Aman Pillay –
The Chinmaya Yuva Kendra (CHYK) is the global Youth Wing of the Chinmaya Mission.
Working under the motto, ‘Harnessing Youth Potential through Dynamic Spirituality,’ CHYK aims to empower youth with the vision, values and vigour to achieve success in all fields.
Youth is a stage in a life that comes with its unique struggles and challenges.
It can be a period of intense questioning and self-doubt.
In that respect, the values of Poojya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda and the vision of CHYK continue to guide us today.
“Youth is a stage in human development when the personality is bursting with energy, enthusiasm and dynamism. This is also a phase in life when receptivity and retentivity are at the optimum. What they require is a clear vision of a goal in life and exercises for the cultivation of the right values of life to enable them to mould their personality and harness their inner resources along constructive channels. This systematic preparation alone can equip the youth to face the challenges of life with a smile.”
These values are enforced in practice through weekly classes where youth study Hindu scriptures delivered in English.
Scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita belong to individuals at all ages; the only barrier is the platform to learn.
Under the guidance of resident monk Swami Atulananda Ji, youth are encouraged to test the logic of the scriptures themselves through applied practice.
It allows youth to connect with the teachings of Vedanta at a personal level thereby allowing them to live with those teachings.
Youth at one point or another face the dilemma of Arjuna on the battlefield, by understanding themselves, with the wisdom of the sages, youth can overcome any obstacle.
On another level, CHYK helps youth connect with Hindu culture.
This serves an important aspect in helping youths develop their sense of identity and preserving the Hindu heritage for future generations.
In conjunction with this, youth participate in local and global camps.
Some previous topics for local camps were the Logic of Spirituality and the Fourteen Spiritual Laws of Success.
With knowledge enshrined in Vedanta, these camps help provide a holistic vision for youth to develop a higher vision or goal for themselves.
It helps develop deeper thinking and facilitates the path to self-knowledge.
Through these practices, youth are reminded of their unbound potential through simple application of spirituality in everyday life.
Question and seek
CHYK operates not unlike a family. Here youth find connection and a sense of belonging.
The Chinmaya Mission participates in various activities throughout the year and the youth are called upon to serve.
Here CHYKs can enhance their skills and even take on leadership roles.
Though sometimes challenging it facilitates the all-round development of the individual. Through service and learning the mind is purified and life is transformed.
As Swami Chinmayananda said, “The youth are not useless and careless. They are used less and cared less.”
The CHYK thus gives youth a forum to use their power to question (the scriptures) by which they find direction (through the ancient wisdom and sublime philosophy), nay it also gives them the necessary avenue to share their love and care for each other as they become one family through their journey and growth.
This is why youth cherish CHYK as they face their challenges in life.
Editor’s Note: The pictures appearing with the above article are scenes from ‘Ramayan: A Legend Relived,’ a dance and dialogue production scheduled to be staged from September 30 to October 2, 2016 at Bruce Ritchie Performing Arts Centre, Massey High School, 274, Don Buck Road, Massey West. For further details, please see the advertisement in this Section.