13-14 November 2012, Ahmedabad, India
This year, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was in Ahmedabad for Diwali and Annakut for the first time in twenty years. The Diwali celebrations began in the early morning with mangala arti, followed by abhishek of Bhagwan Swaminarayan performed by senior sadhus. The shangar arti was followed by Chopda Pujan. Thakorji was worshipped by senior sadhus during the mahapuja. Prayers were offered for everyone’s good health, happiness, prosperity and spiritual progress. Thereafter, Pramukh Swami Maharaj arrived and showered rose petals on the accounting books. Swamishri was honoured with a garland by senior sadhus.
Swamishri then proceeded for Thakorji’s darshan in the mandir, after which he also gave darshan to the sadhus and devotees. He held a divo in his hands, signifying for devotees that the guru leads them from darkness of spiritual ignorance towards enlightenment.
The day after Diwali marks the start of the Hindu New Year, and it is celebrated in mandirs by offering an Annakut of various savoury food to the deities.
On New Year’s Day the mangala arti at Ahmedabad mandir was performed at 5.30 a.m. Following abhishek of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the traditional New Year’s mahapuja was performed by senior sadhus with hundreds of devotees also participating. Pujya Viveksagar Swami and Pujya Doctor Swami then addressed the assembly.
Sadhus and volunteers had served for many days to prepare the food and decorations, which were artistically arranged in the mandir. A total of 1,252 different varieties of sweet, savoury, baked and other food delicacies were offered to the deities.
Swamishri performed the Annakut arti in the main mandir and then graced the New Year’s assembly, where thousands of devotees sang the prayer, ‘Mahãbalvant mãyã tamãri…’ in unison. Swamishri blessed all devotees for peace and happiness in the new year.