Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj and guided by the sadhus, 8,650 men and women volunteers serve to consolidate satsang in over 5,500 BAPS satsang and women’s centres, in Gujarat.
For the continued guidance and improvement of these dedicated volunteers, annual regional shibirs are organised and conducted by the Satsang Activities Central Office based in Amdavad.
Beginning on 10-12-2004, a total of 13 shibirs were held: one at Rajkot and two each at Sankari, Tithal, Amdavad, Atladra, Gadhada and Bochasan. The last shibir concluded on 9-1-2005. A total of 4,800 men and 3,850 women volunteers from 177 districts of Gujarat participated in the shibirs.
The theme of the shibirs, ‘Only One Aim – Akshardham’ was based on Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s statement in Vachanamrut Gadhada II-22, that devotees of God should aim “to attain the abode of God within this very lifetime.”
Each shibir began with a video of Swamishri’s blessings elaborating on the shibir’s theme. The shibir’s agenda consisted of speeches, meditation and contemplation, question and answer sessions, audio-visual presentations, message-oriented games, discussions and other programmes focusing on the central message of the shibir. Speeches by senior sadhus – Doctor Swami, Mahant Swami, Kothari Swami, Tyagvallabh Swami and Ishwarcharan Swami – and other experienced sadhus gave the volunteer’s valuable guidance and inspiration.
Through these shibirs, the volunteers were inspired to progress in their own spirituality and in their service to the Sanstha. ?
Every year, the BAPS Bal Mandal Central Office in Amdavad organises regional shibirs to train and refresh volunteers for children’s satsang activities. This year’s theme was ‘Pratigna’ – Pledge.
To shibir's theme was based on Swamishri's pledge to Shastriji Maharaj 54 years ago to serve the Sanstha, and subsequently his unceasing and herculean efforts in fulfilling his pledge. A total of 11 regional shibirs were held to inspire and train 5,236 children’s activitiy volunteers from 187 districts of Gujarat. Each shibir lasted for one-and-a-half days. During this time, there were inspiring speeches by senior sadhus which helped to explain and consolidate the main message of the shibirs. In addition, there were skits and dramas, audio-visual presentations and question-answer sessions which gave guidance on matters of work procedure and discipline essential for the smooth and efficient execution of duties. Discussions also took place on the fundamental principles which enable the children’s activities to flourish. A report of the activities and achievements of 2004 by the volunteers was also presented. Then, a schedule of the projects to be undertaken during 2005 was announced.