Klang Mission held their Third Annual Sadhana Camp from December 10th to 13th at the sea-side resort of Sri Pantai, Morib, in Malaysia. The 40 boys and girls who participated ranged in ages from 13 to 23. The four-day retreat included lectures on temple worship, the Saivite saints, dharma and Sivathondu, as well as puja practice, hatha yoga, group discussions, play, testimonials, campfires, thevaram and bhajans. Here are some first-hand reports from the youths.
Nineteen-year old Paramanathan said, "We were very enthusiastic about trying the brahmachariya (chastity) vow as advised by Adiyar Rajagopal. Most of us agreed to take up the sacred vow and this, I feel, was a major success of the camp. Also, the talks on Saivism were simply fantastic."
Sixteen-year old Thavamalar Thuraisingam reported, "I returned home with a lot of knowledge about Hinduism and ideas as to how I am going to practice it. I made up my mind to take up the Brahmacharini Vrata. I want to learn how to do the Atmartha Puja at home. I shall also talk to my friends and relatives and explain to them what a wonderful religion Hinduism actually is and how it has and can help those who follow it properly." Thavamalar also suggested some improvements: "More debates and group discussion should be conducted to allow the participants to interact more and bring out their point of view. I also suggest that the camp be longer."
Anandh Sockalingam, 16, reported, "The talk on sadhana was not a new lecture to me since I have already read about it, but for some reason I was never able to grasp its inner meaning before. It enlightened me greatly. In fact, now my affirmation is to lead a daily life according to my dharma and sadhana."
"I made a lot of new friends, and through these friends I found out more about myself," explained 14-year old Vicknezan Selvadurai. "I hope the organizers will organize a better camp next year with more workshops so that we can get to learn more about our religion and our friends."
The youths emphasized benefits in four areas: brahmachariya, companionship (in games and serious discussions), practical training (such as hatha yoga, affirmations and home puja) and gaining an appreciation of their Hindu heritage. These areas can be cultivated in future camps. Each mission is realizing the importance of educating the youth, for with them lies the future of Saiva Siddhanta Church.