On Thursday 2 June 2022, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London held the first of a series of Vishwa Shanti Mahayagnas that form a part of the community and family programmes in the UK commemorating the centennial birth anniversary of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
A special smoke-free, eco-friendly flame is being used to allow these traditional Vedic ceremonies to be conducted indoors over five weekends.
Guests in London arrived for the yagna in traditional celebratory clothing and enjoyed photo opportunities beside a newly-erected 27-foot image of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the courtyard of the Mandir, before proceeding inside for the ceremony.
The yagnas are being conducted by expert pandits, supported by children and youths who provide skilled guidance on the rituals and explain their deeper spiritual significance. Volunteers are on hand to assist the participants throughout the ceremony, including taking photographs on their behalf using the participants’ own phone cameras to capture this memorable moment. 
The event is providing the entire family with an opportunity to worship and learn together, including young children who are given a specially designed activity booklet of puzzles, games and bite-sized information that explains the importance and significance of yagnas.
Ancient Hindu scriptures describe a yagna as a powerful devotional offering that serves as a sublime connection to God. Yagnas are performed in memory of loved ones as well as to invoke divine blessings for ancestors and current families.
Further mahayagnas will continue at the Mandir in London until Sunday 5 June and again the following weekend (11-12 June), and then on subsequent weekends at the BAPS mandirs in Birmingham (18-19 June), Leicester (25-26 June) and Manchester (2-3 July). During these yagnas, thousands of participants will collectively pray for peace, protection and global harmony, growing also in their family unity – all values that Pramukh Swami Maharaj embodied and fostered throughout his life.
Vishal Patel, one of the lead volunteers of the event, shared, “Yagnas of this scale and significance rarely take place outside of India, and it serves as the perfect way for families to pay tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life of selfless sacrifice for the community.”
Limited spaces are available for those in the UK still wishing to participate. To register, please use the online booking form here.

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