2nd November 2005 heralded the start of the Hindu
New Year. Devotees arrived at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan
Mandir, Neasden, from early morning to behold the
beautifully adorned deities in the sanctum sanctorum.
The first arti – the Mangala Arti –
of the New Year (Vikram Samvat 2062) was performed
at 5:30am. After the Shangar Arti, a special Mahapuja
ceremony was held in which prayers for world peace
the clock edged towards midday, the shrines of the
sacred deities were filled with sumptuous offerings
of vegetarian food. The Annakut offering included
hundreds of items of food, snacks, sweets, pickles,
spicy dishes, salads, fruit drinks and other items
devotionally prepared by volunteers.
ceremonial arti was performed at noon as devotees,
visitors and well-wishers flocked to observe the
traditional offering. A joyous day concluded as
each visitor left smiling, gifted with a calendar
and prasad as part of the festivities.
also had the opportunity to view the trailer of
‘Mystic India’ – the large format
film on India’s priceless culture, traditions,
festivals, architecture, landscapes and facescapes
with the powerful message of ‘Unity in Diversity’.
The ‘Mystic India’ film is currently
being shown in large format theatres in London (Science
Museum), Bristol and Bradford.