The Merton Sai Youth Wing is a branch of Merton Sai Centre in the Sai Mandir. Its role is to provide forums and opportunities to allow youth activities within the Centre to flourish and event driven initiatives to be undertaken. Sathya Sai Baba has stated that, “the age span 16 – 35 is crucial, for that is the period when life adds sweetness to itself, when talents, skills and attitudes are accumulated, sublimated and sanctified”.
The Sathya Sai Young Adults Programme (SS YAP) encourages men and women, between the ages of 18 and 40 (previously 35), to lead purposeful lives in service of their families, communities and countries by learning and practicing the spiritual principles revealed by the life, teachings and work of Sathya Sai Baba.
“The future of the country depends on the skill and the sincerity of the youth. Therefore, the necessary enthusiasm and encouragement must be generated among the youth. All my hopes are based on the students, the youth. They are very dear to me.” – Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Speaks Vol.13 Chpt 1
Youth/Centre activities integration (Step 1)
Following graduation from Sai Spiritual Education, there prevails a natural succession into the youth wing. Despite the existence of a separate wing for the youth, a significant emphasis is placed on adult-youth integration in all the activities undertaken. In this way we aim to offer a support role to the other wings and in doing so acquire valuable exposure to the wealth of knowledge that prevails within the Sai centre.
Swami has said:
“Try to get into the company of devoted and God-fearing persons. When dust joins the company of air, it rises up into the sky; when it joins the company of water, it sinks into the depths of the earth. Your future is shaped by the company you keep. So, choose your friends carefully and do not develop too strong an attachment to anyone. Be friendly with all, but do not allow that friendship to grow into bondage.”
Equipping the Youth with Practical advice in a Human Values context (Step 2)
Armed with our beloved Swami’s teachings on Truth, Right-conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence, we collectively strive to better our understanding of the pressures and challenges faced in our day to day lives, through monthly study circles and service projects. These activities aim to highlight how we can live with our “Hands in Society and head in the forest”.
Spiritual Resource and Succor (Step 3)
Fundamentally the wing exists to provide the youth with resources and succor, for their individual journey to fulfil Swami’s wishes that they “Become ideal men, so that others may also derive the benefit by following your example” (Summer Showers 1990).
The Message of the Lord
As it says, a practical philosophy and was personally recommended by K. Chakravarthi (Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust) on the 2004 Sai Mahima trip, who described it as compulsory reading for all Sai devotees. It seeks to explore the message of the Bhagawad Gita and the rich world of Sai literature and hopes to “aid the reader in applying the teachings of the Lord in day-to-day life”. This may be more appropriate for youth who have had some exposure to the stories of Lord Rama and Krishna. However it is written in such a beautifully lucid manner that all should find it easily accessible. The paradigms it incorporates encompass Swami’s discourses over the decades and is a point of reference for most youth study circles.
Sathyam Shivam Sundaram (1-4)
Essential reading for Sai youth (especially those who have not completed the entire Balvikas course) as it is a biography of Swami’s life as captured by the literary giant, Professor N Kasturi.
Summer Showers in Brindavan 1990
A collection of discourses directed specifically at the youth by Swami, and covers a wide range of topics which highlight the expectations Swami has of His youth including important lifestyle guidelines. This is a fantastic starting point for all youth!
Most of these books are freely available for borrowing to registered users of the Sai Mandir Library.