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BAPS Women’s Conference Focuses On The Power Of Unity

Press Release

Unity is strength. This was the simple yet powerful subject of conversation at this year’s annual BAPS Women’s Conference held at 14 centers across North America between April 21 and May 5. With the goal of bringing together women of all ages and backgrounds for an open dialogue about concepts that impact them and their families. With the thought of unity currently on the minds of many in society, the conference focused on the individual’s role in creating a unified nation and global community. The speakers delved into the qualities of humility and positivity and their roles in initiating a more unified mind-frame.

The conference aimed to inspire its attendees to bring about change through dialogue and reflection. Over 2000 women gathered at the BAPS Mandirs in five cities - Edison, NJ; New York, NY; Robbinsville, NJ; Washington, D.C. and Westborough, MA in the Northeast region to participate in this annual conference. The event was held over one-day and covered three key concepts: importance of unity, power of humility and power of positivity. The conference not only provided an opportunity for attendees to understand the significance of unity as a global concept, but also discussed the little steps everyone can take toward this ultimate goal. 

The conference at Robbinsville started with a speech by Dhrupi Patel, emphasizing what unity truly means and why it is essential to achieve it. While there are more apparent benefits one can claim from integration, the speaker focused on how the small actions of each can lead to a more unified family, which can in turn influence a community and even society at large. “When people of shared inclination come together, they get positive results.”

Speaking at the conference in Washington, DC, Ms. Amita Shukla, CEO of Vitamita, emphasized the importance of the mindset in achieving unity.  Ms. Shukla beautifully summarized the core theme of the conference stating that “Positivity is simply surrendering our fears, humility is surrendering our ego, and unity is becoming one with the elements and seeing everything as an interconnected whole.”

At the conference in Robbinsville, New Jersey Senator Linda Greenstein very astutely explained, “It doesn’t make you less powerful to be united.  It adds great strength to anything that you’re doing, began with a powerful message in which she shared, “The unity within us enables and fosters the unity around us.”

Dr. Tamanna Kalra, a practicing nephrologist, used an evidenced based approach to affirm that humility is not a fixed trait, but one that should be practiced and developed.  Dr. Priya Patel, an OBGYN resident, closed out the conference with a compelling talk on the power of positivity.  Her story of a cancer patient’s calm, thoughtful, and positive response to a life ending diagnosis was inspirational for all.

Naimi Patel, closed out the conference with a compelling talk on the power of positivity. Giving a simple yet practical piece of advice, she said, “You can turn a negative situation into a positive situation through a change in perspective.”

Gauri Chandna, a celebrated author of the book, SPARKS expressed at Westborough, “Women play a great role in the growth and development of society making it an advanced and modern society. There is a famous saying by Brigham Young that, You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”

Also, attending the event were First lady of New Jersey, Tammy Murphy, Assemblywomen Nily Rozic from New York, and Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation. The speakers, just like the audience, were from various professional and personal diasporas and yet were able to come together to bring about an environment for dialogue for self-reflection and growth.

One of the attendees, Ellen Dorian, Chief Operating Officer at Main Street Bank, stated the conference allowed her to “think about some of [her] own behaviors and actions through a different perspective.”

The BAPS Women’s Conference was inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and encouraged by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. The conference highlights the influential role of women in today’s society and also empowers the younger generations by promoting a healthy dialogue around current topics. Before and after the conference, attendees had the opportunity to network with others from the greater community and share their perspective on the talks of the day. Many in attendance felt inspired by the conference and conveyed their motivation to share the word with their family and friends.  The audience left with the message that while unity may seem like a global concept, the power of change, and the power of creating a more unified world lies within everyone. For more details, please visit www.baps.org/News/2018/BAPS-Womens-Conference-13087.aspx.


About BAPS

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a worldwide spiritual and humanitarian organization that is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families, and individuals. Through various spiritual and humanitarian activities, BAPS endeavors to develop better citizens of tomorrow with high esteem for their roots and culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these character-building activities. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is free of addictions as well as morally, ethically and spiritually pure. For more details, please visit www.baps.org.

About Mahant Swami Maharaj

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the sixth and current spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was ordained a swami by Yogiji Maharaj in 1961 and named Sadhu Keshavjivandas. As he was appointed the head (Mahant) of the Mandir in Mumbai, he became known as Mahant Swami. His devout, humble and service-focused life earned him the innermost blessings of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mahant Swami Maharaj travels throughout the world inspiring people through his insightful spiritual discourses and disciplined conduct. His virtuous lifestyle and profound devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and gurus are ideals toward which devotees strive. Mahant Swami Maharaj became the guru and President of BAPS upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing in 2016.



About Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Under his leadership, BAPS grew into an international spiritual and humanitarian organization with over 3,300 centers worldwide. He dedicated his life to the well-being of others, traveling throughout the world to foster love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God, and service to humanity. With genuine care and compassion, he reached out to all members of society irrespective of class, color, or age. Recognized and respected as one of India's greatest spiritual teachers, he lived by and promoted the principle: “In the joy of others, lies our own.”

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