1 December 2005 (V.S. 2061, Kartak vad 3) Thursday, Delhi, Kolkata
At 5.00 pm Swamishri departed from Delhi by air and arrived at Kolkata at 6.48 pm. After darshan of Thakorji at the BAPS Mandir Swamishri was welcomed by the BAPS youth band while going to the welcome assembly arranged nearby. The youth performed a welcome dance and after the garlanding ceremony Swamishri blessed the assembly. Through technology you were able to have darshan of Akshardham. Technology is an art of God. Through his inspiration it came to be invented. That is all part of progress, but through Satsang and bhakti one is rid of inner vices and ignorance…”
4 December 2005 (V.S. 2061, Magshar sud 3) Sunday, Kolkata, Children’s Day
At 11.00 children brought a variety of food items to offer as annakut to Shri Harikrishna Maharaj. They all gathered and sang thals.
At 7.00 pm the Children’s Day program included prayers, monoacting of Premji Variya and a quiz, ‘Kon Banega Adarsh Balak’. The assembly was capped with Swamishri’s blessings, “The children played a good quiz themed ‘Who will become an ideal child’. Normally one thinks about becoming a millionaire, a president, etc. To become ideal one must have knowledge of our Sampraday, and know of the life and work of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. One reads the Shikshapatri but who wrote it and where was it written? One must know who and where the Bhagwat and Gita were written…”
5 December 2005 (V.S. 2062, Magshar sud 4) Monday, Kolkata; Youth Day
After Viveksagar Swami’s exposition, Dr Swami discoursed on the subject of ‘Thought’. Thereafter the youths presented a speech and a street play depicting today’s youth. Then a youth asked Swamishri as to how they could stay aloof from the decadent situation. Swamishri replied, “Whatever that dislodges one from character, bhajan, bhakti and spirituality is kusang (bad company). If you want to be virtuous then you must exercise discrimination in watching television. Peace can only be attained through God and His Sadhu. Through them one is redeemed off bad qualities. One should not drink and gamble. Earn money through honest ways. If one progresses through wrong means then one will not have love for God and His Sadhu. By having refuge in God one must cultivate good thoughts study well, serve the country and strive for redeeming one’s atma.”
8 December 2005 (V.S. 2062, Magshar sud 8) Thursday, Kolkata; Swamishri’s 85th Birthday Celebrations
Swamishri’s morning puja and birthday celebration assembly was held at the new BAPS Shikharbaddh mandir site on Diamond Harbour Road on the outskirts of Kolkata. As Swamishri arrived for his morning puja he was welcomed with the traditional sound of gongs played by Oriya devotees. Swamishri performed his puja on the mandir podium. At 9.00 am the Mahapuja rituals for the placement of the first mandir pillar commenced. Swamishri arrived for the rituals at 9.45 am. At 10.00 am Swamishri’s 85th birthday celebration assembly began. Viveksagar Swami lauded Swamishri’s divine personality. Thereafter Siddheshwar Swami and Bhavatpriya Swami addressed the assembly of 1500 devotees. The guests for the celebration were industrialist Shri Sudarshan K Birla, proprietor of Maisur Cement Shri Nandlal Haminvasiya and Shri Madhavsinh Diwan of Rajasthan.
BAPS children and youth performed a cultural dance on the bhajan, “Chalo chalo ne Mandir Banaviye…” After Dr Swami’s speech Swamishri blessed the assembly, “If whatever one does is directed towards pleasing God then one will attain happiness. But if one does it for oneself only then one experiences misery. Bhagwan Swaminarayan has preached that whatever one does for one’s family, society, religion and others then one should not do it for one’s own happiness, progress or fame but to please God. When God is pleased everyone is pleased. God has a generous heart and he desires to redeem all. His work brings peace on earth and benefits mankind. By making other miserable one cannot be happy. Through pleasing others one gains happiness in life.”
At 11.50 Swamishri was honored with garlands by senior sadhus and devotees. At 12.25 pm Swamishri performed pujan, arti and mantra pushpanjali of the first pillar. Then he poured cement in the base of the pillar and thereafter the pillar was lowered into place.
In conclusion to the celebration 1500 devotees were served lunch.
13 December 2005 (V.S. 2062, Magshar sud 13) Tuesday, Kolkata, Gandhinagar
At 5.15 pm Swamishri and his entourage departed by flight from Kolkata and arrived at Amdavad airport at 7.50 pm. At 8.25 pm Swamishri arrived in Gandhinagar and performed the pratishtha rituals of pujan and arti of the murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Guru Parampara and Hanumanji and Ganapatji. Thereafter Swamishri was garlanded and briefly blessed the assembly of devotees.