The Swaminarayan Temple of Secaucus, New Jersey, celebrated its 15th anniversary last week with hundreds of followers, and members from the local Indian-American community attending the Aug. 6-7 event.
The celebrations Aug. 6 kicked off with a flash mob dance to welcome Acharya Swami and also commemorate the 25th anniversary celebrations of the SmrutiMandir, an all-marble, hand- carved temple located in Ghodasar, India. The religious discourses, prayer services, a youth skit, and religious hymns were also part of the first-day celebrations.
The Aug. 7 program commenced with religious discourses as well as a grand annkut, a large offering of food. MuktjeevanSwamibapa Pipe Band escorted Acharya Swami, Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli, Secaucus Councilman Rob Constantino, Secaucus Councilwoman Susan Pirro, and Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari to the entrance of the temple for the opening of Penhorn Avenue which has been renamed ‘Swamibapa Way’ to honor MuktajeevanSwamibapa, the religious leader who was the first to bring the Swaminarayan sect to the United States in the late 1970s. Balloons and white doves were also released to commemorate the occasion.
The program continued in the temple’s community hall, with over 500 individuals in attendance. The Swaminarayan GadiSansthan donated $1,000 to the Secaucus Fire Department and $1,000 to the township’s office of emergency management. Acharya Swami delivered a sermon preaching peace, love, devotion, and unity.
“Anyone who travels on Swamibapa Way will be on their way towards salvation,” he said. “All of this devotional love that we practice should be done selflessly. Our talents are given to us by the Lord as vehicles of devotion” he added.
The two-day festival featured religious discourses about peace and unity, performances by North America’s First Indian American Pipe Band – Swamibapa Pipe Band, cultural concert and skit, traditional Indian feasts, and more.