The cobblestones glistened from the recent drizzle and the wonder of the Roman morning looked spectacular! Rome is synonymous with the Colosseum and the Vatican. The continuous drizzle did not hamper the excited graduates and elders, as they were all set after breakfast for a city tour. The Vatican is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, probably the only existing example of a country within a city, and for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states! Over a 100 youth from 19 countries had also arrived the previous day, for the Annual Sai European Youth Meet 2018. Swami had commanded Brothers Jai Mexis and Victory Craxi, both alumni from Primary School in Prasanthi Nilayam to lead the morning session. Swami has always given a lot of importance to the youth, as He firmly believes they will take His mission forward.
While the morning session of the Youth Meet was in progress, devotees were busy preparing the venue for the evening Satsang and closing session of the Youth Meet. Swami entered amidst Bhajans at around 5:30 p.m, and before going to the first floor where all the youth and devotees had gathered, He made His way to an exhibition of sculptures. The unique and the most interesting aspect was that the beautiful sculptures were made by visually impaired people. They firmly believe that the living creativity as a Divine Light is in their hearts, a way to overcome their limits, and theirs is not a disability, but ‘another ability’! It was heartening to see Swami’s interaction with them, and He said, “They are fortunate in a way as they don’t have to see all the illusion and confusion. They are dependent on the heart and see the divine! They see the divinity in all.”
Swami entered the Satsang Hall thereafter, and walked around blessing the young and old. Brother Salvatore welcomed everyone, and there was a short piano recital by Mr Francesco Paniccia, and an olive plant was gifted to Swami, which had small cards of commitments written by the youth, hanging from each branch. Brother Victory Craxi took to the podium next and gave everyone a summary of the morning proceedings. Mr Isaac Tigrett was the next speaker, and reminded everyone of their divinity. He urged the youth to see the divine in each other. Sri C Sreenivas narrated what Swami had spoken about the essence of youthhood and life, just the previous day in the residence of Brother George Sioufas in Athens. “All life is given for every being – every man and woman – on this earth with the single and only objective and mission in life, which is to grow into God. To grow into God is a process which is continuous, relentless, egoless! This is what Sai’s youth are and will be.” Praying that the youth would be the shining stars of tomorrow, he concluded his inspiring talk.
Sri B N Narasimha Murthy humbly submitted that he did not want to come between Sai and His devotees, hence he recapped what Swami had asked Mr Ampelio while He emerged from Mrs Maria Buffa’s residence in the evening – ‘Is it Youth Meet or Old Meet?’ Mr Ampilio had replied, ‘Swami, both.’ Sri Narasimha Murthy said, “But when I walked behind Swami into this wonderful hall, I neither found youth nor old. I found only children – children with humility and love for the Lord. Child is the greatest in the kingdom of God, said Lord Jesus. ‘Whoever humbleth himself like a child shall be exalted into the kingdom of God and whoever exalts himself shall be humbled,’ said the Master. I saw only love – Swami’s love, God’s love – reflected in the hearts of all of you when I came here!”
Swami thereafter blessed everyone with His divine discourse, and started by saying, “Enthusiasm, courage, fearlessness, intelligence, strength and valour – where these six qualities exist, there Divine also definitely exists! These six qualities define a divine youth. There are many youths – they are only young in the bodies but in their ways, they are even worse than old. There is no enthusiasm in their lives, there is no fearlessness, there is no sense of adventure, there is no strength, for, they have become slave to their senses and have lost all these qualities in the process. Like walking dead, they go walking, doing things about in their lives but truly there is no spirit or there is no life in it. And when I look at these kind of youth who are so very depressed, so much in delusion, so much having sorrow and there is no spirit, I feel extremely sad. And then I see our youth here. And that gives Me a lot of hope for there are people who can be example for the others. Youth do not learn by preaching. Not by forcing upon them rules and regulations but only when they see others as examples are they truly inspired and they are motivated to become like them. Therefore, being a good example is the best way to mould and motivate the youth. And that is the only way we can transform the youth!
The only thing that I want from you is that you become an example to another. The way you live, the way you talk, the way you walk, the way you do things, the way you conduct yourself in your daily lives – everything should be exemplary. That is the best Seva you can do to other youths!”
After an inspiring Questions and Answers session, Mangala Arati was offered and the evening came to a close. After blessing all with Prasadam, Swami returned to the residence of Mrs Maria Buffa, while arrangements were being made for everyone to depart Rome the next morning to one of the most spiritual places in the world, Assisi!