On the morning of Sunday, August 15, many devotees, volunteers, well-wishers, and other community members gathered in celebratory style to participate in the opening ceremonies for the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Cultural Center in Bridgeton, MO.
The rituals for the consecration of the murtis started with the chanting of Vedic verses in the presence of Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakash Swami (Doctor Swami). The murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami, Shri Radha-Krishna, Guru Parampara, Shri Sita-Ram, Hanumanji, and Ganeshji were consecrated at the new mandir.
After the arti, everyone had the opportunity of doing darshan of the murtis and the annakut that was offered. Devotees from all over the region attended this historic event and helped in seva to make this event a memorable one for all.
Also in attendance and showing their support were dignitaries and special guests including, Conrad Bowers, Mayor of Bridgeton, on behalf of the Mayor of St. Louis Francis G. Slay, his son Francis G. Slay, Jr. and St. Louis County Executive Chairman, Charles Dooley.
"Bridgeton is a family oriented community. We're proud to invite you (BAPS) to our family," said Mayor Bowers.
"I hereby proclaim August 15, 2010 as BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Day in St. Louis," read Mr. Dooley from a resolution passed by St. Louis.
In the assembly that followed, Pujya Doctor Swami spoke of the importance of mandir in shaping our lives.