Sunday, November 13, 2016, marked a historic day for Goshen, Kentucky as a new BAPS mandir officially opened its door to the community. With the blessing and guidance of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the festivities for the mandir opening began with a Vishwashanti Mahayagna on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Amidst vibrant crowds of people, many sacred blessings and prayers were expressed to instill peace in the lives of those gathered, to the community at large, and to the world.That evening, women united to present the importance of a Mandir in today’s society. This two hour Women's Cultural program consisting of numerous dances, skits, and speeches, was part of the larger inaugural celebrations. For everyone in attendance, the program incited pride and respect for the Mandir and the timeless traditions and values it instills in people.
On the morning of November 13, 2016, the city of Goshen, Kentucky witnessed the official inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. As members of local Hindu community drove up to the site, the grand Mandir complex and colorful opening festivities unfolded before them. The rituals for the consecration of the murtis (sacred images) started with the chanting of Vedic verses in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami (Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami). The murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami, Shri Radha-Krishna, Guru Parampara, Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Shiv-Parvati, Hanumanji, and Ganeshji were consecrated. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj consecrated the mandir's murtis in Sarangpur, India on February 6, 2015.
Following the inauguration ceremonies, devotees and well-wishers gathered together for a melodious Kirtan Aradhana (singing of devotional hymns) by BAPS Swamis. This was followed by a Cultural Program titled, “Mandirma Prabhu biraje chhe.” The program highlighted the value a Mandir has in one's life. The program ended with Sadguru Pujya Kothari Swami’s blessings in which he relayed the importance of Mandirs in shaping our lives, and how Pramukh Swami Maharaj has inspired millions around the world to build such places of worship to preserve pure faith and devotion to God.
For many, the completion of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Goshen is a dream come true. Twenty-one years ago, Satsang assemblies started in Louisville with a handful of families. The spiritual growth within the area can be credited to the blessings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, and the efforts of many volunteers’ toil and tolerance. The volunteers’ dedication and service for over two decades 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.