1 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Jeth vad 10) Friday, Jamnagar; Children’s Day
As part of the Children’s Day celebration the evening assembly had various presentations by children. Then Swamishri blessed the assembly, “In the past talks from the Ramayan, Bhagvat, etc. were narrated so virtues were instilled from childhood. Nowadays when they are asked, children question, Who is Ram? Who is Krishna? They do not know about God or who has given this body. So, how can virtues be developed? Merely planting a tree is not enough, but it has to be provided water and fertilizer. Only then will it grow and give fruits. Just as trees are nurtured in this way, children, too, must be nurtured85 Dhruv and Prahlad were taught good values from childhood by their mothers85 Happiness in life is due to our dharma and virtues85 Peace and happiness is obtained from God.”
3 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Jeth vad 12) Sunday, Jamnagar
In the morning, while Swamishri performed his morning puja, devotees participated in a special mahapuja ceremony praying for the early completion of the mandir in Jamnagar.
Afterwards, Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha and arti rituals of the new marble murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and the murtis of the Guru Parampara.
6 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Jeth vad 30) Wednesday, Jamnagar
In the evening assembly Swamishri blessed the devotees, “True wealth is our dharma, virtues and spirituality. They bring happiness in this world and in the next. If we do not have wealth in the form of God everything is wasted. So that wealth is very big.”
7 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 1) Thursday, Jamnagar
The evening assembly in the presence of Swamishri was held as the symbolic celebration of the Rath Yatra festival.
The murtis of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj were seated in a decorated, motorised chariot and was manoeuvered around the assembly hall. In conclusion, Swamishri performed the Rath Yatra celebration arti.
8 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh vad 2) Friday, Jamnagar, New Delhi; Rath Yatra
At 9.15 am Swamishri flew from Jamnagar, arriving at New Delhi airport at 10.45 am. Swamishri reached the mandir at around 11.45 am.
In the evening assembly, the Rath Yatra festival was celebrated. Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Through festival celebrations our link with God is strengthened. These festivals are for pleasing God. Other enjoyments please the senses, so what is to be eradicated (from our lives) is furthered engrained! But these festivals remove the faults and dirt from within. It is difficult to remove the dirt from the mind, but if the mind focuses on God all the dirt is removed. By bathing, the body is cleansed. But bathing does not cleanse the mind; it is cleansed by offering bhakti to God.”
After Swamishri’s blessings, the beautifully decorated chariot, in which the murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj had been placed, was driven around the mandir. Swamishri observed the procession of children, devotees and sadhus from the side. During the fifth and last pradakshina Swamishri, too, joined the Rath Yatra procession. Finally, Swamishri performed the celebration arti.
9 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 3) Saturday, New Dehli
In the morning, the Lieutenant Governor of New Delhi, Shri Joshi, visited the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex and then came to meet Swamishri. Shri Joshi remarked, “This is an extraordinary project. I have seen all the mandirs throughout the country but I have not seen any place that has as much variety as here. The mandirs of Delvara and Ranakpur are good, but they do not compare with the grandeur and carvings here.”
In the afternoon, Robert Blake, deputy chief of the American Mission in New Delhi came to meet Swamishri. Mr. Blake commented, “I was pleased to learn that you have promoted faith, tolerance, generosity and other high ideals even in America. There is a great need for such values today. I believe that you are an ambassador not only for India but for the whole of mankind.”
After the meeting Mr. Blake left Swamishri’s room and then said to sadhus, “What I find remarkable is that he is such a great person, but lives with such great simplicity. For me this is truly incredible.”
13 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 6) Wednesday, New Delhi
While Swamishri was performing his morning puja, the vice-president of India, H.E. Bhaironsinh Shekhavat arrived for darshan. After puja the vice-president was given a tour of the under construction Swaminarayan Akshardham and then he returned to meet Swamishri.
14 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 7) Thursday, Delhi
In the afternoon the Home Secretary, Shri Lakshminarayan, came to meet Swamishri. After seeing the Akshardham complex he commented, “Akshardham is fantastic. It will also contribute greatly in the nurturing of the country’s character. I have been abroad 150 times. I’ve also seen Disneyland and Las Vegas. I’ve seen South Africa’s Fun City and everything else, but compared to them all what you have created is tremendously inspiring. You have superbly displayed the glory of India.”
17 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 10) Sunday, New Delhi
Today marked an auspicious and historic landmark for the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex.
First, Swamishri performed the Vedic abhishek rituals for the golden kalashes of the Akshardham monument.
Then, at 10.30 am he performed the Vedic rituals and arti for the placing of the 11 ft. high murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan inside the main monument.
Swamishri performed both these traditional rituals with meticulous care and great joy.
When Swamishri emerged from the main monument the main kalash had already been hoisted by crane and fixed on top of the central dome.
* 19 July 2005 (V.S. 2061 Ashadh sud 13) Tuesday, New Delhi, Amdavad, Bochasan
After morning puja, Swamishri was on his way for Thakorji’s darshan in the mandir. En route, he stopped at the 27 ft. high brass murti of Nilkanth Varni that will be placed outside the IMAX theatre. Swamishri applied chandlo at the feet of the murti and showered sanctified flowers on it.
At 5.50 pm Swamishri flew from New Delhi, arriving in Amdavad at 7.10 pm. From the airport, he went directly to Bochasan, arriving at 8.50 pm.