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Historic Kalash Pujan marks pinnacle moment for BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham

Upon completion, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham will stand as a landmark of Hindu art, architecture, and culture in the Western hemisphere.

New Delhi: The cool morning of August 30, 2023, witnessed a historic milestone in the making of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The momentous occasion of Kalash Pujan of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham took place in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on the auspicious day of Rakshabandhan.

Emotional volunteers, their eyes misty with tears, witnessed the fruit of their years-long hard work, dedication, and prayers come to life. The entire campus vibrated with anticipation and joy, celebrating a pivotal moment in the Akshardham journey: the sanctification of the kalash, destined to grace the apex of the Swaminarayan Akshardham.

To the volunteers who collectively contributed millions of hours in the making of Akshardham over 12 years, this event signified the fulfillment of their late spiritual leader, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s wish to create a place where one and all can feel at peace and find inspiration to lead a virtuous life. Upon completion, the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham will stand as a landmark of Hindu art, architecture, and culture in the Western hemisphere.

BAPS - New Jersey

A Kalash is an essential element of traditional Hindu mandirs. It is a metaphorical sacred pot of nectar that holds great religious significance. The ‘Nidhi Kalash,’ which is at the base of Akshardham, was ceremoniously consecrated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2011. Today, the largest ‘Amrut Kalash,’ representing the pinnacle point, was sanctified by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, who performed pujan on the steps of Akshardham. The kalash further acts as a divine ‘antenna’, capturing the surrounding divinity and channeling it through the pinnacle to the murtis positioned directly beneath, enriching the sacred atmosphere of the Akshardham. Amid Vedic chanting in a spiritually charged atmosphere, a total of 18 kalashes were consecrated.

In his address, Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami stated, “The kalash is considered significant because upon its placement, the shikhar becomes complete. When it adorns the shikhar, its inherent beauty flourishes, and it fills us with profound joy.” He continued to emphasize the selfless service of the volunteers, stating, “Devotees from across North America came together in voluntary service day and night, with devotion and faith.”

BAPS - New Jersey

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj shared with profound wisdom, “The divine culmination of all efforts is symbolized by the kalash atop Akshardham. Today, as we embrace the significance of Rakshabandhan, the day of protection, remember that Bhagwan Swaminarayan himself stands as our shield.”

BAPS - New JerseyOnce completed, BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham will serve as a beacon of peace, unity, and selfless service. Regardless of one’s belief and background, Akshardham will inspire all to connect with each other and with the Divine. Acharya Ishan Shivanand, during a recent visit, shared, “Like planets revolve around a sun, we need a focal point in our lives. Akshardham is such a center point representing our faith, our people, our culture. I can see people from all denominations, all faiths centering in this place of spiritual grace.”