By the grace and inspiration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, this summer nearly 3,000 boys and girls from North America and the Far East arrived in Atlanta, GA on July 7th to take part in this year’s three-day Convention on the beautiful campus of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atlanta, GA. The theme for this year’s convention was “Ekantik: My Life with Bapa”. The convention was graced by Pujya Mahant Swami and other senior Swamis from across North America and India.
Over three days, delegates from ages 8 to 13 explored what it means to be “Ekantik” by learning from the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. They also realized that while being Ekantik is not an easy achievement, they could apply it in their lives by developing a strong bond with Swamishri and following his ideals.
From the arrival day, the delegates were immersed in a cohesive experience that aimed to form a connection between the delegates and their guru. From a tour explaining the pillars of Ekantik Dharma, the focal point of the convention, to a sound stage performance by fellow delegates consisting of traditional Hindu bhajans and dances, delegates were exposed to deep spiritual messages.
One of the main messages repeated throughout the program was that in order to become Ekantik, delegates have to constantly ask themselves how their actions are going to please their guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The live stage performances used to convey these messages comprised of four main characters: Akshar, Yogi, Kirtan, and Chirag. They are exposed to situations that children face in their daily lives and their character traits allowed every delegate to relate to someone in the program. These programs included traditional dances, including one on a boat, a life-sized tree house and even a fireworks show. A total of four classrooms were held in the convention, corresponding to each pillar of Ekantik Dharma. Each classroom session was split into two sessions, a combined session and a group activity. The combined session imparted the main message of the classroom while the group session helped the delegates understand how the message applied to their daily lives.