Monday, 16 June 2014

Editor's Note: Happy 3rd Anniversary

Salutations at the feet of Swami Vivekananda
I greet the divinity within each of you
Jai Shri Ram

Mbuyisa is or was my son, but he is not a hero. In my culture, picking up Hector is not an act of heroism. It was his job as a brother. It was his duty.

-Mother of Mbuyisa Makhubo... the boy who together with Antoinette Sithole carried the body of Hector Pieterson moments after he was shot... in the iconic picture we’ve come to associate with Youth Day in South Africa.
The iconic picture of Mbuyisa Makhubo & Antoinette Sithole with Hector Pieterson @ site of the 1976 protest in Soweto.
The Class of 1976 and indeed others during that time endured many a sacrifice for universal education, that we so liberally enjoy today. On a visit to Soweto last month, I stood at the spot where the 1976 Uprising happened, took it all in and glanced at the various monuments. I thought... even with her child’s life in danger, a Mother could have such humility and sincerity, saying it was her son’s duty. So today, on June 16th - in the year we celebrate 20 Years of Democracy... in the year ‘born-frees’ voted for the first time... in the year we mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela – I ask: are we doing our duty?
By now, regular readers would have noticed a change in the tone and writing style of the blog. I’m here to share a few thoughts and send collective wishes from all readers... as on Youth Day, this blog Sudarshana Vidya, also celebrates its Anniversary... this year turning 3 and reaching close to 30 000 hits! As the honoured Editor [no, I’m not qualified to edit content J], I’m touched to pen a few words on this milestone. Being the humble soul the author is, he always downplays the impact his weekly dose of inspiration, motivation and enlightenment has on readers. At the second instalment of the Arise Awake Fun Run hosted by the Tongaat Hindu Unity Forum held today, I mentioned to a group of people that the blog celebrates 3 years today, to which the resounding response was... “we eagerly await the mail in our Inbox every Monday morning”. Why am I choosing to heap praise and celebrate this milestone you ask?
When Sudarshana Vidya turned 2, I asked Revered Swami Vimokshananda who Yogan (hereinafter referred to as Unna) seeks guidance, ideas and blessings from... to send a message for inclusion in one of the pieces.
He said: “Yogan is definitely an inspired youth. That he could energise himself with those irrepressible ideas of Swamiji and channelise in the right direction for the increasing number of avid readers of his blog "Sudarshana Vidya" shows how blessed is he as an instrument in the mighty arms of Swamiji. The unique aspect of his writings lies in his penetrating analysis of the problem at hand chiselled especially in the day-to-day context. May Mother Saraswati bless my dear Yogan more and more with mighty thoughts that would flow from his pen like a cooling stream, quenching the thirst of the parched souls ever is my prayer.” Thank You Maharaj.
I come back to my earlier question about duty. Swami Vivekananda said: “My faith is in the Younger Generation, the Modern Generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem, like Lions.” This for me is sufficient proof that the ability lies within each of us to do great things, be great people. Swamiji had faith in us... who are we to doubt it?
The word “youth” is trending increasingly on social media. Why has it become the new buzzword? Are youth feeling the pressure of the pressure? What are their expectations? What do adults expect of them? At a Youth Day address in 1995, Nelson Mandela said: “I am confident that South Africa’s youth is more than ready to meet the challenge of freedom. We are firm in our conviction that you deserve a better future.” 20 Years later and even after the deaths of Mandela, Biko, Vivekananda and others... their visionary ideas and ideals still hold true. The question remains: Are we doing OUR duty?
I work with young people daily. I am young too. Youth are mould-able. They need to be treated with care (sometimes forced-care). We will make you proud. Thank You for the opportunities. Stop the negative speeches about youth apathy and how youth have gone wrong. We will change. Call me ridiculous... call me unrealistic and idealistic and impractical. We must be positive. Change will come. We must believe.
By Swami Vimokshananda's grace, I attended a World Youth Conference in India last year, in commemoration of Swami Vivekananda's 150th Birth Anniversary. 600 youth... 24 countries... 1 common belief... The belief in the vision of the revolutionary Vivekananda. How could so many diverse people believe 1 "man"? Why? Because Swamiji's thoughts were practical, ideas universal and messages meaningful. Many participants could not even speak English... but the language of Vivekananda spoke to them. Again, we ask: "how" and "why". Because it simply speaks of two things: duty and action.
But... duty, sacrifice and other such beautiful words in the literary pantheon can only be given true meaning if we attach respect and action to them. Action – another pretty word... that has no meaning... if the verb is not carried out. So herein lies our answer... as proclaimed by Swamiji... “out of them will come my workers” – ACTION.
Leo Buscaglia said: “the time for action is now, and only you can make the difference.” Thank You Unna for championing this difference and inspiring so many of us to action! May Sudarshana Vidya long live to guide, inspire and awaken every young person in their quest to remember the legacies of those before us... and forge ahead creating their own. 
May Master Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi & Swami Vivekananda keep you in their golden embrace always!
Your chief follower & biggest supporter
Merisha Lalla
-Thank You to all readers for your continued support, encouraging emails and messages. Keep reading and keep inspired!
*Happy Youth Day South Africa!
*Sudarshana Vidya sends belated Fathers Day greetings to all Dads for yesterday.

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