The Murti-Pratishtha Vidhi for the murtis of the new BAPS mandir being built in Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA, was performed by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Ahmedabad on Sunday, 22 July 2012. Among the thousands of devotees who had gathered for this historic occasion were many who had traveled from the USA to participate in the auspicious Vedic ceremony.
At 5:30p.m. learned pandits began singing the Vedic mantras while Pujya Mahant Swami, Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Viveksagar Swami and devotees offered mahapuja to Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and the murtis for the new mandir. During this time, the history and updates of the mandir construction were shown on the large screens in the assembly halls.
After conclusion of the initial rituals, Pujya Yagnavallabh Swami spoke about Swamishri’s inspiration and the bhakti of the devotees in North America in their efforts towards building this mandir. Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami spoke about the devotion and harmony amongst devotees from Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time in building mandirs in honor of the Akshar Purushottam upasana.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj arrived on stage at 6:30p.m., led by a procession of young children dressed as devas and senior devotees of America. Then, Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha vidhi of Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj. Sadguru sadhus performed the rituals for the other murtis: Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shri Nilkanth Varni Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna Dev, Shri Sita-Ram Dev, Shri Lakshmanji and Shri Hanumanji, Shri Shiv-Parvati Dev with Shri Karthikeya and Shri Ganapatiji, and the Guru Parampara – Brahmaswarup Bhagatji Maharaj, Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj, Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj and Pragat Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Next, Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha arti of the murtis on stage, while the sadhus and devotees in the audience also performed the arti. Afterwards, Swamishri offered mantra-pushpanjali as the pandits recited the concluding shlokas of the ceremony.
After the completion of the murti-pratishtha vidhi, youths performed an energetic traditional dance celebrating Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s and Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj’s legacy of mandirs. Drawn by the tempo of the dance and the special occasion many devotees from the audience joyfully joined in the dance. Swamishri also participated by ringing a large bell and waving the BAPS flag.
Thereafter, blessing the assembly and those watching the live webcast, Swamishri spoke about how Yogiji Maharaj often talked about building mandirs on different continents, and credited the establishment of mandirs in Africa, USA and other places to Yogiji Maharaj's vision, prayers and grace. He lauded the efforts of all the devotees who have served by offering their prayers, talents and time in the building of the Robbinsville mandir.
Then, senior sadhus honored Swamishri by presenting garlands and shawls prepared by devotees from centers throughout America. Swamishri also sanctified rice grains hand-peeled by the women devotees and blessed their notes pledging the observance of various niyams.
The gathered devotees and those who witnessed the live webcast were participants in a joyous occasion in the holy presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.