What is the Akshar Deri and why is it important?

The Akshar Deri is a holy shrine in Gondal that honours the cremation spot of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami who was the choicest disciple and first successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Every year Akshar Deri is visited by hundreds of thousands of people from throughout the world. The rituals performed at the Akshar Deri include prayers, mahapujas, chanting God’s name, circumambulations (pradakshina), prostrations and other forms of devotion. All of these rituals are performed by people who want to become spiritually lifted, who want to rid themselves of worldly desires and who want relief from hardships and miseries. On 23 May 1934, Shastriji Maharaj, the third successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, built a beautiful three shikhar mandir above the Akshar Deri and installed the murtis of Akshar and Purushottam. Yogiji Maharaj served as the Mahant of the Gondal mandir for many years. He used to say that whoever wholeheartedly came to the Akshar Deri and made a wish, would have it fulfilled by Maharaj and Swami.

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