Pramukh Swami Maharaj (1921-2016) was one of the world’s great spiritual leaders and an inspiration to millions worldwide, guiding them to lead a spiritual and noble life. One of his greatest gifts to the UK is BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – popularly known as ‘Neasden Temple’ – which he inaugurated on 20 August 1995. 27 years on, it continues to serve the local community and inspire millions of worshippers and visitors from across the world to experience a profound sense of peace, fulfilment, and spiritual harmony.
The 27th anniversary of the Mandir was celebrated with various devotional activities on Sunday 21 August 2022, which began with darshan and the abhishek of Shri Nilkanth Varni. Vedic ceremonies for the ‘patotsav’ – marking the anniversary of the Mandir – followed thereafter.
The programme also included devotional bhajans from swamis. A variety of sweet and savoury dishes were artistically arranged before the deities in the main shrines to thank God for his providence and protection.
Throughout 2022, hundreds of thousands around the world are honouring and celebrating the birth centenary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Yogvivekdas Swami paid tribute to the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj by drawing upon the societal benefits that have been fostered from the more than 1,100 mandirs that he consecrated.
Shruti Patel, visiting from north London, shared, “After two years of online patotsav celebrations, it was wonderful to experience the atmosphere and join worshippers for the Mandir’s anniversary. This year’s celebrations are particularly special as we celebrate Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s shatabdi (birth centenary) – and honouring his life at the Mandir he built for the community and beyond was memorable.”
The celebrations concluded with arti in front of the maha-murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the courtyard of the Mandir.