Hundreds of families across the UK and Europe joined in a special mahapuja on Monday 1 January 2024 to pray for world peace, family harmony, and a safe and successful year ahead.
Many of the families, comprising worshippers and community members of all ages and backgrounds, gathered at London Mandir in two sessions, in the morning and in the afternoon. Many more joined online via a live webcast from their own homes, taking the opportunity to decorate their ghar mandirs, make sweet delicacies as a family activity, and make various devotional offerings to the murtis.
The sacred ceremony was conducted from London Mandir by the resident swamis supported by youths. As swamis chanted powerful Vedic mantras to invoke the divine presence of God and offer various forms of reverence and adoration, they also shared explanations to allow participants to understand and enjoy the ceremony.
The event provided an opportunity for families to herald the new year with a collective spirit of faith and hope. Seema Patel, who attended the prayers at the Mandir with her family, shared, “What a wonderful way to bring in the new year! The atmosphere inside the mandir was filled with divinity and peace, and it was just so uplifting to see people come together to pray for others. My eight-year-old daughter was focussed throughout and even offered her own personal prayer for those who are suffering.”
Yogvivekdas Swami, Head Swami of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK and Europe, explained, “The new year brings renewed faith and optimism. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj has inspired us all to foster goodwill, unity, and positivity. It was heartwarming to see thousands of people beginning their new year by praying for others. We also pray that the blessings and positive energy from the mahapuja are fostered throughout 2024 and beyond to bring a lasting impact to our global community.”