The murti sthapan ceremony of the newly renovated BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Leeds was held on Monday 29 May 2017 (Vaishakh Sud 4, Samvat 2073) amid Vedic chanting and devotional festivities.
The ceremony was conducted by sadhus from London, led by Yogvivek Swami, head sadhu for BAPS in UK & Europe.
The inauguration celebrations of the new mandir included a special mahapuja where devotees and well-wishers offered their prayers for world peace and the well-being of the community. Guests from other mandirs, communities and further afield, such as Greater Manchester, Preston, Bolton, Coventry, Doncaster, Leicester and Bradford participated in the festivities.
Following the ceremony, the first arti was conducted followed by a special assembly marking the inauguration and also celebrating Pramukh Varni Din. Yogvivek Swami spoke about continuingly renewing and consolidating one’s faith in God and the Guru, and praised the efforts of the local volunteers and community.
The mandir in Leeds serves as the hub of Satsang and charitable activities for BAPS in the Yorkshire area. This includes Satsang sabhas every Sunday that cater to children, teenagers and adults, and the annual charity challenge.
One young volunteer, Tanishka Gandhi, spoke of the “vital role” the Mandir has played in her life. She said, “The Mandir is my spiritual home. It allows me to offer devotion to God and serve my fellow devotees and the local community. It allows me to grow and learn and enjoy my faith. I don’t know what I’d do without the Mandir! I and my family feel so blessed and grateful that we have a place we can call ‘our mandir’.”