The first one-day Master Course youth seminar has been held by Sivaneswaran and Aravidraj in Malaysia. These two young men came to Kauai last year on a Task Force program and also began to arrange the syllabus for these seminars with the swamis. My message to the students was about how the study of Hinduism is valuable and practical. Listen to find out how.
Our first, one-day, Youth Master Course seminar was just completed in Klang yesterday. It was the inspiration of two young men, Sivaneswaran and Arvindraj, who were here on Task Force, who we all know. They thought about it when they were here and worked with a number of the monks on preparing material, took it back and did it. A lot of the younger members there helped and really enjoyed it. They reached out to some new people who afterwards signed up to study the 'Master Course'. So it worked. Introduction to the 'Master Course' actually produced 'Master Course' students.
Part of the seminar was, they were supposed to call me. I had a little talk and we ran into technical difficulties. A couple of hours after they were supposed to talk, they still hadn't called. I had to do something else, so I wrote down the talk and Shanmuganathaswami gave it. It is just a very simple, five-minute or so inspirational message.
First part was 'Valuable'. Why is the study of Hinduism valuable? In terms of how a young person would look at it, what is the importance of studying Hinduism? The idea is, knowing about Hinduism allows us to contact Lord Siva, Lord Muruga, Lord Ganesha, receive their blessings in a powerful way and have them influence and uplift our life. Knowledge of Hinduism also teaches us to contact our inner self, the peaceful, intuitive, spiritual soul nature and have that influence our life as well. So, we are receiving blessings and inspiration in two directions, from inside and from the outside. We are surrounded by it, so to speak, when it works right.
What does all this do? Well, it gives us a happier life, more peaceful life, more balanced life, a more successful life, a more refined life than we would otherwise have. This is valuable. Hinduism is valuable in that way. It gives us all these improvements in our life.
Second message was 'Practical'. Understanding Hindu principles, karma, dharma and reincarnation isn't enough. We have to also learn how to apply them to our lives so that we bring these teachings into our daily life in an effective way. That is of course, a lot of the emphasis of the 'Master Course' trilogy. One of Gurudeva's siddhis, shall we say, is to bring it all down to earth. Make the most abstract principle, something practical, something we can do in our daily life.
Then, we ended with a little story on karma and how karma, often thought of as unchangeable, can actually be changed. Our famous, September 11th story. One of the planes crashed into the Pentagon and the original count of the number of the people dead was one high because one person was double-counted. The plane hit his office in the Pentagon, as well as he was on the plane. So they counted him twice. It shows that somehow he was not able to break out of that karma. Even though he wasn't in his office, he was in the plane. Amazing!
The second story is, of course, the Patel family that came here. It was a large group and one in the group was a family, the husband of which works in the World Trade Center. Other members of his family, finally talked him into coming on a pilgrimage to Siva's Feet. So he decided to come and of course, the plane ploughed into the World Trade Center right where his office was, where he normally is everyday at nine o'clock. So because of his decision to be open to the Grace of Lord Siva and come on pilgrimage, he wasn't where he is always. It showed that religious inspiration and religious influence can change the timing of events in our life and change our karma in that way.
Those were the three little ideas to give some inspiration to that seminar. We are very happy that it took place. They are starting small, I believe. They only had twenty. They have restricted it to a group of twenty, until they have more experience. Then, they plan to expand it and of course, repeat it often. So, that will be on Satellite News whenever we get a full write-up, with pictures probably coming in.