3 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Posh vad 9) Thursday, Surat, Udhna, Bhimpor
* Swamishri visited the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Udhna, which was constructed and donated by Manojbhai J. Patel and Damodarbhai Patel, and performed arti of Thakorji. Thereafter Swamishri blessed the assembly of devotees.
* Swamishri visited the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Bhimpor built by Shri C.K. Pithavala.
6 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Posh vad 12) Sunday, Atladra
Swamishri inaugurated the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Vidyamandir (primary school), built and donated by Shri P.D. Patel, amidst Vedic chantings and then sanctified all the classrooms by showering flower petals. Then Swamishri and the guests visited a small ‘Science Park’ for the students that will allow them to learn practically and experience the fundamentals of science like gravity, harmony, etc. Thereafter Swamishri performed the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the secondary and higher secondary wings of the school.
During the assembly various dignitaries, namely, State Minister for Taxes Shri Kaushikbhai Patel, donor Shri P.D. Patel, Manubhai and Rohitbhai Patel, Mayor of greater Vadodara Shri Narayanbhai Patel and others were present. In his blessings Swamishri said, “Because of illiteracy there are many issues in our country. To resolve them education is very necessary. The government, industrialists and religious organisations are making efforts to establish schools and colleges. Education provides inspiring thoughts for the benefit of family, society, country and religion. Education and satsang values have transformed tribal people…”
In the evening satsang assembly BAPS children performed a drama entitled ‘Anmol Bhet (Priceless Gift)’ which portrayed how Swamishri has solved the prevailing lapses in education through BAPS schools providing value-based education.
10 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Maha sud 2) Thursday, Atladra
After his morning puja, Swamishri performed the pratishtha rituals of the murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj for the BAPS hari mandir in Hiravadi, Amdavad.
11 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Maha sud 3) Friday, Atladra, Bodeli, Atladra
At 9.50 am Swamishri arrived from Atladra at Bodeli to perform the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the shikharbaddh BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. The Vedic rituals of the ceremony had already commenced. Five thousand tribal devotees and wellwishers were participating in the mahapuja rituals. The railway minister Shri Narayansinh Rathwa and ex-forest minister Shri Mohansinh Rathwa, district president Shri Ranjitsinh Rathwa and other officials were also present at the stone-laying ceremony.
Swamishri performed the rituals on the main foundation stone by pouring panchamrut and doing pujan. Senior sadhus, Pujya Dr Swami, Pujya Tyagvallabh Swami and Pujya Viveksagar Swami, performed the rituals on other foundation stones. After Swamishri had poured cement into the foundation he attended the satsang assembly. Pujya Viveksagar Swami, Pujya Dr Swami and Pujya Divyaswarup Swami addressed the assembly of 5,000 tribal devotees.
Narayansinh Rathwa praised the services of BAPS, saying, “You are all fortunate because your need for many years has been fulfilled today. I have seen that before satsang there was nothing here. People were in the vice-grip of superstitions and bad practices. Then with the increasing grace of Swaminarayan people changed and became pious. Formerly, it was not possible to travel by night, but now after satsang there is no fear.”
Finally, Swamishri addressed the assembly, “Due to satsang people have been transformed. After understanding that addictions impoverish oneself it does not take long in giving them up. Bhagwan Swaminarayan gave two principles – one of moral living and the other of an addiction-free life. Moral living means not to mete out misery and pain on others. One should live properly and let others do so too… Our body requires food for sustenance. But when you realise your atma you will find that its means of sustenance lies in devotion, satsang, spiritual knowledge and morality. By engaging in bhajan and kirtan of God the atma becomes stronger... One should not eat meat for food. Never live by killing. Let us live and also let live.”
At 11.15 am Swamishri departed from the assembly and thereafter the devotees placed one brick each in the foundation pit. Twenty thousand devotees were served lunch.
13 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Maha sud 5) Sunday, Atladra; Vasant Panchmi
Fifteen thousand devotees had gathered for the birth anniversary celebration of Shastriji Maharaj. The senior sadhus, Pujya Viveksagar Swami, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Kothari Swami, Pujya Dr Swami and Pujya Mahant, addressed the assembly.
Swamishri honoured Pujya Bhadresh Swami for attaining a Ph.D. in Sanskrit with his thesis about the ever-presence of God as preached in the Bhagvad Gita. Then Swamishri inaugurated several new BAPS publications in Gujarati and Hindi: Life and Work of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (Gujarati) by Sadhu Adarshjivandas; Eight Saint-Poets of Bhagwan Swaminarayan (Hindi) by Sadhu Adarshjivandas; Life and Work of Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj (Hindi) by Sadhu Vivekpriyadas; Reflections on Swaminarayan Sampraday (Hindi) compiled by Sadhu Nishkamsevdas and an audio bhajan cassette ‘Nam Tera Sukhakari’. Finally in his blessings Swamishri said, “From his childhood Shastriji Maharaj built mandirs to establish the principle of Akshar and Purushottam, which was his mission on earth. The Kothari of Vartal, Gordhandas Kothari, saw the unique qualities in Shastriji Maharaj and desired that he stay with him so that he could teach him administration and later hand over his duties to him, but Shastriji Maharaj refused. Viharilalji Maharaj (Acharya) also felt that if Shastriji Maharaj stayed with him then he would be of great service. But Shastriji Maharaj had no inclination for that either. Then on meeting Bhagatji Maharaj he came to understand the philosophy of Akshar Purushottam.”
18 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Maha sud 10) Friday, Atladra
Swamishri performed the pratishtha rituals of pujan and arti of murtis for BAPS Swaminarayan Mandirs for Samoj village (dist. Bharuch), Kathvada village (dist. Daskroi) and Chavlaj village (dist. Daskroi).
20 February 2005 (V.S. 2061; Maha sud 12) Sunday, Atladra; Vasant Panchmi
From 3 January to 31 January the sadhus of Atladra Mandir sanctified the homes of 4,612 devotees with the murtis of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj. The devotees worshipped the murti, offered food or an annakut and honoured Shri Harikrishna Maharaj.
At 6.00 pm, the special evening assembly was packed with 23,000 devotees, all eager to honour Shri Harikrishna Maharaj in the presence of Swamishri. The seven little murtis of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj were adorned in palanquins. Then as they proceeded towards the main stage, youths danced with joy and devotion. The devotees became engaged in darshan of the grand, divine pageant. When the murtis were placed on the stage, Vedic peace mantras were chanted. Swamishri performed pujan of all the Thakorjis. Then in his blessings, Swamishri said, “You have all offered your services with joy and faith, so God will be happy upon you… When one realises the glory of God in one’s heart then one attains the opportunity to serve. To sacrifice and give everything is indeed a great thing. The fruit of this human birth is not to attain the objects of this world, but to have His darshan and serve Him…”
Swamishri remained seated as 11,000 devotees filed pass to honour Shri Harikrishna Maharaj.