From 25-27 July 2003, 2000 students from 50 countries gathered at the Raritan Center in Edison for the 'Vaishvik Dharma Parishad'.
Throughout the three days, spiritual leaders, such as Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Kanchi, The Dalai Lama and other renowned experts addressed the Parishad.
The Parishad concluded on Sunday with the blessings from His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
A special satellite link was set up to transmit Pramukh Swami Maharaj's blessings from Vidyanagar, Gujarat to Edison, New Jersey, USA.
Sanjiv Bhatt gave an outline of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and the work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in uplifting society before requesting Pramukh Swami Maharaj to address the 2000 youths.
Blessing the Parishad, Pramukh Swami Maharaj said, "Dharma is not a subject to be merely discussed or kept confined to the scriptures. It is to be practiced in life. Whatever one's faith, to imbibe whatever is good in one's life is a life of dharma. Bhagwan Swaminarayan has given a great principle for all: 'Dharmo gneyaha sadacharaha' - that is, Dharma is to perform good deeds, think noble thoughts and perform one's social duties with integrity. For this, there is no distinction of caste, creed, colour, social status or wealth. Good deeds means to live a pure life, free from dishonesty, violence, adultery, etc. Noble thoughts means not to even think of harming others. Performing one's social duties with integrity means to work and trade with honesty, and to practice one's social dealings amicably, faithfully and honestly. To live such a life is dharma. To realize the dream of universal brotherhood and world peace, it is necessary for all to live such a life of dharma. From this the unity of mankind will develop and from this peace and happiness will be attained."
Concluding, Swamishri congratulated the organizers and the students who had attended the Parishad, and prayed that they are able to lead such a life of dharma.
After Pramukh Swami Maharaj's 20minute blessings, delivered in Gujarati and translated into English by Brahmavihari Swami, the invited guests and students accorded him a standing ovation.
Agriculture Minister Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama was also present with Swamishri in Vidyanagar