News & Events
On Fri 11 and Sat 12 April 2003, thousands of devotees thronged to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden to pay their respects on the occasion of the birth anniversaries of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram.
On Fri 11 April, following the arti at 12noon performed to signify the birth of Bhagwan Ram, devotees had the opportunity of swinging the birth cradle of Shree Ram. To commemorate the event, beautiful annakut of food items was offered to the deities. Throughout the day, over 10,000 people took the opportunity to do darshan and swing the birth cradle.
Meanwhile in the Haveli Hall, special assemblies were held. From 6pm to 7pm, verses from the Ramcharitmanas were melodiously sung and the glory of Bhagwan Ram extolled by saints. In the main evening assembly in the Haveli hall, sadhus and devotees sang the praises of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram. At 10.10pm, the birth of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was celebrated by performing a special arti, following which devotees had the opportunity to swing the birth cradle of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Prasad and pocket calendars were distributed to all the visitors.
On Saturday 12 April, a special assembly with the theme ‘Nilkanth Varni’s Kalyan Yatra’ was held in the evening from 7.30 to 10.00pm in which over 3,000 devotees were spellbound as they witnessed the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. As a teenager in the form of Nilkanth Varni, he walked the length and breadth of India – some 14,700 kms. The astounding journey was depicted through audio-visual presentations in addition to mini-dramas and speeches to the accompaniment of the singing of bhajans and scriptural verses. The whole programme was planned and conducted by young balaks, kishores and sadhus.