After striving for nine years of consistent spiritual assemblies, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Seattle, WA was opened on August 24th in presence of Sadguru Pujya Mahant Swami.
The mandir opening festivities - Mandir Mahotsav, took place from August 21 - 24, 2014. The four day event was filled with spiritual discourses and devotion. In addition, over 30 visiting swamis from US and India created an atmosphere of a grand celebration. Pujya Mahant Swami and other swamis addressed discourses to volunteers on August 21st. The next day, the Mandir hosted a Kirtan Sandhya program, where audiences enjoyed an evening filled with energetic bhajans sung by swamis.
According to the ancient Vedic traditions, a grand Vishwa Shanti Mahayagna invoked the sentiments of prosperity performed by devotees on Saturday, August 23rd. Participants also offered well wishes and prayers so that peace may prevail in the local community and the world.
Finally on August 24th, Pujya Mahant Swami infused the sacred murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami while reciting Vedic prayers. This Murti Pratishtha ritual was attended by devotees and well-wishers from the community. The ceremony culminated with performance of the first Arti in the new Mandir – an event joyously celebrated by hundreds of people. These murtis were consecrated by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Amdavad, India on October 29, 2012.
Nilesh Patel, the Mandir’s lead coordinator shared: “Pramukh Swami Maharaj has given a priceless gift to the community. This Mandir will serve as a place for all to come and be inspired. Our children will learn about our rich heritage and culture. Families will feel a sense of peace and oneness. Our moral and family values will be passed effortlessly from one generation to other through this Mandir.”
Akshar Patel, who had been involved in numerous activities leading up to the Mandir Mahotsav, spoke about the role that this Mandir has played in his life: “This Mandir is a place where I feel like I can talk to God. More importantly - I can hear God talking to me! It is a place of utmost solace and comfort to me. In addition, my participation in various Mandir activities has taught me valuable skills, which I am able to use in my day to day life outside the Mandir.”
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Seattle, WA aims to serve as the hub of spiritual, community, and charity services in Greater Puget Sound area in Washington State.