The female members of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Kingsbury gathered on the 1st of April 2017 for their annual ladies’ day event. The main event saw a performance of traditional devotional dance called Samuh raas to devotional music, to please the Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa.
Samuh raas is a communal folk dance originated from the state of Gujarat, India.
The event was opened by young devotees singing a prayer (Prathna) to Lord Swaminarayan. To get everyone warmed up for the Samuh raas, a 30min raas workshop was organised to teach new and different folk dance styles. This enthused participants young and old and got them energised for the event ahead.
Just before the Samuh raas commenced, a group of 30 devotees of different ages ranging from 5-60 years of age performed a surprise flashmob style raas to devotional music. After this colourful and high energy performance, everyone was excited and ready for the Samuh raas.
The Samuh raas was performed around the murti of Lord Swaminarayan and the event was concluded with the ladies performing in front of Lord Swaminarayan with other Gujarati frolics such as fudheri and timli, a form of line dance.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj explained the significance of music in one’s life, “Music is a means to reach God. It has a considerable influence on one’s mood. In addition, a lot can be learnt through music and song'' it is therefore an extremely powerful medium. When dance is combined with music, its effect is amplified. For that reason, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa commenced the practice of teaching devotional dancing in order to please the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa
The day concluded with prasad which was enjoyed in the beautiful spring weather.