Yogi Jayanti – the Birthday Celebrations of Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj – was held on the evenings of Saturday 31 May and Sunday 1 June 2008 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London.
The Balika Mandal hosted and celebrated the Mahila Yogi Jayanti festival on Saturday 31 May, dedicating the evening to the seven principles of the Yogi Gita. Children featured in speeches, dances and sketches portraying the important messages of ‘het, prit and guna-grahan’ in their innocent light-hearted manner. Their speeches focussed on the true essence of his nirdosh-buddhi and how this endeared him to all who met him.
The Kishori Mandal spoke of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s affection towards Yogiji Maharaj and the Yuvati Mandal performed a humorous sketch to drive home the message of ‘khatpatno tyag’, an essential virtue for maintaining unity and harmony in all areas of our lives, particularly within Satsang.
In addition, senior mahilas explained the importance of katha-varta and how this is considered to be of the highest reverence by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, beneficial to both the narrator and the listener.
Throughout the programme, many of Yogiji Maharaj’s prasangs were narrated, including those about his profound tolerance and positive thinking, which confirmed his flawless character. The enlightening programme of sketches, kirtans and video presentations depicted the life and messages of Yogiji Maharaj and his great contribution in sowing the seeds of BAPS internationally.
The main celebrations of Yogi Jayanti were held on the evening of Sunday 1 June 2008. The festival opened with an insightful video presentation of Yogiji Maharaj and his tireless vicharan across the world, including his visit to London, which rekindled cherished memories for many. The Sanyukta Mandal elucidated the virtues of Yogiji Maharaj through the kirtan ‘Haiya-na het na bhulay’, as a series of short speeches by sadhus interspersed with video clips reinforced the life and message of Yogiji Maharaj.
A short sketch narrated the meeting between Yogiji Maharaj and Colonel Bhatia, which was followed by Yogvivek Swami’s concluding address. He cited Yogiji Maharaj’s own words which emphasised Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s divinity, saintliness, and unrivalled position as the current spiritual guru.
The evening concluded with a cheque presentation of £24,000 to Frank Moxon, Trustee of Diabetes UK, from the proceeds received during the Sponsored Walk & Family Fun-Run held nationally in April 2008.