Swaminarayan Jayanti and Ram Navmi were celebrated with enormous devotion at BAPS mandirs and cultural centers throughout USA and Canada.
This event commemorated the advent of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram who incarnated on earth on the same day - Chaitra sud 9. Swaminarayan Jayanti is one of the most important festivals in the Swaminarayan Sampraday and as per tradition, devotees observed a waterless fast, sang devotional songs, offered sanctified food, and listened to spiritual sermons.
This year's theme was "Bhakta thaya Bhagwan na", exemplifying through interesting skits the inspiring lives of devotees of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram. The skits told the stories of Angad, Devji Bhagat, Dada Khachar, Somla Khachar and Kushalkuvarba who were undeterred in the most difficult of situations thus showing the power of prayer. This was followed by speeches focusing on the understanding of Sitaji and Mulji Brahmachari.
Towards the end of the program, a video of His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj's blessings was played in which Swamishri reminded all about the significance of the day. In these blessings, Swamishri also explained that the height of devotion is to believe God to be fault-free and free from human traits.
As a grand finale, the majestic sacred image of Thakorji was lovingly rocked back and forth on a beautifully decorated swing, accompanied by lilting janmotsav bhajans such as "Sona Na Bor Jhule Dharmkishor."