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ShriHari Jayanti, Ramnavmi Festival Celebrated at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Avondale, Auckland

On Friday 11th April 2003, the birthday anniversaries of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram was celebrated at Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Auckland. The mandir was decorated with special attention to the shrine's of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Shri Ram.

On this auspicious day from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon devotional songs on Shri Ram were sung by devotees and a speech on "Maryada Purushottam Ram" was delivered by the pujari Shri Shatrughnabhai. At 12:00 noon arti was performed, in which over 100 devotees participated.

Throughout the day, devotees had the opportunity of darshan. Some 500 people visited the mandir throughout the day. In the evening, between 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. special assembly was organized to celebrate the birthday of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. It included kirtan bhakti and speeches about Bhagwan Swaminarayan's glorious life. At 10:10 p.m., the birthday clebration arti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was performed. Every devotee personally had the opportunity to rock the decorated cradle (parna) of Thakorji. To mark this auspicious occasion, 15 devotees had fasted without water (nirjala upvaas).

The following Sunday, on 13th April 2003, Shri Hari-jayanti, Ramnavmi samaiyo was held in the weekly satsang assembly. The stage was beautifully decorated with a large replica of the Shikshapatri with shlok No.116 " Nijatmanam brahmarupam….." The stage decoration also displayed a beautiful dark sky full of stars and clouds with the murti of Ghanshyam Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The whole program was carried out by kishores (teenagers) and balaks (kids) of BAPS NZ Inc. At the end, a speech on the "Living model of Shikshapatri - Pramukh Swami Maharaj" was delivered by Shri Shatrughnabhai.

The climax of the utsav was the grand play performed by the Kishore Mandal on how the British Governor Sir John Malcolm was impressed by the social reforms carried out by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Kishore Mandal and Bal Mandal also delivered discourses on the life of Shri Ram, sang devotional songs and carried out a Pothi Yatra of the Shikshapatri in traditional dresses. Around 600 people had attended the celebration. This was followed by arti and mahaprasad.
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© 2001, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith