Maha Shivratri festival was celebrated with great devotion at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Auckland. The Shivlinga was made at the mandir by the volunteers and installed in the mandir dining hall for the devotees to offer prayers and devotion.
About 1000 people came to the mandir on the Maha Shivratri day (1 March 2003) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offered abhishek of milk and bili leaves. With the chanting of the Shiv strotras by the pujari Shri Shatrughnabhai Joshi and 3 more volunteers, devotees and especially Shiv bhaktas felt the divine atmosphere of the festival. Apart from that, many of them had come to the mandir for the first time and had the opportunity of having the darshan of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and the different deities installed in the mandir. They were simply amazed at the broad minded approach of Pramukh Swami Maharaj after visiting the mandir exhibition.
The following day on Sunday (2 March 2003), the Maha Shivratri festival was celebrated in the weekly sabha with a discourse on the importance of the Shivratri festival and its significance in the Swaminaryan Sampraday by the pujari Shri Shatrughnabhai. About 400 people participated in the festival with the mahaprasad at the end.