With inspiration from His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the BAPS Campus Fellowship has served as a voice of Hinduism and provided genuine care for college youth since the early 2000s. Today, the Fellowship is active at more than 50 campuses across North America.
On November 5, 2020, youths across North American university campuses rekindled their commitment to positivity, integrity, and spirituality through this year’s annual BAPS Campus Diwali program – In the Joy of Others. Unlike past years, this Campus Diwali celebration was hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the theme of “Forgiving in Turbulent Times”the program focused on the paramount virtue of forgiveness, ranging from the important of forgiving one’s past mistakes as well as a means to starting year anew. The year 2020 has presented countless challenges for the world, and the simple act of forgiveness is more important than ever. The program extolled the virtues of Bhagwan Ram, whose forgiving nature gave rise to the annual festival of Diwali. The “Festival of Lights” was celebrated in its truest purpose in the context of self-reflection, forgiveness, understanding, and inspiration of cultivating these qualities within oneself. The virtual program also consisted of a documentary featuring personal reflections from youths across North America , over 20 Pujya Swamis who are alumni of North American educational institutions, and alumni leaders across the BAPS community.
Viewers were inspired by the timely and honest conversation on imbibing the value of forgiveness in order for us to experience the true happiness of Diwali, a reflective time of year.
“The stories that were shared by Pujya Swamis from all over North America. Also [Bhagwan Ram’s] story behind why we celebrate Diwali was something that stood out to me. I really enjoyed this event.”
“I truly enjoyed listening to real-life examples from students and others in various industries on how they were able to use forgiveness in their workspace. This provides me with inspiration to do the same in situations.”
“I enjoyed every aspect of this program. It was a peaceful experience that helped me understand the significance of forgiveness.”
With the ongoing guidance of Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS continues to promote and organize activities that celebrate the spirit and values of Hindu festivals while simultaneously imparting vital life lessons to today’s youth. These lessons equip youths with the potential to forgive, forget, and share peace and love within their families, friends, communities and themselves. BAPS Campus Fellowship programs aim to help Hindu youth maintain a connection with Hindu history and culture and instill a sense of pride its timeless teachings.