BAPS Campus Fellowship hosted their annual Diwali Celebrations at 49 university campuses. Collegiate youth across North America, often at remote campus locations away from childhood 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 as an annakut in upholding cornerstone elements of the Diwali tradition. 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 love and kindheartedness. Many delegates arrived wearing traditional Indian clothing and were welcomed in accordance with Hindu custom by applying a chandlo (red vermillion mark) to their forehead and tying a nadachhadi (red sacred thread) on their wrists. Revered Swamis, through motivational speeches, inspired 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 be more loving and kind with others every day. Furthermore, Pujya Swamis shared their spiritual insights on how Bhagwan Ram himself was an ambassador of change. They explained that by understanding his story, attendees could 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. A key message was that 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.
Under the spiritual leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS continues to promote and organize activities that celebrate the spirit and values of Hindu festivals while simultaneously augmenting today’s youth with vital life lessons. These lessons equip youths with the potential to share peace, love, harmony and provide selfless service to the community.