After months of construction and thousands of hours of volunteer work, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Irving, TX stood glistening as the much anticipated inauguration ceremony started on the morning of September 12th.
Just as stone becomes a statue at the hands of a sculptor, a carved stone becomes a murti once divinity is infused into the statue through a spiritually enlightened Guru. This ritual is known as the murti-pratishtha. Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakash Swami (Doctor Swami) performed the murti-pratishtha ceremony in accordance with vedic rituals to infuse divinity into the sacred images inside the mandir in the presence of devotees and well wishers from across the South West region.
The inauguration was a culmination of a host of events, held over seven days. Prayers for world peace also formed a part of the festival through a traditional "yagna". This is a symbolic ceremony of rites and rituals for peace, prosperity and happiness for all of mankind.
Showing their support were dignitaries and special guests including, Congressman Pete Sessions, The Mayor of Irving, Mr. Herbert Gears, State Representative Ms. Linda Harper Brown, as well as Fire and Police Chiefs of Irving. Fire Chief of Irving Mr. Molina commented, "Today is a day of big celebration. I had the honor of visiting the mandir in Dallas a couple of years ago and today there has been a dream that has become a reality thanks to everybody's seva".
Congressman Pete Sessions observed, "The culture that is really assumed within this beautiful congregation is one that helps families not only enrich themselves with the opportunities to be together and make friends, but also culturally, it allows young men and women to grow up within their culture." The Mandir will also become a focal point of community activities, including walkathons for charity as well as blood donation drives and health camps