On the weekend of December 22-23, Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami and Sannyasin Senthilnathaswami attended the inauguration of the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, near Los Angeles, California.
Saturday we toured the mandir and conducted a series of interviews for an article in Hinduism Today about the temple, followed by attending the first part of the Vishwa Shanti Maha Yagna. Finally, we met with Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami, known affectionately as Kotari Swami, one of six revered satgurus (the equivalent of the acharyas in our swami order) of the BAPS fellowship. Meeting with the BAPS swamis is always a special moment of satsang among brothers.
Sunday morning we arrived at the temple early to participate in the official inauguration, opening of the doors and then the Prana Pratishtha of the murtis inside. After the arati we were taken downstairs for abhishekam of Nilkanth Varni, the golden murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan as a young boy traveling barefoot in the forests of India, then to the giant tent set up as an assembly hall for speeches, video presentations and cultural performances. There, several swamis of the BAPS order spoke, and Bodhinatha gave a wonderful speech, which we hope to post to YouTube soon. The whole of the morning's events was webcast live, and an edited version should be available soon at www.baps.org.
Jai Swaminarayan! Aum Namah Sivaya!
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