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“CAMP AT DINDIGUL”

Our journey to dindigul started as we (20 of us) boarded the Vaigai express from Chennai on the 23rd of May for a camp named “The New Generation View of Life”. We had a great time in the train and learnt a lot from the onward journey. The train stopped at dindigul around 8:15pm, we were surprised to see our Swamiji H.H. Swami Buddhatmananda waiting for us in the railway station. As we were staying in an ashram & the distance from the railway station to the ashram was very long, a van was already booked for us. When we reached the ashram cool breeze started hitting us. We were grateful to the lord for such a pleasant climate in dindigul. After which we had dinner and were feeling drowsy as the train journey was bit too tiring.

Next morning we were asked to get ready by 6am but some of us got ready before schedule. We had to go to the ganapati temple for pooja which was present inside the ashram where our acharaya Naren anna did the pooja & we all chanted some shlokas also. After the puja, we had our breakfast after which, we had an inauguration of the camp by lighting of the kuthu vilakku by Mr kuppuswamy, the owner of the SKC jewellery, who gave us a short speech which mainly emphasized on the Indian culture and the degradation of it. Many elderly people & campers from dindigul interacted with us. After which our camp started with fun filled activities and knowledge filled classes. The activities increased our physical stamina & concentration whereas the classes increased our mental stamina & dedication.

The classes were mostly taken by our Swamiji H.H. Swami Buddhatmananda & our acharya Naren anna but we had 2 people who had specially come to make our camp more enlightening they were H.H. Swami Brahmavidyananda and Vasantha amma.

Enlightening classes and lectures taken during the camp:

Lecture by H.H. Swami Brahmavidyananda: Swamiji started his talk by telling us about many civilizations which are extinct today. The reason why our culture is still alive is due to the Guru- Sishya parampara (teacher-student lineage). In earlier days people who had knowledge were said to be rich but now a day’s everything is topsy-turvy. A rich man cannot be equal to a knowledgeable person. As river Ganges keeps on giving her water to everyone similarly even we should give our knowledge to as many people as possible. Swamiji also said that if one is truthful then one should fear nothing as he is free. There were 3 foreigners who were almost equal to the rishis; they were Ralf Wilton, Henry David, and Walt Whitman. Swamiji also emphasized on not having a herd mentality and being unique and also said that “We aren’t the wasting generation we are the resourceful generation”. When people start inventing and discovering new things then only India will progress. We shouldn’t let our mind control us but we should control the mind. We shouldn’t blurt out whatever comes to our mouth we should think and then speak. When we talk something bad we should think about the consequences. “We should think before we leap”. When there are so many good words why use a bad word? We should understand others emotion but in a polished way. In chanting “saha naa vavatu”, we pray that let both of us (here student and teacher) be happy. Bhagiratha did tapas so that Ganga could come down to earth this resulted benefiting everyone. Vishwamitra, the brahmarishi gave the Gayatri mantra to everyone. We should do things in such a way that everybody gets benefitted. We should try and remove others sorrow and “when a person lives/dies for another person he is called a human being”. A famous quote was quoted by swamiji “think not what the country has given you but what you have given to the country”. We shouldn’t forget god for he is the one who gives us everything. We should thank and accept whatever he gives as Prasad. When we uplift others, we uplift our own self. Thus swamiji concluded by telling that India needs people who are selfless and service oriented as “service to mankind is service to god”

Class taken by H.H.Swami Buddhatmananda: We had many sessions with Swamiji. In one of his sessions he told us about positive thinking. He asked us to be positive and asked us to stop thinking negatively. Even if we think about 10 positive things and then we think about a negative thing then all the positive things which we thought will go for a toss. He told us that the camp was meant to be for learning. We must listen what is told in the class, then we must understand it and then implement it in our life. Swamiji also told that the teenagers (13-19) these days have the “EGO” problem. We think that we are right in whatever we do as we have grown up and tend to refuse to obey our parent’s and elders heeds. We either have superiority complex (thinking our self to be superior to everyone) or inferiority complex (thinking our self to be inferior to everyone) both of which is ego because of this we share our problems with our friends thinking that they would be able to solve it, but how can a person stuck in a problem solve another person’s problem. We find it weird to share our problems to our parents and elders ignorant of the fact that they too have crossed our stage and grown up. Swamiji emphasizes on the point that we should share our problems with our parent’s, elders and well wishers as they would be able to guide us through the problems faced in our life. We had another session of swamiji in which he stressed on the fact that these days teenagers prefer to skip meals which would in turn lead to the degradation of their health. He also said that many teenagers felt that by eating food they would put on weight. Swamiji also said that we should eat healthy and nutritious food not junk food as it was what most of the teenagers like. He also told us some facts about food like parotha is made from toxicity, we must not mix hot rice and curd, we shouldn’t consume Maida etc. In another session swamiji told us about our memory as we have just got the results of the memory test. Swamiji talked about another problem face by the teenagers. It was regarding the opposite gender. Swamiji asked us to maintain a healthy relationship with the opposite gender. He asked us to stop telling lies as one lie led to another and thus would become a mountain.

In between these classes we had some fun filled activities They were as follows: 

Filling the bottle with water: A glass was given to all we were asked to pick the water and put it inside a bottle which was kept at a distance. The one who finished 1st was declared as the winner. This activity tested our stamina, presence of mind and our concentration. The best part was our Acharyas were also taking part in this activity.

Memory test: We had been given a minute and we had recollect 20 items which was kept in a box. We were supposed to write it only after the class taken by swamiji was over. After the class we had a humongous task of remembering the things which we saw an hour back a handful was able to remember a lot of things. When the results were told we felt bad that we didn’t have a powerful memory and decided to grow our memory power.

Riddle: Swamiji gave us a riddle which would develop our thinking skill. When the answer was given we found out that everyone had different ways of interpreting the same thing. Most of us were not able to solve the riddle, on seeing the result swamiji asked us why we didn’t ask him how it came. We also learnt that when not able to solve a problem we should spill the beans out to someone who knows how to solve it. If we keep it within our self it will just become bigger.

Musical Chairs: This is a game which we all know. There’ll be a set of chair one less than the people running around it when the music stops people sit on the chair. This game helps to improve one’s concentration and presence of mind.

Needle and thread: In this game a needle and a thread were given to everyone they had to thread the needle while walking. This game involves a lot of concentration and focus in it.

Lighting the lamp: In this event all participants were asked to light a lamp and the way they held their matchsticks and lit the lamp were noticed. This event was conducted to spread the Hindu culture.

Keeping bindi on goddess mahalakshmi: In this game the participants were blind folded with a cloth and were asked to keep a bindi in the picture of goddess mahalakshmi. Many of them kept the bindi some were else. This activity helped to improve our concentration.

 

Apart from these we had a trekking experience to Vellimalai hills in Sirumalai hills on Sunday. For this we had to get up at 4:30am and get ready by 5:30am but some of us got up at 3:00am. Climbing the hill was a great experience and had taught us many things. On the top of the hill there was a Shiva temple where we sang lots of shlokas. We reached the ashram after trekking at around 9:15 am. Then we had our breakfast and as per the schedule we had classes and activities. In the evening we performed a skit on the “Essence of Bhagavad Gita”, we all loved performing it. During this time we learnt a lot of things like team work and unity. Then came the valedictory function were many elders emphasized on the fact that at such a young age we are getting this knowledge we should use it wisely. Finally it was time to pack and take leave not for ever just for now. Thank you to everyone who made this trip successful and possible.

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