Heeding the prayers, and to fulfil the spiritual desires, of His disciples residing in the UK, His Divine Holiness Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriya Swamiji Maharaj arrived in London on Saturday 20th November to commence His first overseas vicharan since taking the helm as Acharya of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. Along with a mandal of ten sants, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj will give His divine darshan in the UK until Monday 6th December.
The parallels to Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s history of 33 vicharans to the UK was poignant and apparent: In 1982, His first overseas vicharan after being bequeathed with the leadership of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi by Jeevanpran Swamibapa, was also to London. During Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s final visit to the UK in 2019, Shree Muktejeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band played at Heathrow Airport upon His arrival; little over two years later, the Band also played at the airport to welcome Acharya Swamiji Maharaj to the UK for the first time.
Upon His arrival to Mandir, the Band performed a salute to Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and led Acharya Swamiji Maharaj into the Mandir. Many hundreds of disciples had gathered, having eagerly awaited this darshan for so long. The sponsors of today’s event performed poojan to Bapa before He offered aarti to Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. He then gave His divine darshan by the Tula (ceremonial weighing scales) – preluding to Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Suvarna Mahotsav that takes place next year to mark fifty years since Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa revealed the Gadi to the world; during this festival, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi will be ceremonially weighed against pure gold.
The gathered disciples were absolutely united in joy and celebration to have the opportunity to welcome Acharya Swamiji Maharaj to London for the first time since His investiture, to enjoy His divine darshan for the next two weeks, and to have the faith and enjoinment to Shree Swaminarayan Gadi – which Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj Had so tireless and diligently inspired in us all for 41 years – fortified by Acharya Swamiji Maharaj’s Ashirwad.
The recital of the Shree Swaminarayan Gadi scripture commenced this morning, before Acharya Swamiji Maharaj retired to His quarters.