His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj is the first leader of the Swaminarayan Faith to grace and sanctify the beautiful islands of Hawaii, the fiftieth state of the United States of America. From Sunday, June 25 through Friday, June 30, 2017, Acharya Swamishree, a mandal of twenty-six sants, and disciples partook in a week-long vicharan and spiritual retreat of the Big Island of Hawaii, a continuation of the Sadbhav Yatra, which commenced in Australia and East Asia earlier in the month. Disciples from S.S.S.S.M. West-Coast had been planning the various aspects of this retreat for over one year, and divinity experienced by all who were blessed to partake in this vicharan will be treasured by them forever.
Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples, after residing a few days at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Los Angeles, departed from Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday. They reached Hawaii in the evening. Disciples from various states across the USA, as well as U.K. and Africa flew from their respective localities and joined Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples from S.S.S.S.M. West Coast, U.S.A. in Hawaii. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples arrived at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort via tram. The Waikoloa Village is a 62-acre oceanfront beach resort located on the sunny Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, and it served as the living quarters for all those who participated in the vicharan.
Throughout the five days of the vicharan, Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples performed daily aartis, niyams, and sabha at the resort. They also participated in various excursions on the Big Island, including a beach picnic and breakfast on Anaeho'omalu Beach, an afternoon snorkel sail off the Kohala Coast featuring scuba-diving amongst the colorful tropical fish and natural coral reef, a visit to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach (home of Hawaiian green sea turtles), a tour of Volcanoes Natural Park, and a Big Island helicopter tour featuring an aerial view of the continuously-erupting Kilauea Volcano (Hawaii's most active volcano that has been erupting since January 1983) as well as the lush rain forests, deep valleys, and gorgeous waterfalls throughout the interior of the Big Island. Throughout these excursions, Acharya Swamishree showed His divine leela, interacting with the indigenous flora and fauna of Hawaii and performing dhyaan during various parts of the tours - whether it be while sailing on a boat or while sitting in a shuttle. He also bestowed His divine darshan to all sants and disciples throughout the vicharan.
On the fourth day of the yatra, the disciples from S.S.S.S.M. West Coast, U.S.A., celebrated Acharya Swamishree's Sadbhav Amrut Parva. Acharya Swamishree was adorned in a flower garland made from 750 individual flowers. Disciples from S.S.S.S.M. West Coast, U.S.A., had written "Happy Birthday" and Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa" on each petal five times. Disciples then offered a fresh fruit cake to Acharya Swamishree, and Acharya Swamishree cut this cake and offered it to Shree Harikrushna Maharaj, after which disciples had the opportunity to offer the cake to Acharya Swamishree. Several sants gave speeches about the glory and history-defining moments of the yatra, and Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings upon all. Sants and disciples were then given the opportunity to perform aarti, and the evening concluded with everyone dancing to timli kirtans. The following morning, after performing mangala aarti niyams, everyone departed to return to Los Angeles for the temple's 5th Patotsav.
The Sadhbav Yatra Hawaii was a one-of-a-kind vicharan. Acharya Swamishree displayed amazing, divine leela throughout the tour, and all disciples enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime chance to spiritually retreat with Acharya Swamishree and sants in a location that is truly one of the Lord's most magnificent natural creations on this planet. The blissful experiences and memories from this vicharan will be treasured by all.