Sahajanand Vun ‐ There are over 57,000 trees, plants and shrubs planted in the gardens of Akshardham. Experience the magnificent and reflective corners of fifteen acres of landscape beauty.
This captivating structure portrays the reclining form of Lord Vishnu on the coils of the multi‐headed serpent Shesha. Lord Vishnu remains in utmost balance with his partner, Laxmiji, in service. This cultural spot represents the role of the ideal devotee, which is to remain eternally in the service of God. It also emphasizes the universal truth: that only with the spiritual energy of God, can the spinning and spiraling energy of creation be sustained in balance. Without it, nothing would remain in order.
SURYA RATH & CHANDRA RATH: THE SUN & MOON CHARIOTS
Seven stallions drive the Sun Chariot, hinting that perhaps the Indian saints and sages knew that sunlight has seven colors. All Indian cultures, and many others, honor and respect Surya Bhagwan, god of the sun, for providing life, light, and energy. Ten antelopes draw the Moon Chariot. Like the sun, the moon is revered for providing life and light in darkness. Worship of the natural elements generates feelings of gratitude and reverence for the necessities of life which are easily taken for granted - clean air, sunshine and warmth, vegetation, and water. We must therefore continuously remind ourselves that if we preserve nature, nature shall preserve us.
SAMUDRA MANTHAN – CHURNING OF OCEAN
The ocean churns as the demi-gods and demons pull back and forth, playing a battle of tug of war. As legend has it, the demi‐gods and demons decided on a truce to collectively discover amrut – the immortal nectar from the oceans. They used Mount Meru as the whisk and serpent Shesh as the rope, and out from the seas emerged a surplus of gold, diamonds, kalpataru (a wish‐fulfilling tree), kamdhenu (a wish‐fulfilling cow), and never-ending treasures. However, before the amrut could emerge, lethal poison churned out. Frightened and without a solution, both the demi‐gods and demons prayed to Lord Shiva to come to their rescue. The Lord drank the cup of poison and suspended it in his throat, saving the world from destruction. As we continue living in the 21st century civilization of never-ending “treasures,” it is important to be able to recognize the value of realizing God and his power.
HOLY RIVERS: GANGA, YAMUNA, SARASWATI, NARMADA
These rivers are the most revered and worshiped rivers of India. Hindu culture and vast civilizations have flourished along their riverbanks. While the origins of the Ganga and Yamuna can be traced back to the Himalayas, the Saraswati has slowly disappeared underground over the centuries. The fourth, the Narmada, is the most pious and prominent river of Gujarat. Today, the Narmada is a special place of worship in the Swaminarayan Sampraday, for all the BAPS spiritual leaders, from Bhagwan Swaminarayan to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj, have blessed and sanctified its water by bathing in the river.
ENTRY AND TIMINGS
Timings: 9:30am to 8:30pm.
Garden Entry closes at 7:30pm.