When the phrase the baton has been passed from one generation to another comes to mind, we think of it in terms of the patriarch handing over the reins of business or practice (legal, medical) as the case maybe to Gen Next. And that grabs eyeballs immediately because the business or practice aspect of it is quantifiable.
Many a time, such passing of baton has a priceless aspect to it as well. Samaskaras or value-systems fall in that bracket.
Our movement has been witness to such form of succession planning for quite some time now. AIM for Seva now has many 3G (third generation Sevaks) from the same family and this number continues to grow.
This has been possible only due to the presence and inspiration that our founder, Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati bestowed upon all of us. From Saylorsburg, USA, to his birthplace in Manjakkudi, a tiny hamlet in Tamil Nadu, Swamiji’s vision and mission has inspired millions to tread the path of Seva.
One such third generation beneficiary hails from Manjakkudi. S. Jayasurya’s family has been associated with Pujya Swamiji for the last three generations. Jayasurya is a high school student at the Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School, Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu.
His grandfather, G. Karunanidhi was associated with our founder for over 15 years. Jayasurya’s grandfather supervised the garden at the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Anaikatti, Tamil Nadu. The Gurukulam offers weekend students classes, short term retreats, long term retreats to people wanting to study Vedanta and also yoga and other retreats.
Jayasurya’s father has been working with the Swami Dayananda Educational Trust (SDET) for 15 years now. Jayasurya who has studied at the Swami Dayananda Matric Higher Secondary School in Manjakkudi, Tamil Nadu, since kindergarten feels the value-based education system to which he was exposed to as a child, helped to mature immensely.
And that maturity came to fore during the current lockdown when the school had to resort to a virtual classroom model to complete the pending portions. Jayasurya attended these online classes with full sincerity. Describing this experience, he says, “We are not attending these classes for mere formality (marking of attendance). We are attending and taking part in all lessons with interest and sincerity.”
The power of value-based education also stepped to the fore when Jayasurya was awarded a Certificate of Merit and Excellence in the ‘Epic Tournament-Quiz, an online quiz based on Ramayana held last month. This quiz was conducted by Srirangam Srimath Andavan Ashramam as part of ‘Vande Raghavam Vibhum-2020.’
He was named Jayasurya by Pujya Swamiji himself. Recalling the family’s association with the founder of our movement, Jayasurya’s face lights up and he says his grandfather shared a deep bond and connect with Swamiji and that G. Karunanidhi never felt that he was a mere garden supervisor at the Anaikatti Ashram.
During his naming ceremony, the Chairman and Managing Trustee of AIM for Seva gave Jayasurya a gift which he has very carefully preserved till date. Jayasurya aspires to become a meteorologist when he grows up. And by pursuing this career path, the son of the soil hopes to pay tribute to Dharti Ma.
In fact, one of his founding principles with respect to AIM for Seva was that the youth of our nation should receive value education and cultural validation. Swamiji advocated that education complemented with cultural outlook would bring in self esteem and confidence in an individual. Only someone who is taught to respect the richness of his or her roots could grow to become a self confident individual. It is self confidence and self esteem that impel a person to contribute towards and participate in the prosperity of his or her nation.