Vicharan Reports

19 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 3) Thursday, London
Pramukh Swami Maharaj Arrives in London
Today, His Excellency Kamlesh Sharma, the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner to the UK, came to pay his respects to Swamishri. In his speech to the assembly, the High Commissioner praised Swamishri's work and the dedication of the volunteers of BAPS who have helped create such a beautiful mandir in London.


Balika Mandal Suvarna Arpan
As part of the Bal-Balika Suvarna Jayanti Celebrations, some 400 balikas from across the UK aged between 6 and 14 participated in different activities from which the best 100 balikas were chosen and trained for 10 weeks at 3 centres around the UK, in various talents such as instrumental, oration, story telling, dance as well as delivering spiritual discourses.
All the above talents were artistically presented in the grand finale of the Balika Suvarna Arpan Project through inspiring performances at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London in the presence of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj.


25 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 10) Wednesday, London
Day 1 - National Kishore-Kishori Summer Shibir
Over 450 kishores and 320 kishoris from across the UK and Europe gathered at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London for the National Kishore-Kishori Summer Shibir 2004, 'Swaminarayan Sanskruti'. In the morning after puja, Swamishri inaugurated the shibir with kishores chanting Vedic shloks. Kishores garlanded and also presented Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Swamishri with an identification badge. Thereafter, Swamishri blessed the assembled kishores and kishoris so that they understand the essence of Swaminarayan Sanskruti and also explained how fortunate they were to be part of the shibir.
In the evening, Shri Harikrishna Maharaj was treated to a spectacular honour in the presence of Swamishri. Kishores welcomed Shri Harikrishna Maharaj with a dance and then portrayed Swamishri's devotion to Thakorji through multimedia presentations and speeches. The programme ended with kishores offering their devotion to Thakorji and greeting Swamishri. In his blessings, Swamishri talked of the importance of devotion to God coupled with an understanding of the glory of God.



26 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 11) Thursday, London
Day 2 - National Kishore-Kishori Summer Shibir
The final day of the Kishore-Kishori Shibir saw Swamishri performing puja surrounded by the murtis of Nilkanth Varni - The Ideal Kishore. Swamishri sanctified all the murtis with flowers. During the day, senior sadhus and kishore co-ordinators presented the principles of Swaminarayan Sanskruti.
The evening commenced with a kirtan bhakti performance by sadhus, which led onto an inspiring programme presented by kishores on Shastriji Maharaj and his greatest gift to us - Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Swamishri was welcomed by a colourful dance and was seated on a glorious stage with the Sarangpur gate, mandir and Smruti Mandir as a backdrop. Swamishri blessed the assembly and explained the importance of the Akshar Purushottam philosophy and how Shastriji Maharaj had toiled day and night to establish this true philosophy.
Swamishri then sprayed Thakorji with saffron-coloured water, following which all the kishores were sprayed by Swamishri as part of the joyous festival of Fuldol.



27 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 12) Friday, London
Day 1 - National Bal-Balika Shibir 2004
Parallel to the National Family Shibir, the Bal-Balika Shibir - 'Atmabuddhi' commenced at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London. Over 500 balaks and balikas gathered from all over the UK and Europe. Through various inspiring presentations by sadhus and co-ordinators, the children gained a clearer understanding of the importance of imbibing spiritual and moral values from a young age.
Swamishri attended the shibir during the evening and treated the children to an inspiring game in which they understood Swamishri's wish of cultivating satsang in life and excelling in studies.


27 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 12) Friday, London
Day 1 - National Family Shibir 2004
The National Family Shibir - 'Karishye Vachanam Tava' commenced on 27 August at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Neasden, London. Over 1200 yuvak and yuvati participants from all over the UK and Europe attended. Senior sadhus explained Swamishri's message of observing niyams, ghar sabha, puja with tilak-chandlo and spiritual discourses, through inspiring speeches. In his blessings at the end of the day, Swamishri talked on the importance of keeping faith in the words of God and His holy Sadhu.

28 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 13) Saturday, London
Day 2 - National Bal-Balika Shibir 2004
The balaks sang kirtans, recited mukhpath and performed a dance in Swamishri's puja. Swamishri also launched the 'Pramukh Cup', a 7-a-side football tournament, and also pleased a young balak by enticing him to grab the football whilst he continuously moved it in his hands. This little action brought a smile to everyone in the audience.
The morning session of the shibir saw senior sadhus speaking on the importance of remembering divine moments with Swamishri on a regular basis.
The balaks then went to play the Pramukh Cup Tournament held at Alperton Goals. From throughout the UK, 42 teams participated in the tournament, which was won by Saturday London Mandir Bal Mandal Team A. In the evening session, Swamishri presented the trophy to the winning team.


28 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 13) Saturday, London
Day 2 - National Family Shibir 2004
During the day there were a series of talks and panel discussions on understanding Swamishri's wishes. Yuvaks took niyams to do puja daily, tilak- chandlo regularly and to attend the weekly assembly on time. The final session of the shibir was on the topic of faith in God. Swamishri stressed in his blessings the importance of steadfastly abiding by the principles of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
The finale of this shibir was the Fuldol celebration, in which all the yuvaks and balaks were sprayed by Swamishri with the saffron-coloured water sanctified by Shri Harikrishna Maharaj.


29 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 14) Sunday, London
Bal Pravrutti Suvarna Jayanti
An epic train journey was relived in the form of a two-hour enlightening and inspiring drama. This divine journey through the realms of Yogiji Maharaj's saintliness was written and directed by Brahmaprakash Swami and performed by members of the UK Bal Pravrutti Suvarna Jayanti Team.
This spectacular event was held to mark not only the Bal Pravrutti Suvarna Jayanti, but also the 50th anniversary of the Swaminarayan Special Train Yatra. In 1953, Pramukh Swami accompanied Yogiji Maharaj on this memorable journey from Atladra to Chhapaiya. The presentation symbolised a similar journey, except that it took the participants from here to Akshardham.
Devotees not only witnessed, but were in the heart of the action through some amazing effects, allowing them to experience the same train journey. The whole haveli was brought to life with a moving video projection of the train that was projected on the walls of the haveli. The highlight of the show was the divine presence of Yogiji Maharaj in the form of an animatronic murti of Yogiji Maharaj.
Some 150 participants and 50 support staff along with sadhus contributed to making this event a huge success. The programme culminated with Swamishri's blessings in which he praised the efforts of the balaks and the bal co-ordinators and talked of the greatness of Yogiji Maharaj and his work.
The women's wing also contributed by setting up a walk-through exhibition entitled 'Divine World of Yogiraj', which was inaugurated by Doctor Swami. This exhibition was seen by over 13,000 people over ten days. Over 160 bal-balikas and co-ordinators helped with the setting up and running of the exhibition.


30 August 2004 (V.S. 2060, Shravan sud 15) Monday, London
Raksha Bandhan Utsav
The murtis in the mandir were beautifully adorned with colourful rakhdis. In his blessings in the evening Raksha Bandhan Festival assembly, Swamishri explained that this festival is not just about physical protection but about redeeming one's soul and keeping God as the centrepoint in every activity.
Swamishri personally sanctified all the rakhdis for the devotees, which were placed around the wrists of all devotees by the sadhus at the end of the assembly.

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