Three days of Vedic rituals and celebrations in Robbinsville, New Jersey in the presence of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj ended on Sunday, Aug 10 with the consecration of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj’s murtis (sacred images) in the central shrine of the Mandir. The environment was charged with excitement and devotion as well-wishers, volunteers and devotees from across the globe participated in the events held from August 8th-10th, 2014.
Prior to the murti pratishta were a grand Vishwashanti Mahayagna on Friday and a Women's Cultural Program on Saturday evening. Attendees of the yagna performed Vedic rituals led by Sadguru Swamis in order to give prayers for world peace on the occasion of the opening of the Mandir. The following evening, women of the Sanstha gathered with others in the community with the goal of fostering increased communication and interfaith harmony. Various cultural programs including folk dances and dramas by youth and women of all ages contributed to the lively atmosphere.
The celebrations continued with the two highlight-events of the weekend, the Shobha Yatra and the Murti Pratishtha ritual itself. On Friday evening, young and old alike, were dressed in traditional Indian attire and lined up to walk or dance in the procession of the sacred images of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the Guru Parampara and Hindu deities. The grandeur of the procession of Murtis only enhanced the excitement for the consecration event the following day.
During the Murti Pratishtha ceremony on Sunday morning, the sacred images were installed in the shrines, a permanent abode for God and gurus inside this Mandir. Following tradition, Pramukh Swami Maharaj and senior Swamis of the Sanstha, including Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami, Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami and Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, infused divinity in these sacred images. For devotees witnessing this occasion, this marked the moment that the Mandir in Robbinsville, the sixth such traditional BAPS Mandir of its kind in North America, indeed become a place where Bhagwan resides.
Symbolic of the rich traditions it will carry forward, the Mandir is a modern architectural marvel built in accordance with guidelines from ancient Hindu scriptures. Master craftsmen in India first meticulously carved each portion of Italian marble. As the individual portions were completed, they were brought to Robbinsville to be pieced together like a giant puzzle to cover every inch of the structure. The completed masterpiece showcases intricate designs that depict meaningful stories about heroism, sacrifice, and devotion.