Atharva College of Engineering invited me to facilitate one of the sessions for Induction of first year Engineering Students. Because of Covid lockdown, it was only after two long years, that I got an opportunity to visit the college campus and interact with youth in person again. All college sessions in the last two years were online.
The overall feel of this college campus was very positive and calm as though bestowed by special blessings of Lord Ganesha, the name of the college has the secret may be.. After interacting with the college professors on various topics related to youth and the life of educators, I entered the auditorium bustling with heightened youthful energy and was welcomed by the chattering of aspiring students. I was visiting there along with fellow Art of Living Teachers and volunteers.
It’s a privilege to guide these students to get ready for one of the most important and exciting phases of their life – “College Life.” The years when the wings of freedom add new thrill in life. Along with newer responsibilities to shape a bright future. It’s like being on an eternal adventure to be a youth, almost like being on a roller coaster ride. Fun and thrill are accompanied by the dangers of distraction, this sometimes could be a lot of pressure for a naïve heart and young brain. The students shared the many challenges they face and how it only adds to more pressure. To which I shared with them my secret- Having a seat belt on can be the only saviour during such a roller coaster ride. And learning to Discipline the mind, emotions & time is that seat belt, that saviour which can make life a real joyride. Though discipline seems opposing freedom and fun, just like a seatbelt may feel uncomfortable to start with, but it is THE most important aspect of adulthood. The sure short recipe for success… those who really succeeded were those who followed certain discipline in life, isn’t it!
Three fifty students saw a glimpse of how the mind & emotions got disciplined within a few minutes of their first meditation experience. Stress got released as they gradually moved into complete silence. As mischievous & fun were the chatters as I had entered, equally endearing was the silence of these young minds, experiencing the connection with themselves. Post the meditation their eyes opened with big smiles.
Peaceful & disciplined individuals would ripple peace around them. We reflect who we are .. And so the session ended with the students voting to stand for peace and being part of the #Istandforpeace movement started by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar across India, the US, Europe and Africa. Sri Sri Ravishankar says that: “When 1% of the population meditates, it elevates the collective consciousness. Similarly, if enough people say “I stand up for peace” then we project that energy, that vision and it will happen.
As the seeds of peace have been sowed through this session, I am hopeful that the some of these young minds of our nation will carry with them together peace for a more peaceful planet as they fly high and happy in their own lives with their new wings of freedom.
Grateful to the Principal and Teachers of Atharva College of Engineering for this initiative where students’ 180-degreegrowth is considered important for living a holistic life. Being around youth is advantageous in a sense that it keeps you young at heart. As I refuse to grow old and so resolve to be around youth always 🙂
Ms. Vasudha Jhunjhunwala holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. She is associated with the Art of Living since year 2000. Born and brought up in a pink city Jaipur, Rajasthan she currently resides in Amchi Mumbai with her family. For nearly a decade, Vasudha has inspired more than 10,000 youths with her teachings and social work. She has undertaken various projects and has been an instrument of change for its success. Juggling between home and work, in her spare time Vasudha likes to paint, write poems, learn music and play badminton. She is a Social Worker, Entrepreneur, State Coordinator of The Art of Living, Student of Sanskrit & Classical Music, Writer, Homemaker, Mother, Meditation Teacher, Public Speaker, Recipient of CSO-2014 award by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and has travelled in 30 Countries.
She is a quintessential deshbhakt. It is difficult to match her youthful Energy.
Vasudha is extremely passionate about her initiatives. One of the most successful projects lead by her was the ‘Vote For a Better India’ - A campaign that facilitated the voter registration process and lead to 5 lakh citizens new voter registration across India in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Bringing more awareness to the people in the community she began the initiative ‘Mind your Vehicle’ - A project to sensitize citizens towards traffic discipline with 2000 volunteers in Mumbai. The project saw good media coverage. She was also the founding member of ‘Save Aarey’ project. In this project more than 300 volunteers cleared 5-truck loads of garbage from Aarey colony. With an aim to instill a sense of responsibility and nationalism among the youth, she has spearheaded several initiatives that included women’s safety drives, blood donation drives, cleanliness drives at railway stations and sea-shores, health and hygiene awareness camps and others.
Often people ask her what made her belief so strong to walk the spiritual path. She affirms that, “just like the light house guides the ship through darkness of night, our conscience guides us through decisions of life. For a smooth sail, just listen to it!”
The drought in Maharashtra had led to an increasing number of farmer suicides and Vasudha decided to contribute towards River Rejuvenation Project in the state. She along with her team revived around 22kms of Manjara river. The river Manjara rejuvenation in Latur District benefited 5 lakh villagers in its vicinity. Vasudha was also a part of the Solar Lamp Project. She was the catalyst in the distribution of solar lamps to flood-hit villagers in Orissa during Fani.
Her courage and valour gives her the skill to bring out the right perspective in every project she undertakes. Worry or Uncertainty are not words she rhymes with, Vasudha believes that’s Spiritual knowledge shields the flame of life from the winds of uncertainties. Vasudha is currently working on Project Pavitra. Since its inception this year, the project has imparted menstrual hygiene education to more than 2000 young girls in BMC schools and it aims to reach out to many more. She is also the founding member of SORT Club - Student's organization for Reform and Transformation. The club is now operational in 10 colleges in Mumbai. The project aims to remove the menace of substance abuse from the colleges of India. Vasudha is also working on a Happy Neighbourhood Project. The project aims to establish Happiness centers in societies to make societies stress-free.
If you meet her once, you would know that she has a very charming, intuitive, and jovial personality, her ideas and thoughts are ahead of it’s time. Her ability to perceive something new and unique in every individual is what draws people to her company. She gives a very comfortable and cool vibe something young students connect to and find easy to talk and open up to her about their problems. Make impossible, possible is her mantra. Her sessions are filled with grit, humor, inspiration, and some awespiring wisdom. People feel rejuvenated, energetic, experience clarity of thoughts, immense love in their hearts after attending her Mind and Breathe Workshops.
Mysteries of life intrigues her and even though she has traveled in 30 countries she found her best place within. She, by herself is a ‘Happiness Express’ moving swiftly on the spiritual path.
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