The first event in the newly opened Purushottam Mahal was a fantastic evening of devotion and dance to celebrate the 72nd year since the manifestation of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. These ‘birthday’ celebrations drew hundreds from the worldwide Shree Swaminarayan Gadi family to join those based at Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury to revel in this auspicious occasion.
The evening began at the junction of Kingsbury Road and Townsend Lane, right outside the Mandir’s main entrance. Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band lined up facing a beautiful, golden, ‘Royal’ carriage that would soon be graced by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. Once He had arrived and taken His seat in this splendid hand-drawn carriage, the Band saluted Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj before leading the march towards the Purushottam Mahal as the sponsors of the event drew Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s carriage.
The Royal theme didn’t end with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s carriage, but He Himself was adorned in regal, bejewelled robes and majestic crown, which was truly a darshan to behold. Purushottam Mahal was brimming with people and the atmosphere was electric. Now adorned in a newer set of robes, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj entered the congregation to a rapturous ovation.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj then presided in the sinhasan on the stage, which sants and disciples had spent several nights and days preparing. After the poojan ceremony, a magnificent multitier cake was cut by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and offered to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Either side of this, students of Shree Muktajeevan Arts and Culture Academy performed devotional dances – each one met with a frenzy of applause and confetti.
The finale to the evening was a samoh raas where everyone danced through to the evening’s close. How fitting that the first event to be held at Purushottam Mahal was the birthday celebrations of our very own ‘Purushottam’ – His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj.