In Samvat 1878, on Fagan Sud 3, Lord Swaminarayan, performed the consecration ceremony of Narnarayan Dev at the Ahmedabad Mandir in the district of Shreenagar (now known as Ahmedabad). After the consecration, Lord Swaminarayan returned to Gadhada where the Fuldol utsav, a significant Hindu festival, was being celebrated. Esteemed devotees from Bhuj, including Sundarjibhai, Harjibhai, Gangaram Mal, Bhagvanjibhai, and others were present at the celebrations. At the conclusion of the utsav, the devotees of Bhuj humbly approached Lord Swaminarayan with folded hands to offer their prayers. The devotees from Bhuj expressed their sincere request for the construction of a mandir in Bhuj. They acknowledged that Lord Swaminarayan had instructed Sadguru Anandanand Swami to build the Ahmedabad mandir for the ultimate salvation of all devotees of Gujarat, where He had personally consecrated Narnarayan Dev. The devotees of Bhuj requested Lord Swaminarayan to consider constructing a mandir in Bhuj, for the sake of the ultimate salvation of devotees in the Gujarat, Kutch region. Their request was made with deep reverence and faith in Lord Swaminarayan.
Upon hearing the request of the devotees of Bhuj for the construction of a mandir in their city, Lord Swaminarayan responded positively and instructed them to find a suitable area of land for the construction of the mandir. He further advised them to inform him once they had found the appropriate location. The devotees of Bhuj were overjoyed and filled with gratitude upon receiving this news. They returned to Bhuj and immediately set out to find the land for the mandir, with a deep sense of commitment to fulfilling the wish of Lord Swaminarayan. The devotees of Bhuj, as instructed by Lord Swaminarayan, located a suitable area of land for the construction of the mandir. They proceeded to purchase the land and subsequently sent a letter to Lord Swaminarayan in Gadhada informing him of their progress in accordance with his wishes. The letter stated that the purchase of the land had been finalized and agreed upon in writing, as per Lord Swaminarayan’s instructions. Additionally, they had begun to gather the necessary resources for the construction of the mandir. In the letter, they humbly requested that Lord Swaminarayan send saints to assist with the construction.
Lord Swaminarayan received the letter from the devotees of Bhuj and was delighted to hear about the progress they had made. He asked Sadguru Sukhmuni Swami to write a letter in response, which stated that to aid in the construction of the mandir, Lord Swaminarayan was immediately sending the mandal of Sadguru Vaishnavanand Swami. The devotees of Bhuj were advised to follow the guidance of these saints in all aspects of the construction, such as the laying of foundations, the design of the shikarband architecture, and ensuring the altars were capable of accommodating the murti of Narnarayan Dev and others. Lord Swaminarayan mentioned that he would send saints from Gadhada to Dungarpur to acquire the murtis, which would then be transported to Bhuj. Once the construction was complete, He and his saints would travel to Bhuj to consecrate the murti of Narnarayan Dev in accordance with Vedic rites.
Furthermore, Lord Swaminarayan emphasized the importance of completing the mandir, and urged the devotees of Bhuj to do everything in their power to expedite the process. The letter was then handed to Sadguru Vaishnavanand Swami, and Lord Swaminarayan instructed him to take his mandal to Bhuj to oversee the construction of the mandir. In response to Lord Swaminarayan’s wish for a magnificent temple, the revered Sadguru Vaishnavanand Swami and his mandal made their way to Bhuj. With a commitment to creating a temple of exceptional beauty, the Sadguru and his mandal sought out the most talented sculptors in the region to bring their vision to life. The result was a breathtaking mandir that was meticulously crafted and built to the highest of standards. Sadguru Vaishnavanand Swami and his mandal’s unwavering attention to detail and focus on quality shine through in every inch of the temple, making it a true masterpiece of architecture.
The completion of the mandir in Bhuj was a momentous occasion, and Sadguru Vaishnavand Swami wanted to ensure that Lord Swaminarayan was aware of every detail. To this end, he personally wrote a letter to the Lord, updating him on the progress of the temple’s construction and the arrival of the murti of Narnarayan Dev. Two of the Sadguru’s most trusted mandal saints were entrusted with the important task of delivering the letter to Gadhada, and they set out with great haste. Upon their arrival, they wasted no time in presenting the letter to Lord Swaminarayan and informing him of the exciting news.
Lord Swaminarayan turned to the trusted astrologer, Mayaram Bhatt, to determine the most auspicious time for the consecration of the murti in Bhuj. After carefully examining the astrological charts, Mayaram Bhatt advised that Samvat 1879 Vaisakh sud 5 was the most auspicious date for the vedic rites, and no other suitable date was available in the near future. Lord Swaminarayan agreed with the astrologer’s assessment and directed that this date be considered for the consecration ceremony.
Momentously in Samvat 1879, on the second day of Chaitra Sud, Lord Swaminarayan, accompanied by revered Sadguru Gopalanand Swami and other saints, embarked on a journey from Gadhada to Bhuj. As they made their way, they graciously bestowed their divine presence upon all those they encountered along the path. On the thirteenth day of Chaitra Vad, they arrived in Bhuj to a joyous welcome from devotees who had eagerly awaited their arrival. The air was filled with the melodious sounds of singing and dancing as the Lord and his saints were led to their residence in the magnificent Akshar Ordi. Upon entering the mandir, all were filled with an indescribable sense of elation as they beheld the grandeur and beauty of the sacred space.
Thereafter, Sadguru Vaishnavand Swami presented the murtis from Dungarpur to Lord Swaminarayan. The Lord was particularly pleased to see the exquisite murtis of Narnarayan Dev, Hanuman, and other Deva’s. However, the Lord noticed that the murti of Nar Bhagvan had a slight defect. The Lord detailed that a defected murti cannot be worshiped. All those around became worried as to where a replacement murti would be sourced on such short notice. Lord Swaminarayan however after arduous thought that the murti of Vasudev Narayan in Gadhada should be bought to Bhuj and installed in place of the defected murti. On making this decision final Lord Swaminarayan instructed Bhaguji to take the camel and head straight to Gadhada to deliver the 2 letters that He had written for Jivuba, Laduba and Dada Khachar and to make them aware of His wish.
Lord Swaminarayan made Sadguru Gopalanand Swami and Sadguru Vaishnavand Swami aware that the vedic consecration rights of Narnarayan Dev would take place on the auspicious day of Samvat 1879 Vaisakh Sud 5. He entrusted the preparation of Brahmins for the ceremony to the capable hands of Pragji Dave, and Gangaram Mal and Hirjibhai were tasked with providing everything else that was required.
Over the following days, Lord Swaminarayan was greeted by various Brahmins of the four Vedas. He first consecrated the Deva’s, Hanumanji, and Ganapatiji according to the scriptures, Pratishta Mayuk, and Pratishta Prakash. Then came the time for Narnarayan Dev to be consecrated. All the four Vedas came to sing praises.
Gangaram Mal generously donated 500 kori’s for dhvaja seva and Hirjibhai offered 1,000 kori’s to place the kalash on the shikar. After this, the murti of Narnarayan Dev was brought into the altar, and Lord Swaminarayn performed the vedic rights with his own hands. Having completed the consecration ceremony, Lord Swaminarayan then said, “Now you can dress and adorn the murti of Narnarayan Dev.” At that time, musical instruments started to play, and Narnarayan Dev was dressed and garlanded. Lord Swaminarayan performed the first aarti, and flowers and mantras were offered to Narnarayan Dev. Lord Swaminarayan placed a seat in front of Narnarayan Dev and sat facing Him. Their eyes locked into an undisturbed gaze, and at that moment, Narnarayan began to shine and radiate Tej, and within that Tej, everyone saw the form of Lord Swaminarayan and were astonished it verified in their hearts that they were one and the same.
Lord Swaminarayan held various discourses with his saints and devotees. Where he stated that alongside the murti of Narnarayan Dev, devotees in the future should ensure that the murti of HariKrushna Maharaj is installed alongside RadhaKrushna Dev and his own murti of Ghanshyam Maharaj should be installed. Lord Swaminarayan said that whoever comes to perform darshan of Narnarayan Dev with the utmost feeling will attain salvation. Those who donate dharmado, general donations, thaal, etc. will obtain unlimited happiness within Akshardham. Those who perform other sevas in this mandir are also destined to reach the dham of Lord Swaminarayan. As the day came to a close, Lord Swaminarayan shared his divine wisdom with his devoted saints and devotees. He spoke of the importance of devotion and the power of darshan, urging all those who seek salvation to visit the murti of Narnarayan Dev with the utmost reverence and faith. Lord Swaminarayan’s words carried a divine promise, assuring that those who donate dharmado, give general donations, and perform sevas in the mandir will experience unlimited happiness within the realm of Akshardham. Above all, he emphasized that the murti he had consecrated should be considered as one with himself, and worshipped with the same devotion and reverence as the devotees then did. It was a sacred moment, and those present felt the power and divinity of his message, which echos even now.