On the auspicious day of Jal Jhilani ekadashi, September 2, 2017, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj performed the Murti Pratishtha ceremony of Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj Abhishek Murti and inaugurated the artistically mesmeric Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj Abhishek Mandapam at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
The Abhishek Mandapam houses the sacred image of Shri Ghanshyam Maharaj, the childhood form of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. At the age of four, Ghanshyam climbed a pipal tree and looked westward. When friends asked where He was looking, Ghanshyam replied, “towards the spiritual aspirants in the West.” Ghanshyam grew up and was later known as Nilkanth Varni throughout his extensive travels across the length and breadth of India for seven years. He eventually settled in the western state of Gujarat and established a spiritual lineage of gurus to guide aspirants on the spiritual path.
The abhishek mandapam was specially designed to depict the incident from Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s childhood and feature a murti of Ghanshyam climbing a pipal tree. Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami performed the vedic rituals. The ceremony was conducted by Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami and Pujya Aksharvatsaldas Swami. Thereafter, Mahant Swami Maharaj offered the first abhishek to Ghanshyam Maharaj with the waters of 108 holy rivers from India.
Mahant Swami Maharaj expressed his joy on the occasion by blessing swamis and devotees. In his blessings, he emphasized that all who perform darshan and abhishek experience infinite peace, spiritual growth, and their wishes be fulfilled.