The 2024 North American Bal-Balika Summer Shibirs took place from June to August 2024. Over 5500 children of ages 7-13 from across North America participated in these three-day shibirs.

As 2024 marks the 50-year celebration of Satsang in North America, the theme for the shibir emerged from Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s very first katha in North America in 1974. Pramukh Swami Maharaj mentioned that even here in North America, “Akshardham nu sukh malshe” - here too we can achieve the happiness of Akshardham. On October 8, 2023, after the inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham Mahotsav in North America, Mahant Swami Maharaj revealed that we should continue to celebrate “Andar Akshardham” or “Akshardham within”. Thus, the shibir was themed “Andar Akshardham” with the overarching goal of the shibir being “How do I build the Akshardham within?”

The messages used to explain how to build “Andar Akshardham” focused on Ekantik Dharma: dharma (righteousness), gnan (spiritual knowledge), vairagya (detachment from materialistic possessions and attachment to God), and bhakti (devotion to God).

Each element of Ekantik dharma was broken down into four pillars and tools to truly understand and implement them into the delegates’ lives: Dharma, Gnan, Vairagya, and Bhakti. For Dharma, following niyams connects individuals to Bhagwan, the greatest source of happiness. In terms of Gnan, reading prasangs daily helps develop a deeper bond with God and the Satpurush and enhances understanding of his greatness. Vairagya focuses on avoiding detrimental screen time, revealing how much time can be dedicated to Satsang by eliminating time-wasting activities. Finally, Bhakti emphasizes the importance of performing daily spiritual rituals (ahnik), allowing one to spend the entire day with Bhagwan and the Satpurush.

In between each of these main sessions, delegates gathered into groups to discuss the practicality of what they were learning through games, discussions, and personal notes.

The culmination of the messages boiled down to one objective: pleasing the Guru. By aligning all daily actions to please the Guru, one can actively implement dharma, gnan, vairagya, and bhakti into their life, thereby building the Akshardham within. This approach leads to happiness, contentment, and a profound excitement towards satsang.

© 1999-2024 Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha), Swaminarayan Aksharpith | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Feedback |   RSS