BAPS Campus Fellowship hosted their annual Diwali Celebrations at 32 university campuses. Collegiate youth across North America, often at remote campus locations away from friends and family, balanced their academic schedules to plan and organize the event. The student volunteers hand-prepared a variety of vegetarian food items to offer an annakut in upholding cornerstone elements of the Diwali tradition. In total over 5000 students, faculty, and community members participated in these celebrations.
The program was themed, “In the Joy of Others” with a specific emphasis on mindfulness. Many delegates arrived wearing traditional Indian clothing and were welcomed in accordance with the Hindu custom by applying a chandlo (red vermillion mark) to their forehead and tying a nadachhadi (red sacred thread) on their wrists. Pujya Swamis reminded all faculty, staff, and students in attendance to think of each other during this festive time and work for the betterment and advancement of society at large in setting personal and professional goals. Through the lens of mental stability and transcending today’s result driven culture, this year’s program showcased how to feel more control over one's surroundings. Furthermore, Swamis shared their spiritual insights on how Bhagwan Ram himself was an ambassador of change and through his story how attendees can drive change in their own lives. Students were encouraged to develop a practice of prayer and spiritual study in their daily lives, enabling them to find peace through faith over time. Spirituality and optimism inspire harmony and love within our families and communities. In this manner, the program inspired today’s youth to imbibe Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s motto of “In the Joy of Others” in their lives and experience the happiness and joy of Diwali every day of their life.