In preparation of the grand opening of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, senior swamis performed a traditional mahapuja at the Brahmakund, the pond in front of the landmark mahamandir on October 3, 2023 in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Devotees from across the nation and beyond lined along the outskirts of Brahmakund to witness the Tadag Utsarg Vidhi under a bright blue sky.
Five hundred kalashes (traditional golden pots) beheld water from over 400 holy bodies of water from around the world. This morning’s ceremony sanctified that water from throughout the globe to forever live in Brahmakund, becoming a body of prayer and pilgrimage here in America. Following the tying of the sacred thread called nadad chadi, senior swamis performed a ritual bathing of Bhagwan Swaminarayan with panchamrut made of honey, ghee, yogurt, milk and sugar. The puja honored all living creatures that fill the Brahmakund and typically take life in bodies of water.
The remaining rituals sanctified over a dozen aspects of the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex to recognize the significance of each natural and man-made element of this awe-inspiring landmark. The harmony that Akshardham will foster for millennia was symbolized within today’s ceremony.
Immediately following this ceremony, over a thousand women devotees of BAPS participated in a jal yatra. The jal yatra is a ceremonious practice to honor the life-force of water, which breathes life into mankind. Four hundred kalash filled with water from pilgrimage sites throughout the world were carried by women of all ages in a circumambulation around Brahmakund. Concluding the ceremony at the front steps of Swaminarayan Askhardham, the women collectively poured the water into the maha kalash. The ceremony culminated in celebration with cultural dance, devotional music, and waiving of the BAPS flag to mark the occasion.