The historic Prasad Pravesh Vidhi for a new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada was performed on Saturday, November 21, 2020. The ceremony took place at the new Mandir site in Winnipeg in accordance with social distancing protocols. The ceremony ritual was performed virtually by Pujya Gunsagardas Swami along with other Swamis from the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, as well as Senior Swamis from India.
The Prasad Pravesh ceremony is performed when a new premises or building is entered for the first time. It unites the entire community with prayers for peace and harmony and purifies the space for a new beginning with positive energy.
By the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the inspiration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Swamis started doing vicharan (spiritual visits) in many parts of Canada, including Manitoba, since 2003. As a steady flow of devotees began to settle there over the years, Swamis increased their vicharan in Manitoba and established weekly Satsang Sabhas (religious services) in 2004. With steady growth of devotees in the Winnipeg area, a building was acquired for a new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at 1488 Red River Drive in Howden, Manitoba. The new Mandir will facilitate activities and events for young and old alike, to practice and preserve Hindu traditions and spiritual values.
The Prasad Pravesh ceremony was performed virtually in the presence of dignitaries, community leaders and well-wishers from across Canada and around the world. The event was webcast live from the Mandir site while over 900 families participated in the ceremony from their homes. The traditional rituals involved consecration of the Mandir building, blessing the project with Vedic rituals, and prayers for peace and well-being throughout the community, province and country.
Messages of congratulations and well wishes to the community for this historic occasion were received from dignitaries. Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Manitoba shared, “My warm congratulations to the BAPS community in Manitoba on the consecration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. Let me also take this opportunity to say how much I value your friendship and appreciate all you do to contribute to the vibrancy of our Winnipeg and Manitoba community…This is a very proud day for Manitoba and Canada and especially for our BAPS community here in Winnipeg.”
His Worship Chris Ewen, Mayor of the Rural Municipality of Ritchot(Winnipeg Capital Region) shared, “We’re excited to have you. On behalf of all of council and everyone from the rural municipality, thank you for taking a chance on us. We know you will love it here as much as we’re going to love having you here. I love seeing people coming together and sharing and experiencing joy, peace, happiness and opportunities and that is exactly what you have. I always love seeing growth in the municipality and that’s what you are bringing. Thank you very much and enjoy your time here.”
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj sent blessings from India for this auspicious occasion saying, “What we can see, have seen and will see here is due to the efforts of the Swamis, devotees and well-wishers. You have all put in great effort to bring us to this level. Satsang has grown here and this has been possible with the effort of the devotees and Swamis and the grace of God… Blessings to everyone on the occasion of the Prasad Pravesh of the Mandir in Winnipeg.”