SPIRITUALITY

Spirituality is complementary to all other endeavors- No matter how fast paced our life becomes, the practical purpose of all our activities always remains happiness. Spirituality reveals to us the best form of happiness, a happiness that can never be taken away from us.

The Vedic scriptures explains that we all have an eternal loving relationship with God. In loving and serving God, we can relish Supreme and everlasting happiness. Moreover, just as food, clothing and shelter are the basic needs of the body, peace is the basic need of mind which is provided by spirituality as a by-product to its practitioner.

Practical benefits of spirituality-Spirituality practically helps by offering a better world-view for leading a happy and satisfied life. The conclusions of the book by Oxford University Press entitled” Handbook of Religion and Health” strongly hint towards this fact. In conclusions, the researchers stated people who attended a spiritual program at least once in a week lived 7 years more than those who did not attend at all. Also, those youths who were connected to spirituality were found less susceptible to self-destructing habits like intoxication, smoking, juvenile delinquency etc.

Systematic learning to grow in life-An uneducated man, on seeing a medical college with many classrooms, may go there and start shouting “Why are you all wasting time in the class? There are so many patients waiting outside. Why don’t you help them?” He will exclaim like that because he does not understand the purpose of systematic medical education and training before one starts practicing as a doctor.

Similarly, in our life we also need training and education in principles like integrity, honesty, truthfulness, and moral values in order to lead a successful and meaningful life. Spirituality serve this purpose in our life. It helps an individual not just go through his life but also grow through his life.

Therefore, quality time must be devoted for mastering the art of living. Sharpening the axe- Just as a woodcutter uses axe to cut the trees but in order to cut the trees efficiently and save time, he must spend some time to sharpen the axe. Similarly, when we sharpen our axe of intelligence and learn the words of wisdom by regularly coming to spiritual programs, we take a step forward in becoming successful.

Knowing our roots- in the modern scenario, Indians have lost connectivity with their rich spiritual culture. By regularly attending the spiritual programs, we can again establish the lost connection with our roots and take the advantage of timeless wisdom.

India

1. “Kab Honge Kamyab” can be achieved when a person can conquer his lower nature and become free from vices that stop him from becoming a gentle man and radiating that goodness. We all look to achieve success by winning trophies, prizes and accolades but in every activity that we do, there is internal success and external success. The external success is the result that we achieve, which the world mostly see and internal success is the culture of hard work, service, dedication and selflessness that one develop. This culture can be developed when our heart is free of viruses of greed, envy, anger etc. When we are virus free, we will become Kamyab.

2. At another level, very few people understand that the land of India has been endowed with spiritual potency in the form of VEDIC literatures, saintly persons and pilgrimage places but with the passage of time, their glories have been covered by the curtain of ignorance. We are sitting on the throne of jewel but we are looking for broken pieces of glasses. Why? Because we not understand the actual value of our culture. When we will again re-establish the spiritual glories of India, then we can be termed successful.

By nature, youths are goodness and peace-loving and therefore they can play a pivotal role in spreading the spiritual heritage of India. First of all, we must develop an appreciation for the spiritual legacy that has stood the test of time and has helped people all over the world lead a purposeful life. Then there is a need to understand all these things very systematically not just to become informed but to become transformed- a transformation from selfishness to selflessness.

First, we must become enlightened ourselves and then we can empower others with the benefits of the spiritual wisdom, When one is transformed and enlightened, one can become an instrument in sharing this wisdom with others because an uneducated heart competes, a half-educated heart cooperates, but an enlightened heart serves.

ISKCON

1. Those who are seeking answers to this question, must first of all understand that ISKCON is not an American organization, but an international organization.

2. ISKCON has a standard policy of each center being financially self-sustaining. So normally donations from one temple are not sent to another temple even in the same country, what to speak of outside the country.

3. Moreover, as special holy places in India like Vrindavan and Mayapur are sacred for ISKCON devotees from all over the world, they give donations for temples there. So there is indeed a flow of donations, but it is into India, not out of India. Thus, ISKCON is also helping to boost tourism industry by bringing funds from outside.

4. ISKCON’s contributions in sharing India’s spiritual culture all over the world have been appreciated by eminent statesmen, thinkers and scholars of religion. Pranab Mukharjee. Honorable President of India, in his ISKCON’s 50th anniversary message stated” ISKCON has over the years playedvv an important role in popularizing the noble and eternal message of Srimad Bhagavad Gita and promoting spiritual harmony.”

Alas! This is an unfortunate state of modern society that a person wearing foreign brands eating all kinds of foodstuffs from KFC, McDonalds questions the integrity of a person wearing dhoti- kurta and teaching Bhagavad Gita by blaming him for sending money to USA.

A temple plays a vital role in the integration and development of the entire community, a role that is not being displayed in the modern society. The personal, social and national upliftment services provided by a temple can be understood through an acronym T.E.M.P.L.E

T-Tranquility-Peace is the basic need of the mind. Today, there is no system to provide this need. When a person comes to temple, he takes those mental burdens off and feel mentally rested.

E-Education-Temples help to protect the pillars of moral principles in society by educating people about love and service and rectifying their lower tendencies.

M-Medication-Temple programs help to clean the heart disk from the viruses of greed, anger and envy.

P-Purification- Purification is the key that unlocks the treasure of happiness locked in our own hearts. Temples purify and help everyone live in spiritual harmony.

L-Love-Temple is the place where we experience God’s love for us which help to quench for thirst for love.

E-Engagement-A temple provides variety of engagements which help to positively channelize the human energy in the service of God and humanity.

UDGAAR

The Vedic (or all religious) scriptures as well as our experiences in educating and training youth repeatedly informs and confrms that every indi- vidual self, especially the youth, by their inher- ent nature, is goodness and peace loving and, therefore, intends to contribute something very positive, auspicious, constructive, peace giving, prosperous and joyful to themselves, their neigh- bors, their nation and the entire world.

But youth, being highly infuenced and overpow- ered by the association of prevailed negative, inauspicious, destructive, disturbing and there- by discouraging forces through the medium of highly effective and latest modes and methods of communication are landing up being utterly misdirected, confused and hopeless in their pursuit of experiencing, expressing and sharing inherent goodness of their heart.

So, here comes the ISKCON Youth Festival, UDGAAR, An expression of goodness and joy, which provides a unique opportunity - a platform to every individual youth to come together to openly, boldly and courageously develop and express the inherent constructive feelings of their heart and thereby experience the natural joy of the self. All such constructive, joyful and youthful en- ergy combined together becomes a powerful resource for the government of the states which are presently struggling with the needed quality human resource to implement their visions and plans to upgrade the condition of the humanity on the planet, earth.

The purpose of such youth festivals is to inspire youths and intellectuals towards goodness and sharing that with others by rekindling wisdom and reviving love of God which extends to all living entities and manifests as desire to help others. Just as various river fow with different colors of water but when they meet, their differ- ence of color get dissolved in the water of ocean. Similarly, when people of different color, castes and taste come together for such festival, their differences get dissolved in the water of coop- eration and they are inspired with the mood to form a better society

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