“When I look back on the last two months, I honestly am at awe when realizing what we have accomplished and how many ways in which each individual has grown.”
In high school, when I had first read through Self-Unfoldment, I was told that in times of need and/or despair, all I would have to do is flip to any page and I would find solace in what has been written there. This has become the case for all of the texts that we have covered here at YEP, and I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to be guided on how to live happily, firsthand by such incredible Swamijis.
I had come here with a few goals in mind: to develop bhakti, to become more disciplined, to stay motivated through my preparation for my future career, to study the Scriptures, and, of course, to be able to maintain my inner peace regardless of which situations I find myself in. I am not claiming that I have completely accomplished all of these, but I can say that I have made tremendous strides in my search and that the guidance and support I have received here has been far beyond what I could have expected. I am now more confident, making decisions and sticking to them. I have learned that it is okay to be hard on myself, so long as I can also be my own best friend. Most of all, I have realized how much one can truly accomplish in one day. Adjusting to the rigorous 18-hour-long days was extremely difficult at first – especially with the task of completing medical school applications looming over my shoulders – but now I know that I am capable of finishing all that I set my mind to do. Another aspect of YEP that I cherish is the amount of appreciation we have developed in the guru parampara. Many of us had never met Gurudev before he attained samādhi, but being taught by his disciples and feeling his presence here at the ashram has affirmed our faith in our Guru.
When I look back on the last two months, I honestly am at awe when realizing what we have accomplished and how many ways in which each individual has grown. YEP America 2014 has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I will be forever grateful for the Gurukul setting and individual attention I have gotten here. Swami Sarveshanandaji has put together the perfect program to inspire youth and fine-tune their vision for their future, as well as the Mission’s future. These 10 weeks have had a natural progression: first, we focused on why exactly we are here and how Hinduism and Sanātana Dharma are to be an integral part of our lives. Then, we worked on tapping into our individual potential, and we were put into the situations necessary to facilitate our social and spiritual growth. Finally, when we leave the ashram, we leave with a purpose and the 5 S’s (seva, sādhana, svādhyāya, svārupanishta, and satsang), a toolbox of basic needs for a seeker.
I would highly recommend YEP America 2014 to any youth who desires for a positive change in their lives. These past two months have been rigorous, but I will be forever grateful for the discipline, bhakti, and values that I have reinforced here. It was a perfect transition period between my undergraduate and graduate studies, but I would recommend to anyone who is willing to make the two months’ time, regardless of the status of their academic or professional careers.
Janani is matriculating into Master’s in Physiology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Janani is the new co-lead for Cam Tra Con 2014 planning.