Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj preached that Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s birth anniversary should be celebrated with great devotional fanfare. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 99th janma jayanti was thus joyously celebrated around the world, including in the UK and Europe, with a series of devotional offerings and enlightening online programmes throughout the day on Tuesday 22 December 2020.
Devotees had safely marked this auspicious occasion from their respective homes with festive decorations and devotional artwork. Young and senior members of families also decorated their ghar mandirs and placed intricately crafted garlands around the murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
As part of a devotional initiative by Kishore-Kishori Mandal, many young devotees participated in the ‘Pramukh Parva Bake Off’ in which they made and offered a variety of celebratory desserts – cakes, biscuits, puddings, etc. – to mark the occasion.
In the lead-up to this day, the Bal-Balika Mandal, Kishore-Kishori Mandal, Yuvak-Yuvati Mandal, Sanyukta Mandal and Mahila Mandal all focused their weekly sabhas on the divine virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A total of twelve sabhas formed a part of ‘Pramukh Parva 2020’, spanning four weeks. (These sabhas are available to watch on-demand on the BAPS UK & Europe channel here.)
During the afternoon, thousands of devotees joined the webcast from India to enjoy an absorbing three-hour programme that provided an immersive spiritual experience paying homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s divine, saintly life. 3D animations and special effects combined to create a virtual stage in the Himalayan mountains, the abode of the great sages of ancient India, as the setting for the celebrations. (See here
for more details.)
That evening, another online programme took viewers on a historical journey of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s birth celebrations from 1965 to 2020. The production included a montage of rare footage interspersed with commentaries and eye-witness accounts from senior swamis and devotees who shared examples of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s profound humility and selfless love for others.
Families participated in the mantra-pushpanjali and arti at the end of the webcasts by offering flower petals and rice grains to the murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the Guru Parampara as well as Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Anjali Patel, a mother from London, said, “Our daughters had so much fun baking a birthday cake and making colourful birthday cards. The evening programme was wonderful. Seeing the footage of those unforgettable celebrations over the years, many of which we saw for the first time, was truly heart-warming and inspiring.”