Summer break is usually a time children prefer to spend in outings, games, and leisure time. However, this year, during their summer vacation, 14,500 BAPS children studying in grades 4 to 8 teamed up with 3,200 karyakars to take part in a campaign to start ghar sabhas in each home in their mandals. The children visited 28,800 homes and convinced 24,163 families to hold regular ghar sabhas in their homes.
Ghar sabha is an important aspect of every satsangi family’s home schedule, since it brings a family together in devotion and helps them remain united, peaceful and happy. Guruhari Pramukh Swami Maharaj has called ghar sabha a panacea for all familial problems. It is also an effective way for parents to teach culture and values to their children.
The children took this message of ghar sabha to each home in three stages over a period of 12 days. The first visit was a general introduction, in which the children explained the ‘Chalo Gharne Mangal Banaviye’ booklet, and shared a small speech on ghar sabha and a short video on the benefits of ghar sabha. On the second visit they gave the family a practical demonstration on how to conduct a ghar sabha. During the third visit the family conducted a sabha and the children shared ideas on how to make the sabhas more fun and effective. Each family was also given a card with Swamishri’s handwritten blessings for ghar sabha.
The time these children took out from their vacation to help others was not lost on the people they visited. Many people’s entire lifestyles and perceptions were changed. In the Saurabh Park area of Vadodara, the children visited the home of Rameshbhai Rana and his son, Tirth. Tirth attends bal sabha anddaily bows down to his parents; still, his father held some misconceptions of BAPS and its activities. When the children visited his home and he heard them, Rameshbhai was moved and his misconceptions melted away. “Look at how you have prepared these children!” Rameshbhai exclaimed. “Inspire my Tirth in the same way.” The young volunteer accompanying the children started, “Sir, you are very pleased that your Tirth bows down to you and your wife everyday. So…” Before he could finish, Rameshbhai understood and finished the sentence himself, “My mother lives with us and from today my wife and I will bow down to her every day.”
Such personal changes of heart ripple into positive societal transformations. When individuals and families unite with love and understanding, the power of these values begin to resonate in society as well.
Many families appreciated the efforts of the children and pledged to conduct regular ghar sabhas. The benefits of the efforts of these children and karyakars will be experienced in the months and years ahead.