The full moon day in the Indian month of Ashadh holds special significance within the Hindu calendar as Guru Purnima, a day to celebrate and honour one’s guru.
This year, the festival of Guru Purnima was celebrated at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London in the presence of Ghanshyamcharan Swami (Head Sadhu of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Surat) on Saturday 27 July 2013.
The festivities began with devotional singing extolling the spiritual glory of the guru, describing in particular one’s relationship with a guru and the teachings and guidance that a guru provides.
An array of short speeches from sadhus followed thereafter in which they elucidated the virtues of a guru as explained in the Shrimad Bhagwat Puran. The particular virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj they highlighted were kshanti (forgiveness), kaushala (skilfulness), and prashraya (selfless love).
This incorporated the keynote address of Ghanshyamcharan Swami who shared a series of personal experiences with Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, adding a new perspective to their qualities.
On behalf of the devotees, sadhus then offered pushpanjali to the murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj as a symbol of everyone’s respect and appreciation for his guidance and compassion, before a vibrant and colourful dance by youths brought the evening programme to a climactic conclusion.