Annual Gateway- A Spiritual Retreat
By Atul Agrawal
BRUCEVILLE, TX: The Hindu Students Association (HSA) hosted its annual Gateway on February 4-6 at Bruceville, TX. The location was chosen specifically to help students and young professionals escape their daily lives. Nearly 120 students from all across Texas gathered at this one campsite for one purpose, to invest in themselves. Just as the body craves food, so does the mind. While many of us ignore it, the hunger pains will soon surface. To satisfy these appetites, HSA brought a buffet of spiritual teachers that would definitely quell this insatiable hunger
As the old proverb goes, “you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. Gateway had a similar goal in mind. Rather than just helping everyone calm their mind and grow spiritually once, HSA wants to inspire people to carry this throughout their lives.
Satguru Bodhniathaji and Swami Senthilnathaswamiji from the Hawaiian Monastery, Bramacharya Girishji from Chinmaya Mission attened the event. One key aspect of any intervention group is to provide its members a social network to help each other. A single pillar under the weight of the world is more likely to collapse than several pillars burdening the same weight. Similarly, Gateway provides a social network to help people grow spiritually in these troubled times. People can fundamentally change the way they think of their religion or can apply their religion when they have a meaningful conversation amongst people with the same interest.
Gateway was one weekend, just a mere three days out of the whole year. Yet there were students from UT Austin, Texas A&M, UT Dallas, University of Houston, University of Arkansas, Bellaire High School, Taylor High School, Clements High School, and young professionals from Arkansas, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and Maryland gathered together at one place. I, as part of HSA’s national executive board, can only hope that the effects of this Gateway extend not only beyond Bruceville or our respective homes, but pervade throughout the globe. In the end, we in HSA can only provide a platform for a youth to step on. Now that the platform is laid out, I am excited to see how the youth will step up and strengthen our community!