About 40 young members of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, UK, travelled to India this summer to gain a better understanding of its culture, history and modern growth. After a series of pre-training camps in the UK, the group arrived in Amdavad and then proceeded to Sarangpur. They participated in a two-week course which focused on Swaminarayan theology, the history and roots of BAPS, the lives of the Gunatit Gurus, and an introduction to Hindu scriptures and Hinduism in the West.
After completing the course, the group travelled across Gujarat, visiting various BAPS mandirs and centres, as well as interacting with and learning from satsangis in small villages. Participating in some of the educational and cultural activities undertaken by BAPS in various settings was deeply enriching.
One of the highlights of the trip was spending over a week with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His guidance, interaction and words of wisdom formed life-long memories. The group celebrated the Rath Yatra and Guru Punam festivals with him as well as a memorable Grahan Sabha. The participants also had interactive sessions with sadguru and senior sadhus who shared their knowledge and experiences.
The last part of the trip saw the group travel to the holy River Ganga via Haridwar and Rishikesh. Travelling to the sanctified sites visited by Nilkanth Varni, participating in the Ganga arti as well as bathing in the holy Ganga river were very special and as a whole, an unforgettable experience.
Overall, the five-week journey enlightened and enriched all the members of the group who learnt a great deal about the traditions, culture and heritage of India, the history of BAPS, the fundamental principles of Satsang and how to practically apply them in their lives through the guidance and blessings of the Satpurush. The participants immensely enjoyed the trip and are now looking forward to and preparing for the next phase.