The two-day Swaminarayan Akshardham Stambh Pujan ceremony took place in the divine presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami. This historic event welcomed thousands of devotees, honorary state and local officials, well wishers, and revered Swamis from across from North America, UK, and India on September 3-4, 2017 to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Robbinsville, NJ.
By Hindu rites and amidst Vedic chants led by Pujya Aksharvatsaldas Swami, Mahant Swami Maharaj performed this Pujan (ceremony) over four sessions. Countless volunteer hours and many prayers for the installation of the first marble pillar of Swaminarayan Akshardham culminated into this auspicious moment. In this spiritually charged celebration including dances infused with devotion and pillars embodying Paramhansas Muktanand Swami and Nishkulanand Swami from Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s time, devotees recollected His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s vision to build the 13-pinnacled Swaminarayan Akshardham Mahamandir that all Hindus could proudly identify as their own. Today, Mahant Swami Maharaj furthers that vision by bringing together the community and by inspiring values of unity, tolerance, and spirituality through the land.
The weekend celebration also included the inauguration of the artistically mesmeric Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj Abhishek Mandapam, which houses the murti of Shri Ghanshyam, the childhood form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The mandapam was specially designed to depict an incident from this film and to feature a murti of Ghanshyam sitting under a pipal tree. At the age of four, Ghanshyam climbed a pipal tree and looked westward. When friends asked where He was looking, Ghanshyam replied, “towards the spiritual aspirants in the West.” Mahant Swami Maharaj offered the first abhishek to Ghanshyam Maharaj with the waters of 108 holy rivers from India. Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami and Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami addressed the assembly and shared the significance of the celebrations.
Swaminarayan Akshardham aims to uphold Hinduism’s timeless traditions for generations to come and will help bring peace of mind to all. With intricate carvings depicting stories from Hindu scriptures, the intricate details of this Mahamandir will impart countless lessons from our rich cultural and spiritual heritage to all.