16 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 2) Thursday, Gaborone, Botswana
At 6.00 pm Swamishri flew from Lenasia to Gaborone, and went from the airport to the evening satsang assembly in the mandir.
17 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 3) Friday, Gaborone
Despite ill health, Swamishri had come specially for the inauguration of this new BAPS mandir. Swamishri performed the traditional Vedic murti-pratishtha ceremony of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna Dev and the Guru Parampara. Then blessing the assembly Swamishri said, “The aim of human life is liberation. That is why, to guide man, Bhagwan Purushottam Narayan incarnated on this earth with His abode (ideal devotee – Gunatitanand Swami). With the blessings of Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj, Satsang has grown in India and abroad.
“Gardens give fragrance to all, water quenches thirst, trees give shade, similarly, God and His Sadhu work to benefit others. By their darshan, done knowingly or unknowingly, one attains peace – just as one becomes immortal if one drinks nectar even unknowingly.”
In the evening assembly, the Indian High Commissioner, Lal Mavana, was present.
18 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 4) Saturday, Johannesburg
Swamishri arrived in Johannesburg by plane at 11.15 am. In the evening, Swamishri presided over the satsang assembly at the BAPS mandir in the Mayfair suburb of Johannesburg.
19 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 5) Sunday, Johannesburg
In the morning, a traditional Vedic mahapuja ceremony was performed to celebrate the murti-pratishtha anniversary (patotsav) of the mandir. Swamishri performed the patotsav arti and then blessed the assembly, “Patotsav is celebrated every year. But how much have we progressed? How much has our (personal) satsang grown? Swaminarayan is God and Gunatitanand Swami is Mul Akshar. Having such conviction and faith is true satsang.”
22 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 8) Wednesday, Johannesburg
In the evening Swamishri attended the farewell assembly held at the nearby football ground. Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Some people think that once the sadhus have gone, we will return to our work. But now one must try to do more (satsang). Those who do not do so already should come to the mandir, perform daily personal puja and do satsang reading. There should be no lethargy in offering devotion to God. Is one lethargic in worldly duties? If one wants to do something it is done. So, no matter what, always attend the weekly discourses.”
23 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 10) Thursday, Nairobi, Kenya
After a four-hour flight, Swamishri landed in Nairobi at 6.00 pm. A welcome assembly was held in the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. On the way to the mandir from the airport, Swamishri commented on the lack of greenery in the countryside. The driver informed Swamishri that the country was experiencing a drought. Swamishri prayed, “God will shower His grace. It will rain.”
24 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 11) Friday, Nairobi
Jal Jhilani Festival
In the morning Kenya’s Minister for Special Programmes, James Carroom, attended a special assembly in which Swamishri donated grains to the government on behalf of the BAPS to help in their famine relief programme.
At 11.00 am Swamishri arrived at the Visa Oswal Sports Complex for the Jal-Jhilani celebration. Over 500 devotees attended the festival held in the swimming pool arena. Blessing the assembly, Swamishri said, “Life is an ocean. Just as a person drowns in the ocean, so it happens in life. If a person is (spiritually) ignorant, he will drown even in a small puddle. So, if we have the refuge of God, we can swim across.”
25 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 12) Saturday, Kisumu
Swamishri arrived in Kisumu at 11.00 am following a 30-minite flight from Nairobi.
The Yagna for World Peace was in progress in the mandir when Swamishri arrived at his residence.
In the afternoon a grand procession of the murtis to be consecrated in the new mandir took place. The murtis were housed in beautifully decorated floats and paraded through the streets of Kisumu.
In the evening Swamishri attended the welcome assembly in which the Hindu Council of Kenya presented a Special Citation to Swamishri in honour of his work to promote world peace and harmony.
26 September 2004 (V.S. 2060, Bhadarva sud 13) Sunday, Kisumu
Over 1800 devotees had darshan of Swamishri perform the traditional Vedic murti-pratishta ceremony of the murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna Dev and the Guru Parampara. Then, after performing the murti-pratishtha arti and having darshan, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Through the mandir, we have to strengthen satsang in our lives. So make use of this mandir. Sincerely observe the niyams Maharaj has given, and understand and consolidate the philosophy He has given to us.”
Swamishri then performed the pujan of the new murtis for the mandirs in Jinja, Tororo, Mwanza and Mombasa.