Chaturmas is a holy period of four months in the Hindu calendar during which devotees undertake additional religious observances. During this time, parayans (scriptural discourses) are held at BAPS mandirs and centres around the world.
This year, learned sadhus from India presided over 65 of these discourses throughout the UK and parts of Europe. Janmangaldas Swami, Gnannayandas Swami, Aksharcharitdas Swami and Dharmasetudas Swami offered their wisdom on a variety of themes based on the Ramayan, Katha Upanishad, Shrimad Bhagwat Puran, Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, Vachanamrut, Harililamrut and other sacred Hindu texts.
The discourses provided spiritual enrichment through theological insight and practical guidance to thousands who attended. Many of the centres also organised special exhibits to consolidate the theme of their respective parayan.
A key feature of these parayans was the involvement of children, who conducted the inaugural parayan pujan in fluent Sanskrit at some of the venues.
In addition, swamis and experienced volunteers presented 'The Happy Families Toolbox from the Ramayan' at 15 mandirs and centres in the UK, drawing key messages from popular incidents of the Ramayan. More than 650 children learned about family harmony and family values through interactive presentations, games and stories.
Several centres also had mahilas conduct their own special parayans, inspiring women of all ages with insightful discourses and engaging presentations based on the teachings of ancient Hindu scriptures.
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