The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Harrisburg, PA was inaugurated with the blessings of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj on June 10, 2007, by Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabhdas Swami. Through the inspiration of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, devotees and well-wishers across Harrisburg, Lansdale, Allentown, and surrounding areas came together to celebrate the three-day 10th-anniversary celebration on June 16-18, 2017.
On Friday, June 16th, building on examples from the Ramayan, the Hindu epic poem which narrates the life incidents of Bhagwan Ram, Pujya Viveknidhidas Swami explained the importance of honoring one’s duty within the home by striving to serve within the family unit as an ideal father, mother, child, or grandparent. The cultural program, themed “My Mandir, My Identity,” presented inspirational speeches by children, youth, adults, and swamis on the second day of the celebration. The program took an in-depth look at how the mandir preserves culture, strengthens moral values, impacts society through service and charity, and instills inner peace.
A special women’s cultural program was held on June 18th in the morning with skits, speeches, video presentations and folk dances. The program highlighted the need for “samp” (unity) among women as they work to support and encourage each other along the paths of spiritual and personal development. In the afternoon, a Vedic mahapuja (offering) was held and joined by families seeking to share the blessings of Hindu ritual and tradition. The festivities ended with a Kirtan Aradhana by Jaydeep Swadia who enthralled the audience with devotional songs and melodies.
The central message that was conveyed over the three-day celebrations was to strengthen unity among families, highlight the importance of spiritual deepening and development, and to empower parents and elders to instill values and morals in the lives of children through quality time and education.