Mandirs are an integral part of a devotee’s life. It is through rituals that mandirs help instill values develop character, and promote culture. With these thoughts in mind, the volunteers of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Washington, DC helped inaugurate a renovated mandir and welcomed the murtis (sacred images) of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami, Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna, Shri Sita-Ram, Shri Shiva-Parvati, Shri Hanumanji, Shri Ganeshji, and Nilkanth Varni.
Many devotees, guests, and well-wishers took part in the 3-day Mahotsav from September 19-21, 2014, gaining a lifetime of memories and sentiments that reflect the spirit of the event: My Mandir, My Home.
The swagat sabha on Thursday, September 18 welcomed Sadguru Keshjivandas Swami (Pujya Mahant Swami), marking the start of festivities. A satsang shibir filled with spiritual discourses by learned Swamis followed the opening festivities.
On Saturday, September 20, as per traditional Hindu custom, a grand Shobha Yatra, or a procession of the murtis in elaborately decorated floats took place around the mandir campus.On Sunday, September 21st, as per ancient Vedic traditions, the grand Mahapuja (yagna ritual) and Murti Sthapan Vidhi took place with the grand finale of the placement of the divine murtis in the renovated mandir.
The Hindu community around Washington DC has grown from its humble beginnings in 1974 when Pramukh Swami Maharaj first visited the nation’s capital and consecrated the homes of the few resident devotees to where it is now.