The 87th birthday anniversary of Mahant Swami Maharaj was joyously celebrated with a series of enlightening and devotional online programmes throughout the UK and Europe from 11 to 13 September 2020.
The celebrations began on Friday 11 September – Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birthdate according to the Hindu calendar – with morning darshan of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s puja from Nenpur in India.
A special online evening programme explored Mahant Swami Maharaj’s ruchi (innermost wishes) for aspirants to help them progress on their spiritual path. The programme began with Mahant Swami Maharaj’s personal experiences of understanding and fulfilling Yogiji Maharaj’s ruchi.
Video testimonies from swamis around the world as well as discourses, letters and a panel discussion explored three key ruchis of Mahant Swami Maharaj that he frequently emphasises – unity, humility, and satsang depth. The presentations elaborated upon each in the life of Swamishri himself and included examples of how he has inspired them in others through his teachings.
The interactive programme provided opportunities for families to participate at home by decorating their ghar mandirs, creating birthday cards and baking celebratory cakes as a devotional offering. As a mark of reverence, families also offered flower petals and rice grains to the murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Mahant Swami Maharaj as well as the Satsang Diksha scripture that he recently authored.
The celebrations continued on Saturday evening with the first of a two-part parva during the Kishore-Kishori and Yuvak-Yuvati Mandal sabha, themed “Ej Rang, Ej Sang”, which explored the similar virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The morning of Sunday 13 September – Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birthday according to the Gregorian calendar – began with the darshan of Swamishri’s puja from Nenpur, India. Swamis in London, Nairobi, Houston, Atlanta and Robbinsville sang celebratory kirtans via video conference facilities to mark the auspicious occasion.
Later in the morning, the Bal-Balika Mandal sabha celebrated Mahant Swami Maharaj’s life and showed children how they can grow spiritually closer to their guru.
Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birth celebrations were also marked with a special three-hour ‘virtual sabha’ on Sunday afternoon, with discourses by senior and learned swamis from around the world. The presentations – available in English, Gujarati and Hindi – along with bhajans and video montages, delved into the exemplary life of Mahant Swami Maharaj. Specifically, they elaborated upon a collection of his spiritual virtues – humility, purity, compassion, faith, saintliness and a universal connection with all – that have provided peace and fulfilment in the lives of countless people.
In his blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj paid tribute to the life and works of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and explained how maintaining unity, remaining humble and supporting one another is a foundational part of one’s spiritual endeavours.
Thousands around the world concluded the celebrations by performing the mantra-pushpanjali and arti at home in a collective global offering.
The mahilas of UK & Europe also celebrated Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birthday with a special online programme on Sunday 20 September 2020.