2 November 2006 (VS 2063, Kartak sud 11) Thursday, London; Prabodhini Ekadashi
Today was a day of celebrations: Sahajanand Swami’s diksha, Swamishri’s parshad diksha at Ambli Vali Pol in Amdavad, the birth of Dharmadev and Tulsi Vivah. A diksha atmosphere was created in the central shrine of mandir.
After Thakorji’s darshan Swamishri performed his morning puja.
At 7.00 pm Swamishri performed the Shaktsav arti. A variety of 155 vegetables were arranged before Thakorji. Swamishri took a brinjal and started praising its quality before the devotees. At 7.15 pm Swamishri arrived in the assembly hall. Viveksagar Swami discoursing on ‘Akshardham – One Goal’. Yogicharan Swami sang the festive bhajan Aj Prabodhini Ekadashi aiee. Thereafter Swamishri blessed the congregation, “Some people have a master key with which they can open all locks. Believing oneself to be atma is the master key of life.”
Volunteers honor Swamishri with a shawl of flowers on Volunteers Appreciation Day
3 November 2006 (VS 2063, Kartak sud 13) Friday, London
The evening assembly was dedicated as Volunteer Day. Viveksagar Swami addressed the volunteers. Thereafter a volunteer gave details of the Annakut festival preparations. He said that the planning started six months in advance. The 1,100 volunteers served from 6.00 am till 12.00 midnight on Diwali day and from 5.00 am till 12.00 midnight on New Year’s Day. Finally, appreciating the volunteers’ services Swamishri said, “All of you have heartily served with body, mind and wealth for the Annakut festival. Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj will be very happy upon you all. The entire festival was celebrated with proper planning. One felt peaceful on seeing the annakut in the assembly hall. The replica of Bochasan mandir here is par-excellence. Though it is made of polystyrene, from far it looks like it is made of marble. Your services are highly congratulatory and they reflect your profound bhakti. Maharaj will be immensely happy. Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj will be tremendously happy upon you all. Without mahima it is not possible to offer such bhakti. You have done all this with mahima. One must have a single firm thought in one’s heart while doing seva – to please God. The seva should not be done for praise, fame or personal glory. You were able to do all this because you served as humble servants of servants.”
11 November 2006 (VS 2063 Kartak vad 6) Saturday; Symbolic BAPS Centenary Celebration Launch
The evening celebration assembly’s theme revolved around the hardships that Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and Swamishri had borne in establishing and developing the Sanstha. The assembly commenced with Viveksagar Swami’s speech on Shastriji Maharaj. Then Satyaprakash Swami talked about Yogiji Maharaj’s efforts and Gnanpriya Swami spoke about Swamishri’s endeavours. After a bhajan by sadhus Kothari Swami addressed the assembly. The youths then performed a traditional dance. Thereafter, Swamishri was honoured with garlands. A brief video on 100 years of BAPS Sanstha was shown. Finally, Swamishri blessed the packed assembly hall, “The proof of the knowledge of Akshar and Purushottam was the descent of Shriji Maharaj who came to give this knowledge. Then Gunatitanand Swami revealed that Maharaj is Purushottam Narayan and that he himself is Akshar. He declared this to the world – the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam, Brahma-Parabrahma, Swami-Narayan and Bhakta-Bhagwan. This is the tradition of India.”
12 November 2006 (VS 2063, Kartak vad 7) Sunday, London; Symbolic 86th Birthday Celebration of Swamishri
After his morning puja Swamishri performed the pratishtha rituals of arti and pujan of the murtis for BAPS hari mandirs in Coventry and Birmingham.
The evening celebration assembly was overflowing with devotees from all centres of England. As Swamishri entered the assembly hall the congregation welcomed him with thunderous claps. A superb folk dance was performed by BAPS children and teenagers. Thereafter Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus and leading devotees. This was followed with a mass arti ritual performed with flowers by all the devotees. The divine atmosphere was overwhelming. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “BAPS Shatabdi Mahotsavni Jai. BAPS is one family. With this understanding one realizes one anothers’ glory and feels like doing service with joy. Maharaj had wished the one family concept; and Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj made efforts to establish it. So the festival that we are celebrating today is due to the glory of Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. Before them we are nothing; we are too small. Because of their grace we have been given the service of Akshar and Purushottam. So we should do it with servitude. The more humble we remain the more God will bless us, and shower his pleasure upon us.”