoughts, words and actions. To increase will power one must whole-heartedly aim to understand Akshar Purshottam Upasana.  He asked everyone to recite a prayer, which focused on keeping God in the center and asking Him to give strength to do His work.

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