Kishores and kishoris of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in Leicester held their first ‘Bring-A-Friend’ Day at the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir site in Leicester on Saturday 12 July 2008. More than 200 young satsangis and their guests from around the county of Leicestershire were treated to a memorable evening of hospitality and spirituality.
As guests arrived at the complex, they were greeted by a traditional artwork of rangoli created by the kishoris, and were guided through an insightful exhibition.
The evening began with a traditional ritual of Deep Pragatya by Bhaktivallabh Swami whilst the kishores recited Vedic shlokas, A powerful video presentation entitled ‘The Modern Youth’ was shown, which depicted the current predicament of our youths and the problems faced today.
Following the presentation, Amrutvihari Swami addressed the assembly with a speech ‘Where are you headed?’ inspiring the gathered youths with a powerful message conveying how mandirs and spirituality provide the answers to the questions we face in society.
Personal experiences of kishores and kishoris were narrated in an emotional passage of the evening to illustrate the powerful and positive impact the Mandir has had in their lives.
Friends were then offered a guided tour around the new Mandir complex.
The evening resumed with Shukmuni Swami, addressing the assembly. He spoke about our inspirer, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his unique relationship with modern youth. The cultural programme concluded with an insightful video presentation about Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Following the cultural programme, a grand and traditional vegetarian meal was enjoyed. As the guests departed, everyone was presented a souvenir gift pack of informative reading material and mementoes of the new Mandir.
Overall, the evening proved a great success for everyone involved. Kishores and kishoris said they felt much more confident about sharing the message of the Mandir, Swamishri and the Sanstha with others. Some had brought up to five friends. Their friends all agreed that they had had an inspiring and enjoyable evening.
A selection of the guests’ experiences as noted in the Visitor Book are provided below:
“Thank you for the invite, it was an interesting, inspirational, educating and enlightening evening. I really enjoyed it. See you again”
“I enjoyed the programme very much and I look forward to attending the weekly gatherings; the food was exceptional. Thank you.”