A grand Vedic Mahapuja was held on Saturday 19 July 2008 at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, London in the presence of Kothari Swami by the Yuvak-Yuvati Mandal. 800 yuvaks and yuvatis from all over the UK took part in the ceremony to show their gratitude and love for beloved guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj who has sacrificed his life for the good of others and whose life inspires many others to live; also to pray for Swamishri’s continued good health.
The mahapuja symbolically took place prior to the pratik utsav to celebrate the festival of Guru Purnima, which traditionally honours the guru for the essential role he plays for the betterment of society and the spiritual fulfilment of aspirants.
The Haveli hall was decorated by the Yuvati Mandal with colourful floral rangoli made with fresh flowers interspersed with ritual imagery such as brass diva stands and ornamental murtis. A floral gateway welcomed the yuvaks and yuvatis to the mahapuja hall as solemn ceremonial music played in the backdrop. Each yajman (participant) received an upvastra and a photo-frame murti commemorating the special occasion in their mahapuja set. Young children also eagerly joined their parents in performing the ceremony.
The mahapuja commenced with a touching video show of Swamishri depicting the sacrifices he has made and the compassion he has showered. Sadhus uttered the Vedic mantras creating a divine atmosphere while Kothari Swami performed the rituals which included panchamrut abhishek i.e. bathing Thakorji with the five pure ingredients of sugar, milk, yogurt, honey, ghee. The ceremony lasted for two hours from 5pm to 7pm.
After the mahapuja ceremony, Kothari Swami was garlanded on behalf of all the Yuvak-Yuvati Mandal.
In his concluding speech, Kothari Swami commended the sentiments of the yajmans in performing this unique and spiritually rewarding ritual.