From 8 to 11 January 2014, over 255 kishores and kishoris from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane in Australia, and Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand attended the Asia Pacific Regional Convention 2014 in the presence of Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami and sadhus. The Convention, titled ‘Be Ekantik’, was held in Creswick, near Melbourne, Australia. The goal of the convention was to enable delegates to strengthen their own connection with guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj and develop on the path to becoming ekantik.
Day 1: 8 January 2014
In the first evening session, sadhus shared incidents that inspired them and strengthened their bond with Bapa, thereby introducing the tagline of the shibir – ‘My Life With Bapa’. Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami explained why all can connect with Swamishri in varied ways and how Swamishri has inspired him by being a silent leader, so great yet so humble.
Day 2: 9 January 2014
In the morning session, Aksharvatsal Swami described how Bapa’s presence in one’s life is reflected in one’s actions and daily routine and how Bapa guides us through the dark jungle of maya, leading us to Akshardham.
Next, Snehmuni Swami creatively used a Lego analogy to explain the four components of ekantik dharma – dharma, bhakti, gnan and vairagya – and their practical application in the lives of all.
This was followed by group discussions on how ekantik dharma is relevant in every day situations. Discussions were based on various scenarios and encouraged delegates to reflect on how Bapa’s presence in our lives should be appreciated.
In the afternoon, Purnajivan Swami spoke about upgrading from worldly happiness to divine happiness through the observance of dharma.
Then, Bhaktivardhan Swami made a presentation on avoiding abhav-avgun to remain on the path of ekantik dharma. During the next group activity, delegates were motivated to think about others’ virtues and how to adopt them in their lives.
In the evening, the first part of a drama was presented by kishores and yuvaks from different centers. The drama highlighted some of the issues confronted by the current generation of youths.
Day 3: 10 January 2014
In the morning session, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami explained the significance of daily bhakti rituals, such as arti, thal, etc. and how to incorporate them into daily life. Then the sadhus sang stanzas from various daily rituals, together with a commentary describing the thoughts one should keep during the rituals.
Thereafter, a panel discussion was held in which two yuvaks discussed how they had been able to balance their satsang with career and education success. Snehmuni Swami concluded the discussion with guidance on how satsang can be used as a foundation to achieve academic and professional success.
Next, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami talked about seeing the world through an ekantik lens. He shared his personal experiences of Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the ability of the ekantik satpurush to view everything through this divine lens.
In the afternoon, the group discussions reviewed all the messages of the morning session in depth. Then, Amrutnandan Swami elaborated on developing true love for Swamishri, emphasizing the essential components of reflection and introspection.
In the evening, the second part of the drama was performed.
Day 4 – 11 January 2014
On the final morning a samuh puja was held.
Later, the final session focused on how Bapa remains ever-present in our lives through mandirs, mentors and rituals. Yuvaks narrated prasangs of kishores and kishoris of the Asia Pacific region who had experienced this. Then, Aksharvatsal Swami spoke about the impact a mandir can have on our lives.
At the end prayers were offered to Swamishri and the youngsters resolved to weave a stronger life with Bapa.