Mission: Decode (Hinduism) – Mystery or Myth?
I shouldn’t actually be telling you what happened because it is classified information, but I’ll tell you this time because I trust you. This camp was not any normal camp. This camp was a top-secret, confidential camp for teenagers who thought they had the ability to learn some very deep, intriguing and complicated concepts. To put it in simple words, it wasn’t for the faint-hearted.
Through many interesting sessions with Swami Shrikaranandaji (our Chief Swamiji) and many physical & intellectual challenges with General Nish, Agent Niyati, Agent Naman, we were able to learn the essential concepts in order to decode Hinduism. We then went further into how it related to our day-to-day lives and how we could really incorporate some of these ideas and use it to change our lifestyles. Spirituality is not separate to our life, it is the foundation of happy and peaceful living.
The most important take away lesson I learnt from this wonderful camp was the 4 stages of life and our duties when we are in these stages. The 4 stages and their duties were:
- Brahmacarya (ages 0-25) – Prime focus was to learn, cultivate self-control & being celebant
- Grhastha (age 26-50) – Prime focus was to be a house holder (married), earning & serving the community
- Vanaprastha (age 51-75) – retired life, slowing leaving household duties and look towards spending more time with GOD and being consultants (No free advice, give only when asked) to family and others
- Sannyasa (age 76+) – stage of living where there is total dedication to the Lord
These 4 stages should be fulfilled by every person – but not many people are well prepared, and therefore die as a householder, unable to move on. If we fulfil all the duties during the right stage of our life, we can slowly disengage from familial and societal obligations and finally liberate ourselves. Swamiji also explained that the age when the stages change may vary depending on our situations. This certain lesson really struck me because I am still in the first stage of my life and this is something I knew I could pursue till the end.
I also loved the goal-setting activity we did at the end of the camp, as it really helped me in particular put in practice what we learnt at camp. We also saw some amazing facts that proved the Law of Karma and Reincarnation! We understood the purpose of Cast System and what was its original intended purpose, we discussed Dharma and how dharma plays at different level and many more.
I want to thank everyone that made this camp possible: the Chyk leaders – General Nish, Agent Naman and Agent Niyati, also other Chyks who helped out and all the Uncles and Aunties who helped with food. Lastly I’d like to thank our Chief Swamiji (Swami Shrikaranandaji) who really inspired us all with his great teachings.
It was a weekend filled with amazing knowledge of Hinduism, its practicality and relevance in our day-to-day life, and modern science’s increasing support of the ancient Vedic wisdom. We had lots of amazing activities and presentations through the camp which were enjoyed by all.
Agent Niharika Gupta (Year 8)