After completing an entire year in silence, which he observes every five years, Swami Satyamitranand Giri visited Britain in June and July of 1997. In forty years, the venerated swami, 65, has traveled to more than 50 countries, beginning with Nairobi in 1962, always alone, penniless and caring little for his own health and comfort. Among the highlights of his UK tour was a two-day Rudra Puja youth event at Leicester. There after fielding dozens of religious questions from the thousands of adolescent boys and girls, he exclaimed, “The air is full of holy vibrations, like a Vedic school in India.” He declared, “There is need for us to find out about our beliefs, methods of worship, celebrations and their meanings, our ideals and values. Then only shall we be able to meaningfully appreciate and preserve our identity.”

On July 20, Scottish bagpipers led Swami into a huge London hall overflowing with disciples for the celebration of Guru Purnima, the yearly honoring religious teachers. He advised those gathered to “pause and ponder upon the intimate relations you have built with wife and children, parents and friends. Worthwhile intimacy can only exist between us and our Creator, the one who resides in each heart.”

At Coventry, a giant Surya Yagna, three days of open-air Sun worship, was conducted by 501 devotees under Swami’s direction, and enjoyed by 30,000 spectators.