His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj visits the United Kingdom
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj is the current spiritual leader and guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), helming its activities internationally and guiding millions of devotees around the world.
Following in the tradition of his predecessor, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Mahant Swami Maharaj continues to travel incessantly, guiding and inspiring people to higher forms of Hindu living.
In his first visit to the UK as guru, Mahant Swami Maharaj joined thousands of devotees and well-wishers at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London between 15th and 21st June for a week of Vedic rituals, devotion and celebrations.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj performed the unforgettable inauguration of this beautiful Mandir – the first of its kind and size in the western hemisphere – in 1995 and last visited the United Kingdom in 2007. Carrying forward his work and legacy, Mahant Swami Maharaj commemorated his first visit as a guru by relaying the important message of achieving peace through understanding one other’s goodness and developing a strong bond of harmony, compassion and unity. Devotees had come from across the world to witness this history in the making.
A one-day Satsang shibir was held in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj on Saturday 17th June 2017 at the Mandir. Titled ‘Satpurush: The Gunatit Legacy’, the event brought together delegates from across the UK and Europe who consolidated – in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj himself – the vital spiritual understanding of God’s continual presence on earth through the Gunatit Satpurush. This was followed by a memorable session with His Holiness where children interacted with him using a variety of toys and games that revealed underlying spiritual messages for the young delegates.
On Sunday 18th June 2017, the Ashtipushpa Visarjan Vidhi (scattering the holy ashes of Pramukh Swami Maharaj) commenced early in the morning through a Vedic ceremony held at London Mandir. After 4.30pm, the sacred kalashs were moved to the River Thames, where Mahant Swami Maharaj presided over the final scattering ritual aboard the River Princess boat at Lambeth Pier. The boat moved along the Thames and passed various iconic landmarks of London, including the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament), the London Eye, and the Battle of Britain Monument.
Mahant Swami Maharaj departed for a three-month religious tour of the United States and Canada on 21st June 2017 and will return to the UK to celebrate the festivals of Diwali and Annakut in London. The special programmes and the dedication of time and effort put in by the numerous volunteers is a reflection of His Holiness’s humble spirituality. The values of devotion and humility passed down by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Guru lineage continue to impact the lives of countless individuals around the world. We look forward to welcoming Mahant Swami Maharaj back to the UK on 22nd September.
—Vishal Patel Former NHSF (UK) Vice President