This year’s annual BSS Karyakar Shibir took place from 22 to 25 October at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sankari. More than a thousand volunteers took part in the unique shibir themed ‘Sadhana’.
The BSS program is a special development course for selected children that takes place in hundreds of centres across India. Dedicated and talented volunteers take special time every month to mentor the children in public speaking, management, life skills and Satsang knowledge. It is to train and motivate these karyakars that an annual BSS Karyakar Shibir is organized.
This year the shibir took place in the village of Sankari at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. Sankari was a unique and fitting destination for the annual shibir as it is located in a remote rural setting befitting the theme of the shibir this year – Sadhana, and is also the first mandir where Pramukh Swami Maharaj performed murti pratishtha.
The shibir explained that sadhana is the endeavor to become aksharrup and worship Purushottam. That endeavor has three important parts: 1. Ahnik 2. Seva and 3. Niyam Dharma. Guidance on these topics were given through discourses by Pujya Ghanshyamcharan Swami, video interviews with senior sadguru sadhus and workshops presented by experienced sadhus and volunteers.
There were also three special programmes during the shibir. On the first night, a play ‘Muktina Madan’ was presented by the talented volunteers of BAPS Surat. In honour of Dashera, the second night featured an event called ‘Swabhavdahan’ in which the participants burned down a 10-headed Ravan-like figure which represented their negative qualities and personality traits. Each participant made a firm vow to tackle one of these negative traits in the coming year and threw a slip of paper with that trait written on it into the flames. The final evening of the event saw a fun fair come to life. Children’s Activities volunteers from Ahmedabad organised a fair of activities that were made from things one could find around the house or in any village. Each activity was based on a sabha in the BSS syllabus and showed how just a little bit of thought can take ordinary things and turn them into extraordinarily fun presentations on important satsang and life lessons.
All participants left the shibir with a rejuvenated mission to increase the depth of their satsang and help the children in their charge imbibe these important values. Many believed that as the Sadhana shibir ended, their true sadhana was just beginning.