Amid heavy rainfall, over 2,500 devotees and well-wishers participated in the sacred shilanyas mahapuja ceremony for the shikharbaddha BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Johannesburg in the presence of Pujya Viveksagar Swami.
A grand welcome gate greeted devotees at the entrance of the mandir construction site. Posters of the 3D models of the haveli from various angles lined the 500m walkway to the main marquee erected for the shilanyas ceremony.
Vedic mantras were recited and the Swaminarayan mahamantra was chanted whilst Pujya Viveksagar Swami placed the main shilas in the foundation of the new mandir. Prayers were offered that the building of this mandir, dedicated to the Akshar-Purushottam philosophy and nurturing of the values of Hindu Dharma, would bring peace and prosperity to South Africa.
The celebratory assembly after the main ceremony included a cultural program by youths, a speech by Pujya Viveksagar Swami and felicitation of the invited guests.
The Shilanyas Mahotsav ended with all devotees and well-wishers placing a foundation stone in the mandir foundation.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj had previously performed the Vedic pujan rituals of the same shilas on 29 May 2021 in Nenpur, Gujarat.