The 86th birth anniversary of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), was devoutly celebrated on Saturday 28 September 2019 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, popularly known as the ‘Neasden Temple’. Yogacharya Swami Ramdevji (famously known as Baba Ramdev), the popular Indian yoga guru, who was visiting London, also joined the celebrants.
He addressed the congregation and paid tribute to the life and work of Mahant Swami Maharaj, saying that “the divine light and virtues of Pramukh Swami Maharaj can be observed today in Mahant Swami Maharaj.”
Youth sang bhajans depicting some of Mahant Swami Maharaj’s saintly qualities. Swamis then delivered a series of discourses exploring Mahant Swami Maharaj’s profound humility, pure devotion to God, and selfless compassion for humanity.
Swamis concluded the festivities with a ritual offering of flowers to Mahant Swami Maharaj as a mark of reverence and devotion.
Mahant Swami Maharaj’s birth celebrations were also held at the Mandir on Tuesday 23 September 2019, the Hindu calendrical day of his birth. A special evening assembly of discourses and bhajans was held to commemorate the occasion.
A cultural programme was held by the Women’s Wing at the Mandir on Saturday 28 September as part of the celebrations. The assembly consisted of an emotive discussion between two women who shared inspiring accounts of faith, courage and conviction by young and senior devotees at various junctures of their lives.
The messages were brought together through a powerful speech, a short sketch and a montage of video clips. Young female devotees offered their devotion to Mahant Swami Maharaj with a vibrant and uplifting dance to provide a fitting conclusion to the festivities.