Saturday, December 26, 2009
A WALKTHROUGH EXPERIENCE
In the center of the mandir is ft-high, golden murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan ad Guru Parampara.Also consecrated are the elegant murtis of Radha-krishana, Sita-Ram,Lakshmi-Narayan and Parvati-Shiv.
The ornate external wall of the Swaminarayan Aksharddham mandir is known as the mandiovar.
This the largest, most intricately craved mandovar built in I ndia in the last 800 years and is 611 ft long and 25 ft high. It features 200 sculptured stone figures of- India’s great rishis, sadhus, devotees, acharyas and divine incarnation.
The mandocar comprises different levels: gajstar, sinhstar,chhajja with a total of 4,287 carved stones. The kumbhstar includes 48 o rnately sculpted murtis of ShriGanaeshji in different mudras.
The base of the mandovar is called the jagati. In this layer, one finds carvings of living beings from our everyday world. First, we have the elephant which is a symbol of strength, then the lion, which symbolizes bracery and ferocity. Thereafter, o ne finds the vyal (an extindct Pauranic animal) that was renowned for speed. In the subsequent layers, one fi nds cravings of flowers that stand for veauty and fragrance., In the middle of the mandovar , known as vibhuti, are sculptures of the divine I ncarnations of God, saged, devas, acharyas and devotees. And finally, we have the samvarans that exhort people to strive for spiritual hight in life. The entire mandovar I nspires and I ndividual to liverate his life from the shackles of mundane pleasures and asend to the ultimate state of God-realization.
The upper pradakshina (circumambulatory Path) of the Akhardham mandir is called the Narayan Peeth, where of Bhagwan Swaminaryan. The three panels, each 60 ft long, show Bhagawan Swaminarayan discoussing ina grand assembly under the neem tree in Gadhada, celebrating festivals, and traveling by carious means to reform and elevarte people.
The Gajendra Peeth, the lower pradakshina, is a unique, captivating feature of Swaminarayan Skshardham. It pays tribute ot elephants, the chosen representatives of the animal kingdom. Sculptured accouding to the ancient shilpa sharstras of India, it is craved in pink stone, is 1,070 ft long, and features narratives and legends of elephjants involving nature, man and the Divine. These displays reflrct the messages of social harmonu, peace and spiritual faith. The Gajendra Peeth, weighing 3,000 tons, has vivid lifrlike sculptures of 148 full-sized elephants, 42 birds and animals, 125 hu man fugures, as well as decorative steone backdrops of trees, creepers and royal places.
Yaganapurush Kund & Musical Fountain
The Yagnapurush Kund is a fascinating combination of a Vedic yagna kund and a musical fountain. It is named after the foundr of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and the third successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Swami Yagnapurushdasji ( Brahmaswarup Sharstriji Maharaj ). It is the world’s largest yagna kund, measuring 300x 300’, and has 2,870 steps and 108 small shrines.In its centre lies an 8-petalled stone lotus that springs to life at night with a colorful, dancing musical water fountain that echoes the Vedic sentiments of India. The theme of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh as the creator, sustainer and destroyer, respectively, unfolds through this absorbing show.