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BAPS Women’s Conference In Toronto Inspires Young Women Towards Their Goals

Posted in Community, Featured

Published on April 09, 2019 with No Comments

The 13th annual BAPS Women’s Conference hosted over 240 women at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, located at 61 Claireville Drive in Toronto.  The conference was centred on the topic of “Sādhanā: The Purpose and the Pursuit”. Sādhanā means the efforts towards our goals. Through drawing on our hopes and goals, our purpose and priorities, the conference presented an insightful look at our efforts, its challenges, and how to overcome them through actionable steps.

In highlighting the topics of the event, key note speaker Harpreet Gill, Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 1, Etobicoke North, noted the importance of maintaining constant efforts towards our Sādhanā in all aspects of life.  “Sadhana is a journey of personal endeavor. While there are many approaches to it, you must incorporate into your life what works best for you. Sadhana is a key to success and spiritual being.It will give you the power to win in challenges of life, the elevation to reach the heights of awareness, and the grace to do it all with humility and gratitude. ”

The opening portion of the conference focused on identifying the hope behind our everyday efforts.  Speaker Arpita Thakkar, Pharmacist, highlighted through her own ambitions and goals, how she strives to achieve them, and the challenges she struggles to overcome.  She shared the role spiritual Sādhanā plays in maintaining the faith, strength, courage and stillness required to get past the frustration, apathy, bitterness and hopelessness that life’s experiences and challenges can bring.  

The second portion of the conference focused on the “how” of practicing personal spiritual Sādhanā.  Deepa Gohill, Instructor for Educators at the Durham District School Board, shared how daily spiritual practices, objective introspection, service to others and maintaining healthy familial relationships help towards our goal. She spoke of the importance of honest introspection in allowing us to see past ourselves, understand others, and maintaining perspective through life’s situations. She shared an analogy about her passion for rock climbing that allows her to focus on life’s goals. Through her talk, she simplified the seemingly difficult concept of spiritual Sādhanā into everyday achievable steps.

Special guests at the conference included:  Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga

Kirsty Duncan said, “The theme of this year’s conference is Sadhana, the pursuit of happiness and that spirituality is key to this. What a wonderful theme for this conference, Sadhana to me, is service and spiritualty and it is what you teach every day in this Mandir. You teach service to family, service to community and service to others. Thank you for all that you do to make our community stronger and our country better.”  

Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga stated, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tour your wonderful Mandir and address all the women at today’s conference. I had an immediate sense of peace and tranquility upon entering the Mandir. I want to commend you on the mission of your temple, the Mandir, which is to promote harmony and respect for all cultures in Canadian society…This conference is proof that the women’s network you have here at the Mandir is strong and I look forward to visiting you here at this beautiful place and watch you grow.”

The BAPS Women’s Conference was inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and encouraged by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. 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.  


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