In the early morning of Friday, June 9, 2023, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj graced North America with his presence, receiving a jubilant welcome from thousands of devotees and well-wishers at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, Canada. As the evening of June 8th melted into the early hours of June 9th, a continuous stream of people filled the mandir, eagerly anticipating their first darshan of Mahant Swami Maharaj in Toronto since 2017. The devotees had come dressed in festive attire, reminiscent of Diwali and to symbolize that the Guru's presence is the light in our lives. With mounting excitement, Swamis took the opportunity to share motivational and inspiring messages, guiding everyone on how to fully embrace the blessings brought by Mahant Swami Maharaj's visit to Toronto.
At 1:45 am, Mahant Swami Maharaj arrived at the mandir, where he was warmly welcomed with flowers, sparklers, and a grand garland. His car came to a stop in front of the mandir, where he admired the beautifully arranged lights adorning the entrance and steps. The enthusiastic reception continued inside the mandir, where he witnessed a captivating glow-in-the-dark dance performance by youth. He also met approximately 50 Swamis and several volunteers before entering the assembly hall.
In the assembly hall, thousands of people warmly greeted Mahant Swami Maharaj. Once on stage, Swamis delivered brief speeches expressing the joy felt by Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj, and Pramukh Swami Maharaj at the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj in Toronto. When asked about his own happiness to be in Toronto, Mahant Swami Maharaj responded by joyfully spreading his arms.
Next, Mahant Swami Maharaj blessed the devotees who had observed various fasts in anticipation of his arrival. He expressed his heartfelt recognition and appreciation for their efforts and the hard work of the volunteers who had prepared for his arrival. He then briefly addressed the devotees to conclude the assembly.
The arrival of Mahant Swami Maharaj in Canada and the warm reception by the devotees created an atmosphere of unity, devotion, and celebration, marking a significant milestone in the spiritual journey of the community.