The annual BAPS North American Activities Meeting 2016 (NAAM) took place in Houston, Texas from September 29 through October 2 with over 430 delegates in attendance. The purpose of NAAM is to plan for the upcoming year by leveraging a critical assessment of the prior year’s successes and challenges. During the meeting attendees also examine elements of their personal spiritual practice and explore ways to strengthen their devotion.
NAAM 2016 – themed pratigna, or promise – aimed to communicate the importance of keeping the promises and commitments one makes to his or herself, one another, and one’s guru on the journey towards moksha (liberation). Delegates learned to focus on accomplishing goals while learning to work effectively, and earnestly, with others in best upholding the teachings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj.
During the three-day convention, delegates participated in team breakout sessions designed to thoughtfully assess and plan for the upcoming year’s projects. In addition, delegates partook in workshops and discussions to brainstorm solutions in response to a repetitive cycle of making and breaking promises one makes to Bhagwan and the guru. The process was facilitated with speeches by Swamis and fellow delegates, coupled with the example of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unwavering pratigna to Shastriji Maharaj, the Sanstha and its haribhakto. Delegates learned about the three key components of any true promise: praathanaa (prayers), samarpan (total sacrifice), and purusharth (sincere effort). On the final day, delegates prepared their pratigna to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj by using the tools they learned and discussed over the course of NAAM. With the conclusion of NAAM, delegates were impassioned to live up to the full potential of the pratigna they have made to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj, in following the example set forth by both gurus.