A grand musical tribute to commemorate the life and work of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, on Sunday 20 May 2018.
The event brought together more than 200 children, youths and senior participants – from the age of 6 to 70 – from around the UK. They sang a series of bhajans in honour of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, while talented musicians accompanied the singing with a variety of musical instruments.
This was the first of 100 such musical tributes that will take place over the coming three years in commemoration of the centennial birth anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016). Similar programmes are planned to take place in towns and cities across the UK and in Europe to celebrate his inspiring life, work and values.
The grand launch included a choral performance in which more than 150 vocalists sang in unison. Swamis also joined in the devotional singing by accompanying a video recording of Pramukh Swami Maharaj singing a bhajan praising Yogiji Maharaj in London in 1988.
Swamis also interspersed the singing by narrating personal experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, while videos and photos depicting his universal love and compassion for humanity were shown throughout the evening, complementing the lyrics of the bhajans being sung.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj provided inspiration for the celebrations by sanctifying a special flag that will journey across each of the 100 tribute venues. He also blessed the initiative by sending a special video message in which he spoke about the spiritual significance of devotion through music.
Rakesh Gunchala, one of the lead volunteers for the performance, shared, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a great patron of the performing arts and always encouraged involving everyone, so it was very heart-warming to see so many singers and musicians of all ages come together from around the UK for this event. In many ways, this is the perfect way to pay tribute to an inspiring life lived for the joy of others – by sharing the joy and inspiration of music. We’re really looking forward to the next 99 now, which will also help identify, nurture and harmonise musical talent across Europe.”
Further details about upcoming events will be posted in due course.