The month when we are blessed with the Lord's Chandan darshan commences on the auspicious day of Akha Trij, also known as Akshay Tritiya; Vaishakh Sud 3. This year, this day fell on Sunday 26 April 2020.
"The Murti in Akshardham, the Murti that came onto this Earth as a human form, and the pratima Murti (God in the form of paintings, statues, idols etc) are one and the same. Between them, there is not one iota of difference."
Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree.
Thus, the Sants and disciples express and demonstrate their love and devotion unto the Lord through their varied worship of this pratima form of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan. Lord Shree Swaminarayan says that the worship of God should be appropriate to and vary according to the times of the day and the seasons. For example, in cold weather, the Lord is adorned with warm clothes and heavy gold and silver ornaments. Hot, warming food and drink are offered to the Lord. In the hot seasons, God is offered more refreshing food and dressed in much lighter clothing. Flowery and fragrant garlands are offered.
At this time of year, the temperatures in Gujarat can reach over 40°C. Therefore, the highly talented Sants in Maninagar Mandir demonstrate their devotion unto Lord Shree Swaminarayan by adorning Him with clothing made of sandalwood paste. This highly fragrant sandalwood has a very cooling and soothing effect. The Sants artistically mould beautiful regal clothes and ornaments out of the paste. This sandalwood is subsequently removed and formed into lozenges, which is then used throughout the year for the impression of the tilaks by the Sants and disciples.
The start of the Chandan darshan commences on the auspicious day of Akha Trij, also known as Akshay Tritiya; Vaishakh Sud 3. This year, this day fell on Sunday 26 April 2020. The word Akshay means ‘never diminishing’. Therefore, it is said that the spiritual worship and vows observed on this day never diminish and remain with the person forever.
In most years, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj presides in the Kutch region during this Vaishakh month to perform the patotsav ceremonies of all the Mandirs situated there. However due to the current situation, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj is presiding in Maninagardham on this auspiscious day, and is giving divine darshan with the Lord adorned in sandalwood paste.