The Brahma Kumaris at XII International conference “Physical development and socialization of students in the modern world”
St. Petersburg, Russia: Didi Santosh, Brahma Kumaris Director in St. Petersburg, Russia, received a letter of appreciation “for cultural and educational activities aimed at spiritual and moral development of the younger generation in the spirit of brotherhood and friendship between Russia and India”. The letter of appreciation was handed over to Didi by Mr Dmitry Smirnov, president of the International Academy of Children and Youth Tourism. The ceremony took place during the plenary session of XII International conference “Physical development and socialization of students in the modern world” held in St. Petersburg on April, 11, Monday. This annual conference is an influential platform especially for discussing the issues of sports development in this country. The Brahma Kumaris centre has been actively participating in its sessions for some years already. The articles and presentations on application of spiritual knowledge and Raja Yoga meditation for value education, especially in the fields of sports and tourism, have been published annually in the proceedings of the conference.
Addressing the audience of the plenary session, Mr. Victor Romanov, president of St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design, the Olympics bronze medalist, said, “I am very grateful to our dear guest from India. The ancient Indian civilization has a lot in common with our values of dignity, humility, self-respect and respect for others.” Further he noted that the key to success in sports lies in ensuring harmony between one’s intellect and physical abilities. “When you discipline yourself by means of your intellect, not just physically, you will be able to accomplish any task successfully.”
Didi Santosh gave a talk on the role of spiritual knowledge and self-realisation in balanced personality development. “To go in for sports means to develop the physical aspect of one’s personality. Yet we observe lots of cases of tension, stress and depression especially among athletes. It means we have to correct something, or have a supplement to the physical development. The addition we may require is the realisation of our spiritual identity. A human being is not just a physical body but a sentient soul residing in this material body and controlling it. As we develop the awareness of the self as light, or current, beyond the limited labels of nationality, race and creed, we begin developing a new attitude towards the society we live in. “I, the soul, has entered this body in order to be a bestower.” And then it’s up to you to decide in what way you are going to decorate the world around you. One of the possible ways is through achieving excellency in your physical development. When others see your bodily strength and flexibility, they may at least be inspired to start doing morning exercises! Another change that happens with us when we realise that we are souls, is that we begin to appreciate our interaction with other souls as a festival. We are here in order to support and give happiness to one another. In this case, adverse external conditions (economical, political, environmental etc) are no longer affecting me, because I realise: I, the soul, am a master. How? Because I am a sentient being having the power to decide. It’s me who makes a difference by influencing the external situations. And this is the key to get free from tension and stress, because stress comes when I see myself as a slave or a victim of the situation.”
Addressing the youth group, young students and athletes present at the plenary session, Didi said, “Sports can be a true celebration, provided it gets free from the infection of the tendency to dominate at any cost. The practice of soul consciousness makes us feel that all of us are the children of the Supreme Father and therefore we are brothers and sisters. Then we may compete at various sports events but we keep radiating the energy of good wishes and kindness. If you start practising a minute of silence now and then during the day to remind yourself of these subtle spiritual aspects of your personality, you will surely be able to give a return to the sustenance you have been receiving from your Universities and the government, and this is the best way to glorify the society and country we live in.”