This year’s National Sanyukta Mandal Shibir for upcountry centres was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wellingborough on Sunday 7 August 2011. Over 280 members of the Sanyukta Mandal from centres across the UK eagerly arrived to participate in this Shibir which was held in the presence of visiting sadhus from India, Anandswarup Swami and Munivatsal Swami. The Shibir was entitled “Tek Ekni” with the aim of understanding the true glory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and developing firm faith in Him.
After taking darshan of the sacred Akshar Deri, participants took their seats in the main hall where Anandswarup Swami began the Shibir with the traditional deep pragatya. Anandswarup Swami spoke on the supremacy of Bhagwan Swaminarayan giving references from the Vachanamrut and various examples from the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Following a video on the Swaminarayan Mahamantra, Munivatsal Swami explained the history and glory of the Swaminarayan Mantra. The morning session concluded with a question and answer session on upasana-related topics.
The post-lunch session commenced with a video presentation “Kariye Raji Ghanshyam” after which Yogvivek Swami spoke on the ‘Importance of Aksharbrahman’. Munivatsal Swami spoke on ‘Bhagya Jagya re Aaj Janva’ – how fortunate we are to have attained Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the form of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Anandswarup Swami summarised the Shibir by speaking on the importance of keeping ‘Pativrata-ni Tek’. A video of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s blessings stressing the importance of upasana concluded the Shibir.
The delegates thoroughly enjoyed the Shibir and all departed with a greater and clearer understanding of upasana and its importance on the spiritual path:
“The question and answer session was great! It cleared up certain misconceptions I had regarding upasana.”
“The content was well balanced with each speaker delivering in a clear and logical manner and with no repetition. The video darshans in between the speeches provided a nice break enabling me to be prepared for the next one.”