- Origins of Jaipur Mandir
The seeds of Satsang had been sown by Shastriji Maharaj. In 1994, a hari mandir was inaugurated in Jaipur. Swamishri wished to build a shikharbaddh mandir here. Jaipur was an important transit point for those going from Gujarat to the north. People in the westerns parts of the Hindi-speaking world were eager for Satsang. A grand Akshardham was coming up in Delhi, so alongwith that the construction of a shikharbaddh mandir was begun in the Pink City.
For the past 10 years Ishwarcharan Swami, Atmaswarup Swami and thereafter Dharmavatsal Swami and Sarvanivas Swami working with local devotee, Paragbhai, had been trying their utmost to acquire suitable land. In the end their efforts bore fruit and 5.5 acres of land was acquired in the newly developed suburb of Vaishali Nagar, 1½ km from the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. Swamishri took personal interest in the project and with his suggestions and guidelines inspired people in the designing of the mandir, assembly hall, guesthouse, gardens, etc. Accordingly, the Planning Cell of BAPS designed the mandir and anciliary buildings.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj sanctified the foundation bricks for the mandir during a Vedic ceremony in Delhi in 2002. Ishwarcharan Swami assumed responsibility for the project. Shri Jaisukhbhai Jhala rendered yeoman service throughout the project.
Shri Harshadbhai Chavda took responsibility for all the stonework. Atmakirti Swami, assisted by Yogesh Swami, would often come from Delhi to check the progress as the pink sandstone mandir began to take shape with its well-laid gardens, furnished guesthouse, etc. In June 2005, Swamishri appointed Uttamcharan Swami and seven sadhus to help out in the completion of the mandir and prior arrangements for the mandir inauguration festival. A year previously, Yogiprem Swami had been appointed for the spread of Satsang in the rural areas. As a result of his work the Satsang was strengthened. All preparations were thus set afoot for the Jaipur mandir murti-pratishtha ceremony. The 42 villages of Rajasthan, where there are Satsang centres, offered their wholehearted support, especially physical labour, which they offered day and night.
October 4, 5 and 6 2005 were set for the Murti-Pratishtha Festival. Time was short and much work remained. To meet the deadline a contingent of sadhus, parshads and sadhaks came from Sarangpur and 700 volunteers from Delhi Akshardham were diverted to Jaipur and they did good work.
Resident sadhus Uttamcharan Swami, Yogiprem Swami, Dharmanishth Swami, Divyasneh Swami, Nityaprakash Swami and Kalyandarshan Swami were assigned different tasks. Narayanmuni Swami coordinated all the work for the festival. Construction work was looked after by Jaisukhbhai Jhala and Divyanayan Swami. Bhagyasetu Swami and Javeribhai (Khambhda) looked after the volunteers. Vimalprakash Swami, Vivekpriya Swami, Madhusudan Bhagat, Kailashbhai Sharma, Jaibhai Veen, and Yogeshbhai Master looked after accommodation for the devotees. The Yagna Department was managed by Shrutiprakash Swami, Bhadresh Swami, Vedantpriya Swami, Sharadbhai and Ashishbhai. Brahmatirth Swami, Vishuddhdarshan Swami and a group of sadhus managed the kitchens. Rishiraj Swami managed the transport department. Divyapurush Swami, Shilbhushan Swami and others managed the electricity and water departments. Sadhus also offered their services in decorating the murtis and the surroundings. In this manner the mandir murti-pratishtha celebrations began in earnest.
All the departments had been activated thanks to the help of devotees like Shri Mahdavsinh Diwan, Shivnathsinh Shekhavat, Rajbabu Gupta, Balkrishna Yadav, Ghanshyambhai Gupta, Satyanarayan Parikh, Rupnarayan Parikh, Gopalbhai Sharma, Satyanarayan Jangid, Shankarlalji Badaya, Kailasnarayan Gupta, Kailas Sharma, Jainarayan-bhai (Dausa), Jaisukhbhai Jhala and others.
Devvrat Trivedi (chief architect), Kiran Mahajan (architect), Nathuram Kumayat (contractor), Chhoturam (stone designer), Bhadrayubhai (architect, BAPS), Paragbhai Kamani, Girijashankar Mohan Mistry, Bhupsinh, Shailesh Gajjar, Machhival, Hariom Sharma, Mukesh Sharma, Anil Sharma, Vinod Parikh and Devchandbhai also rendered services for the festival.
- Services offered by the youths and devotees of Jaipur, like Pradip Parikh, Ashok Parikh, Suresh Pahel, Rajendrasinh Shekhavat, O.P. Gupta, Avtar Narayanji, Shailendra Modi, Ghanshyam Sharma, Kailash Sharma, Navin Singhal, Dinesh Rajbabu, Rakesh Rajababu, Jagmohan Gupta, Harish Badgoti, K.K. Vijay, Ghanshyam, Ajaybhai and Rakesh Yadav were noteworthy. In addition to this, the devotees of Rajasthan living in different towns and villages lent their wholehearted support and extended their services in whatever manner they were called upon to make the function a grand success.
Early in the morning the sacred Vedic mantras echoed from the mandir, purifying the atmosphere. The murtis of Thakorji were seated resplendently in the sanctum sanctorum. The consecration rituals began in the presence of senior sadhus.
At 11.45 am the Abhijit Nakshatra was in the ascendant. It was necessary to perform the murti-pratishtha arti in the Abhijit Nakshatra. For that Swamishri once again entered the mandir for arti. All ministers and guests also accompanied him. Swamishri performed the pratishtha arti of the deities.
After Swamishri’s arrival at 8.40 am, senior sadhus joined Swamishri in the consecration rituals for the various deities.
Prominent devotees from India and abroad and members of Jaipur Satsang Mandal were seated underneath the mandir domes.
Swamishri began the ritual for invoking the Divine into the murtis. He stood on the steps of the throne and invited Shriji Maharaj to enter the murti. He ceremoniously opened the eyes and entreated Him to cast a benevolent first glance on the entire creation by showing the mirror. After the eye-opening rituals, Swamishri performed pujan of each murti. He consecrated the murti of Neelkanth Varni to be installed in the Abhishekh Mandap of Delhi Akshardham. After performing the life-infusion ceremony of the murtis Swamishri returned to his seat in the Koli Mandap.
The Additional Advocate General of Rajasthan, Bharatbhai Vyas, came for Swamiji’s darshan. He had helped in the construction of the mandir in many ways. Swamishri tied a sacred thread to his wrist and applied tilak-chandlo on his forehead. Swamishri then performed the murti-pratishtha arti of Thakorji.
After the consecration rituals, Swamishri presided over the murti-pratishtha assembly.
Senior sadhus and guests were on the dais. On the right were the Education Minister Ghanshyambhai Tiwari, Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Maharaja Bhawanisingh, PWD Minister Rajendrasinh Rathod, Home Secretary V.S. Singh, and Additional Advocate General Bharat Vyas. Among others were Commissioner Savant Saheb, Jaipur Development Authority Commissioner Hanumantsinh and also MLAs of the area.
The Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria said in his speech, “We are grateful to Pramukh Swami Maharaj for installing the pillar of dharma in this place. It will enable us to live our lives with a purpose and feeling of fulfilment. I thank Swamishri on behalf of the Udaipur region.”
Then the PWD minister Rajendrasinh Rathod said, “It is a matter of pride for us that God’s house has been built here, by whose grace we exist. For ages to come, this mandir will remind us of God.” The Education Minister Ghanshyambhai Tiwari in his scholarly speech said, “Today, two things have occurred here. First, the installation of the murtis has taken place and, second, we have the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. We only hear of God’s lila, but we do not see it. When God is present we wish to see the lila. Kings, leaders or pandits are not the true representatives of this country. But sadhus like these are the true representatives and backbone of this country. Because of them our culture has survived. From Satyug to Kaliyug these sadhus have kept the chariot of our culture moving. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has done a lot for sustaining our culture and tradition. Swamishri is a distinguished leader who blesses others with divinity. It is our good fortune that his feet have touched this part of the earth. Because of this mandir the spiritual energy will increase.”
V.S. Singh, Home Secretary, spoke of the miracle that brought the mandir into being. He said, “It is beyond belief that such a work has been done in such a short time. When the matter was put up before me, it appeared to be a dream to me. When this matter was again brought before me two-and-a-half years ago, then I realized that it was not a dream but a gift to Jaipur of a social and peaceful culture.”
Additional Advocate General Bharat Vyas said, “In Swamishri I recognize a great leader of the country. After Adi Shankaracharya, I see the glory of Chaitanyadev in him. The nation can progress only with his grace.” In the end, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Through God we experience happiness and peace. That is why we have to protect this wealth (dharma) and increase it. Our glory is because of this wealth. To the extent it grows there will be peace. Though Western culture is here, we have to spread our own tradition and protect it. Our shastras, Shikshapatri and Vachanamrut, are our true wealth. The mandir is our wealth. There is a great need for mandirs. We acquire samskars by going to mandirs. May we acquire faith to walk on the spiritual path. May the prosperity of the city increase. Let there be peace in Rajasthan and the entire country. May all sincerely practise dharma.”
More than 7000 devotees attended the murti-pratishtha celebrations. Various individuals had made garlands to mark the occasion. Senior sadhus presented these to Swamishri.
In the end the members of Jaipur Satsang Mandal as well as those of Rajasthan presented garlands to Swamishri before the ceremony concluded.