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16 March 2003, Sunday, Atlanta, GA:

Rarely do several occasions rain on one day where you get to celebrate Bhagatji Maharaj’s birthday, Manu bhagwan jayanti, Fuldol Utsav and Holi. Atlanta Mandal held the samaiyo on Sunday, 16 March 2003. The Kishore Mandal commenced the samaiyo with dhun, prarthana and kirtan. Devotee Shri Bhaveshbhai's speech took the audience back to Maharaj’s time. He emphasized the importance of celebrating religious festivals according to the true dharma. He said that dharma has ten characteristics which are: penance, piety in life, speaking the truth, controlling desires, abstaining from stealing, being thoughtful, right knowledge, refraining from anger, tranquility and forgiveness. In today’s society, man has forgotten the true dharma and is going on a wrong path. The festival of Holi teaches the lesson of paramount bhakti and staunch devotion through the life of Bhakta Prahlad which saved him from the wrath of his own evil father. Faith in God paves the path to happiness and salvation. Shriji Maharaj celebrated this festival with great enthusiasm. Another devotee Shri Nitinbhai further elaborated with illustrations from the scriptures on the point of remembering such festivals during the final moments of life, which leads to atyantik moksha.

On this auspicious festival of Pushpadolotav, the Kishore Mandal had decorated the Utsav murti of Shriji Maharaj in a 12-door hindolo. In the concluding part of the samaiyo everyone participated in singing the fagwa, the prarthana all devotees sing in our Sampraday. The grand finale was a superb bhakti nritya performed by the Bal Mandal of Atlanta on “Vartal game fulvadi e hindolo”. In the end devotees had traditional prasad of Holi-sweet sev and the prasad of khajur, chana and dhani.

Traditional Dance

Bhagwan Swaminarayan on Hindolo (Swing)

Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami


16 March 2003, Sunday, Charlotte, NC:

On March 16, 2003, the Charlotte Mandal celebrated the Fuldhol Utsav with great pomp and enthusiasm. In the main shrine, there was a display of the Fuldhol Utsav that Shriji Maharaj celebrated in Sarangpur. It incorporated Hari Krishna Maharaj spraying colors with devotees and sadhus. The festival started at 4:30 pm with sthuthi, dhoon and prarthana. During the samaiyo kirtans were sung ie. Laage Vaikunthi Roodu Vadtal, Maago Maago Bhagatji Aaj, and others. Then Dr. K.C. Patel delivered a speech illuminating the life and achievements of Bhagatji Maharaj. The Kishore Mandal performed a small drama that taught a lesson about samp, suharadaybhav and ekta. Yogeshbhai, the Charlotte Mandir pujari, gave a speech about the historic side of the Holi Utsav. In conclusion, there was a video darshan of the Holi Festival celebrated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur. Thereafter, arti was performed and prasad was served.

16 March 2003, Sunday, Chicago, IL:

Bartlett - The Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (B.A.P.S.) celebrated Holi on Sunday, March 16th at the Shri Swaminarayan Haveli in Bartlett, IL. Celebrations were held with stupendous devotional fervor amidst hundreds of guests and devotees. Festivities held were not only to celebrate Holi, but also the birthday of Bhagatji Maharaj(1829 - 1897 CE). These celebrations were marked by a three-hour cultural program from 4 to 7 pm, completely organized and performed by B.A.P.S. volunteers and youth.

The program enlightened one and all with a variety of kirtans, and with a traditional Holi Dance entitled, "Rang Bhar Saathi..." The stage was full of elegant decor of flowers and various colors to enhance the style, fragrance, and atmosphere present years ago during such festivities. Two speeches were also given during the program to enhance the knowledge of the auspicious events celebrated that day. One such speech described the significance and importance of Holi/Pushpadolotsav. In fact, in an attempt to encompass the true idea of Holi, a spiritual fire was lit in the rear of the Haveli to vividly bring about the true aspects of the Holi Festival. Hundreds of devotees came to witness and take part in such celebrations by also offering rounds of pradakshina around the "Holika Dahan."

Another very motivating speech was given by Shri Kanubhai Barot, who spoke on the life of Bhagatji Maharaj. Celebrations then concluded with the video blessings of H.D.H. Guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj, followed by the performance of arti and offering of thaal to the deities, and the serving of mahaprasad to all. Please join B.A.P.S. in its celebrations of Shri Hari Jayanti/ Shri Ramnavmi on Saturday, April 12th from 4 to 7 pm, at the Swaminarayan Haveli in Bartlett. With an agenda of a variety of kirtans, dances, speeches, and dramas, the celebration will offer an auspicious experience to the divine and significant day of Ramnavmi. For further information, please contact (630) 213 - BAPS.

Singing Devotional Kirtans

Kishores perform dance

16 March 2003, Sunday, Cleveland, OH:

The 2003 Holi samaiyo was very successful. The program encompassed themes surrounding Holi, Fuldol and Bhagatji Maharaj. The program commenced with the Bal/Kishore Mandal’s singing of traditional stuti, dhun, and prarthana. The balaks and kishores also took part in singing kirtans in the samaiyo such as 'Laage Vaikunth thi rudu Vartal', and others. The senior devotees also took part in singing various bhajans like 'Radaye Rame re Murti' and 'Mango Mango Bhagatji Aaj' in honor of Brahmswarup Bhagatji Maharaj. Speeches were also given on the topics of "Holine Range" and "Gunatit ne Range" with Bhagatji Maharaj as an ideal example.

A video was shown of Swamishri’s aashivard from the 1997 festival assembly in Vallabh Vidyanagar. Another video was shown of P. Swamishri celebrating the Fuldol samaiyo in Sarangpur. The overall program was conducted by a yuvak, who spoke eloquently on topics related to Bhagatji Maharaj and Holi. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by the Mandir Coordinator, after which, the traditional arti and dhun were sung and mahaprasad was served to all the devotees. The program was a great success thanks to the determination and dedication of the stage and samaiyo departments of the mandir.

© 2003, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith