20 August 2003 (V.S. 2059, Shravan vad 8) Wednesday, Atladra; Janmashtami Celebration
The Janmashtami celebration commenced at 9.00 p.m. Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami addressed the assembly and thereafter kishores performed a cultural dance. Pujya Viveksagar Swami explained the significance of festivals and thereafter Pujya Mahant Swami addressed the assembly. Kirtans and another cultural dance gave the celebration a devotional and festive flair.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, "On festival days one should sing God's glory, remember Him and live a life that pleases Him. We have to imbibe the knowledge He has imparted and the moral injuctions He has prescribed. God comes on earth to redeem us, therefore we should internalize virtues to please Him.
"Many people gamble on this festive day. But that does not please God. However people have tendencies to celebrate festivals by gambling, partying and enjoying themselves in mundane ways...
"God has said in the Gita that there are two types of people: good and evil. When evil increases, God Himself takes birth on earth to destroy it and establish dharma and spiritual values. He transforms a person into a real man and redeems him... God does not like ego. So to please God first, one must give up one's tendency of possessiveness and humbly offer devotion to Him..."
28 August 2003 (V.S. 2059, Bhadarva sud 1) Thursday, Atladra; Youth Day
In the evening assembly, youths performed a wonderful traditional dance on the lyric, "Swaminarayan charan kamalma..." Thereafter Swamishri was honored with garlands, flower shawls and gifts by sadhus and youths. Inspiring incidents of youths in Vadodara Satsang Mandal were then narrated in the assembly. A debate on, "Is Study or Character Greater?" was effectively presented by youths.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the Youth Day assembly, "Character is more important because it endows you with humility, discrimination, the virtue to serve others, to not get angry, to tolerate and to do good. Whereas one who has advanced academically will not be able to tolerate. He will become agitated and angry. We cannot discount studies, however character is the greater of the two ornaments... To run our lives financially and to run our world through the technology we have invented, we need academic studies. But the glory and importance of that lies in having character. It is character that decorates our mundane works..."
30 August 2003 (V.S. 2059, Bhadarva sud 3) Saturday, Atladra
Microsoft Co. donated software to the Government of India's Ministry of Information for distribution to 700 schools in Gujarat. The distribution ceremony was arranged at the holy hands of Pramukh Swami Maharaj on the precincts of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Atladra.
Pujya Vivkesagar Swami and Shri Laxminarayananji, Additional Secretary of I.T., India, addressed the function. Then Swamishri blessed the assembly, "If we properly utilize computers in our country, then it will also benefit us financially. We have intelligent people and lots of potential in our country... God has endowed us with this body and intelligence. And after acquiring education we have been able to discover and invent many things. God has gifted us with a mind and brain through which we are able to perform research and make discoveries. Our brain is a computer that benefits us immensely. So if we hold God in the highest esteem and utilize computers, we will benefit tremendously..."
In conclusion, principals and officials of 400 schools received software packages from Swamishri.