The asthi (holy ashes) of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj were ceremoniously embedded within the Akshar Deri shrine at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Wellingborough, on Wednesday 11 October 2017. Narayanmunidas Swami and visiting swamis from India were in attendance to conduct the historic Asthi Kumbh Sthapan ceremony.
The ceremony began with swamis singing bhajans and a visual montage of video clips and photographs reminiscing the numerous visits of Pramukh Swami Maharaj to Wellingborough.
The asthi kumbh (urn of holy ashes) had earlier been blessed by Mahant Swami Maharaj in London on Thursday 5 October 2017, the festival of Sharad Purnima, when also a youth from Wellingborough had been ordained as a parshad.
The kumbh was ceremoniously brought into the assembly hall on a palanquin carried by swamis. The grand procession included Harikrishna Maharaj, flag-bearing kishores and dancing yuvaks, all fronted by a traditional Indian drummer. The Vedic ceremony itself was led by Narayanmunidas Swami.
The two-hour programme further consisted of inspiring talks from Akshartilakdas Swami and Narayanmunidas Swami explaining the history and spiritual glory of the Akshar Deri. Mahant Swami Maharaj had also sent his specially recorded blessings for the auspicious occasion.
The memorable day concluded with devotees paying tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj by placing flowers at the feet of his murti and having darshan of the newly placed asthi.
Just as the Akshar Deri in Gondal marks the final resting place of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami, Wellingborough’s Akshar Deri, having been consecrated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, now equally marks a similar place of pilgrimage, with his asthi enshrined within.