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I attend a number of diverse events of which few are memorable ones - the ones that touch your heart! Last week the event at Kadwa Patidar Hall was one of those unique ones which will remain with me for ever.

Birthday celebrations come and go but the celebration of 82nd birthday of Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj last week (19 September) was truly a big occasion. Big, not for the vast number of people from across the world who attended the celebration. Big not because of the big name community leaders and politicians attended. It was a huge and remarkable occasion simply because of the message that Swamiji conveyed to the devotees and well-wishers. Having met Swamiji on many an occasions and attended such gatherings before I pretty much knew what to expect but the last week’s experience was an exceptional one.

The first message for the politicians like me was a key one. Swamiji referred to the politicians who make a great deal about ‘transparency’. He agreed how important this was but said for him transparency was like a building - a building with windows and the windows of his building were always wide open.  See what you want to! It is important that every one was as honest and open as that. Swamiji has no pretence and is full of laughter which was on display all evening. He was due to retire on a couple of occasions (to have some rest) but given his commitment and how much he enjoyed he stayed on and ‘entertained’ all of us. He asked everyone to laugh and keep smiling because he said ‘laughter and smile are your own property’. Swamiji talked about how people have to face / put up with setbacks in life due to the circumstances like the misfortune and poverty. But he said those with wealth should also learn to persevere and use the wealth for ‘seva’ (service to human kind). Another interesting comment from the Swami was about ‘Roti’ (Bread/Food). When Bollywood deals with roti, it addresses material values – roti, kapda and makan (bread, clothes and property/house) but Guruji said ‘Roti is a passage to Lord Rama’. When one is well fed the link to spirituality becomes easier – empty stomach is no good to anyone.

Swami Birthday.jpg

Swamiji is a messenger of Shankaracharya and proudly talked about ‘Bharatiya Sanskriti’ (the Indian Culture) with a special reference to secular India. He paid a significant tribute to the Indian community in the UK whom he referred as ‘Ambassadors’ of Hindus and India because of their active engagement in promoting the hindu values, cultural & religious celebrations and contribution made by our communities worldwide. 

Thankfully, unlike most community events, the gathering was spared of any speeches from politicians and the entire evening was focused on Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj’s birthday celebrations. The key highlights being the spirited and humorous renderings from Swamiji and special Maharastrian flavour to the occasion with Swamiji wearing traditional maharastrian costumes and looking very impressive! Last but not least a huge thank you to Samanvaya Parivar Harrow who organised this satsang (a family occasion) and their generous donations to the local charities. I remain a dedicated friend of Samnvaya Parivar and my personal thanks to Shri Lalitbhai Thakrar for his total commitment to Swamiji and everything that Samnvaya Parivar stands for.    

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27th September 2013