On August 10, 2017, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj was welcomed to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, TX with great excitement and enthusiasm by thousands of devotees and well-wishers. Swamishri’s arrival marked the beginning of a 10-day celebration, from August 10 – August 20, that commemorated Swamishri’s first visit to Houston, TX after becoming the Guru and President of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Devotees and community members felt the same divinity they had with His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj ten years ago. On Sunday, August 13th, a special program was held at the Smart Financial Center in Sugarland, TX, commemorating the one year anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s earthly departure. Portraying the theme “Sathe J Chhe”, the program highlighted Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life and legacy in the presence of His successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. All felt the joy of reliving memories of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and feeling that he is still with us today through Mahant Swami Maharaj.
Various other events throughout Swamishri’s visit included special programs for children and youth (Bal-Balika Din, Kishore-Kishori Din, and Yuvak-Yuvati Din), a women’s cultural program (Mahila Din), and a 2-day family shibir focusing on strengthening family unity. On Saturday, August 19th, a mahapuja was held to commence the new assembly hall of the Mandir.
From August 20 – August 24, Mahant Swami Maharaj visited the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Dallas, TX. Swamishri was welcomed at a grand cultural program themed 'Shriji Maharajna Pagle Pagle.' Devotees also got a chance to experience the Solar Eclipse assembly in his presence on August 21.
For fourteen eventful and joyous days in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj, devotees of all ages were left with countless experiences and memories to foster their spiritual growth for years to come. It was an opportunity for all to reflect on the indelible impact that Mahant Swami Maharaj continues to make, embodying the very same teachings, life, and legacy that all had experienced with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.