The festivals of Swaminarayan Jayanti and Rama Navmi were celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion on Wednesday 24 March 2010 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London in the presence of senior sadhu Pujya Doctor Swami. The traditional annakut – a grand variety of food to mark this auspicious occasion – was offered to the deities, and at 12 noon, the sadhus performed a special arti to commemorate the birth of Shri Ramchandraji.
Worshippers were able to rock the cradle of Shri Ramchandraji and were given the opportunity of offering abhishek to the sacred image of Shri Nilkanth Varni (Bhagwan Swaminarayan) in the evening.
In the evening assembly, sadhus and youths sang a collection of bhajans extolling the greatness and glory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Shri Ramchandraji. Apurvamuni Swami then spoke of some touching and inspiring episodes from the lives of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Shri Ramchandraji, followed by the bhajan ‘Sonal Suraj Ugiyo’, melodiously sung by Premvadan Swami, illustrating the life and works of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Doctor Swami then spoke on the importance of imbibing the virtues of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Shri Ramchandraji in one’s life before the grand assembly culminated with the celebrations of the birth of Bhagwan Swaminarayan at precisely 10:10pm.
Swaminarayan Jayanti was also celebrated on the evening of Saturday 4 April 2009 with a grand Kirtan Bhakti programme where children, youths and senior devotees sang bhajans describing the daily activities and routine of Bhagwan Swaminarayan from childhood through to the later stages of His life. Interspersed with visuals of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj depicting various passages of the individual kirtans, the assembly hall was charged with an atmosphere of devotion and joy.
Yogvivek Swami spoke of the messages and works of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and urged everyone to spend a few minutes each day reflecting upon one aspect of the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The festival was also celebrated at various centres around the UK as well as in Europe.