The birth celebrations of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, the first spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, were celebrated with great devotion on Saturday 27 October 2012 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The programme began with youths singing devotional songs extolling the virtues of Gunatitanand Swami and continued with a vibrant drama which depicted the profoundly positive impact that Gunatitanand Swami had had upon those who came into his contact, such as the tyrant Valeru Varu who subsequently adopted a path of devotion and service.
Young children also contributed to the festival by singing another devotional song. Thereafter, sadhus elaborated upon the life and works of Gunatitanand Swami, emphasising the need and relevance of spiritual change in our lives today.
Gunatitanand Swami’s birth celebrations also continued on Monday 29 October 2012 – the actual birthdate according to the Hindu calendar. The assembly included five artis that are traditionally performed on this day and devotional songs performed by youths.
A video presentation of the Sharad Punam celebrations held in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2010 provided some touching memories. Sadhus also spoke of the similarity in virtues between Gunatitanand Swami and Swamishri.
A similar festival was organised by the mahilas on Saturday 20 October 2012. The inspiring assembly involved participants ranging from young children through to more senior members, and included devotional songs, dramas and speeches.