18 August 2006 (V.S. 2062, Shravan vad 10) Friday, Bangalore
On the previous day, 17 August, Swamishri departed from Atladra at 3.00 pm by car to Amdavad. Since the flight to Bangalore was late Swamishri departed at 6.15 pm and landed at Bangalore airport at 10.00 pm. After nearly three years Swamishri was visiting Bangalore again.
In the evening welcome assembly today the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka Shri Yediruappa, Minister of Science and Technology Shri Ramchandra Gauda and MLAs Shri Narendra Babu and V. Somnna garlanded Swamishri.
Viveksagar Swami elaborated upon the story of Nishkulanand Swami from the Harililamrut. Thereafter youths performed a welcome dance. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly with the message of pricelessness of human birth and its principal aim to attain God and not to engage oneself in mundane pleasures.
19 August 2006 (V.S. 2062, Shravan vad 11) Saturday, Bangalore
At 9.55 pm H.H. Balgangadharnathji arrived at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. Swamishri welcomed him and honoured him with a garland. H.H. Balgangadharnathji garlanded Swamishri and offered him a shawl. Pujya Balgangadharnathji spoke highly of Swaminarayan Akshardham in N. Delhi and Swamishri’s contribution in showcasing Indian culture in a modern and traditional way.
In the evening satsang assembly BAPS students studying in Bangalore performed a drama “Chalo na padta shikhiye”. The drama depicted how satsangi youths remain steadfast in niyams in the face of enticements and addictions in college. Thereafter Swamishri blessed the assembly.
20 August 2006 (V.S. 2062, Shravan vad 12) Sunday, Bangalore
During the evening satsang assembly the murti of Shri Harikrishna Maharaj was honoured by the devotees of Bangalore.
22 August 2006 (V.S. 2062, Shravan vad 14) Tuesday, Bangalore
The mahant of Pejavar Math, HH Swami Vishveshtirthji, arrived at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. Swamishri welcomed him with a garland and a shawl. Pujya Vishveshtirthji narrated his vivid impressions of Swaminarayan Akshardham and said that he was impressed by the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
25 August 2006 (VS 2062, Bhadarva sud 2) Thursday, Chennai
Swamishri and Governor of Tamil Nadu dedicate Homes in Pattipulamkupam & Mahabalipuram
In the aftermath of the devastating tsunami that hit the shores of South India’s western shores in 2003 BAPS sadhus and volunteers immediately engaged themselves into providing rescue and relief. Thereafter Swamishri pledged to reconstruct the villages of Pattipulamkupam (44km from Chennai) and Mahabalipuram.
Today, after 13 months 145 homes in Pattipulamkupam and 100 houses in Mahabalipuram were completed by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and BAPS Care International. The dedication ceremony was held at Pattipulamkupam. First Swamishri sanctified the homes in Mahabalipuram and thereafter dedicated the homes at Pattipulamkupam with the Governor of Tamil Nadu H.E. Surjeetsingh Barnala. Swamishri and the Governor untied the nada chhadi amidst Vedic chantings and then visited the homes, each 300 sq.ft, fully furnished with lights, fans, beds, utensils and other household items. The new homes were built on the site of the old houses destroyed by the tsunami.
During the inauguration assembly the Governor, district collector and MPs were honoured with garlands. Thereafter Brahmavihari Swami briefly talked about the relief activities of BAPS. The local MLA Shri D. Murti expressed his gratitude for the Sanstha’s yeoman services. The district collector Shri Pradeep Yadav also voiced his appreciation to the BAPS for building wonderful houses for the homeless. Thereafter Governor Surjeetsingh Barnala said, “Today, I am happy to hand over the houses reconstructed jointly by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, India, and BAPS Care International, USA – both are international socio-spiritual charitable NGOs – to the tsunami victims. I thank Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj for inviting me to hand over the houses constructed by them for the tsunami affected people. Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj represents the essence of Hinduism with universal wisdom and simplicity. Today, the affected people are rehabilitated, thanks to the efforts of the administration, NGOs and philanthropists from every nook and corner of the world.
“I am happy to know that BAPS Swaminarayan San-stha and its volunteers swung into rescue operations within 20 minutes of the natural calamity and were helping the survivors on Marina Beach in Chennai. It is heartening to note that they provided relief items, schoolbags, note books and gave psychological and emotional counseling to the traumatized victims. They have covered 51 villages affected by tsunami and offered assistance, hot meals, food packets and drinking water. Their service includes medical camps and has examined 508 children from 22 devastated villages.
“I commend the effort of BAPS for their dedicated rehabilitation work. I understand that it contributed immensely to the Gujarat Reconstruction for Development Project in Kutch to rehabilitate the earthquake victims. I am informed that they have a Swaminarayan School in Neasden, London, where they teach the Hindu ethos, among other co-curricular activities. It is heartening to note that they also teach values and the Indian culture. I wish the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and their volunteers all success in their endeavours. Let their service to the society continue for years to come.”
Finally, Swamishri ble-ssed the assembly, “God and his sadhus and devotees come to earth to make those who are miserable and unhappy happy. To share the pain and misery of others is a hallmark of our culture. Whatever intelligence and wealth that God has given us is not for only us to enjoy. But it is also to be used for others. To give to others is a virtue of Hindu dharma. Recently in the wake of the floods in Surat many social and religious organizations rushed to provide relief and aid.
“Let us pray to God that such a calamity never comes to anyone. The houses built here are for those who have suffered in the tsunami. May they be inspired with spiritual feelings and experience peace. May God bless all who have helped and cooperated in this project with peace and happiness. We thank the government, its officers, the Governor, MLAs and the local people for their help and assistance.”
The assembly concluded with the national anthem at 12.25pm.
27 August 2006 (VS 2062, Bhadarva sud 4) Sunday, Chennai; Ganesh Chaturthi, Shramshravani
After Swamishri completed his morning puja, he performed the foundation-stone laying rituals of a research centre for the renowned Shankar Netralayam (Eye Hospital). Swamishri also blessed Shri Badrinathji and his colleagues.
29 August 2006 (VS 2062, Bhadarva sud 5) Tuesday, Chennai
After his morning puja, Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of pujan and arti for a BAPS Sanskardham for the village of Krushnankarani – where the Sanstha has a large stretch of land. Swamishri also performed the murti-pratishtha rituals for a BAPS hari mandir at Villianur village which is 10km from Pondicherry. Swamishri blessed the Tamil devotees by showering rice grains.
In the evening assembly the devotees honoured Shri Harikrishna Maharaj.
31 August 2006 (VS 2062, Bhadarva sud 7) Thursday, Chennai
In the evening assembly various Gujarati organizations honoured Swamishri for his spiritual and philanthropic services to society. Viveksagar Swami addressed the assembly. A video on the Sanstha’s flood-relief work in Surat was shown.
Thereafter youths performed a cultural dance. The chief guest of the evening assembly Shri Narendrabhai Maher and other dignitaries honoured Swamishri with a garland and bouquets. A citation honouring Swamishri was read out and presented to Swamishri. Then on behalf of the Gujarati Samaj Shri N.R. Dave said, “Swamishri has built Akshardham in Delhi. It was a feat that would have taken twenty-five years to complete, but it was accomplished with profound faith in only five years. Swamishri’s management, coordination and leadership are unique. Pramukh Swami is not only a Jagatguru but a Dharmacharya with great foresight. For us Pramukh Swami Maharaj is a Yugpurush.”
The president of the Akhil Bharat Brahma Samaj Shri Varunbhai Japi and the Chief guest Shri Narendrabhai Maher also expressed their feelings of appreciation for Swamishri.
In conclusion Swamishri blessed the assembly enlightening all about the efficacy of satsang.