festival was celebrated with great devotion at the Shri
Swaminarayan Mandir, Auckland. The Shivlinga was made at
the mandir by the volunteers and installed in the mandir
dining hall for the devotees to offer prayers and devotion.
people came to the mandir on the Maha Shivratri day (1 March
2003) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offered abhishek of milk
and bili leaves. With the chanting of the Shiv strotras
by the pujari Shri Shatrughnabhai Joshi and 3 more volunteers,
devotees and especially Shiv bhaktas felt the divine atmosphere
of the festival. Apart from that, many of them had come
to the mandir for the first time and had the opportunity
of having the darshan of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj
and the different deities installed in the mandir. They
were simply amazed at the broad minded approach of Pramukh
Swami Maharaj after visiting the mandir exhibition.
day on Sunday (2 March 2003), the Maha Shivratri festival
was celebrated in the weekly sabha with a discourse on the
importance of the Shivratri festival and its significance
in the Swaminaryan Sampraday by the pujari Shri Shatrughnabhai.
About 400 people participated in the festival with the mahaprasad
at the end.