The grand finale celebrations of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s centennial birth anniversary in the UK and Europe were held on the weekend of 27-28 August 2022 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, in the presence of Anandswarupdas Swami, visiting from India.
The celebrations were held across four performances over the two days, allowing more than 9,000 satsangi registrants to honour and thank Pramukh Swami Maharaj for his life of selfless service, divine love and profound spirituality.
Upon arrival, devotees enjoyed a unique opportunity to perform the abhishek of a special murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj placed at the foot of the staircase leading up to the Mandir, one of Swamishri’s iconic gifts to the world.
The special festive assembly included devotional singing, vibrant dances and uplifting narrations, aided by captivating videos, lighting and special effects.
The inspiring three-hour programme, titled ‘Jivyā Amāre Kāj’, paid tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s selfless life, covering his tireless efforts (purushārth), limitless love (priti), and our priceless attainment (prāpti) of him as the Aksharbrahma Guru.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj travelled tirelessly and selflessly for the benefit of society, devoting his entire life in the service of others. He connected universally with individuals through letters, phone calls and personal meetings, transcending simple human distinctions. The profound impact of this physical endeavour and personal interactions upon recipients from the UK and Europe was remembered through a series of presentations and videos that delved deeper into the sacrifices that he made, and the lifelong memories that these exchanges forged.
His borderless love touched the lives of millions – irrespective of age, education, faith, nationality or social rank. This unconditional love was artistically depicted through excerpts from emotive bhajans performed by swamis and youths, and was further revealed through the eyes of swamis who had travelled with Pramukh Swami Maharaj and witnessed this divine love first-hand over decades. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s love was further brought to life with a series of personal testimonies, explaining how it restored faith and provided solace in times of tremendous adversity and challenge, and, ultimately, it was his divine love that guided countless souls towards the highest spiritual enlightenment.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s love and labour for the sake of others provides a perspective of his spiritual greatness, concurring perfectly with Hindu scriptures when revealing the Gunatit Guru. A musical montage of Sanskrit verses extolling the divine glory of Pramukh Swami Maharaj were supported by personal recollections by senior swamis who shared inspiring incidents from their travels with Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the UK and around Europe. They also reinforced the continued presence of Aksharbrahma through Mahant Swami Maharaj.
A poem, specially composed for the finale celebration, guided the programme throughout, in which it gave voice to everyone’s wish to experience Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s presence “one more time”. At the conclusion, the poem moved to pray: “O Pramukh Swami Maharaj! How can we experience you all of the time?” To this, Mahant Swami Maharaj wrote in an emotional and fitting video climax: “Pramukh Swami Maharaj is forever present. Just remember him and you will feel his divinity and presence. This is my promise. Let us together celebrate Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s shatabdi.”
The complete programme can be viewed on the BAPS UK & Europe channel here