It was an ecstatic, colorful celebration of spiritual joy and enlightenment. The experience of being showered with colored divine water at the hands of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the climax and ultimate moment for 43,000 devotees who came from far and wide.
The program commenced in the serene hours of the morning when Swamishri performed his daily worship. The bhajans of Holi and Vasant by the sadhus enriched the atmosphere. The beautiful backdrop described the occasion when Lord Swaminarayan celebrated the Fuldol festial with His paramhansas in the darbar of Rathod Dhadhal.
A steady stream of devotees flowed into the assembly hall, starting from as early as 6.00 am. Many had left as early as 1.00 am or 2.00 am, travelling 250 kms, to reach Sarangpur. They travelled by coaches, cars and vans.
After Swamishri’s puja the main assembly commenced at 8.15 am. The speeches by senior sadhus set the tempo for the occasion. The history and significance of Fuldol and the purpose of sprinkling colored water was elaborately explained by the senior sadhus. The intermittent singing of bhajans gave a devotional and emotional flair to the occasion.
Swamishri performed the opening ceremony of several new audio, video and print publications.
In blessing the 43,000 devotees in the assembly Swamishri said, "The Fuldol festival has been celebrated from the time of Lord Swaminarayan. Then, it was a small village but the devotion of the handful of devotees was great. How can one compare an ant and an elephant? We are like ants before the Lord. It is not possible for an ant to meet an elephant. God, out of compassion, came down in a human form to redeem countless souls... God comes in a human form to give happiness to His devotees and aspirants. If we imbibe His teachings and offer devotion to Him then we can attain moksha..."
After Swamishri’s blessings the moment everyone had been waiting for arrived. A wave of excitement and eagerness to be colored swelled in every heart. 43,000 devotees were charged for the final moments.
Firstly, Swamishri sprayed some fragrant colored water on the murti of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj.
Swamishri then sprayed the fragrant holy water on the devotees. The rhythm and devotion of the bhajan: ‘Vartal gaam fulvadiyae Hindolo Ambani dal’ and subsequent devotional songs by the sadhus energized the atmosphere. For over one hour Swamishri sprayed the devotees with colored water. Each and every devotee returned blessed and overwhelmed with a spirit of sheer joy and memories of an unparalleled occasion. The Fuldol program ended at 12.00 noon.