News and Events

BAPS Swaminarayan School Wins British Academy Award for Gujarati Teaching
Tuesday 15 December 2015

The BAPS Swaminarayan School in Brent has been presented with a British Academy Schools Language Award for its provision of Gujarati teaching. The supplementary school, operated by the Mandir, is one of only 14 winners from more than 150 applicants across the UK.

The award is given to mainstream schools and colleges as well as secondary teaching institutions for “innovative projects aimed at increasing the numbers of students learning languages at higher levels.” A panel of judges assessed the originality, credibility and potential replicability of the proposals, with particular emphasis on building partnerships.

The School was one of the winners in the Supplementary Category and was the only school to receive an award for Gujarati Language development.

The aim of its winning project is to provide professional training for voluntary teachers of Gujarati and to build capacity by developing the academic skills of current students in order to develop the next generation of Gujarati teachers.

The formal presentation of the award was made by the British Academy in a ceremony held at its offices in London on Tuesday 15 December 2015.

Alun Evans, Chief Executive and Secretary of the British Academy, said: “Our Awards aim to find innovative and inspiring ways of encouraging more students to study languages at higher levels of education. We’re delighted that schools across the UK have responded passionately with such high quality applications, understanding the importance of language skills. We aim to inspire and challenge our pupils with learning initiatives and help to ensure the next generation are thoroughly equipped with the language skills they need. ”

Jignasha Patel, a leading volunteer trainer at the School, added: “We are delighted and grateful to receive this award from the British Academy. We have seen growing research which shows that bilingual and multilingual children are better learners all-round – in communication, cognition, and social interaction. So learning Gujarati not only allows our children to access their rich religious and cultural heritage, but also excel in a whole range of life skills that will help them to grow individually as well as to contribute to our country.”

This latest award follows a Gold Award for Supplementary Education from the National Resource Centre and a similar award from the British Academy, both received in 2012.

To learn more about the British Academy’s Schools Language Awards, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Celebrating International Volunteer Day
Saturday 5 December 2015

International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/212 on 17 December 1985. Since then, governments, the UN system and civil society organisations have successfully joined volunteers around the world to celebrate the Day on 5 December.

The celebrations in 2015 aimed to “not only celebrate volunteerism in all its facets, but also pay special tribute to volunteers” working in various ways to help make our world a better place.

This spirit of volunteerism inspired by the teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Gurus is at the very core of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha’s activities around the world, including in the UK, where mandirs and centres have fostered year-round spiritual and community outreach programmes.

While celebrating the ethos of volunteering, hundreds of volunteers who contribute selflessly to these efforts were appreciated in special evening assemblies at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 5 December 2015.

Volunteers shared personal experiences, drawing references to projects and initiatives from 2015, including the celebrations marking the Mandir’s 20th anniversary and the recent Diwali and Hindu New Year festivals. Sadhus narrated inspiring accounts of volunteers who serve in many different capacities, sometimes in difficult circumstances.

The International Volunteer Day observances in London coincided with the month-long celebrations marking Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 95th birthday. The various presentations thus fittingly explored his lifetime ideal of selfless service to society.

Shamita Patel, a leading coordinator of volunteering activities for BAPS in the UK, said: “Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s inspiration of serving and helping others is at the heart of everything we do. We’re delighted to have so many opportunities to serve the wider community throughout the year and it is heart-warming to see men, women and children of all ages keen to contribute and grow personally and spiritually.”

To learn more about the UN’s International Volunteer Day, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Observing Universal Children’s Day 2015
Sunday 29 November 2015

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated by millions as “a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children.” Established in 1954, the annual celebrations aim to increase awareness and change global attitudes to children’s rights and welfare.

Many countries of the world observe this day on 20 November, which marks the day on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 – one of the world’s most ratified human rights treaties.

For many years, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, has participated in the global celebrations, and each year events are organised over the week to commemorate and raise awareness for the Day.

This year, on Sunday 29 November 2015, the children of BAPS Swaminarayan Sunday School commemorated Universal Children’s Day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London.

The programme was titled ‘The Power of Children’ and presented through a novel ‘talk show’ which explored a child’s power to inspire.

The hosts enlightened the audience on the aims and history of Universal Children’s Day and encouraged interactive participation during various discussions and fun activities.

The children saw a moving true story video account of a severely disabled child’s optimistic perspective of life, from which they drew motivation to value their friends, family and health.

The hosts also drew from prominent child-devotees in Hindu scriptures, such as Prahlad, Meerabai, Shravan and Savitri.

Throughout, the qualities of joy, warmth and hope that children bring to the world through their innate innocence and energy were especially highlighted.

The celebrations concluded with prayers for peace and happiness for all children around the world.

To learn more about Universal Children’s Day, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Neasden Temple Joins Wembley United Synagogue to Donate Food for the Homeless
Tuesday 17 November 2015

Since its inauguration by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in August 1995, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London has welcomed various faith communities to the Mandir. Through positive engagement and collaboration, the Mandir has established prosperous relationships with various religions in the local community.

This year – the 20th anniversary of the Mandir – volunteers from the Mandir partnered with Wembley United Synagogue to collect food for Sufra, a community food bank and kitchen based nearby in the London Borough of Brent. Sufra aims to support disadvantaged families suffering from food poverty in the local area by “providing a life-line for families who simply don’t have enough food to eat.”

The project was part of the Mandir’s support of National Interfaith Week, an annual event that takes place across the UK in November with the aim of increasing awareness about the different and distinct faith communities in the UK, in particular celebrating and building on the contribution which their members make to their neighbourhoods and to wider society. It also followed closely after Diwali, a time for Hindus when charity is especially celebrated.

The collection was also an important activity of Mitzvah Day, when the Jewish community “builds local communities by bringing together over 37,000 people each year, to take part in collective, hands-on social action projects which make a real difference to local issues.”

Family and friends from both communities donated generously, collecting 100 packs of Indian sweets and savouries as well as various canned items of food. Members from both organisations visited Sufra to personally offer the food.

Mohammed Mamdani, Director of Sufra, thanked the party for their collective effort. “Thank you for your kind visit and food donations last night. It was a pleasure to meet many of you for the first time, and I’m sure that we will continue to work together and support our communities. I was very touched by your warm words of support, and your generosity.”

Nitin Palan, an interfaith volunteer for BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in the UK, shared his thoughts of the event. “It is very rewarding to help those in need by working with members of other faiths who share our common desire of goodwill. This year being the 20th anniversary of our Mandir is an even greater reason to demonstrate the strong values that we hold with other faiths and which are close to the heart of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.”

To learn more about Mitvah Day, National Interfaith Week, Wembley United Synagogue and Sufra, please follow the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Hindu New Year Celebrations
Thursday 12 November 2015

The day after Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. The first arti of the New Year took place at 5:30am to begin a day of devotion at the Mandir. Sadhus and worshippers offered prayers for peace and prosperity across the world.

In keeping with tradition for this day, a beautiful Annakut – literally, ‘mountain of food’ – was artistically arranged before the deities in the upper sanctum and also in the Haveli assembly hall. It is an offering made in thanksgiving to God for his providence over the year past and the year to come. The hundreds of varieties of pure vegetarian food is the largest such devotional offering in Europe.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Mandir since its inauguration by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 1995. In tribute of this momentous occasion, special projections on the wall behind the Annakut featured images and scriptural quotations about the mandir, murtis and the guru. Visitors also observed various posters charting memories of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s visits to the Mandir over the past 20 years.

In his New Year blessings, senior sadhu Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakash Swami (Doctor Swami) spoke of the importance of one’s spiritual bond with God, and encouraged everyone to mark this auspicious day by strengthening their devotion to God.

Sadiq Khan MP, candidate for Mayor of London, also visited the Mandir for the celebrations. He was accompanied by councillors Muhammed Butt and Krupa Sheth.

Continuing the theme of thanksgiving for the New Year, children collected funds for the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ appeal. The young volunteers engaged enthusiastically with visitors, encouraging all to donate generously. One of the collectors, Kirtan Patel, aged 11, shared, “The Mandir has taught me to think of people less fortunate than ourselves. This campaign gives me a great opportunity to do something positive and make a difference to others.”

Guests at the Mandir during the celebrations included visitors from America, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Ghana, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania and Uganda. One lady from Barcelona wrote, “It’s an amazing celebration. Different from my culture, but so interesting. I would recommend to my family and friends. Gracias!”, while another visitor commented: “Brilliant! Charming guides & the most beautifully decorated temple. Thank you for sharing it with us.”

For more information about the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ appeal, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Diwali Celebrations
Wednesday 11 November 2015

Diwali is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals of the year, where charity, goodwill, family values and the love of God are reinforced. These traditions were joyously celebrated at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Wednesday 11 November 2015.

This year – the 20th anniversary of the Mandir – the Hindu ‘Festival of Light’ also supported the UN’s ‘International Year of Light’.

Worshippers and visitors arrived at the Mandir throughout the day to offer their prayers and respects as well as observe the beautifully adorned murtis.

A special evening ceremony was conducted for home and business owners in the presence of senior sadhu Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakash Swami (Doctor Swami). It is traditionally the day when business owners close existing account books and open new ones in preparation for the year ahead, also symbolising how one should take stock of one’s spiritual relationship with God.

During the short assembly that followed thereafter, Doctor Swami addressed the gathering and offered his warm wishes to all those celebrating Diwali, encouraging everyone to strengthen their attachment with God.

The grand finale was a spectacular fireworks display in Gibbons Park, across the road from the Mandir. Local councillors Muhammed Butt and Krupa Sheth joined the large crowds who had gathered from around the capital for the vibrant fusion of sound and colour.

It was a festive atmosphere all round, as many of the thousands also enjoyed traditional hot Indian street food in the marquee opposite the Mandir on an otherwise crisp November night.

Avani Patel, a volunteer at the Mandir, said: “It is great to see not only friends and family, but many people from the local community come together and enjoy the happiness of Diwali. We’re delighted to share the messages of unity, friendship and goodwill with all who visit.”

For more information about the International Year of Light, please visit

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Prime Minister Hosts Diwali at Number 10
Tuesday 10 November 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron celebrated the Hindu festival of Diwali at 10 Downing Street, his official residence and office, on Tuesday 10 November 2015.

Trustees of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir were amongst the various British Hindus who had been invited to celebrate the event. In particular, volunteers from the Mandir had been requested to prepare a traditional arrangement of Indian food known as the ‘Annakut’ that is offered to the deities as thanksgiving on this day.

The event, organised by the Prime Minister’s Office, began with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp amid Vedic chanting. Along with British Hindus from various denominations, also gathered in the Pillared Room of the famous Prime Ministerial home were Indian High Commissioner to the UK His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai, Keith Vaz MP, Priti Patel MP, and several other eminent Britons of Indian origin.

This year, the Mandir celebrated its 20th anniversary since its inauguration in August 1995 by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Drawing upon the values of goodwill that are shared during Diwali and the Hindu New Year, Mr Cameron remembered the “people at Neasden Mandir” in his Diwali message and paid tribute to the “devotion and dedication they derive from their faith by helping others”. These Hindu values of “generosity, responsibility, enterprise, family” are “the very best of British values” he said, before going on to thank all British Hindus “for their incredible contribution to Britain. We are better and stronger for it.”

Mr Cameron expressed his warm wishes for a happy and prosperous Diwali to all, and thanked the representatives from the Mandir for their efforts in setting up the Annakut and festive decorations.

Both the Prime Minister and his wife Samantha Cameron requested the display to remain at their residence for forthcoming functions and conferences, including the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi later that week.

On this special occasion, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had sent a message of goodwill to the Prime Minister. His Holiness said he was praying for the peace, safety and well-being of all people in the UK and around the world, and for the light of God to guide us through these challenging times

A video and the full transcript of the Prime Minister’s Diwali message can be found on the official Number 10 website here.

For a report with photos and video of the Prime Minister’s visit to the Mandir with his wife during the Hindu New Year celebrations in 2013, please click here

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

20th Anniversary: Finale Women’s Celebrations
Sunday 4 October 2015

As young children chant Vedic peace prayers, from the sacred pit of the yagna, a young girl carries a flame out of the hall – igniting an auspicious atmosphere to begin the grand women’s celebrations for the 20th anniversary of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.

The festival, held on Sunday 4 October 2015, was celebrated through a series of video scrapbooks and live performances involving a cast and crew of more than 350 volunteers. The three-hour production transported more than 2,000 women on a nostalgic journey from the inception of the Mandir to the present day – and beyond.

After recollecting Yogiji Maharaj’s vision of a mandir in London, and charting its early history and construction, a panel of speakers paid tribute to the sacrifice of women involved in various projects to make the Mandir possible. Their selfless service during the months and weeks leading to the Mandir’s opening were bought to life with dramatic performances of real life incidents.

The jubilant scenes of the Mandir Mahotsav were recreated with a vibrant procession inside the assembly hall. The audience, led by 38 mothers of youths from the UK who have since become sadhus, also performed the first arti of the Mandir amidst the backdrop of the central mandir shrine.

The impact of the Mandir on the wider community was depicted through a further montage of videos and a speech. Women of various ages then shared personal testimonies revealing the profound impact of the Mandir on their childhood behaviour and values, education and careers, and family and personal lives.

The final video compilation revisited iconic moments of Swamishri’s visits to the Mandir. This transitioned into a reiteration of his vision for the Mandir – to inspire individuals to grow in personal spirituality and to serve the community for generations to come.

The enlightening programme was concluded with a spectacular dance performance that brought the audience to its feet.

As the celebrations drew to a close, the young girl that had featured in the opening, once again appeared through a video, performing ritual prayers to Thakorji. She then arrived with Thakorji inside the hall, welcomed by a beautifully sung prayer. The audience devoutly joined in the prayers with an offering of flowers as a symbol of their heartfelt gratitude for the beautiful mandir. Rose petals rained from the ceiling to create a breathtaking and heart-warming climax to a joyous and memorable occasion.

Hindu New Year
Monday 31 October 2016

The day following Diwali marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. It is one of the most auspicious days of the Hindu calendar and celebrated joyously with gifts, feasting and merriment.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London, hosts the largest Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations in the country. Open to one and all, the celebrations are an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy the traditions, colours and rich culture of the Hindu faith.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Diwali is one of the most important and colourful festivals of the Hindu calendar. It is a time when charity, goodwill, family values and the love of God are celebrated and reinforced.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London hosts the largest Diwali and Hindu New Year celebrations in the country. Open to one and all, the celebrations are an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy the traditions, colours and rich culture of the Hindu faith.

Observing International Peace Day
Sunday 20 September 2015

In 1982, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring an International Day of Peace. In 2001, the General Assembly adopted 21 September as the permanent date for this annual event.

The Day is envisioned to provide “an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.” As the resolution specifically states: “Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

Since its inception, Peace Day has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organised over the week to commemorate and celebrate this idea.

Observance by BAPS in London
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, observed the Day at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London on Sunday 20 September. The special evening assembly was inaugurated with the traditional lighting of the lamp and the choral singing of the Shanti-Paath, an ancient Vedic peace prayer.

Further devotional singing was followed by an enlightening discourse by Atmatrupt Swami (visiting from India). He expounded upon the teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and narrated several insightful incidents from the life of Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, particularly elaborating upon the spiritual basis of truly lasting, meaningful peace.

This message was reiterated in a concluding discourse by Mahant Swami, also visiting from India.

Thereafter, a statement of prayer and reflection was read out by 13-year-old Sharad Patel reiterating the UN Secretary-General’s message for 2015:

We live at a moment of peril – but this is also an era of great promise.
Although it may seem hopelessly distant, the dream of peace pulses in the lives of people everywhere.
And there is no group more poised to help realize this dream than today’s young people.
On the International Day of Peace, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, let us seize the opportunity achieve the UN’s founding purpose: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

The assembly concluded with meditative chanting to pray for all fellow humans suffering in war-torn, conflict-stricken zones, and for the bereaved and those who have lost their lives or been injured by acts of violence or in natural disasters. A special prayer was also said for the orphaned, homeless, displaced, ailing, poor, deprived and disadvantaged, and especially for those currently fleeing or affected by tragic acts of on-going terror around the world.

In thus observing the International Day of Peace, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha affirmed its support of a shared vision of our world at peace and in harmony, and its commitment to converting these noble aspirations into a reality – here and now for us, and for generations to come everywhere.

To learn more about the United Nations International Day of Peace, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Open House London 2015
Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir once again participated in the ‘Open House London’ architectural festival, over the weekend of 19 and 20 September 2015.

Open House London is “the capital’s greatest architectural festival… celebrating the buildings, places and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play.” It is organised by Open-City, an independent, non-profit architecture education organisation championing the role of well-designed places in creating and sustaining a successful, vibrant city.

The Mandir – one of London’s iconic religious buildings – joined more than 700 other architectural marvels in welcoming hundreds of visitors for an in-depth guided tour over the weekend. Guests were greeted upon arrival by young children, who explained the history and significance of the Mandir and its distinguishing features. Some of the visitors also joined worshippers for one of the arti ceremonies during the day.

This year’s event followed shortly after the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Mandir, and guests were given an insight into the various inspiring festivals and community activities that were organised to commemorate this milestone.

Many of the visitors, whether architecture and design experts or enthusiasts hailing from various walks of life, shared feedback of their experience at the Mandir. A selection of their observations is provided below:

Absolutely beautiful – stunning! I have seen it on television but never thought I would be fortunate enough to visit. Thank You!

Extremely satisfying to find a temple like this in this part of the world.

Brilliant! So good to be able to see inside the temple, but more so to learn more about Hinduism. Everyone here has been so lovely, informative and helpful.

Overwhelmed with how welcome we were made to feel. As a non-religious person it was the warmest experience I have had. Many thanks.

My party included two people from South America. We were all inspired by the visit – the young guides were excellent – credit to you.

It is amazing, inspiring, beautiful and relaxing. I’ve been here many times as a Jew even though it is not my religion.

A wonderful spiritual experience from first sight and beyond. It felt like an oasis amongst the chaos of the world.

Best Open House so far – very friendly and knowledgeable guides, including children. Amazing building as well! Will recommend a visit again.

Arti was a very moving experience, thank you so much for welcoming us to such a beautiful and spiritual place.

For further information about Open House London and Open-City, please follow the respective links.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

BAPS Charities Donates £10,000 to Rosa Fund for UK Women and Girls
Saturday 19 September 2015

BAPS Charities presented a cheque for £10,000 to Rosa: The UK Fund for Women and Girls at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Saturday 19 September 2015.

Earlier this year, BAPS Charities organised its Annual Challenge where over 3,000 participants walked or ran 10 kilometres in many towns and cities across the UK. The funds raised from this event have been used to support the activities of Rosa and the British Heart Foundation

Rosa is a charitable fund set up to support initiatives that benefit women and girls in the UK. It focuses on four main areas: safety, economic justice, health and well-being, and leadership and representation.

Samantha Rennie, the Executive Director of Rosa and Maggie Baxter OBE, a trustee received the cheque on behalf of Rosa. Following the presentation, Ms Rennie thanked “everybody who ran, walked and staggered their way on the charity walk”, adding, “I was inspired by the number of people that turned up. It contributed to this donation today which we are delighted to receive.” She then explained how the contribution would be used. “The money will go to support our work. Rosa the UK fund for Women and Children is still the first and only fund that specialises in supporting initiatives for women and girls. We are working towards a society where women are safe, free from fear of violence, where they can achieve economic justice, where they can enjoy good health and well-being. Thank you for helping us achieve more with this donation.”

Dr Sejal Saglani, a lead volunteer for BAPS Charities, shared: “The welfare of women young and old has always been a key objective for us and so we are delighted to have partnered with Rosa. We hope the funds raised will help support the excellent initiatives that they are involved in around the country.”

To learn more about the work of Rosa, please click here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha does not take responsibility for the content of external internet sites.

Hosting the Breast Cancer Awareness Roadshow
Saturday 19 September 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London hosted the Breast Awareness Roadshow on Saturday 19 September 2015.

Breast Cancer Care and The Football Association (FA) are working in partnership to raise national awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as early diagnosis can save lives. Every year, around 42,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in England – the equivalent of 100 people per day. This is predicted to rise to almost 50,000 by 2020.

A brand new Breast Awareness Roadshow bus began touring England from 2 September 2015 to provide vital information and support services to communities with lower levels of breast awareness, including BME (black and minority ethnic groups) and older women. The Roadshow will visit a total of 38 locations in England between September 2015 and April 2016.

BAPS Charities organised the bus at the Mandir to support this initiative where staff and trained volunteers provided information in Gujarati, Hindi and English and encouraged women of all ages and backgrounds to develop a better understanding of breast cancer.

188 people were educated in an environment that was comfortable for them to absorb the information and ask questions. Project Manager Manveet Barar shared: “It is so important to work in the local community at grassroots level and raise awareness of the disease. All information and support is free and confidential, and there’s no need to make an appointment.”

BAPS Charities also contributed to a positive video message on the value of breast cancer awareness and the impact it has on women and their families when breast cancer (or not) is detected early. The video provides an educational experience through testimonies of women who have acted upon changes they have observed. The contributions of two women, who are worshippers at the Mandir, were recognised at the conclusion of the video.

The Mandir has been a keen supporter of Breast Cancer Care since 2007 when it donated £12,000 as part of the centennial celebrations of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Breast Cancer Care have also featured with stalls and information booths during a number of events organised by the Mandir in London and activities by centres across the UK, including the Cycle Challenge held in Leicester in August 2008, the International Women’s Day celebrations in London in 2010, and during medical screenings at the Community Open Day in London in 2010. In 2009, BAPS also helped in producing and promoting an educational DVD for breast cancer concerns among Asian women. Last year, as a part of the Diwali celebrations, the Mandir was lit up in pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

To learn more about the Breast Awareness Roadshow, please follow the link here.

Disclaimer: BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Seminar for Dental Professionals
Thursday 17 September 2015

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London hosted a seminar for more than 80 dental professionals on Tuesday 17 September 2015.

Organised by BAPS Charities, the event was co-sponsored by Septodont and brought together a diverse group of dental professionals, including therapists, undergraduate dentistry students, general dental practitioners and specialists. It was recognised for two hours of verifiable Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Guest speaker at the event was Dr Len D’Cruz, an experienced vocational trainer for the London Deanery. He delivered a lecture entitled: Would you encourage your children to become dentists? A view of the changing landscape of complaints, the GDC and the NHS contract.

Dr D’Cruz is also a General Dental Practitioner, Foundation Dentist Trainer, Dento-Legal Advisor, and Lead Lecturer in Dental Law & Ethics at the University of Bedfordshire. His lecture addressed the changes in the environment of litigation and complaints, and also explored the merits and challenges of changes to the NHS contract.

This was the third BAPS Charities dental event of the year and was very well received, with delegates sharing that they had gained a deeper understanding of the challenges within their profession.

Chandni Patel added: “This was another excellent evening and it will have a positive impact on the way in which I approach my day-to-day practice. I look forward to further events where our shared learning will help to improve the level of care we deliver.”

The evening closed with dinner and an opportunity for delegates to discuss the main messages from the lecture.

20th Anniversary Patotsav
Sunday 6 & Monday 7 September 2015

In August 1995, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj inaugurated BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London – bringing to fruition years of sacrifice and devotion for thousands of worshippers and well-wishers.

Following a year of inspiring festivities to mark the 20th anniversary of this momentous occasion, including the grand finale celebrations on 22 and 23 August 2015, the traditional patotsav was devoutly observed at the Mandir in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami (Keshavjivan Swami), Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Atmaswarup Swami, and visiting sadhus from India.

Throughout its 20 years, the Mandir has fostered a profound sense of peace for visitors and the wider community. A mahapuja praising God and seeking his blessings for continued peace and prosperity in the world was held on Sunday 6 September 2015. A short assembly was organised thereafter where Mahant Swami alluded to the historical significance of mahapuja ceremonies.

The patotsav – marking the anniversary of the Mandir’s opening and the Hindu calendric day (Shravan vad 10) that its murtis were first infused with the divine presence of God – was held on the morning of Monday 7 September 2015.

The festivities included an opportunity for devotees and visitors to bathe the murti of Thakorji. A variety of sweet and savoury dishes were also artistically arranged before the deities in the main shrines as an offering of thanksgiving.

A special assembly was held later in the evening which began with kirtans extolling the spiritual significance of a mandir. A collection of treasured memories at the Mandir over the past 20 years was fondly revived through emotive video presentations and discourses from sadhus.

Atmaswarup Swami shared accounts of the positive impact that the Mandir has inspired in the lives of many individuals over the years and also spoke in detail about Swamishri’s affection for the devotees of London.

Ishwarcharan Swami concluded the evening’s celebrations by encouraging individuals and families to make the most of the Mandir in strengthening their devotion to God.

Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations
Saturday 5 September 2015

Shri Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu and a popular deity for Hindus around the world. He manifested on earth thousands of years ago on the Hindu calendarical day of Shravan vad 8. The festival marking his birth this year fell on Saturday 5 September and was celebrated with a host of devotional festivities at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.

Worshippers and visitors arrived from the morning to offer their prayers and respects and gently swing the murti of Shri Krishna in a ‘paranu’ (birth cradle). As per tradition, this auspicious day was marked with the ceremonial offering of food (the ‘annakut’), that was artistically arranged inside the mandir.

The evening assembly, to celebrate the life and messages of Shri Krishna, was held in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami, Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Atmaswarup Swami, and visiting sadhus.

The teachings of Shri Krishna, specifically his message of loyalty and faith, were presented through an enlightening programme that included devotional hymns sung eloquently by youths, a captivating drama, and discourses by sadhus.

Atmaswarup Swami revealed the historical significance and importance of the festival. Ishwarcharan Swami shared further examples of the faith depicted through the earlier drama, and Mahant Swami encouraged the gathering to apply these ideals in their personal lives by drawing further from the teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

A video collage of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s previous messages about Shri Krishna tied together and consolidated the spiritual learnings from the celebrations.

The finale of the evening – marking the divine birth of Shri Krishna – was celebrated with the arti followed by the joyous swinging of the paranu accompanied with vibrant devotional singing.