Ask people, "What is the purpose of life?" and many will answer simply, "To be happy." As a student of the Bhagavad-gita I would agree with that. But I'd also suggest that unless you know who you are, your happiness will flounder, because you won't know what you really need.
If you agree with that statement, you'll probably agree that the quest for self-knowledge, or self-realization, should start early in life. Bhagavad-gita says that knowing oneself is not a psychological pursuit; it's a spiritual one. The self is not the body but the soul that animates it. Anyone can attain self-realization by practice under proper guidance. And the sooner we start the better.
In this issue we present three articles that touch on youth and spirituality. In "Just Say No to No" columnist Urmila Devi Dasi suggests a positive approach to training children. In "Ashram Reflections" a teenage girl accepts a disciplined life to pursue spiritual goals. And "Midnight to Midnight" shows young men and women growing spiritually by putting philosophy into practice.
May these stories inspire you whatever your age in your own progress toward self-realization.
• To help all people discern reality from illusion, spirit from matter, the eternal from the temporary.
• To expose the faults of materialism.
• To offer guidance in the Vedic techniques of spiritual life.
• To preserve and spread the Vedic culture.
• To celebrate the chanting of the holy names of God as taught by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
• To help every living being remember and serve Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead.