Departing the United Kingdom following a brief but celebratory stay, Acharya Swamishree and the sant mandal landed at Newark International Airport at approximately 1:00 PM Eastern on Monday, June 2nd, 2014. Disciples, both local as well as others living as far as four hours from Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Secaucus, NJ, elatedly greeted His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree right outside the airport gate. After gracing everyone with His first blessings of this two-month long vicharan, Acharya Swamishree was given a police escort to the temple, courtesy of Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli.
To His surprise, Acharya Swamishree was overjoyed to see Mayor Gonnelli waiting at the entrance of Secaucus, NJ, wanting to personally greet Acharya Swamishree at the “outskirts of the village.” After meeting Mayor Gonnelli on the roadside, Acharya Swamishree proceeded to the temple where He was saluted by Swamibapa Pipe Band before performing the first aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa of His eventful vicharan this year.
In the evening, a special sabha was held in Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Community Hall to officially welcome Acharya Swamishree and His seventeen-member sant madal to the United States. To start the program, Swamibapa Pipe Band escorted Acharya Swamishree and honorary guests Mayor Gonelli and Councilman Constantino to the hall and saluted them before the hundreds in attendance. Mayor Gonnelli then addressed the sabha, formally welcoming Acharya Swamishree back to Secaucus and then offering his well-wishes for the duration of Acharya Swamishree’s cross country and cross continental vicharan.
Following the speeches, music boomed from the speakers and filled Muktajeevan Swamibapa Community Hall. At first, a single disciple stood in his place and started dancing. Shortly after, another disciple stood in his place and started dancing. In a matter of minutes, every one of all ages was on their feet dancing cohesively as a single unit. Acharya Swamishree and sants were amazed at the execution of an all-encompassing flash mob dance. Immediately after this energetic performance, Acharya Swamishree cut the cake celebrating the welcome ceremony and His 72nd manifestation day anniversary.
After the various surprise festivities, sants performed kirtan-bhakti and Acharya Swamishree blessed the audience with divine ashirwad.
To conclude the evening, all disciples performed aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree. Disciples then enjoyed maha-prasad and were treated to kulfi by Rajbhog Foods.