Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami – the first spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan – was born in the village of Bhadra in India on the Hindu calendrical date of Aso Sud Punam, also known as Sharad Purnima.
This auspicious date fell on Monday 26 October this year and was devoutly celebrated at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London. The birth celebrations were also marked at the Mandir on Saturday 31 October in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Doctor Swami and visiting sadhus from India.
The evening programme on Monday began with devotional singing by youths. Sadhus then spoke of Gunatitanand Swami’s devotion, sharing inspiring accounts from various periods of his life. In keeping with tradition, devotees young and old performed five artis during the assembly.
The birth celebrations continued on Saturday with an enlightening programme of bhajans, discourses and video presentations depicting the spiritual greatness of Gunatitanand Swami, especially as Aksharbrahma as revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself.
Doctor Swami concluded the festivities by reflecting upon the key messages of Gunatitanand Swami from the Swamini Vato. He emphasised Gunatitanand Swami’s unflinching and perfect devotion to Bhagwan Swaminarayan, encouraging everyone to imbibe such virtues in their daily lives.
The mahilas had earlier celebrated Gunatitanand Swami’s birthday on Saturday 24 October with a short assembly of bhajans and speeches underlining the profound impact that Gunatitanand Swami had played on the lives of sadhus and devotees. The occasion was also celebrated with a vibrant raas festival to the accompaniment of devotional songs.