Wednesday 21 April 2021 (Samvat 2077, Chaitra Sud 9) marked 240 years since the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan manifested on this Earth in a human form. Celebrations to mark this auspicious occasion took place in Shree Swaminarayan Mandirs around the world, although due to the ongoing pandemic situation, disciples were largely only able only to have the Lord’s darshan online via live broadcasts.

This year’s celebrations at Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury were a progression in the right direction compared to last year’s – Shree Muktajeevan Academy of Performing Arts performed the Pragatya Utsav and an hour long Shree Swaminarayan Mahamantra dhoon at the Mandir, and the Mandir was open for darshan for a limited period.

At 17:30 UK time (coinciding with 10:00pm India time – the precise time at which the Lord manifested), the Lord’s Pragatya Aarti was performed. This online darshan was interspersed with a live video feed from Maninagardham, where parallel celebrations were taking place in the divine presence of Acharya Swamiji Maharaj and Sants.

Reflecting the eased lockdown situation in England, the Mandir was also open for a limited period today, allowing disciples to visit for darshan both before and after the formal Pragatya Jayanti celebration. Hundreds of visitors took this opportunity, patiently queuing and complying with strict Covid-safe procedures throughout their visit, to have the divine darshan of the Lord, who was presiding on a beautiful golden cradle.

The Lord will remain presiding in His cradle until His Chhathi (ceremonial period of six days) on Monday 26 April.