With deep emotion and excitement, devotees and volunteers from across North America welcomed His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha to Robbinsville, New Jersey. His arrival marked both a cause for celebration and the beginning of the 'Festival of Inspirations’, a series of ceremonious events for invited guests, organized under the auspices of ‘Akshardham Mahotsav'.
 
A landmark of Hindu art, architecture, and culture, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham campus features a stone Hindu mandir, a traditional stepwell, a welcome center, as well as the Akshardham Mahamandir and Museum, both still under construction.

Mahant Swami Maharaj was welcomed at the entrance of the campus with a garland of flowers and a traditional nada-chhadi (sacred thread). David Fried, the mayor of Robbinsville, NJ, welcomed Mahant Swami Maharaj’s arrival with traditional ceremonies at the newly inaugurated landmark spot sanctified by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2014. As Swamishri proceeded through the campus greeting devotees with humbly folded hands, he offered thaal with utmost reverence to Nilkanth Varni’s majestic 49-foot image at the Nilkanth Vatika. Thereafter, showered with flower petals at the main gate, Mahant Swami Maharaj stopped to admire the intricacies of the 80-foot decorative garland which devotees and volunteers of all ages prepared for the welcome ceremony.

Almost an hour into his arrival, Mahant Swami Maharaj arrived at the Mayur Dwar, where he was greeted with sparkler fountains and an assembly of devotees. As the construction progress of the Akshardham Mahamandir was unveiled for the first time, Swamishri beheld its beauty with awe, while everyone present experienced the glow of their beloved guru against the backdrop of the Mahamandir.  Mahant Swami Maharaj blessed the volunteers gathered before him: “What all of you have done is truly remarkable. For continued spiritual growth, maintain the values of unity and teamwork.” These words will forever be etched in the minds of devotees and volunteers.

The Festival of Inspirations is a series of ceremonies, events and activities, each designed to encapsulate and highlight the cultural, spiritual, and humanitarian values that Akshardham will embody. A grand Vedic yagna ceremony for pre-registered participants will provide a unique opportunity to offer prayers for peace, both personal and global. A special Bal-Yagna will give an unique opportunity for children to participate in Hindu rituals that date back thousands of years. The festival will also help share the Hindu messages of peace, unity, and harmony with the global community.

NOTE: The schedule of webcast events will be available at:  https://na.baps.org. Please visit baps.org/robbinsville for daily campus timings.

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