We are a group of five SKILL Foundation children from Patna. We arrived on 17th October offering two weeks of seva to Swamiji and the World Yoga Convention, and here is our report.
In the first few days before the Convention started, we became experts in cleaning! We cleaned almost the entire Main Building from the Sixth Floor to the ground, mopping all the bathrooms and windows; then we became part of a big team cleaning outside accommodation in schools and halls. We spent all day sweeping and mopping big halls and rooms, scrubbing toilets and windows, and removing spider webs. After cleaning, we set the beds for the guests; some halls had over twenty beds! When these places were shining, we went to the office for more seva and they said 'Publications'. We learnt how to pack the books and tape the boxes. Some of the bigger boys went to help shift heavy boxes.
We also had satsang with Swamiji. In one satsang, Swamiji spoke about the family of the guru, and a sentence that stood out for us, "Those who share the same vision and the same inspiration as the Master become the family of the guru." It emphasized our motto for us: 'We will do it, Sir!' In another satsang Swamiji briefed us about the Convention. We were told the route of the Convention and how to follow it, all about our ID badges; then we received our pre-Convention prasad.
We were told that no one would be allowed into the ashram without an ID badge, and this would be enforced from the day before the Convention. One of our fellows did not have his ID badge on this day. It took a long time to get the card, but once he got it we could enter the ashram to start our main seva, which was in the movie theatre. We learnt how to set the mats and chairs, how to guide people and how to explain about the movie to the guests if they had any questions. We practised how to do this – all the boys and girls stood in line and practised to say 'Hari Om' with a big smile, and we were told that we should wear our full SKILL Foundation uniform for our duty. Swamiji and Swami Satsangiji came around to see how everything was going and we could see and speak to them both.
During the Convention, our main sevas were in the Akhara for the morning session, prasad distribution in the car park, and then in the movie theatre, where we could sometimes watch the movie. After 4 pm we were free to enjoy the celebrations. We went to the Polo Ground and listened to Swamiji conduct the program from the middle part of three big pandals, while others in the side pandals could see him on big screen TVs. We attended Akhand Kirtan in the amphitheatre, which we enjoyed immensely: we danced and danced. In the evenings we attended the evening programs. We saw a magic show, a play on Swami Satyananda's life, a dance based on karate, and two dances with songs.
On 26th October, our movie theatre seva was interrupted: we had to receive our Satyam Yoga Prasad, selecting books and CDs of our choice. Then we received even more prasad in the car park.
On the last day we met Swamiji in Akhara to say 'thank you' to. He told us to meet him after the evening program, because he had a special gift for us. So our group gathered around Swamiji at the appointed time, and to each of us he gave the Yoga App tablet! He asked us about our train and journey, and said, "Best of luck!" We replied, "We will do it, Sir!!"