‘The First of its Kind’ – a 14-episode documentary charting the untold history of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, and its creator, Pramukh Swami Maharaj – has captured the attention of thousands around the world.
Live screenings of Episode 11, titled ‘Vision Fulfilled’, were held at London Mandir on the weekend of 5-6 March 2022 and at mandirs across the UK, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.
Episode 11 of the series is particularly noteworthy, bringing together the years of sweat, struggle and sacrifice behind the creation of London Mandir to a climax – the opening ‘Mandir Mahotsav’ festival. This truly global event was also marked with celebrations by families at home across North America.
This history-defining moment was celebrated with in-person screenings which included
an exclusive viewing of the 2.5-hour episode, replete with a unique pre-show experience and a thrilling large-screen showing, transporting viewers back more than 26 years to that momentous occasion in 1995. Guests arrived in traditional celebratory clothing, many dressed in the very garments they wore at the celebrations in 1995.
The murtis at London Mandir were adorned with the same attire from 1995 to fully recreate the Mandir Mahotsav. Visitors also enjoyed souvenir photo opportunities beside a giant pictorial timeline poster flanked in the courtyard of the Mandir that illustrated the significant milestones of this remarkable journey. Take-home prasad based on the menu designed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1995 was also served after each show.
Trupti Patel, a volunteer from the Mandir Mahotsav in 1995, shared: “This was an incredible experience! The same devotion and jubilation from those unforgettable celebrations in 1995 has been recreated through these documentaries, and fully realised during this special screening. My children have now become part of this historic event and experienced the same joy that we shared all those years ago.”
Praful Jethwa, who attended the screening at the mandir in Sydney, Australia, added, “We were all left speechless! Absorbed in divinity. For the entirety of the programme, each one of us felt as if we were in a different realm. When Swami Bapa was performing the murti pratishtha, almost every other person sitting around me was in tears! Tears of gratefulness! Of the divinity experienced! Of the peace that was so real and penetrating! It was a divine and surreal experience!”