Since its inauguration by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in August 1995, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London (popularly recognised as the ‘Neasden Temple’) has become an important part of Britain’s religious landscape.
To officially begin the year-long celebrations leading to the Mandir’s 20th anniversary in 2015, a special evening sabha was held in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami on Saturday 22 November 2014.
The evening programme began with a video presentation charting the key chronological events leading to the opening of the Mandir. This was followed by a discourse from Shrijikirtan Swami who spoke about the history of Satsang activities from the time of Shastriji Maharaj through to currently in the UK and particularly in London.
Charity and goodwill have been key values that the Mandir has promoted over the years, and this was highlighted during a cheque presentation made to Diabetes UK. The £20,000 donated had been raised during the BAPS Charities Annual 10K Challenge earlier this year by almost 4,000 participants from around the country.
Satyavrat Swami, Head Sadhu of the Mandir, then explained to the assembly how individuals, families and the fellowship can participate in the celebrations, with the aim of strengthening one’s personal satsang as well as consolidating unity within families and amongst devotees.
A video presenting memorable highlights of the Mandir over the past 19 years and messages of support from sadhus across the world provided further motivation for the celebrants.
In his keynote address, Tyagvallabh Swami encouraged everyone to actively participate in the festivities over the coming months. He drew specifically upon how one can reflect the purity of a mandir in one’s own life.
The evening was concluded with a video presentation of Swamishri’s blessings for the Mandir.