The three-day Rajat Mahotsav (Silver Jubilee) celebrations began on 23 September with a welcome assembly held in the newly built assembly hall, named ‘Pramukh Sabha Gruh’ by Pujya Viveksagar Swami.

The evening assembly began with dhun and bhajan. Thereafter, twenty talented balaks and kishores presented a creative tabla performance comprising of traditional classical compositions. Then Narayancharan Swami spoke about his memories with Swamishri. Pujya Viveksagar Swami spoke of the love one should have for Bhagwan in all that one does and gave examples of great devotees, especially those who performed music for devotion (such as Surdasji, Mirabai and the paramhansa poets of Bhagwan Swaminarayan).

On the morning of 24 September, on the auspicious day of Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birthday, over 400 yajmans participated in a 51-kundi Vedic Vishwashanti Mahayagna to pray for peace and prosperity in South Africa and throughout the world.

In the evening, a special Tribute Assembly was held in honor of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The main celebration was held on the night of 25 September at the Jubileum Grounds. Murtis of Shriji Maharaj and Gunatitanand Swami stood on the stage bedecked in white and gold, and a murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj was seated in the centre of the stage. Banners showed and explained the various activities that had been undertaken by devotees of the Mayfair Mandir in commemoration of the Rajat Mahotsav. Through dramas and videos, the program allowed the audience to celebrate the Mandir’s history, realize the challenges faced and overcome by their ancestors who had moved to South Africa, and depicted the community work performed by the Mandir for the benefit of society.

Tapovatsal Swami explained the impact that the BAPS had on Mahatma Gandhi and the Indians’ fight for freedom in both South Africa and India, and the history of the Mandir in Mayfair West. Pujya Viveksagar Swami elaborated on this and gave personal accounts of his visits to South Africa with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

To commemorate 25 years of the Mandir, the Mandir’s efforts to promote values and its social contributions were celebrated. A video was shown documenting the twenty-five prayers for peace that were performed by devotees at places of historical and religious significance around South Africa.

On this occasion, wheelchairs for disabled children at the Tumelo Children’s Home were presented by Pujya Viveksagar Swami. He also blessed some of the 125 fruit trees sponsored by the Mandir to be planted in local schools.

Then, samuh arti was performed by all the audience members. Thereafter, each audience member waved a flag, with the Rajat Mahotsav logo on it, to the beat of the celebratory music. At the finale, large red and white balloons and showers of glittery confetti were released into the audience.

All who attended felt inspired and proud to have supported the hardworking, caring and dedicated Mandir community. The entire celebration was indeed a perfect way to commemorate Swamishri’s legacy and the Mandir he gifted to the community.

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