The Kumbhi Sthapan Vidhi for BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atlanta was conducted in the presence of saints. Despite heavy clouds hovering around the shikharbaddh mandir site and the unseasonably cold wind, the devotees spirits were not dampened and a sense of elation permeated the atmosphere.
Almost two years ago, in June 2004, His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj performed a historic Shilanyas Vidhi (foundation stone laying ceremony) of the Shikharbaddh Mandir in Lilburn, Georgia. On that historic day, Pramukh Swami Maharaj touched the hearts of all present and blessed the devotees when he stated that Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the Guru Parampara have blessed everyone, and will look after the Mandir's successful completion.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj's divine words echoed in the hearts of all as saints and devotees gathered at the site to mark yet another moment of history for Mandir- the Kumbhi Sthapan Vidhi (first base placing ceremony). This was a very significant moment because the Kumbhi is the first base and stone piece, in which the remainder of the Mandir will be built upon.
The day's auspiciousness was heightened by the Vidhi being performed on Akha Trij (Akshay tritya) Vaishak Sud 3, a very special day for spiritual events, groundbreaking of construction projects, business openings, and other major events according to the Hindu calendar. During the Vidhi, Pramukh Swami Maharaj's blessings warmed those present on this rather cold, damp day, adding to the momentum for the completion of the Mandir in summer 2007.
Pujya Akshaymuni Swami, engineer of the Shikharbaddh Mandir, offered inspiring words to those present by elaborating on the extent of success and completion of the Mandir. Along with him, Dr. K. C. Patel, President of BAPS North America, conveyed his strong support and gave words of encouragement for everyone to pray and commit to the successful completion in time for Swamishri's arrival in Summer 2007.
Despite the blistering winds, devotees chanted in unison, "Mandir Mahotsav ni Jay!" as saints chanted the Vedic mantras and the first Sthambh (pillar) was successfully placed on the Kumbhi by the skilled artisans.
On this auspicious day, the devotees took back a memory of a historical moment and a renewed inspiration towards the completion of the mandir in a timely manner. Truly a remarkable beginning of the "Mandir Mahotsav 2007 - Celebrating Heritage, Nurturing the Future."