Sunday 9 April 2023 marked the First Patotsav for Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Embleton – Perth of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.
In the afternoon of Monday 3 April 2023, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj arrived at Perth Airport on Singapore Airlines flight SQ223 along with 3 sants and haribhaktos. 12 sants had arrived to Perth two days prior on Saturday 1 April 2023. All devotees and sants were in a joyful mood to see Acharya Swamiji Maharaj again. It had been a year since the Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Murti Mahotsav in Perth and Acharya Swamiji Maharaj had answered Perth devotees prayers to attend the First Patotsav of the Perth Mandir. In the evening, a mini welcome procession alongside the newly formed Perth chapter of Shree Muktajeevan Swamipapa pipeband was held from the car park entry gate into the Mandir Hall. Inside the Mandir Hall a Swagat sabha was held where disciples of Australia had the opportunity to garland Acharya Swamiji Maharaj and gain divine darshan and blessings. Sants were also welcomed and received garlands from the disciples.
In the morning of Tuesday 4 April 2023, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj, sants and devotees visited Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, located on Mount Eliza just west of Perth city centre. Kings Park is one of the world’s largest and most beautiful inner-city parks. It is rich in Aboriginal and European history, contemporary culture and offers innovative design, displays and services. Kings Park has an international reputation for scientific research, leading horticulture, conservation and public education. Kings Park is home to the spectacular Western Australian Botanic Garden, which displays over 3,000 species of the State’s unique flora. Two thirds of the 400-hectare park is protected as bushland and provides a haven for native biological diversity. Visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Swan and Canning Rivers, the city skyline and the Darling Ranges to the east. Bushland walk trails, immaculate gardens and parklands and a variety of children’s discovery play areas can all be found in Kings Park.
The sixth day of a baby’s birth is referred to as the baby’s chhathi (literally meaning sixth). On this day, it is traditional for a ceremony to take place in the presence of the baby’s relatives, who come laden with gifts. Thursday 30 March 2023 was celebrated as Swaminarayan Jayanti, the 242nd manifestation day of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan upon this Earth in a human form. Tuesday 4th April 2023 was the sixth day of the Lord’s manifestation. Sants and disciples gathered in Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Embleton - Perth to celebrate the Lord’s Chhathi in the presence of Acharya Swamiji Maharaj. Sants and disciples performed utsav and sang traditional religious songs narrating the childhood episodes of Lord Swaminarayan as He was rocked in His cradle by Acharya Swamiji Maharaj. The traditional prasad of Kuler, bajri (millet) flour combined with ghee and gor (jaggery) was offered to the Lord and then distributed to all the disciples.
In the morning of Wednesday 5 April 2023, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj, sants and devotees visited Caversham Wildlife Park located at Whiteman Park, a short drive from the Mandir. Caversham Wildlife Park showcases many of Australia’s unique native animals, including koalas, wallabies, possums, Tasmanian devils and wombats – providing visitors with the opportunity for a close-up encounter with some Australian icons! There was an opportunity to feed the kangaroos and take plenty of photos.
In the evening, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj gave Ashirwad discourse in which He exemplified the glory of Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
In the morning of Thursday 6 April 2023, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj, sants and devotees set off on a day trip vicharan to Mandurah. Mandurah is a city on the southwest coast of Western Australia about an hour drive South from Perth City. It’s known for the Peel-Harvey Estuary with its abundant wildlife and migratory waterbirds. Halls Head Beach has a large resident dolphin population.
The first part of the Mandurah vicharan started with a visit to Amaze Miniature Park. The park included 4 acres of beautiful gardens where over 70 miniature buildings, model trains, Lego display, hedge maze, mini golf, playground, yard games and pedal cars.
Next up was a visit to Santi Ikto one of the Giants of Mandurah. The Giants of Mandurah is an exhibition by the world-renowned Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, featuring at least five site-specific works with each creature made from recycled materials reaching up to five metres tall and placed in secret locations waiting to be discovered.
Lunchbreak was on the grassed area near Town Beach Car Park, which was a short walk to the Mandurah Boat Charters jetty.
In the afternoon, the group enjoyed a four-boat entourage. Acharya Swamiji Maharaj took the captains wheel for the larger boat and sants took turns driving the pontoon boats. The scenic voyage included exploring incredible waterways, where around 90 wild dolphins reside and visit (the largest population in WA!). There was a cruise through stunning canals lined with lavish homes. There was the opportunity to witness protected wetlands of worldwide importance, home to pelicans, ospreys, black swans and other amazing water and shore birds, some who visit from as far away as the Siberian Arctic!
Many locals in Mandurah were able to gain the divine darshan and blessing of Hari and Acharya Swamiji Maharaj.
Friday 7 April 2023, was the start of the First Patotsav celebrations. The day coincided with Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday) and Acharya Swamiji Maharaj’s Manifestation. In the afternoon there was Parayan Mahapooja and Parayan Vanchan. The Parayan’s comprised of 3 Gadi Granth Parayans and 28 Samuh Parayans.
In the evening there were devotional kirtans sung with live instruments by sants and disciples for the Bhakti Sangeet program.
Saturday 8 April 2023 afternoon included Gadi Granth Parayan Vanchan and Parayan Purnahuti.
In the evening, everyone enjoyed the energetic Samuh Raas program with live music.
Sunday 9 April 2023 marked the First Patotsav for Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Embleton – Perth of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. The Patotsav for the Perth Mandir falls annually on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for the year.
The day was celebrated with great joy and pomp. Acharya Swamiji Maharaj performed poojan to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, performed arti and showered His divine blessings. Sants and devotees prepared a grand annakut and offered to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Acharya Swamiji Maharaj gave His divine Ashirwad and at the end of the celebrations everyone present had divine mahaprasad.
On Monday 10 April 2023 devotees and sants took part in fun and games on final day were both indoor and outdoor in the local primary school grounds located behind the Mandir.
On Tuesday 11 April 2023 final padhramnis were done in the morning. In the evening, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj gave His divine Ashirwad on the final day of the 2023 Perth vicharan. He explained the importance of remembering Lord Swaminarayan and past religious events.
Early morning the next day on Wednesday 12 April 2023 Acharya Swamiji Maharaj, sants and devotees departed for the 4 day Singapore Vicharan on the way back to Maninagar.