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Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj

Stage Decoration

Dhun Prathana Kirtan

Hon. Kevin Sheller addressing the assembly

Gift presented to Hon. Kevin Sheller

Vinod Kumar addressing the assembly

24 March 2002, Sunday, San Jose, CA:

Fuldol, the birth anniversary of Bhagataji Maharaj was celebrated with zealous participation from the bal mandal to the eldest satsangis, including the kishore mandal, yuvak mandal and vadil mandal.

The celebration began with an explanation of the importance of the day followed by a senior vadil singing a nice self-composed kirtan on the joys of Fuldol. The kishore mandal narrated various prasangs from Pujya Bhagataji Maharaj's life, which highlighted his divine and inspiring character. The celebrations also included a speech on the importance of Fuldol in the Swaminarayan Sampraday and how Bhagwan Swaminarayan purified up the age-old Holi traditions and re-transformed it into a true spiritual celebration. The samaiyo included enjoyable videos of Swamishri from a Bhaktachintamani parayan. There were kirtans sung by the balaks, kishores and yuvaks.

Our special guests included Hon. Kevin Sheller, Majority Leader, California State Assembly and Vinod Kumar, the Indian Consulate General in San Francisco. Mr. Kelley, while addressing the audience, noted the values that India and the United States share in terms of the importance of family and individuals in creating a peaceful society. Mr. Kumar shared with the audience his appreciation of the work that the H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj does through the BAPS Sanstha with the sacrifice of the devotees in ensuring the positive future of the society

31 March 2002, Sunday, Atlanta, GA:

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta celebrated the colorful festival of Fuldol-Holi in the true Swaminarayan tradition. The Swaminarayan Mandir in Clarkston, just outside of Atlanta, celebrated this festival with devotees and well-wishers. The mood was set by the colorful decorations. To add to the festive decor, the youths of BAPS decorated the main stage with the Utsav murti of Lord Swaminarayan on a festive swing, known as the Hindolo. The murtis of Gunatitanand Swami, the ideal devotee, and Gopalanand Swami were sprayed with colors by the Utsav murti. The theme of the decoration centered around the coming of spring. Three artificial ponds with lotus and lilies were the focal point and were surrounded by plants giving off the vision of a garden. It took three days for the youths to build this stage.

The evening program started at 3:45. Soul rendering kirtans were sung by the youths of BAPS. This day is also celebrated by the Swaminarayan faith as the birthday of Bhagatji Maharaj, the second spritual successor. (of the) A devotee gave a lecture on the qualities of Bhagatji Maharaj and his gurubhakti (a commitment to pleasing His guru). Various inspiring incidences from the life of Bhagatji Maharaj were told. A presentation was given on how Holi is celebrated in the Swaminarayan Sampraday. The scriptures, kirtans and the meaning of the festival were conveyed in a lucid manner. The presentation also included a discussion on how Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspires all not to be pulled towards worldly attractions, but to immerse oneself with devotion to God. The youths danced to a kirtan while a slide show was presented against a big screen backdrop. The presentation contained glimpses of the Fuldol celebration held in Sarangpur, Gujarat, in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This festival concluded with a very beautiful dance performed by the Bal Mandal (Children's Wing). In the end traditional Gujarati meal was served to all with sweet-sev, a Holi tradition in Gujarat.


Stage Decoration

Dhun Prathana Kirtan



Devotees performing Arti


Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj

Dhun Prathana Kirtan


30 March 2002, Sunday, Charlotte, NC:

The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in Charlotte celebrated Holi and Pushpadolostav on March 30. Volunteers spared no effort in bringing the auditorium alive with vividly planned and well-adorned decorations. This memorable occasion was graced by the presence of sadhus..

The day commemorated the birthday of Bhagatji Maharaj who was the second spiritual successor of Lord Swaminarayan after Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami. His austere life is a shining inspiration to all seeking truth and redemption and is a story of ultimate devotion and unconditional surrender. Melodious bhajans and kirtans accompanied by Indian musical instruments held the audience spellbound. The day was further auspicious as it marked the celebration of Holi.

The sadhus explained the symbolic and religious significance of this festival as they noted that this festival is to mark the burning of self-conceit, selfishness, greed, lust, hatred, and other undesirable tendencies, propensities, thoughts and behaviors. It also signifies the victory of good over evil. The program concluded with a musical drama on life of Prahlad. The climax that brought the audience to its feet was the dramatic entry of Nrusimh avatar (Lord Vishnu), who had come to protect his devotee Prahlad from his evil father Hiranyakasyapu. The evening concluded with everyone enjoying a rich and lavish mahaprasad.

31 March 2002, Sunday, Dallas, TX:

Devotees people participated in the Fuldol and Bhagatji Maharaj Janma Jayanti celebrations at Dallas Mandir on Sunday, March 31, 2002. The Program started at 4:00 p.m., and highlights included spiritual discourses by Kishore Mandal and devotional songs describing the divine charitras (incidents) of Lord Swaminarayan with sadhus and devotees and devotion of Bhagatji Maharaj.

A speech, given by a kishore (youth), was delivered on the devotion of Bhagatji Maharaj, the understanding of the true identity of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami and the ultimate goal to become Brahmaroop. Following the speech, a very informative and entertaining quiz was arranged between the adults and youth groups covering Bhagatji Maharaj incidents. Right side stage was decorated with a specially created decorative Hindolo hanged from the ceiling and made from teakwood with Lord Shreeji Maharaj's Utsav murti being in the center. One Kishore would rotate the hindolo so that everyone would have the darshan. Also Pramukh Swami Maharaj's standing murti showering devotees with water was erected on the stage next to Hindolo. After an impressive folk dance by Balmandal (Children's Wing) on Holi song "Rang Bharsaati…" in a colorful costumes giving traditional flavor to the function, water was sprinkled from the pumping mechanism attached to Swamishri's murti over Balmandal while a bhajan " Lage Vaikunth thi rudu Vadtal…" was being sung by devotees on left side stage. Bal mandal was then joined by other devotees to share this joyous moments. The atmosphere was divine creating impression that Lord Swaminarayan and H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj were present giving divine happiness to everyone celebrating samaiyo.

Dallas mandal also acknowledged the presence of Mr. Mark Messy and his family and thanked him for rescuing people from India, who came to USA for employment and were exploited by the employer. Most of these people will present in the Mandir during this festival.

The event was concluded with Arti and Mahaprasad.


Lord Swaminarayan

Folk dance by Balmadal


30 March 2002, Sunday, Fall River, MA:

The Holi and Bhagatji Maharaj Janma Jayanti were celebrated on the 31st of March with great joy. The evening programs commenced with several bhajans extolling the glory of Bhagatji Maharaj. A speech on Bhagatji Maharaj's Guru Bhakti was also included in the evening's program. The highlight of the evening was a tabla Recital performed by the students of the tabla class held at the mandir. The students showed off their newly acquired skills and amazed the audience with what they had learn and added an exciting twist to the evening. The evening ended with aarti and darshan of the murtis which were festively adorned with color shooters and colorful backgrounds.

31 March 2002, Sunday, Miami, FL:

The Holi and Pushpadolotsav samaiyo was celebrated by devotees with great enthusiasm at the Boynton Beach Mandir, Palm Beach, Florida. The murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and Radha-Krishna Dev wore colorful adorned mark the occasion. The celebration started with a satsang sabha. The kishore mandal presented two brief speeches in English. The first one dealt with the life and work of Bhagatji Maharaj, whose birthday is celebrated on this holy day. The other speech was on Holi and its significance.

Two other speeches were given during the samaiyo. One of the speeches gave a motivating look at the life of Bhagatji Maharaj as a true devotee and how his life is a shining example for us to follow as we try to obtain "Akshar." The mandir's pujari gave a brief speech comparing and contrasting on how the Fuldol Utsav was celebrated in the times of Shreeji Maharaj and now. The yuvak mandal sang kirtans. The sabha ended with all of the devotees singing aartii and fagwaa.

The most interesting feature of the celebration was the actual celebration of Holi in its traditional manner. The celebration was commenced by the pujari by performing Hindu rituals and was thereafter joined in these rituals by all the devotees who were present. The evening ended with all of the devotees enjoying mahaprasad..


Murtis of Miami Mandir

Devotees doing pujan of Holi


Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj

Dhun Prathana Kirtan



31 March 2002, Sunday, Cleveland, OH:

People attended the Bhagatji Maharaj / Holi-Fuldol Samaiyo at the BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Brunswick (Cleveland), Ohio. The program started with the traditional dhun and prathana sung by the bal / kishore mandal. This was followed by kirtans and speeches regarding Holi-Fuldol and Bhagatji Maharaj. The speeches were done by the vadil mandal. The story behind the celebration of Holi was narrated. The life of Bhagatji Maharaj with inspirational anecdotes was provided in brief. A video was also shown of Pramukh Swami Maharaj celebrating the Fuldol Samaiyo in Sarangpur.

An arranged health-awareness talk was provided on “Colon Cancer.” The attendees were able to learn about the risk factors that they need to be aware of and the simple screening mechanisms to detect this largely preventable cancer. The talk was well received.

The major sponsors of this program were individually recognized and all the sponsors as well as many attendees performed the aarti. The evening concluded with everyone enjoying the mahaprasad that was prepared with enthusiasm by the mahila mandal..

31 March 2002, Sunday, Toronto, Canada:

The Toronto BAPS Mandir celebrated the Fuldol Utsav with color and par excellent devotion. The image of Lord Swaminarayan adorned the backdrop of the stage with splendid colors. The program of the samaiyo was a medley of kirtans, pravachans and murti darshan. Through an eclectic quiz encompassing different facets of Bhagatji Maharaj's life, the Bal/Kishore mandal once again provided further evidence of their devotion and love for H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj and our guruparampara. Through the Murti Darshan presentation, accompanied with live kirtan 'Laage Vaikunth thi rudu Vadtal' the audience got a flavor of 'Dhureti' when images of Swamishri squirting the assembly with 'bhagwo' (orange) colour splashed on the screen. Pujya Tilakratna Swami, in his address to the assembly, explained the significance of Holi. He further clarified that the color of God penetrates one's heart only when it is empty of all worldly desires. He implored us to realize that the greatest challenge for us lies in soaking our hearts with the color of devotion. In order to do so, one must have faith(vishwaas) in God . He reminded us that Bhagatji Maharaj had the utmost faith in Gunatitanand Swami and remained resolute in his allegiance to Gunatitanand Swami inspite of torments of disaster and afflictions. It was this unwavering faith that endeared Bhagatji Maharaj to Gunatitanand Swami.


Dhun Prathana Kirtan

Pushpadolotsav Celebration

Pushpadolotsav Celebration

Pushpadolotsav Celebration


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