The day the disciples of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan in North America had been waiting for had finally arrived! On Friday, June 21st, 2019, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree and a mandal of fourteen sants arrived in Toronto, Canada, via an Air Canada flight from London, U.K. At Toronto Pearson International Airport, they were greeted by eager disciples holding signs to welcome Acharya Swamishree and sants to Canada. From the airport, Acharya Swamishree and sants went to grace the home of a disciple, where they performed Sandhya aarti and niyams and stayed the night.
The next morning, on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, Acharya Swamishree and sants performed padhramanis at the homes of disciples in the morning and then arrived at Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Scarborough, Canada, in the afternoon. There, they were greeted by the temple’s newly-formed percussion band, who welcomed Acharya Swamishree and sants with the sounds of western and Indian drums and beats.
Saturday evening marked the start of the temple’s 5th Patotsav celebrations. Disciples performed mahapooja for samuh parayan, ceremoninously welcomed Acharya Swamishree and sants to the temple, and then put on a cultural program to please Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, and His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree. Young disciples recited episodes from the Vachanamrut Rahasyarth Pradeepika Tika scripture from memory (in celebration of the Vachanamrut Dvishatabdi Mahotsav), recited chhadis, performed kirtan-bhakti, and performed a devotional dance. Acharya Swamishree was extremely pleased to see such pure and loving devotion from His disciples in Canada. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples then performed Sandhya aarti and niyams before concluding the evening’s program.
The next morning, on Sunday, June 23rd, 2019, Acharya Swamishree performed the 5th Patotsav ceremony of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa at Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Scarborough, Canada. Shodshopchar poojan was performed, a lavish annakut was offered to the Lord, and everyone offered aartis in celebration of the important milestone for the temple and disciples of Canada. Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings upon the entire congregation.
To commorate this important milestone for the temple, several officials from Scarborough and greater Toronto had come to the temple for the divine darshan of Acharya Swamishree. Acharya Swamishree personally greeted all of these officials, showered them with blessings, and offered prasad to them.
Of particular note, the disciples of Canada took on two special initiatives in celebration of the 5th Patotsav:
After the tree planting ceremony, everyone enjoyed mahaprasad and annakut prasad before Acharya Swamishree deparated for the United States. The disciples of Canada are extremely grateful for all the love and blessings Acharya Swamishree showered during His short, but fruitful, vicharan in Canada. The memories from the 5th Patotsav celebrations will be embedded in their hearts and will keep them yearning for their next opportunity to have Acharya Swamishree’s divine darshan. Until then, they will continue to lovingly serve Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa at Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Scarborough, Canada, who will continue to shower His ever-present and omni-present darshan until the sun and moon shine!