The 2014 National Sanyukta Mandal Shibir was held at Warwick Conference Park near Coventry, UK from Saturday 23 August to Monday 25 August in the presence of senior sadhus from India, including Sadguru Bhaktipriya Swami (Kothari Swami) and Sadguru Ishwarcharan Swami, as well as sadhus from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.

As part of the year-long celebrations for Shastriji Maharaj’s 150th birth anniversary, the shibir was themed “Gunatito’ksharam Brahma: Siddhant, Samarpan, Sadhana” highlighting the sacrifice and spiritual endeavours of Shastriji Maharaj to establish the fundamental principles of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

A series of spiritual discourses by sadhus elucidated upon the specific sacrifices Shastriji Maharaj made to impart the spiritual knowledge of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and explained his conviction for this cause. The hardships that Shastriji Maharaj faced were explored in detail through powerful speeches, while the practical application of these key spiritual principles – agna, upasana, sadbhav and paksh – and how they can be imbibed in the personal, social and family lives of the delegates was also elaborated upon in group discussions during tailored breakout sessions.

The personal experiences of Kothari Swami and Ishwarcharan Swami shared during Q&A sessions provided greater context and perspective for the delegates, who thoroughly appreciated their profound wisdom and humility.

Supporting the discourses were a series of presentations and videos, including a poignant account of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s experiences with Shastriji Maharaj.

Participants were also energised through sports and leisure activities which provided an opportunity for fun and team-building.

A vibrant kirtan-bhakti programme was one of the highlights of the three-day shibir where sadhus and youths sang bhajans to the accompaniment of an array of musical instruments. A bhajan composed by Shastriji Maharaj was sung, and Kothari Swami and Ishwarcharan Swami also participated, contributing to the joyous and spiritually charged atmosphere in the auditorium.

Swamishri’s video blessings on the divine life and personality of Shastriji Maharaj on the final day provided a fitting conclusion to a memorable and very uplifting three-day journey.

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