In the heart of Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA, a spiritual marvel stands tall, radiating its magnificent presence far and wide as the symbol of Sanatan Dharma. It is the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple complex of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS). The exquisite temple is an embodiment of architectural grandeur, spiritual significance, and cultural vibrancy. It is a center of reverence for Hindus and a source of inspiration for all.
We take you on a devotional journey through glimpses of the Akshardham Mahotsav, the grand opening ceremony, and the Celebration of Sanatan Dharma where Swami Mukundananda shared His profound wisdom through a highly inspirational talk.
The Akshardham Mahotsav, held in Robbinsville, was a festival of divine proportions. The temple complex, spanning 185 acres, is a testament to the grandeur of Hindu architecture and the unity of a global community. This spiritual oasis stands as the world's second-largest Hindu temple complex outside of India. Crafted from exquisite materials sourced from different corners of the world, including Italian marble and Indian pink stone, it beautifully showcases the global cultural fusion. It features intricate carvings that were meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans in India, reflecting ancient wisdom and spiritual symbolism. The temple's towering height of 191 feet is a marvel of engineering and devotion.
The inaugural ceremonies marked the beginning of the Akshardham Mahotsav, a ten-day celebration that focused on significant aspects of the temple and the universal values upon which it was constructed.
The grand opening of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville on October 8, 2023, was a momentous occasion, graced by the presence of spiritual luminaries, dignitaries, and thousands of devotees. The central mandir, with its 252 intricately carved statues, is a sight to behold. The Sabhagar, an assembly hall that can seat 11,000 people, reverberated with chants, prayers, and collective devotion. The Heritage Museum, Cultural Center, and Garden of Inspiration on the temple complex reflect the essence of Hindu culture and spirituality. The celebration marked a significant step in the promotion of Sanatan Dharma and the values it embodies.
Sanatan Dharma represents the spiritual journey individuals undertake to live by universal values, encompassing diverse beliefs about God, the universe, and the path leading to God. The Celebration of Sanatan Dharma on September 30, 2023, brought together representatives from 400 Hindu faiths and organizations. The celebration focused on the timeless values of peace, harmony, and unity rooted in ancient Hindu scriptures. It also served as part of a series of programs leading up to the grand opening of Swaminarayan Akshardham.
There were a small number of spiritual luminaries from BAPS, JKYog, and other organizations at this celebration. These included His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, who noted that Akshardham was a realization of diverse traditions of Hindu dharma and a testament to the deep faith and conviction that drove its construction in America. Sadguru Pujya Viveksagardas, discussed the history of Sanatan Dharma in India. Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas highlighted Bhagwan Swaminarayan's role in promoting Sanatan Dharma through his teachings and spiritual travels. Mahamahopadhyaya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami stressed the importance of Hindu scriptures (shastras) and their wisdom in guiding generations.
Swami Mukundananda represented JKYog and delivered an electrifying speech that highlighted the importance of unity within diversity and diversity within unity – a special gift of the Hindu faith to the world. Other aspects of his speech are described below. A few other leaders of Hindu organizations or academic institutions shared their perspectives on Sanatana Dharma including Dr. Tony Nader, Padma Bhushan Ved Nanda, Dr. Jai Bansal, and Shradhay Swami Swatmananda.
Swami Mukundananda, the founder of JKYog and the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen), whose spiritual leadership is revered globally, was honored as one of the Guests of Honor and an invited speaker. His presence at the celebration was considered a mark of honor and added a significant spiritual dimension to the event.
Swamiji's address was filled with inspiration and enthusiasm. He commenced His speech by offering heartfelt pranam or salutations to Bhagwan Swaminarayan and paid heartfelt homage to the devotion and sacrifice of the tens of thousands of Swaminarayan devotees who contributed to the construction of Akshardham and made it a reality. Swamiji expressed his deep reverence for the unwavering faith of Swaminarayan devotees and their devotion to their Guru. Swamiji emphasized that Akshardham was not just a magnificent structure but a manifestation of the triumph of Sanatan Dharma itself.
No words can truly capture the essence of Swamiji's highly inspirational speech. The depth of his message, citation of profound quotes from Vedic scriptures, positive and uplifting energy, and underlying humility made this a very impactful speech. Swamiji’s words resonated with the essence of unity and victory embedded in Sanatan Dharma. The overwhelming applause and appreciation from the audience were a testament to the power of Swamiji’s inspirational talk.
Here is your opportunity to hear Swamiji’s speech on this momentous occasion.
Swamiji had the opportunity to meet with the BAPS saints including His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, and Mahamahopadhyya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami. During his one-on-one personal meeting with HH Mahant Swami Maharaj, Swamiji extended his congratulations on the opening of Akshardham. He acknowledged the temple as a magnificent symbol of faith and devotion within the BAPS community and an inspirational source for Hindus worldwide. Swamiji also engaged in discussions with the senior saints regarding the importance of Hindu unity and the need to promote values such as peace, harmony, and understanding.
These meetings reflected a growing cooperation between JKYog and BAPS. Both organizations emphasize values of righteousness, knowledge, detachment, and devotion. They share a commitment to spreading the message of Sanatan Dharma, promoting interfaith dialogue, and serving society.
The Akshardham Mahotsav, the grand opening ceremony, the celebration of Sanatan Dharma, and Swami Mukundananda's inspirational talk and meetings with BAPS saints are not just events but milestones in the journey of Sanatan Dharma. They highlight the enduring values of peace, unity, and spirituality that continue to inspire and guide people around the world. The collaboration between JKYog and BAPS exemplifies the unity and strength of shared philosophies and a commitment to fostering understanding, harmony, and spirituality.
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