Ashadh Sud Poonam is observed as the auspicious day of Gurupurnima, one of the 3 main annual festivities of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The word Guru originates from two Sanskrit roots: "Gu" meaning darkness or ignorance and "Ru" meaning the remover of that darkness. Therefore, one who removes the darkness of ignorance is referred to as a Guru.
Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa highlights the importance of Gurupurnima: “Guru veena gnaan nahi,” which translates to, “Without a Guru, knowledge cannot be attained.” Jeevanpran Swamibapa further explains that it is only Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa that can enlighten our souls with true religious knowledge (gnaan) to allow us to attain the supreme eternal bliss (atyantik moksha) and endless peace of the supreme Lord.
On Monday 3rd July 2023, devotees gathered at Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Bolton to form a part of the annual Gurupurnima celebrations, where all disciples took the opportunity to pay homage with the utmost reverence to our Gurus, Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
After performing Sandhya Aarti at 5pm, the celebrations commenced with a small procession from the mandir grounds led by Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band - Bolton. Disciples held aloft Jeevanpran Swamibapa in a palkhi whilst young devotees carried abundant offerings as well as a celebration cake to the Lord in the form of a Shahi Swagat. Upon arriving inside the mandir, the Pipe Band performed a salute to Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa. The Gurupoojan ceremony was performed using chandan, flowers, garlands, and shawls.
All disciples had the opportunity to perform poojan and offer aarti to Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
The celebrations continued with Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s divine discourses showering His divine Ashirwad on everyone, before Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj gave His divine Ashirwad to the devotees of Bolton Mandir from His current vicharan in the USA.