A grand family celebration was held on Saturday 25 February 2023 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, to welcome the new murtis of Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj.
The sacred pran-pratishtha (ceremonial invocation) of these panch-dhatu ‘chal murtis’ (mobile sacred images) had been performed earlier by Mahant Swami Maharaj during the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centennial Celebrations in Ahmedabad, India.
The murtis were joyously welcomed to their new home in London with a day of devotional programmes, which began in the morning with a yagna in the Mandir courtyard in front of the maha-murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Youths chanted verses from the Satsang Diksha as devotees and visitors made offerings into the sacred fire, praying to Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj to bless the people of Great Britain and the world with peace, harmony and righteous prosperity.
The ceremonial welcome also included a mahapuja (special Vedic ceremony of devotional offerings), in which devotees of all ages participated.
This was followed by a vibrant shobha yatra (cultural procession) around the perimeter of the Mandir complex during which swamis sang celebratory bhajans. Children, youths and seniors danced in joy to offer their own personal welcome.
An assembly was held later in the evening during which the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj were carried in a decorative palanquin and formally welcomed inside the assembly hall.
Swamis delivered a series of insightful discourses drawing upon the Vachanamrut, Swamini Vato, and other canonical Hindu texts such as the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. They narrated the historical significance of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj and explained the theological importance and method of offering personal devotion to both murtis.
The momentous celebrations concluded with vibrant bhajans performed by swamis and youths, accompanied with lively dances that created a further uplifting, devotional atmosphere.
Following the grand welcome at London Mandir, the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj will also be devoutly welcomed at mandirs and centres throughout the UK and across Europe.