In the Hindu tradition the Festival of Colours (Fuldol Utsav) is celebrated annually in India with great festivity and spiritual joy. HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrated the festival on 20 March in Sarangpur. Thousands of devotees travelled from all over India and abroad to partake of the festival.
The celebration was held from 5.00 p.m. to 8.45 p.m. The main stage was exquisitely created through the dedication of and devotion by BAPS sadhus and volunteers. It comprised of the Utsav Murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan installed on a swing, the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj and many decorative peacocks on a large pearl grey-blue backdrop.
The programme highlights included bhajans, and speeches by senior sadhus on the significance of Holi and how best to associate with God and the God-realized sadhu.
Several print, audio and video publications by Swaminarayan Aksharpith were released by Swamishri and senior sadhus. They were Brahmaswarup Bhagatji Maharaj (biography in English), Nari Bhakta Ratno (Gujarati), Swaminarayaniya Asmita (Gujarati), Satsang Darshan, Pts. 109 & 110 (video), Sant Paramhitkari, Pt. 2 (audio CD) and Jai Gurudev Hare (audio CD).
Swamishri was then honoured with garlands by senior sadhus. Thereafter sadhus sang, “Vartal gam fulvadiye…” In conclusion, Swamishri blessed the mammoth assembly of devotees explaining briefly about how Bhagwan Swaminarayan celebrated Fuldol and how Shastriji Maharaj celebrated Fuldol and created the BAPS mandirs in Sarangpur and Gadhada. Thereafter prayers were offered for the earthquake and Tsunami victims of Japan.
The celebration climaxed with Swamishri worshipping Shri Harikrishna Maharaj, sprinkling him with coloured water, performing arti and then showering the devotees with sanctified coloured water. The devotees were served prasad of khichdi, buttermilk and fagwa (popcorn, dates and grams).