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Vasant Panchmi Celebrations
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London

Wednesday 20 January, Saturday 23 January & Saturday 30 January 2010

The festival of Vasant Panchmi was celebrated on the evenings of Wednesday 20 January, Saturday 23 January and Saturday 30 January 2010 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan, London. The occasion marks four significant events in the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, namely: the advent of the Shikshapatri, the births of Brahmanand Swami and Nishkulanand Swami (two senior paramhansas from the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan), and the birth anniversary of Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj.

The actual day of Vasant Panchmi (Maha sud 5) fell on Wednesday 20 January 2010. The evening assembly included Shukmuni Swami explaining the virtues of Brahmanand Swami and Nishkulanand Swami through a series of their inspiring kirtans. A video compilation of blessings from Pramukh Swami Maharaj extolling the Shikshapatri was then presented, before Shantmurti Swami, visiting the United Kingdom from Atlanta, USA, narrated inspiring episodes from the life of Shastriji Maharaj. Video highlights of the Vasant Panchmi celebrations in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj that had taken place earlier that day in Atladra were presented at the conclusion of the evening.

The celebrations continued on Saturday 23 January 2010. The prarthna, ‘Akshar-Purushottam Dayalu Prabhu Akshar-Purushottam’, illustrating the work of Shastriji Maharaj in establishing BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, was followed by a video presentation of the bhajan ‘Sant Param Hitkari’, written by Brahmanand Swami. Children and youths sang shlokas from the Bhaktachintamani, written by Nishkulanand Swami, depicting the greatness of the Satpurush, with explanatory comments from Anandpriya Swami and Shantmurti Swami based on the life of Shastriji Maharaj. Another bhajan, ‘Sahajanand Swami Antaryami’, written by Nishkulanand Swami, was then performed by youths before Yogvivek Swami explained the history and significance of Shastriji Maharaj’s work in propounding the spiritual message of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Further highlights from the celebrations in Atladra followed thereafter.

The Mahila Mandal celebrated Vasant Panchmi on Saturday 30 January 2010. An enlightening drama illustrating the mental agility and ability of Brahmanand Swami provided a deeper insight to his life. An introduction to the Shikshapatri followed, where children memorised and presented selected verses which were then linked to emotive incidents presented by the youths. The Chosath Padi, composed by Nishkulanand Swami, was then referenced to discuss the greatness of the Satpurush, leading on to an informative speech on Shastriji Maharaj delivered by a senior member of the Mahila Mandal. The conclusion of the evening was provided with a lively dance.