Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wherein lies the soul of Swaminarayan Akshardham?
Is it in its sheer size or its breathtaking beauty? Or is it manifest in the intricacies bestowed by human talent upon each stone? Is it most felt in the inner sanctum of the mandir? Or does it echo though the exhibition halls or the Neelkanth yatra large format film? Is it to be found dancing in the exquisite musical fountains? Or in the serenity of Narayan Sarovar and the meditative gardens where!
Is its soul most keenly felt?
Is it most apparent when there is a deluge of people or is it most palpable in the absence of humans? Is it evident by seeing it from far, from ground level? Or does it resonate through the magnitude of sheer voluntary effort? Perhaps, it’s when the doors have closed and there is nothing but silence.
The answer in that the soul of Swaminarayan Akshardham is in every stone, every corner and every carving. They have all been imbued with the Divine through the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the vision of Yogiji Maharaj and the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the inspirer.
Swaminarayan Akshardham portays the essence of india’s glorious heritage in all its facets of art, architecture, wisdom and spirituality. It celebrated the past, addresses the present and shapes the future, inspiring all towards harmony, happiness, integrity and national prode.
Swaminarayan Akshardham is a gigantic success story. A testimony to an epic combination of volunteerism, talent and spiritual faith. Three Hundred million hours of human effort! A 40-year project accomplished in only 5 years! It is a management feat in terms of acquiring the land in New Delhi to the loginstics of construction, for which the stones were quarried in Bansipahadpur (400 Km away), and carven in Pindvada (600 Km), Sikandra (250 Km) and 24 other rural workshops in Rajasthan. After being transported to Delhi, each stone was assembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Millions of hours of dedication and hard work had gone into the concept and making of the complex, exhibition halls and large format film.
The lush lawns and landscapes that embellish 60 acres were nurtured at the nursery developed on the grounds. More that 900,000 saplings and shrubs of 250 varieties have been planted.
A distinguished thinker and author commented during a visit, “No amount of money and materials can build something so beautiful as this. It is only possible through vision and will!” Inspired by HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Swaminarayan Akshardham has been built with the purest of intentions and sentiments by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottamj Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS). On 6 November 2005, in the opening ceremony assembly, HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj said, “Akshardham is a place of faith and peace that will inspire, enrich and provide strength to mankind in its Endeavour towards eternal happiness.”
With this noble spirit, Akshardham in and experience that spontaneously evokes positive feelings voiced eloquently by hundreds of thousands of people:
“Built on a scale more full of beauty, divinity and grandeur than I could have imagined.”
“Overwhelming devotional spirit.” “Everything is so perfect.” “I would like to be reborn as an Indian.”
“The transforming devotional spirit.” “kshardham creates a holy thought among us.”
“A real eyeopener for our teenagers and youths.” “A tour of the temple should be made a part of the CBSE curridculum.”
“The experience of lifetime.” “Akshardham gives me the confidence that ‘I can do it!’”
“ I am sure I will come close to God.”
A resporter from the Swagat magazine poetically describes in her article ‘Stairway to heaven’, “…You leave behind everything that is mundane – beyond it, everything looks surreal, as if angels walked down on earth to carve the statues and figurines and to lend sanctity to what was once an unlamented patch on earth. It is so surreal that you forget that there is ground beneath your feet or thin air wraps you. You almost melt in a moment of inner incandescence.”
The profound appeal of Swaminarayan Akshardham encompassed the gamut of human thought, education, aestheticism, Endeavour and faith.
Swaminarayan Akshardham is defined as the eternal abode of God. It is satyam, Shivam and Sundaram!
In this publication we present a brief introduction to Swaminarayan Akshardham – its making and experience – thought facts, stories and photographs.