It remarkable year has already passed since the historic Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav and Diamond Tula of Shree Harikrushna Maharaj in Bear, Delaware. On Friday, July 24th and Saturday, July 25th, 2015, Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Bear, Delaware celebrated its first patotsav (temple and idol installation anniversary) in the presence of HDH Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj, eminent sants, and hundreds of disciples.
The first day of the Patotsav commenced with scripture recitals and samuh parayans in the temple. Acharya Swamishree then performed sandhya aarti, and everyone performed evening niyams. Within the very intimate setting of the temple, talented sants and disciples performed kirtan-bhakti (devotional singing) to please Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples were all in a very jovial mood, and everyone truly enjoyed the evening reminiscing about the Lord’s murti and divine episodes to the melodious performances.
Saturday, July 25th, 2015, was the 1st patotsav of Shree Swaminarayan Temple Delaware. From 8 AM to 9 AM, Acharya Swamishree performed the 1st patotsav vidhi ceremony and poojan to the divine murtis (idols) of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, and Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. He then was escorted outside to perform the flag-raising ceremony during which the previous year’s flag was switched out for a brand new one for the next year.
Upon Acharya Swamishree's return inside the temple, and disciples had assembled a grand annkut with a variety of Indian sweets and delicacies before the divine murtis. Acharya Swamishree offered these sweets to the Lord and cut a patotsav celebration cake, which He offered to the Lord as well. Acharya Swamishree and sants then performed aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, with Swamibapa Pipe Band playing on the bagpipes and various drums, and disciples were then given the opportunity to perform aarti as well.
Acharya Swamishree subsequently showered His divine blessings upon the entire congregation. Just as during the evening before, sants and disciples enjoyed a very intimate setting in the presence of Acharya Swamishree, and Acharya Swamishree showered blessings using “gammat saathe gnan” (playing with learning) upon all sants and disciples. Disciples who performed exceptional seva at the temple throughout the year were then blessed by Acharya Swamishree.
Afterwards, Acharya Swamishree gave His darshan to all disciples and was escorted out of the temple to consecrate the afternoon’s lunch, and this concluded the memorable two-day 1st patotsav celebration of Shree Swaminarayan Temple Delaware.