16 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Vaishakh Sud 15) Friday, Paris, Lisbon (Portugal)
Swamishri arrived in Lisbon at 1.35 pm from Paris. At 8.10 pm Swamishri was welcomed at the Palacio De Belem (Presidential Palace) by President George Sampaiao. H.E. Sampaiao, also the president of the European Economic Community (EEC), was informed about Swamishri's socio-spiritual services to society, Akshardham monument and London mandir. The President was impressed by Swamishri's divine personality and his activities. He said, "I am very happy that you have come here. You have my hearty wishes in your efforts for peace and harmony." The President was then offered a photo momento of the London mandir, publications and prasad. The diplomatic adviser to the President, Mr. Carlos Pereira Marques, opined, " Swamiji is a delightful personality. He speaks few words yet his presence is very much felt." (News report)
17 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 1) Saturday, Lisbon
Swamishri performed his morning puja at the Radha Krishna Mandir. At 11.00 am he arrived at the newly established Satsang Bhavan and performed pujan and arti of the all - in - one murti of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and guru parampara. Swamishri then sanctified the first floor, ground floor and basement and blessed the satsang assembly. The evening assembly was held at the Radha Krishna Mandir.
18 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 2)Sunday, Lisbon
o As a celebration to Father's Day, a few youths from London offered gifts before the murti of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj. Swamishri, pointing to Harikrishna Maharaj, said, "This is your real Father. Spiritual Father. Atma's Father. Never forget Him. Say the rosary, perform puja and offer devotion to Him everyday. You should bow down daily to your father and always remember this Father. In all your activities say 'Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan...' He is your Atma's Father while the one at home is the father of your body..."
o At 10.30 am the Indian Ambassador for Portugal, Shri Bhatnagar came for Swamishri's darshan.
o Bernadino meeting Swamishri, formerly a retarded, deaf and dumb boy, was first blessed by Swamishri in 1984 in Lisbon and again in 1988. Ever since then his growth became normal and he can now talk and hear.
o At 6.45 pm the Mayor of Lisbon, Mr. Juan Soares, welcomed Swamishri with a bouquet in an assembly of 1700 people.
20 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 3)Tuesday, Ashton
In the evening assembly the murti of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by the devotees. In his blessings Swamishri said, " In return for our devotion to God, He never forgets us. Lord Swaminarayan remembered Dada Khachar throughout his life because he had sacrificed his home, family and wealth in the service of God. God gives infinitely more than what we offer Him..."
21 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 4)Wednesday, Preston
At 11.40 pm the moment Swamishri arrived near the mandir, a small welcome procession burst with the sound of brass band, and traditionally dressed drummers and dancing children.
After Thakorji's darshan and welcoming ceremony, Swamishri elaborated upon the theme that we do not wish to go to Akshardham because we are comfortable with the worldly life. Swamishri narrated the story of the worm and the bee and then midway included the story of the king and his ailing queen (formally a beggar). Then Swamishri narrated the incident of Jodho Bharvad who was unhappy with the boiling of milk... In concluding, Swamishri said, "We have been blessed with Satsang, God and the holy sadhu, so there is no need to search for them anywhere else. There is no need to allow our mind to stray in superstitions. Happiness and liberation lies here..."
23 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 6)Friday, Leicester, Kishore Day
In the evening assembly, the Kishores presented a program, Leicester Satsang - Past, Present and Future. The special program was interwoven with dialogues, skits, a slide show and speeches that traced the establishment of the mandir in 1977 to the fostering of Satsang activities by Swamishri. The program was crowned with Swamishri's blessings.
24 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 7)Saturday, Leicester, Children's Day
In the evening, the Children's Day saw various presentations and performances by the balaks and their tutors. Children performed a drama, 'Chhiye ame to chhotaji', a dance and another drama depicting the different obstacles they could face for the construction of the new mandir in Leicester. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, emphasizing on the need of mandirs in society: "Today some people say where is the need for mandirs? But if someone were to say where is the need for colleges? Where is the need for hospitals? And are military and police required? Where is the need for courts and judges? Does one ever feel why pile stones for all this? How mad one would be if one were to speak in this manner? Similarly, one who says where is the need for mandirs is mad. Through mandirs one's mind becomes pure. Through the association of a Sadhu one finds the right path. It is not merely a place to sit and ring a bell, but through it so many services are offered to society. Children are inspired with character from a young age..."
25 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 8)Sunday, Leicester, Nottingham
In the morning assembly Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by devotees.
National Family and Children's Shibir ( 25 to 27 June)
At 6.10 pm Swamishri arrived at the University of Nottingham campus, Nottingham, for a three - day National Family Shibir (camp)and Children's Shibir.
A total of 1017 members, 674 young parents and 343 children, had registered for the shibir. The theme of the National Family Shibir was 'Aap Rijo em Raaji' and for the Children's Shibir, 'Mare Swamine Raji Karva Chhe'.
The shibir agenda had been interlaced with speeches, bhajans, slide shows, Swamishri's blessings and darshan, sports and quizzes. The family shibir and children's shibir programs included: Swamishri Cares (slide show), When I needed you, You were there (incidents of kishores), Agna (speech), Divinity, Raas (folk dance), Swamishri's narration of incidents, Photo - story narration by Swamishri, Question - answer sessions and sports.
* 27 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 10)Tuesday, Nottingham, Centre Parcs, Kishore - Kishori Shibir
Swamishri arrived at Center Parcs at 7.50 pm for the 4-day Kishore - Kishori Shibir. The much awaited exciting and enlightening shibir was attended by 260 kishores and 220 kishoris.
In the opening session Swamishri said, "Kishore Mandal's Jay. I am very happy to see your love and enthusiasm. The venue of the shibir is very nice. You have to pass through a maze of buildings to get here. And you can get lost in the maze. You are all lost in the maze (of life) so you have to come out! We have come here to get you out. Do you understand? ... Only one who knows the way can get you out of the maze. God and the holy Sadhu are our friends, relatives and well-wishers ..."
The 4-day shibir program from 27 to 30 June included videos, slide shows, narrations by kishores on 'Swami cares', explanations about murtis and holy relics in Swamishri's puja, 'Ruchi' quiz, question - answer session and sports.
28 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 11)Wednesday, Centre Parcs
At 10.55 am Swamishri addressed the kishores, saying, "If we take you to the villages of India what would you say? Oh it's dirty ... But Ram, Krishna, Shriji Maharaj and 500 parmahansas, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj have done 'Vicharan' on that land. It is not dirty but divine! ... During vacation you go on a holiday and return back with vices. You waste your money, body and still there's no peace of mind. Whereas by going to a divine place you get inspired with virtues.
29 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 12)Thursday, Centre Parcs
o During a question - answer session with Swamishri, a question was posed, "Say a sentence in English." Swamishri replied, "If I don't know then how can I say it? It is good that you have all come (into Satsang). We all have to offer love to God. What is an ant (a soul) before God? Still, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj loves us. Therefore we should also have love for them." Then Swamishri addressing all the kishores spoke in english, "I love you all." And the conference hall thundered with the unanimous sound of clapping.
o In the concluding session of the Kishore Shibir, Swamishri logically explained the importance of spirituality: "Today, kishores ask why in all things. Why mandir? Why puja? But do you ever ask, Why eat? Because you know that if you don't eat you'll die. Do you ever ask, Why school? Why hospital? If you are ill or have a disease then you have to be admitted there. Likewise, coming to the mandir, reading our scriptures and listening to discourses from sadhus cures the mind of its inner diseases. Even here we have operations on removing base instincts (swabhavas). So you shoud go to the mandir, do puja daily, apply tilak - chandlo and never feel why in these things ..."