Bhakti Din – a special day of devotion to Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj – was held on Tuesday 30 May, Monday 5 June and Tuesday 6 June at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, providing an opportunity for devotees to strengthen their spiritual bond with God and Guru.
The day of devotional activities included the first tula of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj outside of India. The historic evening assembly began with kirtans explaining the spiritual benefits that are realised through devotion.
This was further explored through an enlightening skit that depicted the importance of bhakti (devotion) through a dialogue between Naradji, a revered Hindu sage, and Uddhavji, a scholarly devotee of Shri Krishna Bhagwan. The colourful drama vividly highlighted that, amongst all the means to attain ultimate liberation, God is most pleased by heartfelt devotion.
Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabhdas Swami and Anandswarupdas Swami elaborated on the benevolence and compassion of God, and on the merits of devotion, explaining how a tula provides an ideal way to express one’s devotional gratitude. They also drew upon the lives of devotees who have excelled in their devotion and service to God and reflected upon the personal sacrifices and support of devotees across the UK and Europe over the decades.
This was further conveyed through video highlights of previous Bhakti Dins in the UK.
As Swamishri arrived in the assembly, the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj were carried in a decorative palanquin and joyously welcomed inside the hall with vibrant dances by youths.
Thereafter, Swamishri performed the pujan and arti of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj before offering his own devotion in the form of a tula.
Swamishri then took his seat with Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj as swamis and devotees followed in performing a tula by placing packets of sākar (sugar crystals) on the scale pans, symbolising their sweet, heartfelt devotion to God and Guru. Devotees continued to file by for darshan of Mahant Swami Maharaj, as uplifting celebratory kirtans played, creating a devotionally charged atmosphere.