H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his sadhus have been traveling in the union territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli in western India for the past four decades, to help morally uplift the tribals. Visiting their huts located in remote and poverty-stricken areas of the region, thousands have been weaned away from addictions, superstitions and unethical practices. With Swamishri’s blessings, Narayanprasad Swami, Chinmay Swami and Anandmurti Swami have also made great efforts in this region towards inspiring values and satsang in the lives of countless of tribals.
The new shikharbaddh BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is located on a 15-acre plot by the River Daman Ganga in Silvassa, the principal city of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Celebrating the opening of the shikharbaddh mandir and its Murti Pratishtha, a three-day celebration was held from 10 to 13 May 2013.
10 May: Women’s Program
The special cultural stage program by women was held from 7.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. Satsangi balikas and yuvatis performed traditional dances and an inspirational drama on “True Happiness”. Invited guests were honored and thereafter they addressed the assembly. More than 7,000 women came from 72 villages to attend the programme.
11 May: Cultural Program
A special evening assembly was held from 8.30 to 11.00 p.m. during which Pujya Keshavjivan (Mahant) Swami, Pujya Bhaktipriya (Kothari) Swami and Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami offered garlands and shawls, mementos and prasad to those who had offered their services for the mandir project. Thereafter, Pujya Viveksagar Swami spoke about the visits and efforts of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in uplifting the tribals of Dadra & Nagar Haveli. Then Chinmay Swami spoke about the satsang history of Silvassa, the moral transformations of tribals and their service and sacrifice in building the mandir. Finally, the youths of Bhavnagar Satsang Mandal performed a drama, “Mandir ma Prabhu biraje chhe.”
12 May: Vishvashanti Mahayag and Grand Nagar Yatra (Procession)
On Sunday, 12 May 2013 a Vedic yagna was held as part of the pratishtha ceremony in the presence of senior sadhus and 3,000 yajmans (participants). The murtis of Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shri Nilkanth Varni Maharaj, Shri Harikrishna Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Guru Parampara, Shri Sita-Ram and Hanumanji, and Shri Shiva-Parvatiji and Ganeshji were worshipped during the yagna. In all, there were 389 yagna kunds around which senior sadhus and 3,000 devotees and well-wishers performed the yagna rituals.
In the afternoon, from 4.00 p.m. to 7.45 p.m., a grand Nagar Yatra of the murtis was carried out in decorated floats though the main streets of Silvassa. The colourful and devotional procession of 50 floats was flagged off from the Lion’s School. The eight kilometer route concluded at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir amidst fireworks and enthusiastic hailings of jais.
13 May: Murti-Pratishtha Day
On 7 February 2013, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had ritually sanctified all the murtis in Ahmedabad. On 13 May, these murtis were consecrated in the mandir by Pujya Mahant Swami (for Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj), Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami (for Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj), Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami (for Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Radha-Krishna), Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami (for Shri Nilkanth Varni in Abhishek Mandap), Pujya Viveksagar Swami, Pujya Shrihari Swami, Pujya Ghanshyamcharan Swami and Pujya Narendraprasad Swami (all murtis of Guru Parampara). Pujya Devprasad Swami and Pujya Bhaktavatsal Swami performed the rituals for the murtis of Shri Ram-Sita and Hanumanji, and Shri Shiva-Parvatiji and Ganeshji respectively. In conclusion, arti was performed and an annakut was offered to the deities. To honor the consecrated murtis, flower petals were showered upon the mandir from a helicopter.
Thereafter, the pratishtha assembly was held in a huge pandal. Then, members of the Silvassa Yuvak Mandal and Surat Yuvak Mandal performed two traditional dances. Senior sadhus also addressed the assembly and honoured the stage guests. Finally, all the contributors and donors were acknowledged for making the murti-pratishtha celebrations successful. Thereafter, 10,000 devotees were served mahaprasad.