August 5 - 6, 2006
Houston, TX

To commemorate the second anniversary of the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Houston, a special 2-day celebration was held on August 5 and August 6, 2006. Among the various festivities were a fireworks show on Saturday, a women's cultural program, as well as the first anniversary of the pratishtha of the Nilkanth Varni murti on Sunday. The theme of this weekend focused on the mandir and the inspiring change it has brought to people's lives.

The weekend events began with a women's cultural program that included traditional dances and thought provoking dramas. The participants coming together from various parts of Texas worked for over three months in preparing for the day's festivities.

A spiritual assembly celebrating the mandir was held in the evening. Children of all ages participated through traditional dances, festive bhajans and inspiring speeches. Devotees shared the life changing effect the mandir has had on them. Some talked about how the mandir has helped them become a better individual while others reminisced over the sacrifices made in the making of the mandir. The celebration climaxed Saturday night with a 30-minute fireworks show. On Sunday morning, a traditional vedic prayer was held at the mandir celebrating the second anniversary.

Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami (Pujya Kothari Swami) presided over the weekend festivities. The ground breaking ceremony of the Sant Nivas also took place in his presence. In accordance with the views of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, he spoke about the idols - the heart of the mandir. He reaffirmed that without them, a mandir would not be complete. He conveyed to everybody that the mandir has been built with the spirit of unity, fraternity and brotherhood, and all should continue to always worship God. The festivities provided the seamless blend of reminiscence and hope for the future.

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