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Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj to visit UK
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – Celebrating 20 Years
More than 200 years ago, in the village of Chhapaiya in Uttar Pradesh, Bhagwan Swaminarayan looked west and, casting his divine sight in that direction, he revealed that there were aspirants waiting for him there.
His divine vision and words would spring forth a historic revolution of religious following that would herald a new spiritual transformation, thousands of miles away….
On 20 August 1995, this vision took the form of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – standing elegantly as a symbol, a source, and a citadel of Hindu faith and culture. The Mandir is the crowning glory of a history
filled with determination and dedication. Its inauguration marked the culmination of an epic journey of effort and divine blessings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
To mark the 20th anniversary of this momentous occasion, a year of inspiring celebrations for devotees and the community began in January.
The Mandir has welcomed worshippers and visitors from the local community and around the country, as well from abroad, since it first opened its doors in 1995. As the Mandir celebrates its 20th anniversary, many
events have been organised to thank various groups of people for their continued support and commitment.
Central to its establishment and various ongoing activities has been the dedicated support of elderly volunteers. On Sunday 10 May 2015, a special event was organised at the Mandir to celebrate their efforts in
helping build the Mandir over 20 years ago and to appreciate their dedicated services to this day.
The profound sense of community spirit that the Mandir has fostered was recognised on Thursday 21 May 2015 where more than 150 local residents were hosted at the Mandir. Invitees included representatives
from the three local schools, businesses (including IKEA, Tesco and Europcar), staff at the nearby health centre, clergy from the local churches, and the neighbourhood police. The Board of Trustees thanked the
gathering for their years of support and friendship, stretching back over 33 years in some cases.
One of the residents shared: “Thank you for a wonderful evening. You made us all feel very special and part of your community. Everyone we met could not do enough for us and appeared happy that we were with you all.
The Mandir is an amazing place, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.”
Caring for the community has been an important objective of the Mandir. On Saturday 11 July 2015, the Mandir welcomed BAPS Charities and various leading healthcare charities for an interactive community health fair
which was attended by more than 475 people. Partner charities included Age UK, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Anthony Nolan, Breast Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Culture Dementia,
Diabetes UK, London Ambulance Service, Mind, National Kidney Federation, NHS Blood and Transplant, and the Royal Free Hospital.
Michelle Laserna, a senior marketing coordinator for NHS Blood and Transplant, shared her appreciation of the volunteer spirit that has been the bedrock of the Mandir since its very conception.
She said: “I’m in awe of the generosity, selfless acts of kindness and the general compassion you all have to just help people. It’s incredible!”
The 20th anniversary celebrations will culminate with a grand festival on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 August in the presence of senior sadhus visiting from India, honouring Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami
Maharaj’s vision, the volunteers’ labour of love, and the Mandir’s contributions in the lives of individuals, families and the local community.
To learn more, please visit http://londonmandir.baps.org/lm20.