Guru Purnima, the full moon day in the Indian month of Ashadh, holds a special significance in the Hindu calendar as an occasion to celebrate and honour the guru. It is also a time to reaffirm and enhance the all-important guru-disciple relationship.
This year, the Guru Purnima festival at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London was celebrated in the presence of Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami (Pujya Kothari Swami), on Saturday 7 July 2012.
The evening programme was an inspiring and uplifting collage of devotional singing, traditional dance and enlightening speeches, all brought together by the 14-year-old compère, Kunal Miyani.
Aksharkirtan Swami began the assembly by singing bhajans extolling the greatness of the guru. Thereafter, Prashant Rao, also 14, eloquently explained the need for a guru in one’s social, working and spiritual life.
Yogendra Swami then shared a series of personal experiences of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, shedding new light upon the divine virtues of Swamishri. This was followed by another lively bhajan and a video of the Guru Purnima festival celebrated in the presence of Swamishri in Ahmedabad on Tuesday 3 July.
In his concluding address to the assembly, Pujya Kothari Swami elaborated upon Hindu texts revealing the attributes of a bona fide guru and then related them to the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The assembly ended with a delightful dance performed by young kishores, and Pujya Kothari Swami performing the guru pujan of the sacred image of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The festival of Guru Purnima was also celebrated over the week at other BAPS centres across the UK and parts of Europe.