A three-day residential shibir for BAPS UK & Europe karyakars was held from 7 to 9 April 2023 at Warwick Conference Park in the presence of Narayanmunidas Swami – a senior swami visiting from India – and swamis from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The shibir brought together more than 1,200 delegates to develop their understanding and application of core satsang principles and thus enhance individual spiritual progress and improve their ability to serve others.
The insightful messages were conveyed through powerful spiritual talks, expert panel discussions by swamis, engaging skits and kirtans performed by volunteers hailing from various regions of the country, and impactful contributions from sadguru swamis through a series of video presentations.
Karyakars celebrated the rich cultural heritage of BAPS by learning from its past and tracing the remarkable journey from its inception to its current position as a global spiritual fellowship, and, in doing so, became further inspired to shape its present and future.
Smaller group discussions and classroom sessions were also organised where delegates gained a deep awareness of the obstacles and hardships that have been shouldered by the Gurus to bring BAPS’s values of selfless service to beneficiaries across the world.
This served to cultivate a deep sense of responsibility and commitment towards their personal service roles and develop a strong bond towards Mahant Swami Maharaj.
A vibrant kirtan bhakti programme delivered by swamis and youths provided an opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in devotional music and express their feelings of devotion and enthusiasm by singing, clapping and dancing – creating a spiritually charged and uplifting atmosphere.
A one-day ‘management shibir’ focussed on volunteers serving in various service departments was also held in parallel to the karyakar shibir. In addition to the spiritual development, this day provided guidance on the important operational aspects relevant for the respective volunteers, with an insight into the overarching good governance that is foundational to performing their various volunteering roles.
Samir Patel, who travelled from Edinburgh for the shibir, shared, “This conference was really inspiring for me. It was so well-organised and delivered. We are just weeks away from Mahant Swami Maharaj arriving in the UK, so the themes and sessions across the three days were the perfect way to prepare for his visit. It's definitely helped me be more mindful of improving my seva so that I can better serve others with dedication and sincerity, and follow in the footsteps of Swamishri, who has given us so much to be grateful for.”