In Hinduism, Ashadh sud poonam (the full-moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashadh) is observed as the auspicious day of Gurupoornima. On this day, all Hindus worship and honor their Gurus. Gurupoornima is one of the three main annual festivals in the Swaminarayan Sampraday. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples all take this day to gather and pay respect to our Gurus, Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa explains the precise meaning of the Sanskrit word “guru.” Gu means “andhkaar,” which is “darkness.” Ru means “prakaash,” which is “light.” Thus, one who enlightens the ignorant or shines light to those in darkness is called a Guru. Swamibapa says further, “Guru veena gnaan nahi,” which translates to, “Without a Guru, knowledge cannot be attained.” Without a Guru, knowledge about religion and the real meaning of life cannot be achieved. Only Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa can enlighten our souls with true religious knowledge, and by doing so, we can achieve the greatest happiness and endless peace of the supreme Lord. Therefore, He is our true Guru, and it is important to honor Him on this auspicious day.
From Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, 2019, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree and sants toured the state of Florida, fulfilling the wishes of disciples residing in and around the Ocala area. While Acharya Swamishree performed padhramanis at the homes and business of disciples, they also performed the 9th Patotsav ceremony of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa at Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Ocala, and celebrated the auspicious occasion of Gurupoornima on Sunday, July 14, 2019. While the actual day of Gurupoornima fell on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, the disciples of Florida wished to celebrate this occasion in the presence of Acharya Swamishree. Acharya Swamishree accepted their humble prayers and combined these most auspicious celebrations with the 9th Patotsav celebrations of the temple.
Acharya Swamishree performed the shodshopchar poojan as part of the Patotsav ceremony, a divine annakut was offered to the Lord, and everyone performed aarti to the Lord. Thereafter, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was seated on a golden palanquin and carried by Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples from the current temple to the new shikhar-bandh temple (adjacent to the current temple), which is currently under construction. There, inside what will soon be the new temple’s prayer hall, Acharya Swamishree and sants then performed the Gurupoojan ceremony to Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and performed aarti to Him. Disciples were also given the opportunity to perform aarti to our Gurudev. Everyone was then seated, and they listened to Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s divine ashirwad about Gurupoonam and our Gurudev Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings upon the entire congregation on this auspicious occasion, and with much excitement, He shared the dates for the Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav of the brand new Shree Swaminarayan Temple – Ocala, Florida: Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12, 2020. The disciples of Florida and the world have a very exciting occasion to look forward to in 2020! Following Acharya Swamishree’s blessings, everyone enjoyed mahaprasad.
During Acharya Swamishree’s Florida vicharan, He also toured the current construction site of the new temple, looking at the construction progress and noting each of the details. The disciples of Florida have faith, that with Acharya Swamishree and Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa’s divine blessings, the new temple will surely be complete by July of 2020!
From Florida, Acharya Swamishree and sants continued their vicharan to the neighboring state of Georgia. It was during the Georgia vicharan, in the town of Douglas, that the actual date of Gurupoonam fell, so the disciples of Georgia also took the opportunity to celebrate the occasion in the presence of Acharya Swamishree and sants. They adorned Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree in fresh flower garments and performed panchamrut snaan to the Lord’s divine lotus feet. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples then all performed the Gurupoojan ceremony and offered aarti to Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Everyone then listened to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s divine blessings on the occasion, and Acharya Swamishree, too, showered His divine blessings upon the congregation as well as the disciples of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi all throughout the world.