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Region 4 - Leicester Central Youth Satsang

“Conversations with Sai”

On the blessed day of 26th July, the youth of Leicester conducted the first of four workshops called “Conversations with Sai”. The aim of the workshops is to bond together and improve ourselves to become ideal Sai youth by finding practical ways to deal with the common troubles of daily life. The first workshop was based around conquering vices (bad habits). The day started with a personal internal conversation with Swami, offering our chosen habits at his lotus feet.

A study circle commenced with the discussion of what vices are and why they are bad for us. We established that anything that holds us back from progressing in life spiritually or practically can be categorised as vice. This includes qualities such as anger, jealousy, an excess of a particular activity (e.g watching TV for a prolonged period of time).

How do these vices impact us? They cloud our mind and our discrimination power therefore inhibiting personal and spiritual progress.

We then moved on to practical ways of attempting to decrease our vices and tame them. We established that there needs to be a balance. No one is completely void of bad habits, but they can be kept under control and curbed by increasing our good habits.

We each discussed what habit we would like to give up and how we were going to apply what we have learned today. We shared ways in which we have already curbed a bad habit. For example, in this day and age, we are surrounded by social networking. The moment we wake up, the first thing most people do is check Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat etc. How do we stop ourselves from doing this and increasing our productivity during the day? One youth decided to counteract social networking with technology by finding a program which prevents you from checking the site and in turn encourages you to do something productive with your time. Counteracting technology with technology.

Swami gives a brilliant example of how to counter act our bad habit. Swami had given an interview to some of the teachers from the Brindavan campus. The Mathematics teacher asked whether a habit should be given up all at once or little by little. Swami replied “Suppose you think you are holding a rope in your hand. Suddenly you look at it and realize that it is a snake! Will you release it little by little or drop it all at once?"

The teacher was not satisfied with this answer and asked further “Bad habits do not go away so easily. What can be done?”

Swami then sought around the interview room for an empty envelope which he rolled up and then released it in his hand to reveal a curved envelope. Swami then asked the group “ How will you straighten this?”

Everyone awaited Swami for an answer. Swami then rolled the envelope the other way and revealed the envelope as straight.

Swami simply said, “To remove a bad habit, start a new countering good habit.”

The session ended with a small talk from Madhu Aunty Parmar who described Prashanti Nilayam before Sai Kulwant hall was built and the interaction Swami would have with his devotees. It was an insightful and inspiring talk which encouraged us further to develop as Ideal Sai Youth and make our dear Swami proud.

Further to our first session, as Shravan month has started, the Leicester Youth decided to maintain a sadhana for the month. The book “Krishna-Arjuna Dialogue: Gita for Young Adults” was voted as the literature to read everyday as this book gives us practical and spiritual knowledge on how to develop as individuals. Needless to say, the first few weeks have been thought provoking for us all and we look forward to our next session.

Sai Ram.
Nirali Sisodia
Leicester Central Youth Coordinator

Sow an action, reap a tendency; Sow a tendency, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny.