HH Mahant Swami Maharaj’s 86th Birthday Celebrations took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 23 September 2019. Thousands of devotees from across Africa and around the world arrived to join in the celebration. Young children to seniors alike expressed immense happiness and joy.
Extending a special welcome to their Guru, young children from Kenya recited Vedic shloks (scriptural quotes) and chants whilst performing a 16-part ceremonial welcome to Nairobi. This divine sight evoked an environment filled with divinity. To celebrate Mahant Swami Maharaj’s arrival in Africa, hundreds of devotees had performed severe austerities ranging from days of water-less fasts to unique penances lasting months.
The birthday celebrations took place with the central theme that defines a true sadhu based on the ancient Hindu Scriptures of the Upanishads, Bhagwat Gita, Shrimad Bhagwat, Ramayan and the Vachanamrut. Just as Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life displayed the divine qualities present in a true sadhu, presently hundreds of sadhus and devotees seamlessly experience those qualities in Mahant Swami Maharaj.
On this special occasion, the Indian Ambassador of Kenya and Somalia, Shri Rahul Chhabra graced the assembly to extend his wishes to Mahant Swami Maharaj on his birthday. A traditional devotional dance performed by children and young teens left the assembly of thousands in awe. Kenyans also joined into the celebration and performed a native African dance to celebrate the event. Later, Mahant Swami Maharaj blessed the assembly saying, “Our greatest blessing in life is that by the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan we have been blessed with this divine association of this Satsang. In our day-to-day lives we should strive to become true devotees and offer devotion by remaining tolerant and accepting of the joys and sorrows that come our way.”
Nairobi Mandir celebrated its bidecennial anniversary on this auspicious occasion. A tri-union of BAPS’s finest values was experienced through a confluence of immense Service (Seva), Penance (Tap), and Devotion (Bhakti). Shri Nilkanth Varni’s murti (a teenaged-yogi form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan) was consecrated on this special day.