Pramukh Swami Maharaj Birthday Celebrations
The epitome of all that is holy, all that is good and pure and all that inspires, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj was and always will be the light we follow when we find ourselves in darkness and despair. His teachings of the Swaminarayan Hinduism, his methodologies and ideologies are for all of us to take up and follow. And basking in such divinity, Surat had been blessed with a 10-day long celebration of the 96th birthday of Maharaj Ji.
From 27th November to 7th December, apart from the birthday celebrations, all the devotees gathered at the Swaminarayan Nagar in the city to commemorate His Holiness and celebrate the 20th anniversary of The BAPS Mandir in Surat. As you enter through the gates, you could envision the grandiose Mandir – a beautiful replica of the majestic Swaminarayan Nagar. People from all over Gujarat and various parts of the country had turned up with utter jubilation in their minds and souls. One of the highlights of the day included the collection of 200 bottles of blood which were happily donated by visiting devotees.
The celebrations were inaugurated by Pragat Brahmaswarup Mahant Swami Maharaj, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Nitinbhai Patel, State Minister Shri Mansukhbhai Mandaviya and other esteemed dignitaries. With the grace of the late Swami Pramukh Maharaj and the amidst thousands of devotees, it was a sight to behold.
Eight awe-inspiring exhibits showcasing the life, work and teachings of Swami Pramukh Maharaj, along with important social messages including the protest to save water and electricity, awareness regarding keeping our country clean and regarding addiction relief and teaching moral values such as peace and harmony in families. These messages were portrayed in a sensational format with such displays along with video programs and live skit performances.
As the dawn approached, the Mandir lit up in striking colours and creates a picturesque scene under the evening sky. A stunning light and sound show had been one of the highlights of these daily festivities that was engaging and exciting for everyone present.
The evenings ended with inspiring speeches by senior sadhus, devotional songs and joyous programs by children and youth representing the life of His Holiness along with the history and importance of Satsang. The first inaugural evening festivities had the presence of State Minister Shri Mansukhbhai Mandaviya and Nanubhai Vanani. Every day, these celebrations come to an end with a feeling of awe, fulfilment and positivity.
Words filled with afflatus by His Holiness Swami Maharaj, “In the joy of others, lies our own”, the manifestation of these words is seen in the festivities, where people from various backgrounds and locations unite and surrender themselves to love and experience joy and ultimate spirituality in the presence of one another.