• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Neasden Temple participates in worldwide BAPS celebrations for Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir opening

The temple hosted a series of devotional activities from January 20 to 22 including an ‘annakut’ – a devotional offering of various food dishes to Sita Mata and Ramchandraji Bhagwan

Neasden Temple lit up in lights in celebration of the Shri Ram Janmabhumi – Image Credit: BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

Guided by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, commonly known as ‘Neasden Temple,’ united with nearly 60 BAPS mandirs and centres across the UK and Europe in a global BAPS homage to honour the inauguration of the new Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, a press release from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple) said.

The inauguration ceremony, held at the revered birthplace of Shri Ramchandraji Bhagwan, was a momentous occasion of jubilation celebrated by over a billion Hindus globally.

To celebrate this significant event, the Mandir hosted a series of devotional activities from January 20 to 22. These festivities included an ‘annakut’ – a devotional offering of various food dishes to Sita Mata and Ramchandraji Bhagwan.

Resident swamis at the Neasden Temple offering prayers on the occasion of Shri Ram Janmabhumi

Devotees also had the opportunity to engage in a special pujan (ceremonial worship) of Shri Ramchandraji Bhagwan and to participate in an Akshat Kumbh, a ceremonial vessel containing sanctified rice grains brought from Ayodhya.

Throughout the three-day event, visitors and well-wishers from the Hindu community arrived, with many joining the gathering on Saturday (20) to enjoy an assembly featuring a special programme of bhajans, video presentations, and discourses from learned swamis who paid tribute to the life of Shri Ramachandra Bhagwan.

Thousands gathered in celebration of Shri Ram Janmabhumi

Murtis (idols) of Bhagwan Shri Ram, Sitaji, and Hanumanji, along with the Akshat Kumbh, were also vibrantly welcomed into the assembly in a colourful ‘palkhi yatra’ (palanquin procession) led by congregation members.

The event reflected the long-standing relationship between BAPS and the Shri Ram Mandir, a connection spanning seven decades, dating back to His Holiness Yogiji Maharaj’s first visit to Ayodhya in 1953.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj conducted the pujan (ceremonial worship) of the first Shri Ram Shila in 1989. In 2020, Mahant Swami Maharaj participated in the pujan for the shilanyas (foundation stone laying) ceremony of the Shri Ram Mandir.

BAPS has continued to support the Ayodhya Mandir project, including making a substantial donation in 2021.

In a heartfelt handwritten letter, Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed his immense joy at the inauguration of the Shri Ram Mandir.

He encouraged all BAPS devotees to celebrate this significant event at home with the same devotional enthusiasm as Diwali.

The celebrations also saw the participation of leaders and representatives from various Hindu and Jain mandirs and organisations, as well as local civic leaders.

Yogvivekdas Swami, the head swami for BAPS in the UK and Europe addresses the congregation

Yogvivekdas Swami, the head swami for BAPS in the UK and Europe, explained the significance of the three-day festivities at the Mandir.

He said, “The three-day celebrations at the Mandir were a fitting tribute to the exemplary values and teachings of Shri Ramchandraji Bhagwan, lessons that are of great significance and importance today.

“This was also a welcome opportunity to work together with our friends from other Hindu mandirs and organisations to mark this historic occasion with unity, respect, and devotion.”

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