Ashad sud poonam is the auspicious Gurupoornima, one of the 3 main annual festivals of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. On this day, devotees gather and pay homage to our beloved Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
Jeevanpran Swamibapa explains the precise meaning of the Sanskrit word “Guru.”
“Gu” means andhkaar (darkness).
“Ru” means prakash (light).
Thus, he who enlightens the ignorant, i.e. shines light to those in darkness, is called a Guru. It is only Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa that can enlighten us ignorant souls to the supreme bliss of eternal happiness, the endless peace of the supreme Lord. Thus, our supreme Guru can only be Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Jeevanpran Swamibapa says, "Guru veenaa gnaan nahi." Without a Guru, knowledge cannot be attained. Lord Shree Swaminarayan Himself showed the importance of a Guru in one’s life by taking Shree Ramanand Swami as His Guru.
This year, the auspicious day of Gurupoornima falls on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, but the disciples of Secaucus Temple celebrated the event with festivities on Saturday, July 13, 2019. The disciples of North America, also have the great blessing of being able to celebrate this important occasion in the presence of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
The Gurupoornima program commenced with a dhoon. Disciples escorted Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa on a grand, golden palanquin through the procession. Jeevanpran Swamibapa lovingly bestowed their divine darshan upon all of their disciples. Upon arriving inside the celebration hall, sants performed the Gurupoojan ceremony to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Disciples also carried in chaabs with abundant offerings for Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and presented the various offerings. Disciples also presented a celebration cake, which sants cut and offered to Jeevanpran Swamibapa. Disciples also had the opportunity to perform panchamrut snan to the divine lotus feet of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. All disciples then had the chance to perform Gurupoojan.
The congregation then listened to divine blessings from Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, who made everyone laugh through His clever examples and explanations about the importance of a guru in one's life. The joyous event came to a conclusion with all disciples having the opportunity to perform Gurupoojan to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Finally, Mahaprasad was served to all disciples.