From July 1 to July 10, 2018, the BAPS North American Youth Convention (NAYC18) in Atlanta, Georgia will see over 10,000 youth and supporting volunteers in attendance over 3 conventions with a focus on the theme of 'Moksha', ultimate liberation. Youth volunteers spent years planning the content and logistics of a convention of this magnitude. The convention is divided into three parts for different age groups:
July 1 – 4: Students in grades 3 to 8
July 4 – 7: High School students
July 7 – 10: College students
The concept of Moksha can seem irrelevant to youths given the carefree nature of being young. However, the idea will be presented in a practical and pertinent manner. Focus on the importance of a sense of purpose, sincere effort, genuine intent and actions, prayer and introspection, and respect for the world around us will allow the youth to realize that things that benefit them in their lives today are also stepping stones towards Moksha.
Skits will present everyday situations youths experience and explore realistic inner conflict of characters struggling with choices between their desires and values. Interspersed talks by BAPS Swamis will provide spiritual guidance through inspiring examples and actionable steps while also providing validation of the challenges youths face. The skits will highlight the benefits and importance of achieving inner satisfaction through making decisions in line with pleasing their gurus, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Small group sessions will provide an opportunity to connect with one another and share experiences and means that their peers utilize to guide their choices. In addition, Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami and Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami will share their wisdom and inspire positive actions through examples from the lives of the BAPS guru parampara. Their presence and guidance will provide an experienced perspective in maintaining Moksha as the ultimate goal of life.