The festivities will kick off on the 17th of August with a traditional Pothi Yatra (procession)
The Maha Vishnu Yagna (or sacrifice) has great significance among Hindus. In Indian history, King Dushrat of Ayodhya did not have any issues. He was advised to conduct this particular sacrifice and bore four children, the eldest of which was the legendary King Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Says Dipak Valand, Streatham temple president; "Conducting a Maha Vishnu Yagna is very rare. It is a huge event that requires months of planning. This is the first time for such an event to take place in Europe, within the Swaminarayan faith. In fact, I have no knowledge of this Yagna being conducted in the UK ever before. We are lucky to host such an event that is to be graced by our Acharya himself!” He goes on "We have undertaken a lot of marketing, including newspaper and televsison advertisements as we want as many people as possible to be part of this historical event."
For the benefit of those who cannot make it due to prior commitments, arrangements have been made for Brahmins (priests) to undertake the Yagna on their behalf. Further, lodging arrangements have also been made for those coming in from outside Crawley. Authorities expect about two hundred people to take part in the Yagna and over a thousand people to attend the festivities during the week from all over Europe. Complimentary Prasad (holy food) will be served to everyone during the festivities and the event will be broadcast live on the internet (on www.swaminarayan.info)
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Swaminarayan Sampraday is the one and only organisation founded by Lord Swaminarayan himself. The administration of this Hindu organisation is divided between the Nar Narayan Dev Gadi, headquarters, Ahmedabad and Laxmi Narayan Dev Gadi, headquarters, Vadtal. The International Swaminarayan Satsang Organisation (ISSO) is the international wing of the Nar Narayan Dev Gadi. ISSO-Seva is a sister Humanitarian organisation that is totally independent of ISSO.