For every devoted Hindu, a mandir represents a home for spiritual growth. Through this connection with God, a mandir also helps instill character, morals and values. Centered on the theme, “My Mandir, My Home”, BAPS North American Regional Conventions were organized from June 11th to August 24th, 2014 at BAPS Mandirs in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Robbinsville and Toronto. Altogether, over 4,500 high school and college students attended and sought to gain a deeper understanding of connecting to a mandir as their home.
The ancient vedic scriptures describe the importance of mandir. Through these conventions, those same age-old traditions were presented to today’s youth in a sensible and relevant manner. Discourses from Swamis solidified spiritual concepts found in Hindu scriptures and emphasized by Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj nearly 100 years ago. Attributing mandir as a place where they could learn practical life skills as well as progress in Satsang, delegates learned that the mandir is just as relevant in their lives in facing every day situations as going to school. To further their learning and understanding of the concepts as well as building connections with other attendees, delegates also took part in a number of cultural activities, practical workshops, and special programs, including cultural dances.
Planning and organizing of this convention started months ago and took hundreds of dedicated volunteer hours to accomplish. Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS encourages today’s youth to understand and embrace their roots, helping them preserve their identities and remain grounded in their faith and culture.