The North American Bal-Balika and Kishore-Kishori Regional Karyakar Conventions (KarCon) was organized in the months of June and August 2011 based on the theme of Paramhansas: Above and Beyond. A total of 2,207 delegates from across the United States and Canada came to participate in the three-day convention. These delegates came from all backgrounds - from Sanchalaks, Sabha Sanchalaks, Network Coordinators, Parent Coordinators, and Campus Sabha Sanchalaks to National/Regional Karyakars. These karyakars regularly attend goshtis, do vicharan throughout their regions, and attend all regional meetings throughout the year.
The purpose of this convention was not to teach new skills, but to rather enhance those that these karyakars have learned throughout the years. The KarCon focused on three different areas of development: Skills enhancement, Satsang Depth/Samjan, and Teambuilding. Training and skills enhancement for each group of delegates was accomplished through a series of group specific breakout sessions.
The convention started with an introductory skit to bring to life the hardships that the Paramhansas experienced; it explained the ways that the theme “Above and Beyond” was exemplified by the aforementioned. Each day of the convention had its own message. Day one focused on Bhagwan Swaminarayan. By understanding who Bhagwan Swaminarayan is one can elevate their happiness and their faith. The second day focused on Akshar, Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s ideal devotee. By understanding Aksharbrahma, one can elevate their mahima and courage. Once an aspirant understands both they can truly go above and beyond. To understand and imbibe these messages into the karyakars’ lives, three discources were delivered daily by Pujya Swamis as well as a group goshti to further discuss the key points from the discourses.
The final evening program was meant to highlight each region’s mandir projects and tie them back to the theme. This helped create a personal message into the lives of each karyakar. Each evening program passed along two important messages. First, the importance of having a vision for one’s seva/personal Satsang and the importance of understanding the big picture. Second, overarching goals before filling in the smaller details and coming up with one’s game plan.
To become better karyakars, a clear direction and goal are imperative. Once in place, the desire to improve and change must come from within. The way to these changes is through pushing the boundaries to go Above and Beyond.