The disciples of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury and the local community gathered on Sunday 21 January 2018 to re-enact the Shakotsav celebrations held 198 years ago in the village of Loya.
It is appropriate for disciples to perform humble services for the Lord and the Mandir. On this occasion however, it was the Lord Himself who served the Sants and disciples. He prepared a lavish meal of aubergine curry (Shak) and served it to everyone. This continued for two and a half months. Each day, the Lord Himself cooked and served. By the end of this Shatotsav festival, Lord Shree Swaminarayan had prepared the aubergine curry using 360kgs of fresh ghee, 1200kgs of aubergines, and added 100kgs of spices.
In remembrance of this episode when Lord Shree Swaminarayan demonstrated the importance of performing selfless, humble services to please the Lord, the Shakotsav festival is held in Mandirs all around the world during the winter season. A splendid array of fresh curries are offered to the Lord and the consecrated food (Prasad) is then distributed amongst the disciples.
Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj is the current spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. He is the heir to Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, and sixth in the lineage of ascetic Acharyas, which descends directly from Lord Shree Swaminarayan.