2 October 2005 (VS 2061, Bhadarva vad 14) Sunday, N. Delhi, Jaipur
At 3.55 pm Swamishri departed from New Delhi by car towards Jaipur. After 3¾ hours Swamishri arrived in Jaipur and attended the evening assembly. In his blessings Swamishri said, “Jaipur is a very famous city. There is a lot of art and mandirs in Rajasthan. The main mandir here is that of Radha-Govindji and thousands of people go for darshan. Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj have visited here quite often. Jaipur is renowned for making murtis. When the mandir in Gadhada was under construction I used to come often for the murtis that were being made here.
“Mandirs are our culture. Through them one receives samskars. Through reading of shastras and listening to sadhus one becomes spiritually strong. By reading the Shrimad Bhagvat, Gita and Vachanamrut one attains knowledge about the form of God. ”
3 October 2005 (VS 2061, Bhadarva vad 30) Monday, Jaipur
At 4.17 pm the solar eclipse commenced. During the assembly, Viveksagar Swami spoke on the significance of eclipses. Finally in his blessings Swamishri said, “There are three types of miseries: adhyatma, adhibhut and adhidev. Whenever one faces miseries one should always pray and chant the name of God. God dissolves all our worries and pains.” The solar eclipse concluded at 5.35 pm.
In the evening the secretary of Jaipur Development Authority Shri Himatasinh, Additonal Advocate General of Rajasthan Shri Bharatbhai Vyas and minister of PWD Shri Rajendrasinh Rathod met Swamishri and received his blessings.
In the afternoon 275 women devotees took out a kalash yatra procession carrying auspicious pots in the mandir neighbourhood.
In the evening an assembly was arranged to felicitate devotees who had rendered their services for the shikharbaddh mandir. Swamishri first presented a shawl to Jaisukhbhai Jhala for handling the construction work and thereafter blessed the prominent devotees. Finally, blessing the devotees and 700 BAPS volunteers, Swamishri said, “It is a matter of great happiness that a lot of people have come from Gujarat and other areas to seek the spiritual benefit of this festival. To get such opportunities to offer seva in functions like these turn out to be of immense spiritual advantage. It is service to God and if God is pleased, you are blessed. You will attain God’s abode and become happy. When you work for others it is for the sake of your body, whereas this service to God is for the benefit of your soul. With such service you attain the bliss of God’s Akshardham. You will have great peace. When God is pleased, your birth becomes worthwhile.”
5 October 2005 (VS 2061, Aso sud 2) Wednesday, Jaipur
The day marked the ceremonial entry into the mandir. By 6 am the Vedic rituals were completed. The golden kalashes and flagstaff were installed after Swamishri performed its puja. Along with this, a yagna for world peace was being conducted in the nearby Pratap Stadium. In the yagna mandap there were 78 sacrificial pits, where 844 devotees were participating. On the main platform with Swamishri were the chief sponsors and senior sadhus. Among the participants in the yagna were 240 sculptors from Makrana and 61 tribal devotees from Sagvada and Dungarpur. The chief guests on the occasion were the former chief minister of Rajasthan and the present general secretary of Congress, Ashok Ghelot, a former minister and satsangi, Madhavsinhji Diwan, and the leader of the opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, B.D. Kalla. On the platform were the murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Ghanshyam Maharaj, Harikrishna Maharaj, Radha-Govind Dev, Sita-Ram, Shiv-Parvati, Hanumanji and Ganapati. The murti of Neelkanth Varni for the Abhishek Mandapam at Delhi Akshardham was placed beside the murtis to be installed at Kherva village. The chief Brahmins at the function were Ghanshyambhai Shukla, Bharatbhai, Mukeshbhai and others. After the rituals were completed, Pramukh Swami Maharaj bathed the small murti of Harikrishna Maharaj with panchamrut. After the rituals, Ashok Ghelot garlanded Swamishri and sought his blessings. Expressing his sentiments during the yagna he said, “Today the yagna has begun for world peace. I welcome Pramukh Swami Maharaj to Jaipur. He teaches the message of love and brotherhood for world peace. In London, he has built a wonderful mandir. He has built a similar one in Jaipur. His message is relevant and useful to the entire world. I extend a warm welcome to him on behalf of the entire country and the people of this region and I request him that he should come here often and inspire us all.”
Other guests like B.D. Kalla and Madhavsinh Diwan offered garlands to Swamishri and received his blessings. Mahant Swami presented them with mementoes. Then Swamishri blessed the assembly, “The Mahavishnu Yagna is being conducted on the occasion of the murti-pratishtha in Jaipur. Our Vedic sentiments are very lofty since they express peace for everyone. If we please God, everything will be all right. Those who witness such a yagna will experience peace. Jaipur city, Rajasthan, the country and the entire world will similarly be blessed with peace.”
Grand procession through Jaipur
The murtis of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and other deities to be installed in Jaipur were taken through the streets of the city in a grand procession on 5 October 2005. The mayor of the city flagged off the procession at 4.15 pm at the Albert Hall. The atmosphere resounded to the joyous chants of the vast gathering of devotees and local residents. The long and colorrful procession wended through the Tripolia gate, Badi Chaupad, Jauhari Bazaar on the main street, and the Sanganeri gate before terminating at Ravindra Manch. Boys waving flags preceded the procession. After that youths carrying a red banner inscribed with the words ‘Swaminarayan Murti-Pratishtha Mahotsav’ marched with éclat. Close behind was a caparisoned elephant carrying a murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. There were 30 motorcyclists wearing traditional Rajasthani dress and turbans and six horse riders in royal costumes. Youths danced to the tunes of the band and four traditionally attired devotees were carrying flags on four richly caparisoned camels. Devotees from 60 interior villages of Rajasthan, and from Africa, Hong Kong, America, London and Gujarat participated in the festive procession. Senior sadhus were seated in horse-drawn carriages and chariots. Thereafter 15 youths of Pali, with bells tied to their feet, mesmerized the spectators with their traditional Rajasthani folk dancing. Musicians seated on camel carts sang bhajans in Hindi, Gujarati and Marwari. Young boys dressed like Ganapati, Hanumanji, Shivji and other deities attracted much attention. The religious fervour was enhanced by the murtis carried in the various decorated chariots. The atmosphere was filled with the devout chantings of 1100 devotees. In the rear part of the procession women dressed in auspicious attire carried kalashes and performed folk dances. Five hundred women devotees marched in front of the Kamal Rath carrying the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj, to the accompaniment of garba by girls. This was followed by the Pushpak Rath carrying the murtis of Sita-Ram and Hanumanji.
Thousands of citizens of Jaipur savored the sights of the procession from their windows and balconies. During the procession, people ran up to the murtis and sadhus to present them with garlands and showered them with flowers.
The hundred-odd youthful sadhus wearing saffron dhotis and upper cloths attracted the attention of onlookers.
Several people distributed prasad made of puffed rice. The Gujarati Samaj supplied cold buttermilk to quench the thirst of the devotees. At 6.15 pm the procession terminated at Ravindra Manch.
6 October 2005 (VS 2061, Aso sud 3) Thursday, Jaipur
Early in the morning the sacred Vedic mantras echoed from the mandir, purifying the atmosphere. The murtis of Thakorji were standing resplendently in the sanctum sanctorum. The consecration rituals began in the presence of senior sadhus.
After Swamishri’s arrival at 8.40 am, senior sadhus joined Swamishri in the consecration rituals for the various deities.
Prominent devotees from India and abroad and members of Jaipur Satsang Mandal were seated underneath the mandir domes.
Swamishri began the ritual for invoking the Divine into the murtis. He stood on the steps of the throne and invited Shriji Maharaj to enter the murti. He ceremoniously opened the eyes and entreated Him to cast a benevolent first glance on the entire creation by showing the mirror. After the eye-opening rituals, Swamishri performed pujan of each murti. He consecrated the murti of Neelkanth Varni to be installed in the Abhishekh Mandap of Delhi Akshardham. After performing the life-infusion ceremony of the murtis Swamishri returned to his seat in the Koli Mandap.
The Additional Advocate General of Rajasthan, Bharatbhai Vyas, came for Swamiji’s darshan. He had helped in the construction of the mandir in many ways. Swamishri tied a sacred thread to his wrist and applied tilak-chandlo on his forehead. Swamishri then performed the murti-pratishtha arti of Thakorji.
After the consecration rituals, Swamishri presided over the murti-pratishtha assembly at Pratap Stadium.
Senior sadhus and guests were on the dais. On the right were the Education Minister Ghanshyambhai Tiwari, Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria, Maharaja Bhawanisingh, PWD Minister Rajendrasinh Rathod, Home Secretary V.S. Singh, and Additional Advocate General Bharat Vyas. Among others were Commissioner Savant Saheb, Jaipur Development Authority Commissioner Hanumantsinh and also MLAs of the area.
The Home Minister Gulabchand Kataria said in his speech, “We are grateful to Pramukh Swami Maharaj for installing the pillar of dharma in this place. It will enable us to live our lives with a purpose and feeling of fulfilment. I thank Swamishri on behalf of the Udaipur region.”
Then the PWD minister Rajendrasinh Rathod said, “It is a matter of pride for us that God’s house has been built here, by whose grace we exist. For ages to come, this mandir will remind us of God.” The Education Minister Ghanshyambhai Tiwari in his scholarly speech said, “Today, two things have occurred here. First, the installation of the murtis has taken place and, second, we have the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. We only hear of God’s lila, but we do not see it. When God is present we wish to see the lila. Kings, leaders or pandits are not the true representatives of this country. But sadhus like these are the true representatives and backbone of this country. Because of them our culture has survived. From Satyug to Kaliyug these sadhus have kept the chariot of our culture moving. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has done a lot for sustaining our culture and tradition. Swamishri is a distinguished leader who blesses others with divinity. It is our good fortune that his feet have touched this part of the earth. Because of this mandir the spiritual energy will increase.”
V.S. Singh, Home Secretary, spoke of the miracle that brought the mandir into being. He said, “It is beyond belief that such a work has been done in such a short time. When the matter was put up before me, it appeared to be a dream to me. When this matter was again brought before me two-and-a-half years ago, then I realized that it was not a dream but a gift to Jaipur of a social and peaceful culture.”
Additional Advocate General Bharat Vyas said, “In Swamishri I recognize a great leader of the country. After Adi Shankaracharya, I see the glory of Chaitanyadev in him. The nation can progress only with his grace.” In the end, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Through God we experience happiness and peace. That is why we have to protect this wealth (dharma) and increase it. Our glory is because of this wealth. To the extent it grows there will be peace. Though Western culture is here, we have to spread our own tradition and protect it. Our shastras, Shikshapatri and Vachanamrut, are our true wealth. The mandir is our wealth. There is a great need for mandirs. We acquire samskars by going to mandirs. May we acquire faith to walk on the spiritual path. May the prosperity of the city increase. Let there be peace in Rajasthan and the entire country. May all sincerely practise dharma.”
More than 7000 devotees attended the murti-pratishtha celebrations. Various devotees had made garlands to mark the occasion. Senior sadhus presented these to Swamishri.
In the end the members of Jaipur Satsang Mandal as well as those of Rajasthan presented garlands to Swamishri before the ceremony concluded.
At 11.45 am the Abhijit Nakshatra was in the ascendant. It was necessary to perform the murti-pratishtha arti in the Abhijit Nakshatra. For that Swamishri once again entered the mandir for arti. All ministers and guests also accompanied him. Swamishri performed the pratishtha arti of the deities.