Monday, September 1st, 2014 was a historic day for Bloomington, Illinois, as a new BAPS mandir officially opened its doors to the community. With the blessing of His Holiness, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami, accompanied by eleven other swamis, performed the mandir’s inauguration. This mandir will help nourish spiritual, educational, and moral values within our community. This mandir will help preserve the Hindu culture and heritage for all those who visit and for generations to come.
On this auspicious day, the ceremony started at 9:00 am with the Mahapuja and Murti Prathistha vidhi supplemented by traditional Vedic Mantras. The afternoon session featured a Kirtan aradhana followed by a cultural program in the evening that climaxed with Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami’s discourse and blessings. Hundreds of devotees and well-wishers attended and offered their prayers for peace and prosperity for both the citizens of the Bloomington area and also for humanity at large.
For many, the completion of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bloomington is definitely a dream that came true. Ten years ago, Satsang assemblies started in central Illinois with handful of families. The spiritual growth within the area can be credited to the blessings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and the efforts of many volunteers’ toil and tolerance. The volunteers’ guidance, dedication and service for over a decade helped transform a simple brick building into a beautiful home for God, called a mandir.
“The task in front of us is never greater than force behind us”. This truth resonated throughout this festival. The volunteers displayed this through determination, dedication and commitment. Everyone who was assigned to a respective department played their part. They relentlessly, refused to tire, regardless of the time of day. Even with minimal to no sleep, for the last few weeks, they helped make this event successful. The volunteers exemplified what it means to work as a team, along with help from other BAPS Mandirs, which truly demonstrates the adage ‘BAPS Ek Parivar’ – We are all one family.