The visit of Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj, the head of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), may turn out to be of the biggest events to have been ever organised in Sydney. Swaminarayan Sanstha is a spiritual, volunteer-driven organisation dedicated to improving society through individual growth by fostering the Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service. The BAPS has millions of followers throughout the world. In Sydney alone, they have close to two thousand Swaminarayan devotees, who gather every weekend at the Swaminarayan Temple in Rosehill near Parramatta, to pay tributes.
For the first time since 2002, Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj will be visiting Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong (China) and Bangkok (Thailand), to further nurture, guide, inspire and bless Satsang in these countries. He will be arriving in Sydney on February 27 to celebrate the Pushpadolotsav for the first time outside of India. The event will be held on March 2.
Thousands of BAPS devotees and volunteers are gearing up for this mega event that will extend up to three weeks in various locations across Sydney, including, Rosehill Gardens, Darling Harbour and Parramatta Park. Commencing with a Swagat (welcome ceremony) at Rosehill Gardens on February 27, the event will conclude with a Krutangyanta Din on March 27.
“The preparations have been going on for months,” beamed Praful Jethwa, a BAPS volunteer and member of the organising committee. Speaking to The Indian Telegraph, some of the volunteers – Priyank, Amrish, Bhavesh, Ashish – expressed: “We are all inspired by the self-less service of Pujya Mahant Swamiji Maharaj towards humanity. This is a great opportunity for us to do our bit for the community.”
For A Cause:
- 400 volunteers are working tirelessly day and night the over last two months
- Forty (40) subgroups have been formed to deliver
- Decorations in all key locations, cultural programs, IT-support, audio, video, creative designs, guest management, catering and food arrangements are being looked into
- Two to three thousand footfalls are expected on each of the days of the three-week occasion
- Over 100 volunteers will be managing the huge kitchen, preparing food packets
- Over 7,000 food packets will be distributed March 2 for the Festival of Colours (Ful-dol Utsav) in Parramatta Park
- All volunteers, including 10 to 15-year-old children and women, are working on their allocated tasks together, some even working till 3AM to meet deadlines
- Most of the volunteers are either full-time students or working professionals, who have taken leaves to ensure the work gets done