A one-day Satsang shibir was held in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj on Saturday 17 June 2017 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
Titled ‘Satpurush: The Gunatit Legacy’, the event brought together delegates from across the UK and Europe who consolidated – in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj himself – the vital spiritual understanding of God’s continual presence on earth through the Gunatit Satpurush.
The programme began in the morning with darshan of Swamishri’s puja. He then presided over the traditional deep pragatya opening ceremony with representative karyakars.
The key concepts of the shibir were delivered through a series of enlightening discourses and panel discussions by sadhus visiting from India, including Atmaswarup Swami and Narayanmuni Swami. They drew upon the divine characteristics of the Satpurush as well as his unique, direct relationship with God.
Swamishri’s sevaks also shared heart-warming accounts of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s selfless love for devotees, drawing upon the personal care and attention that he extends to all. They encouraged the gathering to develop a deep spiritual bond with the Satpurush to strengthen their own relationship with Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Mahant Swami Maharaj graced the shibir in the final session of the morning, which involved interactive games to reflect upon the messages from the earlier session. The delegates were able to express their understanding of Swamishri’s wishes by raising coloured cards in response to various questions and scenarios. A small group activity further illustrated the importance of unity and harmony.
Swamishri addressed the audience at various intervals to offer his personal guidance. He concluded the session by sharing the universal message of ‘Ghar Sabha’ that he had personally hand-written on a whiteboard, thereby encouraging all satsangis to gather regularly in their homes to discuss satsang concepts and strengthen their family bond. He emphasised that this was the most effective tool to develop peace and harmony in the home and address life’s various challenges.
A special shibir was also organised for children that ran concurrently throughout the day with the main shibir. The programme began with an insight into the life and spiritual importance of the Satpurush.
Swamishri arrived at the shibir, to the delight of the young children, shortly after 11.30am. He was formally welcomed into the hall by a ‘guard of honour’ comprising young children and was presented with decorative garlands and shawl that had been prepared by the balaks and balikas for his visit.
A memorable session with Swamishri followed where children interacted with him using a variety of toys and games which revealed underlying spiritual messages for the young delegates. A short question-answer session with Mahant Swami Maharaj provided invaluable guidance and cherished memories for everyone present. Swamishri reinforced the key principles of the Akshar-Purushottam upasana through an annotated drawing that he had prepared especially for the shibir. Before departing, he stopped to sanctify a variety of artwork and poetry that children had prepared for the shibir.