Karyakars have an important responsibility in shaping the future of BAPS, so with the grace and inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, over 800 Bal-Balika and Kishore-Kishori karyakars from across North America gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, GA from January 8 – 10, 2009. The North American Bal-Kishore Karyakar Convention (KarCon) was based on the theme ‘Paramhansas – Above and Beyond.’ To help the karyakars discover the meaning of the theme, sadhus from North America and the United Kingdom came to offer their guidance and expertise at the convention.
The convention had a balanced mix of discourses during combined sessions, direction from senior karyakars through seva-specific workshops, and team-building activities which developed communication skills and helped develop visions for each center. Through these three mediums, the convention taught the attendees that they are the Paramhansas of today who help to build chaitanya mandirs in their centers and on college campuses. They are advocates for a healthy, well balanced moral and spiritual lifestyle. The workshops and team-building activities complemented the spiritual learning with practical skills and specific requirements that the karyakars need to enhance their respective seva.
The environment was charged with energy of passion, dedication and service. Most importantly, the convention was as enjoyable as informative. The karyakars enjoyed the evening programs, which included skits, multimedia presentations, bhajans and short stories or prasangs. The traditional Indian cuisine was exceptional! For one of the meals, the participants enjoyed a traditional South Indian meal in a very traditional South Indian manner! In all it was an informative, educating and fun experience!
The final element of the convention covered methods on how the karyakars could balance their seva into their daily lives to lead a satsang centric lifestyle. Every karyakar was then given the opportunity to reflect upon his/her personal role in the Sanstha and was inspired to take on the personal responsibility of propelling BAPS core messages of spirituality, morality and cultural preservation.
Throughout the two day convention, many important concepts were learned and addressed to help karyakars progress in their personal satsang and seva. At the conclusion of the KarCon, the karyakars understood in greater detail how the Paramhansas acted in a way that was above and beyond Shreeji Maharaj's expectations and how their involvement as a karyakar is their opportunity to follow in the Paramhansas’ footsteps to make Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision a reality.