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The festivals of Swaminarayan Jayanti and Rama Navmi were celebrated with great joy and devotion on Tuesday 8 April 2014 and in the presence of Sadguru Tyagvallabhdas Swami on Saturday 12 April 2014 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.

The festivities began from the morning on Chaitra sud 9 (Tuesday 8 April), the actual birthdate according to the Hindu calendar of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Rama. A traditional annakut (ceremonial offering of food) was artistically arranged in the shrines before the murtis.

Sadhus performed a special arti at noon to commemorate the birth of Shri Ramachandraji.

The theme of the evening festival for Swaminarayan Jayanti was ‘Sarvopari Shri Hari’. Through an array of enlightening discourses from sadhus and lively bhajans, the key messages revolved around Bhagwan Swaminarayan as being supreme, ever-present, and the all-doer. As the finale neared, the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj arrived inside the assembly hall amid a grand procession as youths danced to welcome him. The janmotsav arti was joyously sung at precisely 10.10pm to mark the auspicious birth of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

Devotees also gathered to celebrate this momentous occasion on Saturday 12 April 2014. The celebrations began with devotional singing followed by an enthralling drama, also entitled ‘Sarvopari Shri Hari’, expertly interluded with relevant bhajans.

Travelling back in time, historical characters in successive scenes asked questions about the spiritual person of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. These were all answered by drawing from Hindu scriptures and those of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya. Shrijikirtandas Swami, visiting from India, expanded on these points by further referencing incidents from the life of
Bhagwan Swaminarayan.

The climax of the programme was the keynote address by Tyagvallabhdas Swami, who elaborated upon the divine life and work of Bhagwan Swaminarayan while also incorporating incidents from the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The festival concluded with a vibrant and colourful dance which once again culminated with the arrival of Harikrishna Maharaj through a grand procession.

Swaminarayan Jayanti and Rama Navmi were also celebrated at all BAPS Swaminarayan mandirs and centres across the UK and parts of Europe.

The mahilas will be hosting another festival at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan in London on Saturday 19 April 2014.

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