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8 April 2001, Sunday, Atlanta, GA: “Sahajanand Sukhdayi” in Atlanta

April 08, 2000. Thrilled devotees celebrated 220th Janmotsav of Lord Swaminarayan with devotion and jubilation on the theme of “Sahajanand Sukhdayi”. All the presentations focused on the “Sukh” – bliss given by Shreeji Maharaj to his devotees. Utsav murti of Shreeji Maharaj was decorated in a sinhasan depicting “divya sabhapati rai bethe”. Bal-Kishore-Yuvak wings organized the whole samaiyo. It started with a bang presentation on big screen depicting the time of 15 days after Shreeji Maharaj benefected to Akshardham. His major hairbhakots Dada Khachar, Mayaram bhatt, Saghram vaghari, Joban Pagi, Sura khachar, Samat Patel etc. trying to remember “sukh” given by Maharaj to all and how their bond with Maharaj became stronger and stronger day by day. Kishores depicted the “sukh” given by Maharaj to his bhaktos in Prasang varnan and there were four major samvaads depicting Samat Patel’s Samarpan, Transformation of Saghram Vaghari, Joban Pagi’s life and Sarva Jeev Hitavah. Saints delivered speeches on how the same “such” is experienced through Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The samaiyo climaxed with a dance performance to welcome Shri Harikrishna Maharaj. A special Medical camp was arranged by BAPS Medical for Vision screening and Glaucoma testing. Individuals sought free check up and counseling from famed eye surgeon Dr Willie Chen.

Ceremonial dance by Bal Mandal

Drama of Saghram Vaghari

Drama of Joban Pagi

Chicago Kishore Mandal

Drama Suraj Sahajanand

Kishores performaing dance

Devotees enjoying drama

1 April 2001, Sunday, Chicago, IL: Dance drama - “Suraj Sahajanand” in Swaminarayan Haveli, Chicago

April 1, 2001. Spiritual and devotional mood prevailed in the Haveli for this unique celebration. The cultural program was a magnificently organized, written, and performed musical, 'Suraj Sahajanand.' This 90-minute drama/dance sequence stunned hundreds who were present. Looking on with amazement, astounded by the life-like decorations, all were marveled at the remarkable illustration of the divine life of Lord Swaminarayan by the young artists of BAPS ranging from the age of 4 to 35. These children and youths had worked hard for this event. The Kishori Mandal set up an exhibition on the life of Lord Swaminarayan in main foyer of the Haveli.

Republican Hank Gianvechio said a few words to the assembly explaining that we must, as an Indian community, hold on to our culture and teach it to others. Indian youth of today should look to their parents to learn and never forget the morals, heritage, and culture of India. At the end the traditional Arti was sung in unison. A beautiful Annakut was also offered to the Lord on his birthday.

8 April 2001, Sunday, Edison, NJ: Enchanted by tradition and technology in Edison

April 8, 2001 people packed the mandir to join in the celebrations. It was a conclusion of a month long Shri Hari Parva. One distinctive feature in this year’s parva was the exhibition on Vachnamrutam created artistically by the Kishori Mandal. Thousands went through the exhibition and understood various aspects about the main scripture of our religion.

This great celebration was a joint venture of Bal-Kishores from Philadelphia, Edison, Clifton and Jersey City mandirs. The theme was woven artistically covering the various messages of Vachnamrutam. The media ranged from traditional music - bhajans to the hi-tech presentations on 3D Studio Max and a UV light show. It was a non-stop program that gripped the packed audience for 150 minutes. Innovative dances and kirtans added the charm. The Utsav murti of Shreeji Maharaj was dressed frequently as per various narrations in the Vachnamrutam.

The musical presentation of “Ekada vinana Minda” and the impressive“Manomay Chakra” gave a creative dimension to the messages of Vachnamrutam. Based on the words of Shriji Maharaj, it was jubilant to experience on the birthday of the Lord that He is always present in Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The musical presentation 'Ekada vinana Minda'

The  drama 'Manomay Chakra'

Kishores' singing bhajan

Drama Dash Murkha

Over 4000 people attened the festival

Kishores performing Dance

Drama 'Naam Jap'

Lord Swaminarayan as Nilkanth

Drama 'Naam Jap'

Devotees performing Aarti

1 April 2001, Sunday, Toronto, Canada: Swaminarayan Mahamantra in Toronto

April 1, 2001. Shree Ram and Shreeji Maharaj were welcomed to the sabha by a swagat dance "Avya Manki na ..." by the bal and kishore mandal. The slide shows on Shree Ram and Shreeji Maharaj explored their lives and works in detail. After a speech on the importance of "naam jap" a drama “Swaminarayan Mahamantra” was performed by the bal, kishore and yuvak mandals. A wonderful video presentation on 'Je Swaminarayan Naam Leshe.." wrapped up the topic. A traditional Annakut with over 100 food dishes was offered to Thakorji.

1 April 2001, Sunday, Dallas, TX: Devotional celebration in Dallas

April 1, 2001. Devotees packed the mandir to celebrate this major Hindu festival. The Bal Mandal presented the historical incident of Neelkanth Varni arriving in Loj. Kishore Mandal presented an exciting raas that added rhythmic joy to the festival. Balaks and Kishores did speeches about Shree Hari's Lila Charitra and Swaminarayan Mahamantra. Everyone joined in the festive singing at the moment of Lord's Birth.

Drama by Bal Mandal

Drama by Bal Mandal

Exciting Raas by Kishores

Kishores singing Bhajan

Drama of Sagram Vaghari

7 April 2001, Saturday, Boston, MA: Musical charm in Boston

April 7, 2001 The auditorium of Stow Middle School was packed when the Bal-Kishore -Yuvak mandals celebrated the festival. For weeks they had worked hard to decorate and practice for excellent performance. Instead of master of ceremony there were narrated voices of kishores. The excellent echo effect caught everyone's ears and brought charm to the program. Several bhajans were performed with various musical instruments. Attendees enjoyed dances and 3 dramas. At the end, a presentation explained the importance of helping out in the India Earthquake, Sponsor a Home project. The kishoris had setup an exhibition for it in the entrance of the auditorium.

31 March 2001, Saturday, St.Louis, MO: The Lord’ message in St. Louis

March, 31,2001 people gathered to rejoice in this major Hindu festival. Balaks and Kishores presented speeches, bhajans, dances and multi-media. A speech on “Laxman Rekha”(code of conduct) and why it is importance to obey our scriptures was inspiring. The reason for Lord Swaminarayan to incarnate on this earth was explained in details. The drama of “Abhesang Baapu”, narrated the anti-addiction work of Lord Swaminarayan. At the end, bal mandal rocked cradle of the Lord while Kishores sang and did raas for this occasion.

Bhajan by Bal and Kishore Mandal

1 April 2001, Sunday, New York, NY: Electrifying moments on “Varieties of Vachnamrutam” in New York

April 1, 2001. The celebration focused on the teachings of Lord Swaminarayan - via a colorful multi media program called "Itee Vachanamritam." It consisted of quotes from discourses given by Lord Swaminarayan and were presented in the form of skits, songs and dramas. It was so pleasant that even the small kids found out for the first time that Vachanamrutam is worth discovering. Saints emphasized the need of strengthening our faith in Lord, using prasang of the devotees in Maharaj time. The program was concluded with a dance depicting the greatness of Maharaj, which immersed the whole assembly into it.

Also in this sabha the executive members of Long Island Gujarati Samaj donated a check to BAPS Care to build 10 houses in the earthquake affected areas in India. According to Dr. Manibhai Patel, President, high ethics, shining character of saints and use of modern technology by BAPS helped him & his committee to make such decision. He was very impressed by the presentation of program by the youths and requested BAPS to help them with their activities too.

8 April 2001, Saturday, Washington DC, MD: Exciting multi media in Washington

April 8, 2001 Bal/Kishore and Yuvaks worked hard to present the unique theme of the festival, which was the effect of Shreeji Maharaj's Jeevan sandesh - message - on our life. People were impressed by the sublime message of Shreeji Maharaj's Vachnamrutam presented through various quotations. Effective dramas of "10 Murkhao", "Maacha Bhagat", "Ashro" and the UV show of “Ekada vinana Minda” were presented in unique style, with great message. At the end “Naimisharanya Kshetra” enlightened all to the ever presence of the Lord in guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj.


1 April 2001, Sunday, Orlando, FL: “Joy of swinging the Lord in cradles” in Orlando

Shree Hari Jayanti and Ram Navami was celebrated in Orlando on April 1st in the presence of saints. Shriji Maharaj's utsav murti was placed in a specially decorated sinhasan . Next to it, there was a small stage decorated with flowers, which had Sri Ram's murti. Two cradles had also been placed, one on the ladies side and one on the gents, with the murtis of Maharaj and Shree Ram for the Janmotsav. A small annakut of 50 items was also arranged in front of Thakorji.

Kirtans, speeches and dances by Bal and Kishore Mandal were exhilarating. Saints explained the relevance of the birth of Shree Ram and Shreeji Maharaj. The play of "Khima Suttar" narrating the glory of Swaminarayan Mantra was well presented. Devotees participated in swinging the cradles while the Yuvak Mandal sang, "Dharma gher anand bhayo....' and "Sona na bhor zule Dharmakishore..........".

1 April 2001, Sunday, San Jose, CA: Glory of Shreeji Maharaj in various ways, in San Jose

April 1, 2001.The cradle for the Lord was set up amidst various decorations. The message of Lord Ram’s life - ideal son, ideal brother, ideal wife, ideal human - was narrated. Bhajans, dances and dramas by bal-kishore-yuvaks were rejuvenating. Speeches by saints described the supremacy of Shreeji Maharaj. Just like rain showers everywhere the Sun lights up every place without discriminating, Lord Swaminarayan gave the knowledge of God to everyone irrespective of their cast, color, creed or any other thing. A slide show in synchronization with live singing of the Yash Gatha presented the Lord’s life in a pleasant way.


8 April 2001, Sunday, Augusta, GA: Vivid Variety in Augusta

April 8 2001. The colorful and entertaining program for this festival was handled by youths. There were speeches on Hanumanji, Lord Ram Chandra’s Life and on the glory of Lord Swaminarayan. Bhajans, followed by a dance on 'Hindolna me hore hore zoolo Maharaj” was performed by Augusta and Metter GA youths. A historical playbased on the meeting of Shriji Maharaj with leaders of Surat, "Ardesharji Kotwal' was performed by kishores. Devotees from Savannah, Columbia and Greenwood attended the celebration. A slideshow of former president Bill Clinton's visit to Akshardham was also shown.

1 April 2001, Sunday, Birmingham, AL: “Padharya Akhand Sukh Aapava”, in Birmingham

April 1, 2001. With the theme of “Padharya Akhand Sukh Aapava”, the festival focused on Lord Swaminarayan’s life and his divine deeds that led people of India towards better living. The message was presented by speeches, PowerPoint and dramas of Abhesinh Darbar, Joban Pagi and Khima Suthaar by Kishore and Yuvak Mandal. The 3 hours program was enjoyed by devotees from Birmingham, Gadsden, Homewood, Dothan, Ozark, Pell City, Bessemer, Hoover and Florida. The finale Aarti was performed by all the devotees.


© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith