A special day of continuous prayers was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wellingborough, on Sunday 31 March 2024. Thousands of worshippers from around the UK and even parts of Europe convened to pray for success, peace, and harmony to prevail in communities across the world.
The prayers began at 7.00am, with visitors joining throughout the day to offer their devotion at the ‘Akshar Deri’, a beautiful shrine housed within the mandir.
Shivani Kotecha, a first-time visitor, travelled from Leicester with her husband for the event. Sharing her impressions on the day, she remarked, “We thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting occasion where everyone joined together to think of others. We were warmly greeted by volunteers, and meeting other devotees from across the country made the day even more memorable.”
This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Akhand Dhun, which had had modest beginnings in 1984. To celebrate the occasion, Mahant Swami Maharaj sent a special handwritten letter blessing all the attendees and reiterating the spiritual significance of the Akshar Deri shrine, calling it on par with the Akshar Deri in Gondal, India. He also conveyed his personal prayers for everyone’s well-being, and for peace and harmony to prevail in all communities at a time when unrest and humanitarian crises continue to unfold in various parts of the world.
To promote healthy living and an active lifestyle, over fifty cyclists rode more than 100 kilometres to Wellingborough after departing from London Mandir earlier that morning, while another group of devotees walked more than 110 kilometres from Chigwell Mandir in East London.
The prayers continued uninterrupted through to 7.00pm, when the day’s chanting, pradakshinas, darshan and seva concluded.
Rajesh Ladwa, a lead volunteer at the Mandir, shared, “This unique annual event of devotion and collective prayer encourages the community to congregate for a common purpose. We are extremely grateful to everyone who participated, and look forward to continuing to serve the wider community throughout the year.” He added, “Following the news of their cancer diagnosis, we also extend our prayers to His Majesty King Charles III and Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales for a swift and full recovery to good health.”

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