The Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav celebrations at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Toronto, Canada continued on Saturday, June 28th, 2014. Early in the morning, Acharya Swamishree commenced the Vedic yagna ceremony, which is an important ceremony that allows Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to come and accept the new temple as His abode. However, before the ceremony began, the sinhasan curtains were drawn open for the first time to reveal the beautiful new marble murtis of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Acharya Swamishree performed mangala aarti to these divine murtis. This was the first time the disciples were able to have the divine darshan of these murtis, and they were all extremely pleased to do so.
After Acharya Swamishree finished performing the first segment of the yagna ceremony, He was escorted out of the temple and into the sabha mandap by disciples and Swamibapa Pipe Band from New Jersey, U.S.A. Once everyone was seated, Sadguru Shastri Shree Jitendrapriyadasji Swami began the recital of the Vachanamrut Rahasyarth Pradeepika Tika scripture. Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings upon the entire congregation.
In His divine blessings, Acharya Swamishree stressed explained the glory of Purna Purushottam Sarvopari Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan, who is the incarnator of all incarnations, the supreme Lord of all. Under His divine shelter and the shelter of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, absolute salvation may be achieved. We should all realize that we have obtained the truth under the Karan Satsang and should lovingly abide by the Lord’s wishes and commands. In doing so, we will all achieve His divine lustrous murti in Akshardham.
At the conclusion of Acharya Swamishree’s divine ashirwad, the Swaminarayan Gadi Jay was recited. Honored guests were then escorted into the sabha mandap by Swamibapa Pipe Band. The guests, including sants and disciples from the Sukhda Swaminarayan Sampraday, Mitzie Hunter (Minister of the new Toronto Pension Program), Tracy MacCharles (Chairperson of the Ontario Accessibility Standards Advisory Council), and John Tory (elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario). All of the guests shared kind words and well wishes to the temple congregation for the grand opening of the new temple and expressed their excitement to be at the special occasion celebrating peace and unity throughout Toronto and Canada. They were pleased to see the diversity in Toronto continuing to grow. Acharya Swamishree blessed all of the guests with saals and prasad.
After the guests departed, the morning sabha concluded, and everyone was served mahaprasad lunch afterwards.
At 4 PM, Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples all gathered at a local elementary school for the start of the nagaryatra.
Acharya Swamishree performed aarti to Shree Harikrushna Maharaj and the Guruparampara. Acharya Swamishree was then seated on the magnificent chariot that had been made by sants and disciples for the nagaryatra. Disciples were then given the opportunity to perform aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa.
The procession then began. Acharya Swamishree bestowed His divine darshan to all the disciples and spectators throughout the entire procession.
Swamibapa Pipe Band led the nagaryatra, young disciples from Canada performed devotional dances to kirtans behind the chariot, and hundreds of disciples from all over the world walked in the procession singing praises of the Lord. Hundreds of local residents and workers came out from their homes, offices, and stores to gaze at the procession, the divine murtis of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, and Acharya Swamishree. They snapped photos on their cameras and phones and recorded videos with their camcorders. Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree bestowed their divine darshan upon them all.
When the nagaryatra arrived at the temple, disciples performed the welcoming back ceremony (punkhvaanu) to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. Acharya Swamishree then descended from the chariot and was escorted into the sabha mandap by disciples. Disciples carried chhaabs into the temple to offer to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. After this, Acharya Swamishree performed sandhya aarti in the temple, everyone performed daily evening niyams, and mahaprasad dinner was served to all.
After mahaprasad, around 8:00 PM, everyone gathered in the sabha mandap for devotional speeches from Canada’s truly talented young disciples and for Bhakti Sandhya performances by the extremely talented sants of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.
To start off the night, two young disciples from the Canada mandal narrated the entire divine biography of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and the history of Shree Swaminarayan Siddhant Sajivan Mandal, Toronto, Canada. This speech, nearly thirty minutes long, was done completely from memory. The disciples also displayed pictures in slideshow format to illustrate Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s many divine leela. This was a spectacular presentation that Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples all very much enjoyed.
Another young disciple from Canada then performed a comedic skit to please Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. Through his humor, the disciple demonstrated that Lord Shree Swaminarayan reigns supreme over all other deities and incarnations. He is the incarnator of all incarnations, the cause of all, and omnipresent. The entire audience very much enjoyed his performance.
Our talented sants then sang many wonderful kirtans to the accompaniment of music played live by sants as well, and disciples became so filled with joy that several times during the evening’s performances, they got up to dance in their spots.
After the sants sang many different melodious kirtans, they delighted disciples one more time by singing “Ame Swamibapa Na Poira.” All disciples, young and old, were on their feet dancing along to the praises of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Acharya Swamishree, overfilled with joy, stood up on His gadi and began to dance with His sants and disciples as well. Everyone then performed sanedo, and Acharya Swamishree was escorted out of the temple prayer hall by disciples. This concluded the second day of celebrations.