Sunday, 8 September 2002
The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Columbus, Ohio, celebrated the eagerly awaited Murti-Prathistha Mahotsav. And what a memorable day it was. In being fortunate to have it celebrated in the presence of a Sadguru Saint P. Keshavjivandas Swami (also known as P. Mahant Swami). Devotees from all over the Midwest Region came to participate in this historical event. Many devotees also flew in from as far as the West Indies Islands, San Jose California and Atlanta.
The Murti-Prathistha celebrations started in the morning with a Samuha Mahapuja conducted in presence of P. Mahant Swami. The vedic mahapuja started around 9:30 am. Devotees attended the Mahapuja ceremony. The Murti-Prathistha ceremony started around 11:00 am. P. Mahant Swami carried out pujan vidhi of Lord Sahajanand Swami & Mul Aksharmurti Gunantitanand Swami, P. Vivekmurti Swami carried out pujan vidhi of Radha-Kirshna & Ganapati & P.Atmatrupt Swami carried out pujan vidhi of the Guru parampara & Hanumanji murtis.
A video of P. P. Swamishri’s pujan vidhi of 32 Murtis which was carried out at Ahmedabad was then shown ( this video included the murti’s of Columbus Mandir too). P. Mahant Swami then blessed the gathering with his aashirwaad. He said referring to Chicago Mandir’s Murti of HariKrishna Maharaj that “If this small murti of Harikrishna Maharaj can perform miracles, why won’t this big murti of Sahajanand Swami perform miracles in Columbus.” He further said that “After looking at the video of Swamibapa, it felt as if P. Swamibapa is present here at that very moment, performing the Murti Pujan”. After P. Mahant Swami’s aashirwaad, everyone had the darshan of the Vaghawali Murti’s & then the first Annakut was served. Devotees had made delicious items to offer to God in the Annakut Utsav. In all, around 240 different items were offered in Annakut, which was then followed by Mahaprasad.
In the evening the Kirtan Aradhana performed by the Chicago Mandal & P. Kamalnayan Swami. It was followed by the spiritual discourses by P. Vivekmurti Swami. Later P. Mahant Swami blessed the sabha with his aashirwaad and explained the significance of mandir and seva.
On September 9, 2002, a one day shibir conducted by P. Atmatrupt Swami in the presence of P. Mahant Swami. In the afternoon, a question-and-answer session was held in the presence of P. Mahant Swami. He said ”This shibir is like a refresher course conducted by the company.” He then explained that “Seva and gnan are both important. To learn our scripture along with seva is good. We do seva well, but do not update ourselves with the knowledge of our scriptures”. In the evening, there was a Sabha in presence of P. Mahant Swami.