Yogi Smruti Mandir, Akshar Deri, Morning Puja
Around 7.00 a.m., Swamishri arrived at the Yogi Smruti Mandir for darshan and prayers. A grand annakut of 700 items was decoratively and devotionally arranged before the murti of Yogiji Maharaj. Swamishri performed arti of Yogiji Maharaj and then blessed the sadhus, saying, "Due to the divine wish of Yogiji Maharaj the figure of 700 sadhus will be accomplished today. It is through his glory, wish and blessings that this work will be done. May the 700 sadhus consolidate ekantik dharma and attain the saintly qualities in their lives. May the agna and upasna of God be consolidated in their lives and suharadbhav be sustained towards all. May they understand the glory of all and never see faults in others. And we must all preserve his (Yogiji Maharaj's) tradition of katha, kirtan, bhajan, niyam, chestha and darshan ...".
After performing the shangar arti of Thakorji in the mandir Swamishri went for darshan of Akshar Deri. Here he prayed for the successful accomplishment of the Akshardham project in New Delhi and peace in Gujarat, India and the world. Thereafter Swamishri performed his puja while sadhus sang bhajans in praise of Yogiji Maharaj.
Historic Diksha Ceremony
At 10.15 a.m., Swamishri arrived for the historic diksha ceremony. It was an occasion that was to see the accomplishment of Yogiji Maharaj's dream of initiating 700 sadhus through Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On stage, the moving murti of Yogiji Maharaj captured the hearts and attention of everyone. The diksha ceremony commenced with Vedic chantings and climaxed with the guru mantra imparted by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The enthusiasm of sadhus and devotees was reflected through the thundering claps and jai's that echoed from all corners. The entire mandir ground was filled with fervent devotees. A total of 32 youths were initiated (9 parshads were given the bhagwati diksha and 23 sadhaks were given the parshad diksha), which now brings the total to 703 BAPS sadhus. Out of the newly initiated parshads one each were from UK and USA, 2 from Africa and 2 from the tribal areas. Totally, 10 were graduates, 4 were postgraduates, including an MBA.
Senior sadhus spoke on the occasion. Finally, Swamishri was in a joyous and reminiscent mood. He blessed the families of the newly initiated and then addressed the assembly, "By God's grace and wish works are accomplished. His wishes are divine, whereas we desire for honor and mundane things. Yogiji Maharaj's wishes were for the good of all people... He desired that there be more sadhus and that they travel in India and abroad to spread the message of goodness. So it is because of his wish that such a work (achieving the diksha of 700 sadhus) has been accomplished... In this, the efforts of the sadguru sadhus have been immense. The devotees, too, have rendered great service by offering their educated sons on this path... Look, Yogiji Maharaj is swaying (pointing to the moving murti of Yogiji Maharaj). He is blessing and congratulating all of us for this occasion and wonderful accomplishment. He is present in person and is showering his happiness. When I came to the assembly, he was swaying and said I bless you for the great work you have done, I bless the devotees and sadhus. When he said this I was very happy..."
The landmark occasion was attended by 10,000 devotees who were then served mahaprasad.
Yogi Jayanti Assembly
The Yogi Jayanti assembly, from 6.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m., saw the personal narration of memories of Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj by sadhus who were initiated by him. Every incident revealed the divine virtues of Yogiji Maharaj. The concluding note in every speech was "Pramukh Swami Maharaj is giving the same love and spirituality as Yogiji Maharaj. In fact Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the form of Yogiji Maharaj."
Then a video of Yogiji Maharaj's divine prophecy in 1968, Mumbai, saying that, "Pramukh Swami will initiate 700 sadhus" was shown.
Pujya Viveksagar Swami talked about Yogiji Maharaj's wishes and how Pramukh Swami Maharaj has fulfilled them.
Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly of 9,500 devotees: "We are celebrating Pujya Yogiji Maharaj's birthday. From early morning everyone is full of enthusiasm and joy. Just as we describe God's virtues and works as infinite, we can say the same for Yogiji Maharaj. It is not possible to describe it. Every moment he (Yogiji Maharaj) saw divinity in everything ... The devotees and sadhus associated with him were always happy. Whoever came to him was deeply impressed by his personality. He used to pat people on their shoulders and many came especially to receive that divine pat. By remembering this one is redeemed ... His laughter was innocent and pure. His feelings and aura were such that we would be suffused with happiness... Yogiji Maharaj was intelligent in worldly matters... He never nourished any feelings to impress or overwhelm anyone..."