Meher Youth Sahavas 2010
YOUNG ADULT SAHAVAS 2010 – By – Kalyan Gillett
The Avatar Meher Baba Young Adult Sahavas is in its tenth year after first running in 2001. It is a chance for Meher Baba followers between ages of 19-35 to join together for about a week, with aim of sharing together in Baba’s intimate company which is the meaning of ‘sahavas’. It is run by the AMBPPCT (Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Trust) within the Meherabad property with accommodation in Hostel C with activities also taking place in Hostels B & C, Mandali Hall (Lower Meherabad) and others.
‘Sahavas’ is a vedantic term that literally means dwelling together or companionship. Meher Baba held a number of Sahavases in His lifetime where He gathered His followers in His presence. His high regard for the spirit of Sahavas is reflected in this excerpt from His message to the East-West Gathering in November 1962:
“Your coming to me from different places and from across oceans has pleased me. And although no sacrifice to be near me is too great, I am touched by the sacrifice that some of you have made to come here.
Those who have not been able to come to me should not feel disheartened, for my love is with them as always, and especially so at this time. I know how they are longing to be near me even for an hour, and how helpless they are in their circumstances.
You have come from great distances, not for some convention or conference, but to enjoy my company and feel afresh my love in your hearts. It is a coming together of East and West in the house of their Father.”
The Young Adult Sahavas runs to a packed schedule. There is a range of recreational activities offered daily such as arts, sports and service projects giving an opportunity for self and group sharing in Baba’s Love. These are voluntary and participants have a wide range to choose from.
In addition there is a selection of special events though the week that have some special association with Meher Baba and can range from informative to entertaining. Past events have included guest speakers such as Mandali members and university professors, quiz nights, visits to Baba locations such as the Seclusion Hill and Imampur Mosque, and musical performances by visiting artists.
A big focus for the creative effort of ‘Sahavasees’ through the week is the celebration night which is held on the final evening. This is in the form of a review performance with master of ceremonies introducing the acts, and ideally can form an outlet for ‘Sahavasees’’ creative expressions of devotion. Participants are encouraged to devise drama and skits, musical performances, and dance acts which may be village folk or Bollywood style. This evening is also a chance to showcase the art work that has been created during activity time, which this year included a large Papier-mâché relief of Meher Baba’s face and rangoli decoration of the entrance.
The 2010 Sahavas programme this year included spiritual lectures given by Gokaran Shrivastava on the nature of creation and Krishnakanth Shukla on spiritual ecology. A highlight was a talk given by Sheila Fenster, Bhau Kalchuri’s daughter on her life as a child living with Baba, expanding stories from her book, and later a talk given by Mehernath Kalchuri offering stories of life with Baba. There were musical performances given by the Ahmednagar Meher Baba Center Bhajan Singers and also by Krishnakanth Shukla. The programme culminated in a special tour of the Trust Compound ‘Meher Nazar’ with delicious food and refreshments prepared by Rajshri Kalchuri.
Applications to take part are encouraged from Baba Lovers all over India and the globe that are within the age range of 19-35 and the process can be completed online through the Trust’s website (www.ambppct.org). For those that have already attended the Sahavas there is the chance to apply to be a ‘volunteer’ which involves organizing and running activity groups and additional duties throughout the Sahavas.