7 January 2002: Inauguration of
Festival Site and Diksha Ceremony
At 8.00 am, the festival ground - Swaminarayan
Nagar, was ceremoniously inaugurated by senior sadhus and dignitaries.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj ritually performed pujan and pradakshina of the
mantra books placed on the giant Mantra Vedika and offered respects
to the mahamantra and devotion of thousands of devotees. During the
next 3-days, thousands of devotees offered their respects and reverence
by performing pradakshina of the vedika.
Thereafter, four traditional huts for singing the Swaminarayan dhun
(mantra-dhun), saying the mantra (mantra-jap) with a rosary, writing
the mantra and chanting the mantra while offering grains in a yagna-pit
(mantra-homa), were declared open by Swamishri. During the 3-days these
traditional huts resonated with the singing and writing of the Swaminarayan
mantra by children and devotees.
After Swamishri's morning puja, a diksha-ceremony of 60 youths took
place at the holy hands of Swamishri. This added another chapter in
Swamishri's efforts to elevate society through his selfless order of
During this event, MP for Bhavnagar Shri Rajendrasinh Rana praised Swamishri's
efforts in elevating society morally and spiritually.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, "Gadhpur is the holiest
of holy places sanctified by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He had inspired morality
and spirituality by spreading the Swaminarayan mahamantra from house
to house through His paramhansas. Pujya Shastriji Maharaj and Pujya
Yogiji Maharaj spread the mahamantra in India and abroad. By chanting
this mahamantra with faith and resolution, one will experience peace
"Our scriptures say that if we protect dharma, then dharma will
protect us. Today, the roots of terrorism lie in the decline of dharma
in our world. These newly initiated sadhus will contribute in consolidating
dharma in society
'Swaminarayan Nagar' (Festival
The celebration was held in 'Swaminarayan Nagar' - the 125-acre festival
venue. The main features of the festival grounds were:
The giant 20´
x 20´ yagna vedika filled with 4,50,000 Swaminarayan mantra
books, devotionally written by 120,000 of devotees in India. The
number of written mantras amounted to 11.25 billion. The huge murtis
of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Gunatitanand Swami were installed on
Five traditional huts
where children continuously chanted and wrote the Swaminarayan Mahamantra.
A walk-through exhibition
that portrayed the history and glory of the Swaminarayan Mahamantra.
A large assembly hall