The 84th birth anniversary of Mahant Swami Maharaj was joyously celebrated in his presence on Saturday 23 September 2017 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The celebrations began in the early morning during Swamishri’s puja, when swamis sang kirtans narrating his life and virtues, especially his relationship with gurus Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
A special magazine introducing the life and work of Mahant Swami Maharaj was published in honour of his visit to the UK. This was presented to Harikrishna Maharaj and formally released during the morning festivities.
Children had made birthday cards for Swamishri which were displayed around the assembly hall. A rangoli (traditional Indian decorative pattern) of more than 8,000 small cakes prepared by devotees was also artistically arranged.
The evening programme centred around Swamishri’s stuti ‘Shobhe saumya mukharvind hasatu…’, exploring his serenity and divine grace, and reflected upon his humble nature and attachment to God – virtues which won the hearts of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The assembly began with bhajans extolling some of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s qualities. Visiting swamis then shared a montage of inspiring incidents from Swamishri’s life which encompassed his saintliness and devotion.
Their messages were further supported by testimonies from Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, shared through historical video footage.
Other enlightening presentations provided a deeper understanding of Swamishri and his spiritual connection with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami offered a prayer to Mahant Swami Maharaj on behalf of all swamis and devotees. Swamis then honoured Swamishri with a decorative garland to formally welcome him to London.
A troupe of 112 children and youths from around the UK performed a vibrant celebratory dance as part of the festivities, further infusing the assembly hall with devotional fervour.
In his blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed his joy at seeing the congregation and encouraged everyone to see the greatness within others. He also expressed his sincere wish to bless the lives of one and all.