The power of prayer: Samooha Mahapooja

A rare divine event in Sydney marked the Swaminarayan spiritual leader H D Kakaji Maharaj’s 106th birth anniversary.

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The power of prayer cannot be underestimated, and collective prayer or Samooha Mahapooja has the potential to make one feel positive and transcend worldly worries.

Hundreds of Sydneysiders were fortunate that they had the opportunity to be a part of one such rare and divine event here, in late April.

The Samooha Mahapooja or collective prayer for peace, harmony and well-being was envisioned by Guru Bharatbhai Mehta and Guru Hemantbhai Vashi of Yogi Divine Society, Mumbai. They are both beloved saint brothers of Yogi Divine Society Swaminarayan temple in Powai, Mumbai. Also known as ‘karma-yogi’ saints, they have been working professionals all their life and dedicate their time and income to the temple and spiritual activities. They surrendered totally to their spiritual master His Divinity Kakaji Maharaj and pleased him to earn his inner most blessings. These modern-day saints employ unique contemporary techniques when guiding devotees, in not only spiritual development but also overall practical aspects of life.

samooha mahapooja in sydney
106 couples gather to mark Kakaji Maharaj’s 106th birth anniversary (Pic: Pramukh Photography)

This Samooha Mahapooja was organised in honour of H D Kakaji Maharaj’s 106th birth anniversary. Coincidentally, it was the 50th anniversary of Guru Hemantbhai Vashi performing Mahapooja: at the event in Sydney he took 106 couples on a journey beyond time and space, immersed in blissful devotion.

Significance of the Mahapooja

Mahapooja is a modern-day spiritual technology that has the same significance as performing ‘yagna’ (ancient sacred ritual involving offerings to the pure form of fire), albeit in a much shorter timeframe. The first Mahapooja was conducted on 2 June 1830, the day after Shreeji Maharaj left His physical form and returned to Akshardham. Sadguru Gopalanand Swami, the most prominent saint who was ordained by Lord Swaminarayan himself performed the ritual and it is said the Lord became present at this time. The glory of the Mahapooja was since explained and till date the blessings hold true, that anyone for whom Mahapooja is performed will be relieved from all mental and physical miseries.

The pooja (worship) as perfomed by each devotee (Pic: Pramukh Photography)

A Mahapooja is a unique worship, where not only the Lord, but also all his Gunatit successors, male and female saints and devotees are invoked to be present at the pooja and special prayers are said. Mahapooja is unique to the Swaminarayan faith.

Devotees follow the procedures as guided by the spiritual masters (Pic: Pramukh Photography)

Mahapooja at Sydney: A meticulously planned spiritual event

This exclusive event held in Granville Community Centre was graced by Hon MP Julia Finn (Member for Granville) and Dr Andrew Charlton (Member for Parramatta), who were appreciative of the opportunity to not just interact with the Gurus but also participated in the ritual.

Blessings for Andrew Charlton MP and Julia Finn MP (Pic: Pramukh Photography)

A massive scale event such as this, attended by over 300 people, requires months of planning and teamwork. It was miraculous how everything seamlessly happened on the day. The pieces of the puzzle came together perfectly – from sponsors for catering, helping hands for stage decoration, venue arrangement and setting up of individual poojas. Help arrived in all forms, children, youngsters, adults all joined hands harmoniously to make the event a grand success. To the rational human mind, it was a hugely successful spiritual event, but the absolute truth is that when the Gurus imagined this event, it was already a done deal and merely orchestrated through us!

The devotees of Australia are extremely fortunate to have had association of spiritual masters H D Dinkarbhai, P P Mahendra Bapu, and P Kishorbhai Masters who have been regularly coming here and have kept them spiritually vibrant.

All present that evening felt a deep spiritual connection, inner peace and joy, irrespective of whether they had ever performed Mahapooja in the past. As a token of appreciation all participants were gifted with their Mahapooja sets in a nice carry bag. All participants were pleasantly surprised and greatly appreciated this wonderful gift.

The special prayer assembly concludes (Pic: Pramukh Photography)

At the end of the Samooha Mahapooja, Bharatbhai blessed all participants and thanked them for their presence and for priortising this noble cause over their personal and social engagements. He also expressed gratitude to all contributors, sponsors and all who directly or indirectly helped to make this event a success. He appealed all to keep Satsang alive with weekly meetings and keeping in touch. He ensured that such Satsang will keep everyone positive and happy in all circumstances.


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Kalyani Wakhare
Kalyani Wakhare
An architect by training and a fashion blog writer by passion, I equally love my day job of being a mum. I am a shopaholic, bargain hunter and trend spotter. The next best thing to shopping for me is styling or writing and reading all about fashion!

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