The day of the full moon (Purnima) in the Indian lunar month of Ashadh is traditionally celebrated as Guru Purnima. Also known as Vyas Purnima, the day is observed by Hindus in remembrance of sage Ved Vyas who classified the Vedas and composed the eighteen Puranas. The day is also an occasion for Hindus around the world to offer veneration to their personal guru and reaffirm his central role in their lives.
The fellowship at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London devoted their Guru Purnima celebrations to Pramukh Swami Maharaj with a devotional programme on Saturday 12 July 2014. The theme of the evening was ‘Agna, Sankalp, Ruchi’.
The assembly began with devotional singing followed by a short skit on observing the guru’s instructions and the spiritual benefits of doing so. Insightful speeches from Apurvamuni Swami, visiting from India, and local youths further elaborated this point by drawing from the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj who has implicitly obeyed the agna (spiritual commands) of his own gurus, fulfilled their sankalp (vision), and aligned his life to their ruchi (wishes).
Following a short video, Satyavrat Swami brought all three points together in his keynote address. He spoke of the virtues which distinguish the Gunatit Guru from all others, stressing especially the constant communion Pramukh Swami Maharaj enjoys with Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He encouraged all devotees to take inspiration from the exemplary life of Swamishri and strive to offer the highest guru-pujan to him by also living a life in line with his commands, vision and wishes.
In keeping with the message of pleasing the guru, the evening assembly also incorporated a recognition ceremony for those who had striven to strengthen their spiritual knowledge through the Satsang Exams held earlier in the year. High-achievers in all age categories were also presented with special awards.
The sabha fittingly concluded with video blessings of Swamishri sharing his guidance on how to understand, connect with, and earn the blessings of the guru.