Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury had the honour of hosting the final leg of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s vicharan abroad as part of the Sadbhav Amrut Parva festival. With that honour came the pressure to ensure the event was a spectacular finale – and down solely to the grace and benevolence of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, the evening delivered just that.
The event kicked off with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj making His way from the Mandir to Purushottam Mahal, adorned in beautiful flower garments, where the brim-full sabha was awaiting His divine darhan. On entering the sabha to raucous applause, jubilation and the thunder of dhol drum, He presided on a circular central throne that had been especially created so that 75 individual dishes of sweets could form an Annakut around Him in three tiers. As young disciples playing the role of deities delivered the sweets, each functional group and department had the opportunity to pay thanks to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj for inspiring their own activities. This part of the evening was to demonstrate that the sole reason behind the flourishing of all aspects of the Mandir’s activities was none other than Acharya Swamishree Maharaj.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj then presided in the magnificent, grand and golden sinhasan, rightfully amidst our divine Guru Parampara. Sant Shiromani Shree Munishwardasji Swami address the Sabha, explaining the glory of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj by recalling the words of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa during the investiture of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, “In every respect Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Bapashree and I will work through Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swami, and will always remain with Him.” Shree Munishwardasji Swami prayed on behalf of all gathered that Acharya Swamishree Maharaj remains healthy and well for many years to come.
The sponsoring disciples then performed poojan in the form of Panchamrut Snan to the lotus feet of the Lord and by showering Acharya Swamishree Maharaj with gold flowers and crystals. Young disciples then conveyed three episodes from Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s life – when He was an infant, a primary schooler, and finally a teenager – in the form of short plays.
Sant Shiromani Shree Sarvatmapriyadasji Swami then had the opportunity to please the Lord and address the sabha. During his short speech, he prayed to Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa that Acharya Swamishree Maharaj come back to London in 25 years to celebrate His Shatabdi (centenery) with the same pomp and glory as today – sending the sabha into an ecstatic applause. Nearly 50 youngsters, some as young as 5, then performed a devotional dance to an especially composed birthday kirtan.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj then cut one of the cakes that formed part of an amazing 75-item towering cake, and offered it to the Lord. Sadguru Shree Munubhushandasji Swami then offered some of the cake to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj on behalf of sants and disciples. Towards the end of the evening, a video presentation was shown, describing the glory of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, His incredible determination for the principles of Jeevanpran Bapashree and His unsurpassed love for Jeevanpran Swamibapa.