A mandir functions as a place of transcendence in which the inner and outer worlds commune and experience Divinity, where devotees cross over from a transitory world to an eternal one of knowledge and truth.
Centered on the theme “My Mandir, My Home”, over 500 children in Australia and New Zealand took part in the one-day shibirs in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Keshavjivan Swami (Pujya Mahant Swami) and other sadhus, during the month of April and May 2015. Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj blessed the Shibir in Sarangpur by sanctifying the shibir materials and mementos.
The Bal-Balikas gathered in five different centers - Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane (Australia), and Auckland (New Zealand). Through enlightening presentations and engaging breakout sessions, the children understood how a Mandir shapes their identity by providing an amicable, supportive and caring environment.
The shibir was split into four different classroom sessions: My God, My Home, My Mandir and My Life. Each session opened with a unique presentation by sadhus. The children then broke out into groups and engaged in interactive activities and experiments.
The first classroom focused on “My God.” Pujya Mahant Swami enlightened the children by speaking to them about the importance of murtis, how to do proper darshan and connect with the murtis. In the breakout session the children interactively learned the meaning of the arti and how to perform arti.
The second classroom, “My Home,” demonstrated how one can bring the Mandir home through doing seva. A unique experiment was executed in which the delegates showed teamwork.
“My Mandir” was the third classroom where the Mandir was described as a means of connecting with Swamishri. Group leaders and children shared stories of Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj which showed his magnanimous love for the Mandir and how we can strive to do the same.
The final classroom focused on “My Life”. During this session the children learnt how we can keep the Mandir and Swamishri at the centre of our lives. To show this, the groups created a ‘linking-tree’ with children posing as the trunks and branches connecting important parts of their lives, Mandir, Swamishri and Bhagwan.
At the end of the shibir all of the delegates received Swamishri’s prasadi mala and a wrist band from Pujya Mahant Swami. In various sessions throughout the convention, the delegates delved deeper into ancient Vedic rituals and learnt more about the mandir, about Maharaj-Swami and about themselves.