Guruhari Darshan, 28 May 2023, London, UK | Shishu Din
Guruhari Ashirwad, 28 May 2023 Morning, London, UK
Children aged 7 and under celebrated a special day with Mahant Swami Maharaj on Sunday 28 May 2023 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
They began the Shishu Din by singing a selection of children’s kirtans with sweet tones and melodies during Swamishri’s puja. In his morning blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj encouraged participants of the children’s football tournaments – Pramukh Cup and Premvati Cup – that were taking place later in the day, to imbibe the principles of unity, humility and discipline both on and off the pitches.
The evening programme began with a presentation ceremony to recognise team and individual achievements from the football tournaments.
Sadguru Pujya Doctor Swami (Swayamprakashdas Swami) delivered a powerful discourse for both children and their parents. He explained the limitless potential of every child to achieve their ambitions and serve the world, and shared inspiring examples of how young children have achieved great success amidst acute challenges.
Gunkirtandas Swami narrated a story that helped reveal the bond of friendship that Swamishri shares with shishus, and explained the spiritual importance of recognising the guru as one’s very best friend.
Swamishri’s arrival in the programme was communicated through a telephone call with a shishu and was marked with joyous celebrations, including a colourful dance. Shishus then engaged in a light-hearted exchange with Swamishri, explaining the perceptions that teachers and parents have of young children. Swamishri shared his own perspectives by saying, “They may appear mischievous now, in their younger years, but they will grow to become great.” He also affirmed that they are all muktas (liberated souls).
Mahant Swami Maharaj played a series of games with the children, including musical statues, during which Swamishri himself played a series of instruments. He also explained specific habits young children should cultivate, narrated important spiritual principles through puppetry, and provided an everlasting memory by cradling a rabbit, drawn from the story, in his lap.
Shishus presented a series of offerings they had devoutly prepared for Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. In turn, Swamishri explained his own favourite devotional activities. A practical offering was then made as Swamishri helped children to create a chocolate treat for Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj during a live cooking demonstration. Swamishri then offered the sanctified food to everyone present in the assembly. The children concluded their interaction with Swamishri by pledging to remember the key messages and become ideal shishus.
The second part of the programme was focused on the football tournaments that took place earlier in the day. An interactive exercise revealed how children can be victorious on the ‘satsang pitch’ with analogies of key roles that Swamishri assumes within the team – each with a deeper underlying message – such as the goalkeeper that catches every child before they slip into the net of worldly distractions, and a striker that helps children reach their ultimate spiritual goal.
These teachings were brought to life by Swamishri throwing and kicking a soft football. Mahant Swami Maharaj provided one final memory by signing a contract to become a new ‘transfer signing’ for the children.

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