28th March 2017
Ever since the Temple opening in 1988, there has been an emphasis on the spiritual development of children and youths. Originally the Yuvak Mandal was established to overlook the cultural activities such as the Gujarati School.
This cause later took a formal shape as Nar Narayan Dev Yuvak Mandal in 1998 under the guidance of His Holiness (the then) Bhavi Acharya Shree Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj (Lalji Maharaj).
In 2004, with the blessings of Bhuj Mahant Swami Shree Hariswarupdasji the Shree Swaminarayan Yuvak Mandal was established with the primary aim of developing satsang and spirituality. In addition to this, SSYM is an integral part of the Temple setup and places great importance on Mandir Seva (physical help around the temple) and Pravruti (activities).
The objective of satsang development is achieved through formal sabhas and informal class/sessions
Satsang Adhyayan: Informal classes and Discussion sessions (Friday and Saturday evenings)
Sessions were initially held with the intention of diverting children and youths from modern day vices that have eroded the Hindu culture and that have begun to be more prevalent among Hindu children.
This objective was accomplished early on and so the classes later evolved into sessions for the advancement of knowledge about the Swaminarayan Sampraday, Lord Shre Swaminarayan's teachings and Hinduism in general.
Topics and subjects covered include Why? and How? of Aarti, Maala, Pradikshana, Tilak-chandlo, Sashtang Dandvat Pranaam etc; stories of Jada Bharata, Prahlad, Dhruv etc; the 24 avatars; Biography of Lord Shree Swaminarayan including forecast in Vedic Scriptures and preceding events to His birth; the 'Pentagon' i.e Sampraday, Guru Parampara, Shastras, Neeyams, Ishtadev etc; cosmic evolution including 24 tatvas and various levels of ishvara; neeyam, nishchay paksha, aagna and upasana etc.
All that is taught is sourced directly from genuine Sampraday scriptures such as Shikshapatri, Vachanamrut and Satsangi Jeevan.
Girls' classes are conducted separately to the boys' thereby enabling greater discussion without compromising on the Sampraday's principles.
The classes are split by age and level of knowledge so that the youth can derive maximum benefit from the sessions and realise that religion and spiritualism does have a place in our lives.
The SSYM weekly sabhas are held on every Tuesday evening at around 7.40pm. They first begin with a Prarthana (prayer) ‘Naman Hu Karu’. A youth then recites from a scripture in Gujarati and explains the meaning in English. A more elaborate speech is then given by a member of the SSYM which is then followed by Bhajan Kirtans and Dhun.
Every so often, usually once a month, a more comprehensive sabha is organised involving presentations, plays and interactive sessions on various subjects and topics. This gives the opportunity for all youths to learn from each other.
In addition to Satsang Education, SSYM is responsible for many other activities.
These include, but are not limited to: