Swamishri honors Pujya Satyamitranand Swami with a shawl
13 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 11) Thursday, New Delhi
From today the 25-day long Akshardham Festival commenced with Swamishri’s puja in the giant marquee in Pramukh Swami Nagar. Every evening a satsang assembly was held from 5.00 pm to 8.30 pm in which Sadhu Adarshjivandas elaborated upon Swaminarayancharit Manas – the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Thereafter, a cultural dance was performed by BAPS children, a guest speaker addressed the assembly and Swamishri finally blessed the congregation.
Guest Speaker – Pujya Satyamitranandgiriji spoke brilliantly on “Tena Tyaktena Bhujithaha.” Pujya Satyamitranandgiriji said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj has created Akshardham, a new ‘world’. Here, people will derive inspiration and get the opportunity of having darshan and contemplation of our culture. After pilgrimaging the four Himalaya pilgrim places this has become the fifth. If anyone does not come here then his pilgrimage will be unfinished. What Swamiji has created cannot be conceived in our dreams.”
Pujya Jitatmanand Swami offers his respects to Swamishri
14 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 11) Friday, New Delhi
Guest Speakers: H.H.Jitatmanand Swami, Vice-president of Ramkrishna Mission, commented in his interview, “The temple, the sculptures, very intricately carved designs, figures – very impressive. I have been most impressed by the new Disneyland (Sanskruti Vihar) about the Indian Vedic civilization. The film (Neelkanth Yatra) has very deeply impressed me.
Swami Vivekanand said the highest men are calm, silent and unknown. That is the source of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s strength; calm, silent and unknown. He doesn’t project himself. And secondly, Swami Vivekanand said that man becomes the world mover in whom their little self is dead and God stands there. In Pramukh Swami I find a child-like egoless saint. In such an egoless saint God works wonders. There is no doubt about that.”
Shri Pradipji Mittal, President of Agarwal Samaj, said,
“Akshardham is such a wonderful creation that it was required in Bharat. With creations like Akshardham there is a revival of Indian cultural values. Through modern techniques employed in the exhibition halls one gets the opportunity of seeing our culture and they are therefore the sources of character and values. When I received Swamiji’s blessings I felt as if I am receiving the blessings of God through him.”
Swamishri welcomes Dr. R. Chidambaram, chief scientific adviser for Govt. of India. In his address he said, "Whether you are a scientist or otherwise, you are really impressed by the spirit of spirituality that you see in Akshardham and I myself feel tremendously invigorated by my visit here today."
15 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 13) Saturday, New Delhi
Guest Speakers: Dr R Chidambaram, scientist and chief scientific adviser of India, said, “It is impossible to believe that all this has been achieved in a brief span of five years. You have mixed spirituality with high technology. What you are doing here in Akshardham in Delhi, and what of course you have done in London and in Gandhinagar, and in many other places, is to restore to India its great spiritual heritage.
Guests: Shri Bharatbhai Shah, industrialist and social worker, Dubai, reflected, “Only a Yugpurush (epoch-maker) sent by God can accomplish such a wonderful complex.”
Shri L.D. Mittal, owner of Sonalik Tractors, opined, “After seeing Akshardham I felt as if a magician has created this complex. In four to five years such a big structure! To make a small bungalow it takes four years. This is possible only through God’s grace. It is an amazing confluence of sculpture, science and bhakti.”
Jain Acharya Mahapragnaji, "I saw the film on Swaminarayan and I was really amazed at how a teenager could be so brave."
16 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 14) Sunday, New Delhi
Guests: H.H.Acharya Mahapragnaji, Jain Spiritual Leader, said, "After coming here I have seen the tangible form of dharma. In the afternoon I saw the life of Swaminarayan (large format film). I was wonderstruck how a teenage boy could be so fearless, how he could be so courageous! It is simply unimaginable. I am pleased by the concentration with which the complex has been made. I asked the sadhu guiding us as to who visualised this and who was the architect. I got one answer that Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It is a wonderful experience for me. Where there is such humility and guru bhakti there such a great work is possible.” Swami
Pujya Swami Nirliptanandji, Vice president of Divine Life Society, praised, “The whole complex has been so nicely made. Everything is very beautiful, very impressive. I have been very much impressed by the film (giant screen film) on Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has done a great service to the entire country by conceiving the Akshardham complex. Here the entire Indian culture has been beautifully highlighted so that every Indian can know what is our grand Indian culture, what is our great heritage and how rich it is. I believe that the entire Akshardham reflects the personality of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.”
Shri Ramesh Agrawal, owner of Dainik Bhaskar daily, said,
“I have never seen such a work in my whole life. I believe that this mandir is a great gift to Indian culture, Hindu dharma and our society. The way in which the presentations are made are unparalleled. For centuries people will be inspired.”
Shri Indravadan Modi, Chairman of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, reveals, “It seems impossible for a person to do this. In this work I see God.
Swamishri blesses the evening assembly
17 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 15) Monday, New Delhi, Sharad Punam
A lunar eclipse was observed from 5.04 pm to 6.03 pm. Swamishri presided over the eclipse assembly where dhun, bhajan and speeches were made by sadhus.
The celebration assembly of the 220th birth anniversary of Aksharbrahma Gunatitanand Swami commenced at 8.00 pm. Viveksagar Swami talked about the ‘Uniqueness of Aksharbrahma’, Tyagvallabh Swami talked about ‘Unparalleled Aksharbrahma’, Kothari Swami praised about the ‘Matchless Austere Spirit of Aksharbrahma’, Dr Swami talked about ‘Aksharbrahma’s Uniqueness in Spreading the Glory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’, Mahant Swami elaborated upon the ‘Unique Gunatit Parampara’. Finally, the assembly was capped by Swamishri’s blessings, “Maharaj came on earth with his abode Aksharbrahma. By realising the latter one attains Maharaj. Swami discoursed about the supreme glory of Maharaj. When one engages in listening to discourses one realizes one’s base nature, because without associating with the holy Sadhu one cannot realize one’s base nature.” The fifth and final arti was performed by Swamishri and the assembly concluded at 10.25 pm.
Swamishri greets Pujya Dayanand Saraswatiji
18 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 1) Tuesday, New Delhi
Guests: H.H. Swami Dayanand Saraswatiji, Head of Arsh Vidya Gurukulam, said, “Any one who comes here will go back being proud that we belong to a great heritage. Any non-Indian who is a visitor will never go back saying that India is a country so full of dust and poverty. He will say India is a place of devotion, art and everything.”
H.H. Swami Harinarayanand, Secretary of Bharat Sadhu Samaj, expressed his feelings, “The large format film of Neelkanth is unparalleled. It will inspire society with truth, endeavor, self-control and renunciation. I was amazed at the presentation of rishis (Sanskruti Vihar) from the Vedic period to the present. Nowhere in India or the world is something like this seen. It is a matter of great pride for India. The new generation will be inspired as to how to live.”
H.H. Swami Mangalanandji, President of Sadhu Samaj, stated, “In five years you have accomplished 500 years. I am wonderstruck by what I have seen. I often say that Gandhiji is the father of the national revolution and Swamiji is the father of a spiritual revolution.”
Shri Prakashchandra Hinduja, an industrialist, said, “After entering the complex I visited the different places and I felt that this place has become the new future place of God."
Swamishri and Shri Dr. Pranavbhai Pandya
19 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 2) Wednesday, New Delhi
Guests: Shri Pranav Pandya, Head of Gayatri Parivar, opined, “I have seen that each and every part of this whole complex, the big temple of peace, speaks the language of the soul. Everywhere you look you can see the elegance, beauty and magnanimous form of Indian culture.”
Shri V. Tulsidas, Chairman and M.D. of Air India, said, “It is a wonderful experience. One thing that stands out is that an institution like this founded so many, many years ago is so much alive today that it is wonderful. There has to be something really moving, really spiritual behind this if it has to produce this kind of an impact after so many centuries.”
Swamishri garlands Pujya Jeer Swami, Head of Totadri Ramanuj Pith, and he offers a shawl to Swamishri
20 October 205 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 4) Thursday, New Delhi
From today, the different departments behind the celebration presented their reports before Swamishri during his breakfast, lunch and dinner times.
Guests:H. H. Jeer Swami, Head of Ramanuj Sampraday, Totadri, reflected, “I am indeed blessed and privileged to have seen Akshardham. I feel an indescribable joy. I have seen many buildings. They are beautiful but what has been created here is doubtlessly unique.
H.H. Balgangadharnathji, Head of Adi Chunchungiri Math, Banglore, said, “Vaikunth has been created here. Whatever good that can be created that has been done and shown here by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. No matter how atheistic a person be but by seeing this he will experience inner peace. Also, seeing the simplicity and other virtues in Pramukh Swami Maharaj gives inner peace."
Shri Sudarshanji Birla, industrialist, lauded, "This is something fantastic. It is out of this world. This place inspires bhakti. I came as a tourist, but the things I have seen here, the thoughtfulness which has gone into its construction and the idea behind it inspires anybody. Even if he is a non-believer he will go away with a great deal of inspiration. Bhakti is very much present here; this is what you want in any temple. After seeing the Akshardham complex there was a feeling inside that this is definitely the house of God.”
Swamishri welcomes Pujya Vishveshtirthji, Head of Pejawar Muth, Bangalore, with a garland
21 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 4) Friday, New Delhi
Guests: H.H. Shri Vishveshtirthji, Head of Pejavar Math, opined, “I am very happy and wonderstruck after seeing Akshardham. I experienced that I was not in this world. You have created Indralok in Indraprastha. It is a place of pride for all Indians. It is a beacon of gnan and bhakti for the life-boats sailing in this ocean of life.
“I am astonished by the film on Bhagwan Swaminarayan (large format film). I am inspired. The life and message of Swaminarayan is a source of guidance for the whole world.
Akshardham is a grand mandir of our culture that spreads devotion, love and spirituality. In the Bhagvad Gita Arjun regains his memory and becomes free of disillusion (moha) by the cosmic darshan of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. Similarly, this mandir where one has the darshan of the cosmic form of our culture, will destroy the disillusionment. For all youths Akshardham will become a place of enlightenment.”
Shri Balkrishna Shriya, MD LML Ltd., said, "This temple is a jewel on Earth, not only in Delhi and in India."
22 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 5) Saturday, New Delhi
Guest: Shri Balkrishna Shriya, M.D. LML Ltd., praised, “This temple is a jewel on earth, not only in Delhi and India. And the way you have put the robotics are life-like and amazing. After seeing Akshardham, I can say that Swamiji has rejuvenated our ancient heritage. Whoever comes here will at the most make efforts to reform himself.”
Both guests honor Swamishri with a saffron shawl
23 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 6) Sunday, New Delhi
After his morning puja Swamishri performed pujan of a large pair of marble charnarvinds (footprints of Bhagwan Swaminarayan) that were to be placed between the two Mayur Dwars in Akshardham complex.
H.H. Chidanandji Maharaj (Muniji), Head, Parmarthniketan, Rishikesh, said, “In the giant Akshardham complex I experienced in every step the darshan of our culture, samskars and the sadhna of sadhus. Here, there is the power of bhakti and seva.”
Shri Rameshbhai Oza, an eloquent propagator of Shrimad Bhagvat, added, “In the 21st century the country which has the richest cultural heritage will be held to be the best. Delhi is the heart of our country and Pramukh Swami Maharaj has established Akshardham in its heart.”
Shri Hridaynarayanji, Scholar in Ancient History, said, “I believe the greatest personal motive in man is to attain moksha. Akshardham has the potential to guide and take one to the doors of this personal motive. For spiritual sadhaks this will forever remain an ideal pillar. In future any sculptor or artist will come here for inspiration. For centuries it will proclaim that Indian culture is not only rich but it is also alive.”
Shri Bhagwat Swaroop, Settlements Commission, Government of India, related, “What has touched me is the dedication of the workers. The complex is a spiritual journey of India’s glorious past. There is a unique blend of India’s glorious past and the present age technology. I would say that I am spiritually enlightened by it and I am sure that whenever anybody visits this monument, he is going to be spiritually inspired by it.”
Jayraman Iyer, Director of Stock Holding Corp. of India, expressed, "Akshardham is really breathtaking."
24 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 7) Monday, New Delhi
Guests: ? Shri Jayramanji Iyer, Director, Stock Holding Corpn. of India, explained, “Three important messages have really touched me here. 1. Any action you do, if it is selfless then it will become sublime. 2. The greatest thing in life is to avoid war. Avoid ashanti at any cost. We must consciously try to bring peace around us and if anyone tries to bring peace around himself the world will be a peaceful place. 3. If you want to have these kinds of thought processes to take place in your mind it is very important you change your food habit and become vegetarian. These three messages are really relevant to the world and if everybody listens to Pramukh Swami Maharaj, I am sure our world will be the best place to live. The devas will come from heaven to live on earth.”
Shri Arun Gujarati, President of Maharashtra National Congress Party, stated, “I have seen half the world, but I have never seen such a mandir in my life. It is a spiritual centre, religious centre, tourist centre – whatever one wishes one will get here. And one will definitely get peace here.”
Swamishri meets Pujya Swami Nikhilanandji
25 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 8) Tuesday, New Delhi
Guest: Pujya Nikhilanand Swami, Chinmaya Mission, explained, “On seeing the Akshardham complex, the first question that arose in mind was, ‘Whose dream was it?’ Then I came to know it was the dream of Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Then there was no doubt that the dream would become a reality.
“Just as the Bhagvad Gita is a good book among all books and it is the center of a very appealing philosophy, similarly, if one sees in the whole of Delhi one will find Akshardham to be the most appealing spiritual center.”
Swamishri blesses Shri Satish Gujaral, a renowned international artist and architect. With reference to Akshardham he said, "I am otherwise not a believer, but there are times when you see such a thing that you have to make yourself believe that there is something like Providence which gives man such power to create such a place."
27 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 10) Thursday, New Delhi
Guests: ? Shri Satish Gujral, Renowned Architect and Artist, wrote, “I am otherwise not a believer, but there are times when you see such a thing that you have to make yourself believe that there is something like Providence which gives man such power to create such a place. This place, as I am told, is created in just 5 years. I am not only an artist but an architect and I have seen projects being built. And seeing the limitations and style in India, I think normally it would have taken 50 years to build such a thing. It is a very beautiful place, very well planned and as I told you before it can make a non-believer become a believer.
Venkatpati Kutumb Shastri, Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrut Sansthan, revealed, “Through the wish and austerity of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the mandir that I have seen serves the ‘taste’ of wonder. It can be compared to the cosmic form of God as described in the 11th chapter of Bhagvad Gita.”
Maharaja of Jagannathpuri Gajpati Divyasingdev addresses the assembly
28 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 11) Friday, New Delhi
Guest: H.H.Gajpati Divyasinh Dev Maharaj, King of Jagannathpuri, expressed, “I think the person who comes here would get the impression that life is meant for a spiritual journey and it is only the spirituality that really matters. Akshardham will be a call for a better world, better future and glorious human existence in the days to come.”
Acharya Vatsa Goswami of Gaudiya Sampraday blessed the assembly, "This Akshardham is not only a mandir of the guru tradition, but it also portrays our rich traditions - of art, sculpture, architecture."
29 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 12) Saturday, New Delhi
Guests: Shri Vatsa Goswami, Acharya of Gaudiya Sampraday, said, “ Akshardham is not merely a mandir of the guru tradition, but it also reveals our great traditions: tradition of art, sculptor and architecture.”
30 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 13) Sunday, New Delhi
Guests: Hasan Kamal, Poet, Bahrain, praised, “Every column, every corner, every place made is really unique. It is hand made. A house takes more than two years to finish and this has been done in a very short period of time.”
Shri D.R. Kartikeyan, Former Director of CBI and Director General of Human Rights Commission, lauded, “If there is going to be an assessment on the 7 Wonders of the World, I think this complex is going to get the top most place. Every Indian should be proud of this. When you go around, it is just beautiful to look at and very entertaining. Every aspect of it imparts certain values of art and science of living a full life, harmonious life, spiritual life and a life full of harmony between various sects and groups of people all over the world.”
Abdul Hamid, Under Secretary, Bahrain, said, “Akshardham is so wonderful that it seems that aliens from another planet have come and made it. This is not a work of humans.”
Shri Balasubramaniam, Director of CBSE, praised, “I think it is a great spiritual monument which the city of Delhi should be proud of. It imbibes the basics of all religions, the immense wealth of our cultural heritage and the vibrancy of Indian thought. I think this kind of monument is required to make an impregnable impact on the younger generation of our country, who can really feel the mind and spirit of India.”
Blesses an Ordinary Devotee
15 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso sud 13) Saturday, New Delhi
The Akshardham festival included a 25 day program of stage performances, speeches and blessings. Every morning Swamishri performed his morning puja on the festival stage. Thereafter he would return to his living quarters by car, during which thousands of devotees stood on both sides of the road to have Swamishri’s darshan.
Today, while Swamishri was proceeding by car he saw an old devotee, Govindbhai of Rojid village (near Sarangpur). [Years ago Swamishri had gone to Rojid for donations so that he could acquire paint for Sarangpur Mandir. At that time he had slept the night on a bullock cart at Govindbhai’s place.] Swamishri had his car stopped and beckoned Govindbhai to come to him. Swamishri blessed him and gave him advice on his social problems.
Despite the magnitude of the festival and hectic schedules Swamishri never forgets an ordinary villager.
I am Atma!
25 October 2005 (V.S. 2061, Aso vad 8) Tuesday, New Delhi
After the evening satsang assembly Swamishri was returning to his residence. An aspirant asked Swamishri, “Till 2007 give me a niyam.”
Swamishri replied, “ The greatest of all niyams is ‘Nijatamanam brahmarupam’. In it are included all the niyams are included. In times of joy and insult one should remain happy. That is our aim and our niyam. One should always introspect. It is one’s worldly life or in one’s own work no one disturbs or spoils them. It is we who spoil ourselves.”