On Sunday, September 8, 2019, the Jal Jhilani Ekadashi festival was celebrated at Haridham Mandir. Jal Jhilani is a very auspicious holiday in the Hindu culture. On this day, Shri Kirshna Bhagwan took the Gopio sailing on the river, and as a fare, Krishna Bhagwan asked for yogurt. Because of this history, it is tradition to donate yogurt to commemorate this day. Additionally, on this day, many people do Ganesh Pooja, where devotees go to the river with a clay murti of Ganesh and conduct a pooja. Bhagwan Swaminarayan continued these traditions by sailing the murti of Thakorji through a river or pond and performing aarti of Thakorji.
During our celebration, P. Shantu Uncle spoke about how we must cultivate
true bhakti in order to receive Bhagwan’s innermost blessings year-round. Afterwards, four youths carried Thakorji into the hall on a beautifully decorated aasan as part of a grand entrance. They traveled around the hall so everyone could get darshan of Thakorji. When Thakorji was placed at the front of the hall, the vadilo performed a special snaan (bathing) ritual of Thakorji with water and milk. Thakorji was then placed on a boat in a mini pool as the audience took in the darshan of Thakorji riding a boat. Finally, an aarti of Thakorji was performed and the devotees were served mahaprasad.