8 April 1999 : Thursday (Chaitra vad 7) , Surat
Swamishri arrived Surat at 8.40 p.m.
10 April 1999 : Saturday (Chaitra vad 9) , Surat
This morning a press editor of a newspaper asked Swamishri a few questions:
Q: "The spiritual path is the right path and man should follow it. However those who walk the path of immorality and perform impious acts achieve mundane progress and are happier, whereas those who are religious are unhappy and miserable. Why is this?
A: Outwardly it seems that one who has wealth is happy, but one cannot always believe this to be true. On the surface it appears thus but inside he is unhappy. He is always running, avoiding and anxious. The fruit of immorality (adharma) is misery and pain. Sooner or later he will have to suffer for it. One who does good will achieve good fruits. He feels happy within and God looks after him and makes him happier. Duryodhan was immoral and he seemed happy outwardly, whereas the Pandavas were exiled and roaming the forests. But the peace the Pandavas had he did not have!
Q: Why do you, a great saint, accept illness?
A: The human body is a home to illnesses.
Q: Though this is true, you should not accept it.
A: (With reference to accepting illness Swamishri added:) So that others may derive strength and inspiration - and not to become afraid of diseases or illnesses.
One should engage in bhajan...
11 April 1999 : Sunday (Chaitra vad 10) , Surat
This morning, during Swamishri’s meeting hours, a teenager (kishore) asked a couple of questions.
Kishore: "I always desire to impress people and I know it is wrong."
Swamishri: "One should not have such desires. If you perform good acts and have character in life then automatically people will be impressed by you. If you are good then people will not say otherwise."
Kishore: "Sometimes I do bad things."
Swamishri: "When you desire to impress anyone you will feel like doing bad things.
So one must have character and live by God’s laws. If you have good character then people will appreciate you and you will not think of doing bad things."
The kishore appreciated Swamishri’s counsel.
In the evening, before his schedule to the assembly, a lot of dignitaries had visited Swamishri. Swamishri was already late for the assembly. The organisers wished Swamishri to come straight to the assembly, but on passing the mandir steps, Swamishri wished to go for
Thakorji’s darshan. Swamishri expressed his wish to a sadhu. "I’d like to go for darshan.
It’ll take only two minutes!"
Swamishri went to the assembly after having the darshan of Thakorji.
Under the auspices of the Swaminarayan Mahamantra Bicentenary Celebration the
Surat Satsang Mandal had organised a unique 1½ hr drama on the glory and power of the Swaminaryan Mahamantra for the evening assembly. Every inch of the mandir complex was packed with 12,000 devotees.
Under the auspices of the Swaminarayan Mahamantra Bicentenary Celebration the Surat Satsang Mandal had organised a unique 1½ hr drama on the glory and power of the Swaminaryan Mahamantra for the evening assembly. Every inch of the mandir complex was packed with 12,000 devotees.
"The glory of this mantra is such that even if an ant or any living thing hears this mantra, it will be blessed with a better after-life. So, by saying this mantra in one’s house, while walking the streets, or travelling by car, plane - and whoever hears this, understands and appreciates it, will be blessed with redemption..."
12 April 1999 : Monday (Chaitra vad 11) , Surat (Swaminarayan Mahamantra Day)
Today, a continuous chanting of the Swaminarayan Mahamantra was organised in the mandir from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. From the city’s 48 areas, devotees from 39 areas chanted the Swaminarayan mantra while they walked together to the mandir.
After puja, while Swamishri was returning to his residence by car, Swamishri saw the devotees chanting the dhun. Swamishri had his car stopped and he stepped out and started clapping and chanting the dhun. The devotees were overwhelmed with joy. Swamishri asked for the microphone and began chanting the dhun for the next five minutes.
13 April 1999 : Tuesday (Chaitra vad 12) , Surat (Kishore Day)
This morning, a sadhu introduced a youth to Swamishri and revealed, "This person is addicted to liquor. And when he is intoxicated he beats his wife."
Swamishri advised, "How can you do this young man. Have you married her to beat her up! You come home drunk and create trouble. One day your wife will beat you up. From now onwards stop beating her and give up drinking altogether..."
Swamishri then told him to take a pledge and give up drinking once and for all.
A teenager (kishore) asked Swamishri, "Swami Bapa, on the occasion of the kishore day today what does Ghanshyam Maharaj have to say to the kishores?"
Swamishri gave him a written reply, "One should go to the kishore mandal regularly, study properly, strengthen one’s niyam-dharma and obey one’s parents."
Swamishri arrived in the evening assembly at 6.45 p.m. The Kishore Day programs commenced with a welcome dance by the kishores. This was followed by a speech on Swamishri as the sculptor of character in teenagers. Then a drama called ‘Kidhaa Kaman Keva...’ depicted the contemporary atmosphere and problems facing the kishores.
In this reference Swamishri blessed the assembly, saying, "Today, the unwholesome atmosphere in our society is full of obstacles. When we come to the mandir our mind is attracted by other things. Since the whole world is in our mind we get swept over whenever we see it...
Teenagers get crazy after actors. In fact, we should be crazy after God and Satsang because they are genuine and show us the right path...
"We don’t know who we really are and that is why we are aimlessly wandering here and there. Where to sit and with whom! We are not even aware of what not to eat and drink! We forget our family nobility and pride. Before, people were noble and honorable.
A noble person will never go to a disco. One should never associate with a drunkard or a gambler.
One should abstain from wrong acts and never commit adultery. This is the way of a noble person. Today we find this nobility has gone. We find that wealth has increased and comforts have also increased, so the inner nobility has died away. Today, noble families have vanished. The Satsang is our noble family. In following dharma lies our nobility..."
14 April 1999 : Wednesday (Chaitra vad 13) , Surat (Children’s Day)
At 12.20 p.m. Swamishri addressed the students who are staying at our hostel in the mandir: "Whatever moral disciplines you have accepted today are for your good. The more you follow them, the better you will become. You may find it difficult to follow them initially but they will be beneficial to you later on.
"You should study well because your parents have sent you here. Eating outside, T.V., garba... all these simply destroy one’s life. No one can achieve progress without following moral disciplines. Today, students in college get involved in relationships and drugs.
However at present you should be focussed on your studies and morals. You should not see bad pictures or magazines...
"You should put in more efforts in your studies. You should never copy. If you work hard then God will help you..."
Swamishri arrived for the Children’s Day evening at 6.45 p.m. After a dance performed by children, the Surat Bal Mandal performed a program ‘Our Ghar Sabha’ and a drama ‘Bhaktiki Shakti’ - the power of devotion. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, saying, "Through Ghar Sabha the family members are inspired with virtues and character. They also excel academically. The parents and children become amicable and affectionate towards each other. This is the benefit of ghar sabha..."
15 April 1999 : Thursday (Chaitra vad 15) , Surat (Youth Day)
The youths, through a program of mono-acting, presented the sacrifice and service of
Dubli Bhatt and Samat Patel. They also displayed the unflinching faith and morality of devotees living today. In his blessings, Swamishri appreciated the youths for their efforts and emphasized on profoundly consolidating Satsang in one’s life.
17 April 1999 : Saturday, Surat
Performed the ground-breaking ceremony for a new Akshar Purushottam Students' Hostel and a guest-house for devotees.