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The Satpurush – Know Him, Love Him, Serve Him
National Kishore-Kishori Shibir

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London
Sunday 31 July 2011

The Satpurush is the source of ultimate enlightenment, yet understanding his true greatness and building a perpetual and unbroken bond with is the most important challenge for one who has his association. This year’s National Kishore-Kishori Shibir, held in the presence of Sadguru Mahant Swami was entitled ‘Satpurush – Know Him, Love Him, Serve Him’ which provided an opportunity for more than 500 kishores and kishoris from across the UK to reflect upon their understanding of the Satpurush and strengthen their attachment to him.

Mahant Swami began the shibir with the traditional deep pragatya and was welcomed to the shibir with a garland. The opening video introduced the core of the shibir theme by addressing the enlightenment that stands before civilisation today, which then prompted a discussion of the qualities of great personalities of the world today.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj exhibits all the virtues, and more, of the most noble and compassionate people known to mankind yet he is able to impact and change the lives of others in a special way. Touching personal examples from Arpan Patel and written testimonies from kishoris revealed Swamishri’s universal and unconditional compassion, which was explored further via a live telecast from Brahmavihari Swami in Amdavad, who relived the terrorist attacks on Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar and Swamishri’s remarkable compassion and composure amidst unprecedented circumstances. The session was concluded by Mahant Swami with a powerful insight into the intrinsic greatness of the Satpurush – using practical analogies to introduce the virtues that are beyond the realms of what the eyes can see.

The second session delved deeper into the qualities of the Satpurush – the concept of which was introduced through an abstract video underlining the message that there is more to see beyond the surface. An audio recording enacting the voice of Bhagwan Swaminarayan revealed the greatness of the Satpurush, which was continued by Yogvivek Swami and Amrutvihari Swami who emphasised the two-way link between God and the Satpurush – understanding the supremacy of Bhagwan Swaminarayan who reveals the true glory of the Satpurush (which was supported by references from the Vachanamrut) and in turn, understanding the greatness of God which is revealed by the Satpurush. These theoretical concepts were illustrated through short skits where devotees from the time of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and from Swamishri narrated, in turn, their experiences.

The post-lunch session focussed on the experiences of Swamishri in Sarangpur and London, where kishores and yuvaks shared their cherished moments from previous visits, before discussion sessions promoted interaction between all participants. Group photographs on the mandir steps followed thereafter before video clips of Swamishri revealing the relationship and understanding of the Satpurush introduced the final session of the shibir.

Shukmuni Swami emphasised the importance of being the ideal shishya and understanding our personal responsibilities to strive for rajipo through more eye-opening prasangs that reinforced the message that one should forgo the wishes of the mind and become focussed only on the Satpurush's wishes – the product of true understanding.

Mahant Swami concluded by discussing the essence of understanding the Satpurush with further analogies to elaborate upon his greatness and to have unshakeable faith in his words. In his conclusion, he spoke of atmabuddhi and dradh priti as the basis of one’s attachment – beyond the physical form.