All our scriptures say that the ever persuasion of desires, yearning, longing, craving, urge and greed drive us far from the ultimate happiness of the spiritual realm thus leave us to suffer endlessly.

As a matter of fact, from the time we wake up in the morning till we go to bed in the night, we are inevitably involved in pleasing and yielding to the desires our mann prompts to us from time to time.

However, we are fortunate to be a part of an institution such as AVM, where we continuously receive the guidance of His Divine Holiness Param Pujya Hariprasad Swami Maharaj. Swamishree regularly teaches us that the endeavour of a true devotee of a God is not to live by pleasing and yielding to the whims of his mann, but by living as per the injunctions of God, our Guru, elders, and parents. It is because mann is known to be a devil which drags us into negative influences and distractions thus ruins our potential to grow and be successful in life.

It is upon these very thoughts of “મારે મન ને નહિ પણ ભગવાન ને રાજી કરવા છે”, Suhradam House presented a creative assembly in the school. The program began with an elucidation on the life of an alumnus of AVM, Sachinbhai Verlekar, who is a student at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune.

A short video account was shown which depicted the radical transformation in his life, from a naughty purposeless kid to a very focused, successful and mature Bhoolku of Swamishree. The reason behind the change was discussed, which was his firm resolution to only aim to please God through his actions and fight against the desires of his mann at any cost. This led him to sincerely follow the injunctions of Guruhari Swamishree and brought him great happiness and success. His tenure at IISER is a prime example of this – a 10/10 GPA in every semester, participation in iconic national events, and many more. At the same time, his friendship with saints at Haridham is a testimony to his drive to please Swamishree at any cost. This description of Sachinbhai’s life brought inspiration to many students that controlling our fickle mann is not only necessary to be successful but it is possible at such a young age.

Thereafter, the Suhradam House team presented a very well-choreographed play depicting an incident of the battle a devotee (Veera Bhagat) fought with his mann in the time of Bhagwan SwamiNarayan. After a season of good harvest that particular year, the devotee realised that his field had yielded exceptionally sweet and tasty cucumbers. Being a staunch devotee of Bhagwan, he sincerely felt that he must take the first lot of these cucumbers to Bhagwan and offer it to Him before further sale or consumption, as a mark of his bhakti towards Bhagwan.

Therefore, with a basket full of fresh and chosen cucumbers from his field, he embarks on the Journey by foot to reach the Lord. It was summer with the scorching heat of the sun making the journey terrible. In the play, various scenes were depicted wherein the devotee almost fell into the temptation of his mann to eat at least one cucumber. His mann gave him very strong and convincing arguments to tempt him, but it was a show of courage, resistance, prayer with the spirit to please God that kept him going and he finally reached where Maharaj was residing.

Maharaj, being antaryaami, welcomed him with great love and happiness, knowing very well the battle this devotee had fought all along the way. He made him sit and caressed his head and offered him the cucumber first. Unflinching in his desire to offer them to Maharaj first, he refused to have even a bite of it till Maharaj had it for Himself. Maharaj was immensely pleased with his devotion and showered him with great love and blessings.

Thus, it truly depicted how fighting against one’s mann truly makes one worthy of God’s love and blessings, besides letting us achieve more and live peacefully and in control of ourselves.

It truly portrayed the reality that any student who ever wished to excel in academics and life, can only gain the true concentration by trumping over one’s “lucchu labad nalayakmann’s desires.

Written by: Seema Ma’am