BUENA PARK, CA – The Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Downey of Shree Swaminaryan Satsang of California, hosted a four-day annual shibir from July 17 to 20 at the Jain Center here. Around 3,000 devotees attended the event which was hosted in collaboration with the San Jose, Las Vegas and Phoenix chapters.
The shobha yatra on July 18 was a colorful procession by devotees to welcome Rakeshprasadji Maharaj who was to preside over the shibir . This was followed by the special session for women to interact with each other and get to know each other as they had come from various states. The Fuldov Ustav which was the climax of the day was a special entertainment program in which flowers were used to decorate the deity and stage. Special sessions for kids and youth were held aimed at imparting to them the beliefs of the group and teaching them how they can be put in practice. The vision of the temple is to invoke knowledge among the next generation- and get them acquainted with Indian culture,the holy scriptures and the Hindu way of life. A special ustav was held on July 19. Most of the ceremonies were conducted in Gujarati with some Hindi and English. Speaking with India Journal Raman Patel, former president of the Mandir said the Downey temple was the first in California which installed marble deities in the year 2000. “We are members of the International Shree Swaminarayan Sansthan of Vadtal the parent organization.The Chairman is Acharyashree Rakeshprasadji, who is just like the Pope for us. Vadtal diocese has thousands of temples in India. We invited all chapters to participate so in future they could build temples in their cities and grow the religion.’’ President of Downey Mandir Nandalal Patel said the event was a success because of all the effort put in by more than 75 volunteers.