‘Change brings progress and each of us must be an agent of change. We must reflect on the past, re-evaluate our lives and reinforce life’s values in order to develop and move ahead successfully. Change is the only constant in all of creation and with it blooms advancement.’ Such was the advice of Spiritual Head of SWAHA, His Holiness Pt. Hardeo Persad, as he delivered the key-note address at SWAHA’s Indian Arrival celebrations on May 30, 2017.
The Awards Distribution and Dinner was held at JFK Auditorium, UWI, St Augustine, where the theme‘Change Brings Progress’ was highlighted in the address. The various cultural stage performances also focused on this theme, sending the powerful message that man is responsible for all his situations and that he must be prepared to look for the light in all circumstances, pleasant or not.
At the ceremony, winners from SWAHA’s religious and educational institutions were awarded for excellence in various areas of arts and culture such as story-telling, choral speaking of Sanskrit verses from the Bhagavad Gita, local song, instrumental, dance and visual arts. Participants in these competitions were judged weeks prior to the celebrations. Performances by outstanding dancer, Karan Rampersad, as well as the choirs of Sukh Shanti Bhakti Mandali and Tulsi Manas Mandir focused on the theme. Story-teller, Keshav Maharaj, winner in the Under Twelve Years age group, confidently narrated his story ‘What Happens is For The Best’, to a most appreciative audience.
In his address, Pundit Persad advised the packed hall to be open to change in all aspects of life, at both the private and professional levels.He added, ‘No matter where we go, we will always face challenges. But Hinduism has taught us that we should not grumble, for time will tell us the reasons for such circumstances. Instead, we should seek to find out where or who is the source of the problem? The answer is always in front of us. We are at the root of our problems. We create our own situations and difficulties. We put up the wall of resistance to change and this is a deterrent to progress.Instead, we should be dynamic. Seek to venture into the uncharted waters that lie ahead but do so with consideration of time, place and circumstances. Ask questions. Be flexible. Change helps to improve the human condition. Overcoming tough times makes you stronger. Additionally, we grow and widen our scope of knowledge. Change helps us to adapt to new environments, new situations and new people with ease. Many are the benefits of change. We should be open to change for it is the only constant in all of creation. Everyone and everything is subject to change. Embrace it for it is a fact of life. Discover new insights and aspects to your life in the dynamism of change.’
In his closing comments, Paramacharyaji reminded all present that everyone makes mistakes and learns through the process of change. It is a most useful tool of learning for it leads us ultimately, to a state of self-realization.
As the celebrations ended, the theme of the celebrations reverberated across the airwaves of the clear skies as a rich sense of respect for change and the hope of blessedness rang through the hearts of all, with the firm resolve of welcoming the optimism of change in all circumstances.