Friday, March 18, 2011

A Jacket for the Soul

A fellow Sabhaologist has volunteered to contribute posts for bal/balika-2 mandal. We appreciate these contributions, and hope our readers do too!

Benjamin's shirt

With Holi on the horizon, we look at the life of Bhagatji Maharaj. He was a source of inspiration for many around him, like Mahapurush Swami, the focus of this week's presentation in bal/balika-2

Step 1: Synthesize the simple statement.
  • The spiritual shirt strengthened Mahapurush Swami.
  • Mahapurush Swami's faith always kept him close to the Satpurush. 
  • Mahapurush Swami's became great by following agna.
Step 2: Start off with a shakeup.
  • Ask balaks/balikas to draw their favorite t-shirt, and ask a few to share why it's their favorite t-shirt. 
  • Ask a few balaks/balikas to bring in their favorite t-shirts, and then give each shirt to another balak/balika. Let them try to guess the owner, and have them explain their rationale. Finally, let the owner explain why it's their favorite shirt.
Step 3: Support the simple statement with stories using detail and validity. While we have only one prasang, we should still make a point to link each detail to whichever simple statement we choose. Below, we chose to link the prasang with the first simple statement.
  • Pragji Bhakta's Shirt - Not only did he sew a shirt, but he also sewed a personalized shirt for Bechar Bhagat's atma. How great was this shirt? Let's look at how Bechar Bhagat's life unfolds.
  • Defeating Ego - This shirt gave Bechar Bhagat the ability to sincerely listen to the Satpurush, so when Bhagatji Maharaj told him to apologize for his anger to Kothari Gordhanbhai, he complied and humbled himself. Thus, this shirt gave Bechar Bhagat the power to conquer his ego. 
  • Enlightened Sadhu - With an attachment to his guru, Bechar Bhagat took diksha and became known as Mahapurush Swami. In fact, he became a scholar of the Vachanamrut! Once again, this shirt benefited him by providing gnan.
  • Spreading Upasana - His attachment to the Satpurush combined with his knowledge of the Vachanamrut helped Mahapurush Swami speak only of the Akshar Purushottam upasana without fear. He even got kicked out of Satsang for his beliefs, but his attachment to God & Sant did not waver. Hence, this shirt gave Bechar Bhagat the power to conquer his fear.
  • Close to the Satpurush - As we can see, this spiritual shirt really has a lot of powers, and we still have one more. This shirt made sure that Mahapurush Swami would forever remain with the Satpurush at all times. After all, his faith in Shastriji Maharaj enabled him to establish our sanstha today. 
  • The Catch - How can one shirt keep us with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, give us smarts, and make us fearless? It can't... if it's kept dirty. We all wear Pragji Bhakta's shirt, but its power can only be felt if we keep it clean. When we follow Swamishri's agna, like reading the Vachanamrut, eating within our niyams, staying sincere to our studies, we keep this shirt clean, and when we disregard agna, we dirty our shirt up. The more dirt it has, the less power we have; however, dirt can be washed off. Bechar Bhagat had that opportunity. Remember, getting angry at Kothari Gordhanbhai dirtied his shirt (because it went against what Pragji Bhakta liked), but when he apologized out of respecting Bhagatji Maharaj's wishes, he cleaned his shirt up. We too can reap the power of the shirt if we keep it clean; that's the catch with this superpower shirt.
Bal/balika presentations can seem as though no preparation is needed. After all, it's just one prasang; however, it's our job as presenters to create the message that the prasang embodies. Balaks/balikas represent the future, and crafting messages that stick can help them remember their spiritual shirt as they face the trials of adolescence. 

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