Forty two kishores and kishoris from the UK departed from London on the morning of 7 July 2010 for an enlightening six-week programme in India. The group arrived in Mumbai where they began with an auspicious abhishek at the mandir before engaging in a question-and-answer session with sadguru Kothari Swami.
One of India’s renowned historical sites – the Ajanta caves – were scheduled for the following day before a mandir yatra and then an early morning flight from Atladra to New Delhi on 12 July for their first darshan of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On Tuesday 13 July, the participants were fortunate to be able to witness the opening of the new garbha-gruh at Swaminarayan Akshardham.
During their stay in New Delhi, the kishores and kishoris enjoyed the darshan of Swamishri. He interacted with kishores and provided memorable smruti as well as his personal blessings. Other highlights included some unique darshan of Swamishri, including of him performing abhishek of Nilkanth Varni.
Sessions with senior sadhus were also scheduled. Ishwarcharan Swami, Anandswarup Swami, Munivatsal Swami and Shrijiswarup Swami gave an insight into a variety of topics related to concepts of Satsang and Hinduism. On 19 July, the group departed from New Delhi and visited mandirs en-route to Bochasan where they celebrated the festival of Guru Purnima with Swamishri on 25 July.
The shibir, ‘Brahmavidyani College’, began in Sarangpur on 26 July and finished on 6 August. The sessions were thought-provoking and were presented by learned sadhus including Anandswarup Swami, Gnaneshwar Swami, Narayanmuni Swami, Aksharcharan Swami, Brahmadarshan Swami, Bhadresh Swami and Atmatrupt Swami.
The group then enjoyed the Sat-Chit-Anand water show in Gandhinagar. A three-day trip to Chhapaiya followed with a guide who explained the religious significance of each area as related to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The group thereafter drove back to Lucknow, stopping at the River Saryu for prayers.
After a final day in New Delhi, the group departed on 16 August to return to London. The trip proved to be immensely inspiring, educative and enjoyable.