Devotees and well-wishers from across Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia gathered at the Jefferson Memorial on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, DC on Saturday, September 16, 2017 to witness the Asthipushpa Visarjan for His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj as performed by Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj passed away in Sarangpur, India, on August 13, 2016, at the age of 95. He had visited the United States fourteen times between 1974-2014, including seven visits to Washington, DC, culminating in the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Beltsville, Maryland on August 19, 2000.
The Ashthipushpa pujan was performed by Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami and senior swamis. They offered prayers for world peace and the well-being for all devotees living in America. Devotees had the opportunity to participate in the pujan and thereby offer their own personal tribute to their beloved guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
After the Vedic ceremony, Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami offered ceremonial pujan to the holy ashes of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The solemn moment offered an expression of gratitude as attendees recalled their guru's inspirational life of service.
Similar ceremonies were performed near many holy rivers of India, including the Gondali, Narmada, Sabarmati, and Ganga, and recently near the Nile near Jinja, Uganda; River Thames in London; Niagara Falls, Canada; and the Hudson River in New York.