JJ 111 – Y+ Reflection
YHMT+ @ JJ111: A Series of Emotional and Riveting Experiences
Ethereal. Magical. Sensational. Words fall short when describing this incredible celebration. Each component of this event was so carefully and thoughtfully planned out, and touched every single individuals’ heart in a special way, whether it was a veteran mahatma or someone who happened to be passing by Simandhar City during that time. What was also inspiring to see was that people of all ages from around the world were so involved in planning and execution, and they were willing to jump in at any point to help enhance the experience of JJ for others. This included volunteering in the domes, translating, helping in the kitchen, and much more! Let’s see what the YMHT+ from all over North America have to say about their experiences at JJ111!
Urjit Patel, Massachusetts
JJ 111 was my 7th Janmajayanti and by far the most extravagant. I enjoyed being a part of the NRI kitchen team, which is something I’ve done for the past 5 Janmajayantis. This Jayanti was special to me at many levels. It was my first time back in Sim City since I moved back to the States. I reconnected with so many people, including everyone that I had built a relation with during my sinchan tenure. During the event, everyone was so busy with hosting the event; however, we all made time for those brief moments in passing or the longer, deeper conversations, especially with my sinchan crew. It was all really nostalgic. On a spiritual level, seeing so many people visit Sim City during those 10 days was so blissful. I felt many times that this world deserves every ounce of gnan that we have been so blessed with. This was undoubtedly the longest Janmajayanti, but it felt like the shortest.
Priya Patel, North Carolina
I am beyond thankful that I was able to attend Dada’s 111th Janmajayanti in Adalaj. It was my first time visiting Simandhar City, and I was given the opportunity to be a part of the “Friendship Bakery” in the Kids Castle/Dome. This Seva involved teaching children around the ages of 5 to 14 years old all of the true qualities of friendship — by baking cookies! Each one of the ingredients represented a quality such as: trust, share, care, and respect. By baking these cookies, we were able to share with the children that a genuine relationship is built by a little bit of each one of these ingredients/qualities. Baking, playing with, and just seeing the smiles on these little faces was one of the best feelings. It was a very heartwarming experience.
“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.” -DeAnn Hollis
Mansi Vira, New Jersey
I had the humbling opportunity to be one of the few YMHT+ working on the North American Float and seeing it transform from simple ideas on paper to an entire parade consisting of 300 people. Over the course of 4 months of having daily multiple hour meetings, often times until 2AM, and having a daily list of tasks to finish to move on to the next step, I bonded with mahatmas from all over the US and Canada and learned so much from each of them. As we grew closer, we’d talk about our other files and how we found Dada. What was so beautiful was that each one has a different and inspiring story to share, and yet what united us all was our shared goal on our journeys to Moksha. In the midst of working on the float, I was also given the (super fun!) task of choreographing a dance for the parade. Despite everyone’s hectic Seva schedules, we managed to hold dance practice and have so much fun just getting to know the silly sides of each other! There really is no company like the company of those in satsang. What’s remarkable about just being around those who are following the same spiritual path as you is that there is always gnan at the basis of any conversation or adventure. JJ111 was undoubtedly one of the greatest adventures I am so grateful to have been able to experience. The grandiose nature of it was flabbergasting and awe-inspiring. Thinking about the countless hours of work that went into putting together this seamless event makes me smile at the commitment and love with which our mahatmas – and non-mahatmas too – dedicate themselves. Coming back to “reality” was not easy after what felt like being in a 10-day fantasy that exuded nothing less than positivity and purity.
Special Agent Aditya Toney, Washington
I was fortunate to be able to do Seva during JJ at the NSA dome. The task at hand was quite simple: each of the 4 groups, consisting of 3-4 individuals, needed to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using various clues, hints, and strategies, in order to find ‘the missing girl’. Each group had to work under a time limit to unveil the secret plot hidden within the “game” rooms. My specific role in this dome was to play a Special Agent who gave the various groups hints to solve the mystery. Sounds pretty cool, huh?
Initially, I was a bit scared as I wasn’t sure how well I would fit in with a bunch of 20 year olds, or if they would judge me for being an NRI and not being able to speak Gujarati fluently. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my experience was nowhere close to what I had imagined – I was completely blown away by the youths’ dedication to Seva, to Dada, and how they applied gnan in every situation – despite the immense heat or periodic huge crowds and accommodating everyone. Moreover, most of these youth worked around the clock from 11am until 11pm with few breaks even for lunch and dinner. I felt that engaging in Seva truly connected me with the youth and helped me be a part of them. The barriers I had within had me suddenly disappeared.
Through this Seva, I realized how much I was receiving. Strength, reliability, patience, humility, and everlasting positivity – these are just some qualities that I learned that no matter what happens, don’t let a single negative thought creep into you. There is immense power in staying positive. In keeping Dada’s gnan in perspective throughout our daily activities, we quickly realize that we really don’t have any control over our lives, except to stay positive. I went in questioning myself how I could impact others through my Seva. I left, however, feeling grateful for the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic and sincere group of youth. This experience left an impact on me and also become an everlasting memory for me.
Priya Soni, Chicago
One of the workshops at JJ111 that really struck me was the “Filo ka Sambhaav Se Nikal.” This was a “Groundhog Day” type video, where a mother and wife kept repeating the same moment until the daughter settled her files with equanimity. Watching this, I thought of how I would like to settle my files in a similar way. What stuck out to me was that in the video, the daughter received so many chances to practice “filo ka sambhaav se nikal”; however, in our lives, we only have one chance. This was the message of the dome. It made me realize how aware I have to be so that I can settle all of my files – always – on the first try. While I would love to have infinite chances to get it ‘right,’ that is not our reality. Instead, we should live every moment with true awareness, with Dada’s gnan, so that we too can settle all our files with equanimity.
Ankit Gandhi, Massachusetts
The opening ceremony easily took the top spot in my history of concerts. Before I knew of Dada, I had attended a few western concerts with my friends. To be honest, they were fun, but the JJ111 opening ceremony was on another level. It had the best setup, the best biographical representation of Ambalal transitioning to Dada Bhagwan, and the best use of available technology to engage everyone, including those attending for the first time. What engaged me most was the first part of the opening ceremony, as it started with a very warm welcome of Dada, Niruma and Pujyashree, followed by Aarti. Perhaps the most amazing part of it was that the entire audience received the benefit of doing Aarti with Pujyashree. And while this may sound “soft” on paper, JJ111 was one of those experiences where you had to just be there and soak it in, even if you were jet-lagged, tired, sick, and running on 4-5 hours of sleep per night.
Mukti Darji, North Carolina
Ever since I learned about Dada’s Gnan, I have been wanting to go to Simandhar City and spend some time there. This time, I finally got that chance during JJ111. There’s so much love and positivity in the environment, and I could sit in the temple and Niruma’s samadhi for hours. Not only was it peaceful there, but every time I would look at Simandhar Swami, I would also automatically start asking for shakti for Moksh. Tears would fall down my face as if my pratikamans were happening then and there. There’s also a big difference in staying in Simandhar City and staying outside of Simandhar City. It is much easier to stay in gnan when you are surrounded by the mahatmas in Simandhar City.
Aditi Doshi, New Jersey
Janma Jayanti 111 was one of the most incredible experiences I have had in my life. To witness an event in that capacity, gathering sevarthis from all over the world, for the cause of spreading Dada’s gnan and happiness to everyone, was beautiful. In the presence of Pujyashree, the intent of celebrating Dada’s JJ111 in a unique way was accomplished and went above and beyond what I imagined. The exhibits, programs, hospitality services, food stations and, of course, satsang, were all enjoyable – in the real sense of the word. Jevo sang, evo rang.
Raina Bhatt, Iowa
JJ111 was my first Janmayajayanti, and it was an incredible experience. I felt such so much positive energy and purity in the atmosphere everyday. It was great to have daily satsangs with Pujyashree and to be in his presence during the evening events. I was able to give Seva in the money workshop dome, and it was amazing to see how all the sevarthis were so enthusiastic and consistent about their Seva no matter the time of day. The domes were so versatile, catering to all age groups with varying topics of gnan, teaching the audiences ways to apply gnan into their daily lives. I feel so grateful to have be able to experience the event and the satsangs.
Undoubtedly, JJ111 left a mark on every individual who attended. The YMHT+ are no exception. Their involvement at every phase of the event was remarkable, and their experiences, as we can glean from all the YMHT+ who shared, were unmatched.