The Kishore and Kishori Summer Shibir 2016 brought together over 3,000 youths, between the ages of 14 and 22, for “Hinduism: Nijatmanam Brahmarupam” where delegates met for two days to learn foundational concepts of Hindu Sanatan Dharma. The topics focused on the origins of Hindu values and their relevance to modern life. Delegates learned that an understanding of Hinduism can help one navigate concepts like decision-making, prioritization, and values-based living while growing into adulthood.

During the shibir, youths had the opportunity to explore the answers to fundamental questions often asked to Hindus: Why is spirituality important? Why practice Hinduism? In learning some of these answers, the delegates considered practical ways to strengthen their Hindu identities while remaining active their social communities. Workshop and small groups provided an environment for peer communication as youths shared their personal strategies of engaging in mandir activities, identifying opportunities to lead, and knowing when to follow.

Pujya swamis and volunteers recounted several prasangs from His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life, articulating the role of a guru within Hinduism. Story-telling and thought exercises reinforced the usefulness of daily introspection, as youth were encouraged to play an active role in shaping their individual personal development.

By the end of the shibir, the kishores and kishoris walked away feeling that Hinduism is not a religion of the past, but a vibrant culture and community of people that continue to thrive around the world by finding balance.

Preparation and organizing of this Hinduism shibir began several months ago. Inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS, through mediums such as this shibir, encourages today’s youth to understand and embrace their Hindu roots to build stronger individuals and families who will serve their respective communities together.

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