24 March 2002, Sunday, San Jose, CA:
Fuldol, the birth anniversary of Bhagataji Maharaj was celebrated
with zealous participation from the bal mandal to the eldest
satsangis, including the kishore mandal, yuvak mandal and vadil
celebration began with an explanation of the importance of the
day followed by a senior vadil singing a nice self-composed
kirtan on the joys of Fuldol. The kishore mandal narrated various
prasangs from Pujya Bhagataji Maharaj's life, which highlighted
his divine and inspiring character. The celebrations also included
a speech on the importance of Fuldol in the Swaminarayan Sampraday
and how Bhagwan Swaminarayan purified up the age-old Holi traditions
and re-transformed it into a true spiritual celebration. The
samaiyo included enjoyable videos of Swamishri from a Bhaktachintamani
parayan. There were kirtans sung by the balaks, kishores and
special guests included Hon. Kevin Sheller, Majority Leader,
California State Assembly and Vinod Kumar, the Indian Consulate
General in San Francisco. Mr. Kelley, while addressing the audience,
noted the values that India and the United States share in terms
of the importance of family and individuals in creating a peaceful
society. Mr. Kumar shared with the audience his appreciation
of the work that the H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj does through
the BAPS Sanstha with the sacrifice of the devotees in ensuring
the positive future of the society
31 March 2002, Sunday, Atlanta, GA:
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta celebrated the
colorful festival of Fuldol-Holi in the true Swaminarayan tradition.
The Swaminarayan Mandir in Clarkston, just outside of Atlanta,
celebrated this festival with devotees and well-wishers. The
mood was set by the colorful decorations. To add to the festive
decor, the youths of BAPS decorated the main stage with the
Utsav murti of Lord Swaminarayan on a festive swing, known as
the Hindolo. The murtis of Gunatitanand Swami, the ideal devotee,
and Gopalanand Swami were sprayed with colors by the Utsav murti.
The theme of the decoration centered around the coming of spring.
Three artificial ponds with lotus and lilies were the focal
point and were surrounded by plants giving off the vision of
a garden. It took three days for the youths to build this stage.
The evening program started at 3:45. Soul rendering kirtans
were sung by the youths of BAPS. This day is also celebrated
by the Swaminarayan faith as the birthday of Bhagatji Maharaj,
the second spritual successor. (of the) A devotee gave a lecture
on the qualities of Bhagatji Maharaj and his gurubhakti (a commitment
to pleasing His guru). Various inspiring incidences from the
life of Bhagatji Maharaj were told. A presentation was given
on how Holi is celebrated in the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The
scriptures, kirtans and the meaning of the festival were conveyed
in a lucid manner. The presentation also included a discussion
on how Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspires all not to be pulled towards
worldly attractions, but to immerse oneself with devotion to
God. The youths danced to a kirtan while a slide show was presented
against a big screen backdrop. The presentation contained glimpses
of the Fuldol celebration held in Sarangpur, Gujarat, in the
presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This festival concluded with
a very beautiful dance performed by the Bal Mandal (Children's
Wing). In the end traditional Gujarati meal was served to all
with sweet-sev, a Holi tradition in Gujarat.
30 March 2002, Sunday, Charlotte, NC:
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in Charlotte celebrated Holi and
Pushpadolostav on March 30. Volunteers spared no effort in bringing
the auditorium alive with vividly planned and well-adorned decorations.
This memorable occasion was graced by the presence of sadhus..
day commemorated the birthday of Bhagatji Maharaj who was the
second spiritual successor of Lord Swaminarayan after Aksharbrahman
Gunatitanand Swami. His austere life is a shining inspiration
to all seeking truth and redemption and is a story of ultimate
devotion and unconditional surrender. Melodious bhajans and
kirtans accompanied by Indian musical instruments held the audience
spellbound. The day was further auspicious as it marked the
celebration of Holi.
sadhus explained the symbolic and religious significance of
this festival as they noted that this festival is to mark the
burning of self-conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, hatred, and
other undesirable tendencies, propensities, thoughts and behaviors.
It also signifies the victory of good over evil. The program
concluded with a musical drama on life of Prahlad. The climax
that brought the audience to its feet was the dramatic entry
of Nrusimh avatar (Lord Vishnu), who had come to protect his
devotee Prahlad from his evil father Hiranyakasyapu. The evening
concluded with everyone enjoying a rich and lavish mahaprasad.
31 March 2002, Sunday, Dallas, TX:
people participated in the Fuldol and Bhagatji Maharaj Janma
Jayanti celebrations at Dallas Mandir on Sunday, March 31, 2002.
The Program started at 4:00 p.m., and highlights included spiritual
discourses by Kishore Mandal and devotional songs describing
the divine charitras (incidents) of Lord Swaminarayan with sadhus
and devotees and devotion of Bhagatji Maharaj.
speech, given by a kishore (youth), was delivered on the devotion
of Bhagatji Maharaj, the understanding of the true identity
of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and the ultimate goal to
become Brahmaroop. Following the speech, a very informative
and entertaining quiz was arranged between the adults and youth
groups covering Bhagatji Maharaj incidents. Right side stage
was decorated with a specially created decorative Hindolo hanged
from the ceiling and made from teakwood with Lord Shreeji Maharaj's
Utsav murti being in the center. One Kishore would rotate the
hindolo so that everyone would have the darshan. Also Pramukh
Swami Maharaj's standing murti showering devotees with water
was erected on the stage next to Hindolo. After an impressive
folk dance by Balmandal (Children's Wing) on Holi song "Rang
" in a colorful costumes giving traditional
flavor to the function, water was sprinkled from the pumping
mechanism attached to Swamishri's murti over Balmandal while
a bhajan " Lage Vaikunth thi rudu Vadtal
being sung by devotees on left side stage. Bal mandal was then
joined by other devotees to share this joyous moments. The atmosphere
was divine creating impression that Lord Swaminarayan and H.D.H.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj were present giving divine happiness to
everyone celebrating samaiyo.
mandal also acknowledged the presence of Mr. Mark Messy and
his family and thanked him for rescuing people from India, who
came to USA for employment and were exploited by the employer.
Most of these people will present in the Mandir during this
event was concluded with Arti and Mahaprasad.
30 March 2002, Sunday, Fall River, MA:
The Holi and Bhagatji Maharaj Janma Jayanti were celebrated
on the 31st of March with great joy. The evening programs commenced
with several bhajans extolling the glory of Bhagatji Maharaj.
A speech on Bhagatji Maharaj's Guru Bhakti was also included
in the evening's program. The highlight of the evening was a
tabla Recital performed by the students of the tabla class held
at the mandir. The students showed off their newly acquired
skills and amazed the audience with what they had learn and
added an exciting twist to the evening. The evening ended with
aarti and darshan of the murtis which were festively adorned
with color shooters and colorful backgrounds.
31 March 2002, Sunday, Miami, FL:
Holi and Pushpadolotsav samaiyo was celebrated by devotees with
great enthusiasm at the Boynton Beach Mandir, Palm Beach, Florida.
The murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and Radha-Krishna Dev
wore colorful adorned mark the occasion. The celebration started
with a satsang sabha. The kishore mandal presented two brief
speeches in English. The first one dealt with the life and work
of Bhagatji Maharaj, whose birthday is celebrated on this holy
day. The other speech was on Holi and its significance.
Two other speeches were given during the samaiyo. One of the
speeches gave a motivating look at the life of Bhagatji Maharaj
as a true devotee and how his life is a shining example for
us to follow as we try to obtain "Akshar." The mandir's pujari
gave a brief speech comparing and contrasting on how the Fuldol
Utsav was celebrated in the times of Shreeji Maharaj and now.
The yuvak mandal sang kirtans. The sabha ended with all of the
devotees singing aartii and fagwaa.
most interesting feature of the celebration was the actual celebration
of Holi in its traditional manner. The celebration was commenced
by the pujari by performing Hindu rituals and was thereafter
joined in these rituals by all the devotees who were present.
The evening ended with all of the devotees enjoying mahaprasad..
31 March 2002, Sunday, Cleveland, OH:
People attended the Bhagatji Maharaj / Holi-Fuldol Samaiyo at
the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Brunswick (Cleveland),
Ohio. The program started with the traditional dhun and prathana
sung by the bal / kishore mandal. This was followed by kirtans
and speeches regarding Holi-Fuldol and Bhagatji Maharaj. The
speeches were done by the vadil mandal. The story behind the
celebration of Holi was narrated. The life of Bhagatji Maharaj
with inspirational anecdotes was provided in brief. A video
was also shown of Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrating the Fuldol
Samaiyo in Sarangpur.
An arranged health-awareness talk was provided on “Colon Cancer.” The attendees were able to learn about the risk factors that they need to be aware of and the simple screening mechanisms to detect this largely preventable cancer. The talk was well received.
The major sponsors of this program were individually recognized and all the sponsors as well as many attendees performed the aarti. The evening concluded with everyone enjoying the mahaprasad that was prepared with enthusiasm by the mahila mandal..
31 March 2002, Sunday, Toronto, Canada:
Toronto BAPS Mandir celebrated the Fuldol Utsav with color and
par excellent devotion. The image of Lord Swaminarayan adorned
the backdrop of the stage with splendid colors. The program
of the samaiyo was a medley of kirtans, pravachans and murti
darshan. Through an eclectic quiz encompassing different facets
of Bhagatji Maharaj's life, the Bal/Kishore mandal once again
provided further evidence of their devotion and love for H.D.H.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj and our guruparampara. Through the Murti
Darshan presentation, accompanied with live kirtan 'Laage Vaikunth
thi rudu Vadtal' the audience got a flavor of 'Dhureti' when
images of Swamishri squirting the assembly with 'bhagwo' (orange)
colour splashed on the screen. Pujya Tilakratna Swami, in his
address to the assembly, explained the significance of Holi.
He further clarified that the color of God penetrates one's
heart only when it is empty of all worldly desires. He implored
us to realize that the greatest challenge for us lies in soaking
our hearts with the color of devotion. In order to do so, one
must have faith(vishwaas) in God . He reminded us that Bhagatji
Maharaj had the utmost faith in Gunatitanand Swami and remained
resolute in his allegiance to Gunatitanand Swami inspite of
torments of disaster and afflictions. It was this unwavering
faith that endeared Bhagatji Maharaj to Gunatitanand Swami.