The birth anniversary of HH Yogiji Maharaj was celebrated at the Neasden Temple in the presence of HH Mahant Swami Maharaj on Tuesday 16 May. The theme of the celebration was: ‘Amara Jogi: Beyond the Smile’. The event went through a theatrical production incorporating unique eyewitness accounts.
Yogiji Maharaj, the fourth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, was known for his patient and playful nature. He was the guru of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. He carried the philosophy of Akshar Purushottam out of India to Africa and London. He was a visionary, inspirer, and initiator of the organization’s weekly children and youth activities. His positive attitude and engaging smile captured the hearts of thousands of people.
The Family Din: Satsang at Home
A special evening programme focussed on innovative ways for families to spend time together and progress spiritually was held in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj on Saturday 13 May 2023 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The Family Din evening programme, titled ‘Satsang at Home: A New Way. Swami’s Way’ explored effective ways to participate in satsang activities at home with family members. The underlying messages were delivered through engaging discourses, presentations, videos, and an interactive skit with Swamishri, with contributions from swamis as well as children, youths and seniors.
Swamis began the assembly by addressing various challenges that families are facing today, particularly regarding the potentially harmful impact of various devices on family interactions and personal development, and their judicious use for positive family time together.
Mahant Swami Maharaj was joyously welcomed to the assembly as the focal point of the programme transitioned into a drama, which began with Swamishri ‘arriving at the home of a family’ for a padhramani (home visit) with Sadguru Tyagvallabhdas Swami and other swamis.
After the vibrant welcome, the interactive skit introduced Daily Satsang Time – a new, weekly structured plan for families to practise satsang at home through thematic daily activities, including the reading of various satsang texts and publications, the learning of scriptural passages, engaging in smruti (recalling and enjoying the divine incidents of God and the Guru), and conducting ghar sabha (family satsang assemblies at home).
These daily initiatives were individually unveiled by Swamishri, who also provided practical guidance on how families can avail the maximum benefits of each activity, as the family members posed questions as a part of the skit.
The Mahila Din event: Devine bond with God and Guru
The divine bond between female devotees and God and the Guru was explored through an enlightening programme of mono-acts, dramas, kirtans, presentations and dances on Saturday 13 May 2023 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The Mahila Din programme began with a prayer offered on behalf of mahilas during Mahant Swami Maharaj’s morning puja, charting the spiritual connection that mahilas have with the Satpurush and how it evolves throughout the journey of their life.
A series of devotional offerings were also presented to Swamishri, including an official invitation to Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj to preside over the day’s festivities.
Later in the morning, women and children offered a grand welcome to Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj in the Mahila Din assembly, which centred around navdha bhakti.
Women shared cherished memories of Yogiji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj through video presentations and a panel discussion, further reinforcing the spiritual bond they have maintained with their gurus.
A video of Mahant Swami Maharaj touching a lamp that simultaneously illuminated a lamp inside the assembly hall provided a memorable finale to the event – delivering a symbolic message to the devotees that his connection with them is not confined by boundaries or physical distance.
Fri 19 May: Celebrating British Hindu Contribution
On Friday 19 May, there will be an inspiring evening in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj bringing together diverse Hindu communities from around the UK to celebrate the wide array of contributions of British Hindus to the country. The time is 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm.