Families across the UK and Europe heralded the New Year by taking part in a family mahapuja from their respective homes on Friday 1 January 2021.
This unique global experience was enjoyed by more than 5,000 households who prayed for world peace, family harmony, and a safe and successful year ahead, particularly for those affected by the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.
2021 also marks the centennial birth year of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The mahapuja therefore enabled children, adults and seniors alike to pay tribute to the inspirational life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and also welcome the new murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, which were consecrated
by Mahant Swami Maharaj on 31 October, into their homes.
The mahapuja was conducted from the shrines of London Mandir by the resident swamis. Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the opening of the mahapuja through a live video link from Nenpur in India. He was welcomed by a balak who, effectively, invited Swamishri into each and every home to conduct a padhramani (‘home visit’).
The explanations of the various components and rituals were narrated in English and Gujarati, and were accompanied with on-screen guidance throughout the ceremony, helping families to understand the meaning of the Sanskrit verses and perform the mahapuja correctly.
Mahant Swami Maharaj’s personal blessings on this auspicious occasion were shared following the conclusion of the mahapuja in which he elaborated on the spiritual significance of the new Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj murti and encouraged everyone to imbibe and share with others the exemplary virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Nimisha Patel, from Leicester, shared her thoughts after the event: “What a wonderfully uplifting way to begin the new year! Online events such as these connect communities across the world and give us tremendous strength and hope. Our children were able to fully understand the deep meaning of each step of the mahapuja and contribute together as a family. The presence and guidance of Mahant Swami Maharaj made this a truly memorable event.”