Sunday, August 4th, 2019, was the 18th Patotsav of Shree Swaminarayan Temple - Secaucus, New Jersey. Exactly eighteen years ago, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed the divine idol installation ceremony and the Suvarna Tula (ceremonial weighing against 750 kilograms of pure gold) of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, and Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa at this beautiful temple.
After mangala aarti, Acharya Swamishree performed poojan to Shree Ganpatiji and Shree Hanumanji's murtis. At 8 AM, Acharya Swamishree commenced the shodshopchaar poojan of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swmaibapa. During the poojan, sants and disciples chanted the sacred 108 names of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and the mahamantra together. After the poojan concluded, Dr. Michael Cohen, Nurse Duke Harvey Lagtapon, and Nurse Winston Meikele, all who were pivotal in Sant Shiromani Shree Nityaprakasdasji Swami's revival and recovery from a massive heart attack in July, were all honored and personally thanked by Acharya Swamishree. These three healthcare professionals were absolutely pivotal in making Shree Nityaprakashdasji Swami's recovery as quick and as comfortable as possible. Their kindness and generosity will always be remembered, and we are every grateful for their services.
A grand annakut was then offered to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, and Acharya Swamishree cut a celebration cake in honor of the occasion. With the help from North Hudson Regional Fire Department, the flags of the temple were also changed and raised to mark the temple entering its eighteenth year. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and disciples then all performed aarti to the Lord on this occasion.
Following the ceremony, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band U.S.A. escorted Acharya Swamishree, sants, and honored guests to Swamibapa Hall. Honored guests included Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco, and NJLP Co-founder Amit Jani, who were all honored by Acharya Swamishree with prasaad paags, garlands, shawls, prasaad, and rakhdis (with Raksha-Bandhan upcoming). All of these guests have been strong supporters of our temple and our community, and we are grateful for always being able to count on them. Mayor Gonnelli, Mayor Sacco, Mr. Jani, and Dr. Cohen all gave speeches to express their joy in being part of the 18th Patotsav celebrations.
Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings for this auspicious occasion upon the congregation of disciples and guests. The event concluded with presentation of certificates to recent graduates (high school, college, graduate school) by Acharya Swamishree before He was escorted out of Swamibapa Hall by disciples. Delicious annakut prasad and mahaprasad were then served to all before the 18th Patotsav celebrations officially came to a conclusion.