Festivals marking the 92nd birth anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj were devoutly celebrated on the evenings of Saturday 15 December, Thursday 20 December, and Saturday 22 December 2012 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The actual birthday in accordance with the Hindu calendar (Magshar sud 8) was celebrated on Thursday 20 December. The programme began with the singing of devotional songs honouring the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Aksharvihari Swami and Satyavrat Swami shared a series of inspiring episodes highlighting the universal care and compassion that Swamishri has offered throughout his life. This was supported by a series of touching video presentations. A medley of devotional songs was then sung by youths, to which members of the audience joyously clapped and danced in reverence to their guru.
The youth of BAPS held a special cultural programme on Saturday 22 December to celebrate Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s birthday and culminate the year-long celebrations of the 60th year of the BAPS Youth Wing established by Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj in 1952.
An array of bhajans and personal experiences were shared and presented by different members of the BAPS Youth Forum to offer their gratitude to Swamishri for the care, concern and benevolence that he has shown to humanity throughout his life. A touching drama illustrating the manner in which Swamishri has continued to serve sadhus, devotees and God amidst challenging circumstances was one of the highlights of the evening.
To pay tribute to Swamishri’s selfless life, several devotees had performed 92 hours or days of personal spiritual observances, corresponding to his life in years. Some of the specific endeavours and achievements of devotees were fittingly highlighted.
The festival concluded with the address of Satyavrat Swami, encouraging everyone to imbibe the virtues of Swamishri in their lives, and with the singing of a vibrant celebratory devotional song.
The 92nd birth anniversary of Swamishri was also celebrated with piety and fanfare by the mahilas on the evening of Saturday 15 December which was very well attended. Themed ‘Pramukh Swami Kon Chhe?’ (‘Who is Pramukh Swami?’), the programme illustrated Pramukh Swami Maharaj as the ideal sadhu, devotee and disciple through a series of informative dramas, entertaining debates and enlightening speeches.
One of the highlights of the evening was a thought-provoking speech based on the spirituality of Swamishri. The evening concluded with a colourful celebratory dance.
Swamishri’s birth anniversary was also devoutly celebrated in various mandirs and centres across the UK and in Europe.