Jal Jhilani festival
As part of the Jal Jhilani festival a mahapuja was held in the Neelkanth Abhishek Mandapam at 4.00 pm. Swamishri arrived at the Akshardham monument at 5.30 pm. After darshan of the deities Swamishri performed the concluding rituals of the mahapuja in the Neelkanth Mandapam. Swamishri performed puja, arti and abhishek of Neelkanth Varni. Thereafter the Jal Jhilani festival was celebrated by the steps of Narayan Sarovar. Viveksagar Swami explained the significance and glory of Jal Jhilani in his address. Swamishri then bathed Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and had the holy water sprinkled on the devotees. Thereafter Shri Harikrishna Maharaj was taken on the ritual boat ride in Narayan Sarovar with senior sadhus. Five artis were performed, one after each round in the boat. Sadhus also sang bhajans describing Shriji Maharaj’s divine lila. The final arti was performed by Swamishri.
As a grand finale to the celebration Swamishri blessed the congregation, “Maharaj resides in Akshardham with muktas and bhaktas. The festival of Jal Jhilani has been celebrated beautifully. People are inspired in Akshar-dham. It is a divine place, and a place of Indian culture that will please and satisfy all. May there be peace in the world and an end to family, societal and international conflicts.” Then Swamishri ritually submerged the murti of Ganeshji in the waters of Narayan Sarovar.
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj Smruti Din
Swamishri celebrated the shraddh of Shastriji Maharaj in the presence of over 200 sadhus. In the shraddh assembly sadhus sang the glory of Shastriji Maharaj. The Yuvak Mandal of Delhi performed a cultural dance. Finally, Swamishri blessed the congregation. “Through the wish of Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj this divine Akshardham has come up on the banks of the river Yamuna. We are all sitting here in this divine place. The knowledge of Akshar and Purushottam is true, endorsed by the shastras, experiential, and propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. Shastriji Maharaj had firmly understood this knowledge. He was very intelligent. He became a sadhu at a young age and had come to do God’s work. He was divine and full of bhakti in his life. Even while playing he built sand-mandirs and performed arti. He is eternal, and wedded to dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti.”
2 September 2006, New Delhi
In the morning the former Deputy Prime Minister of India Shri Lalkrishna Advani met Swamishri and received his blessings. Thereafter Shri L.M.Singhvi, former ambassador of India to the UK, met Swamishri.
At 6.30 pm an assembly of dignitaries was held in the mandir hall. Swamishri blessed the congregation, “No matter what one’s faith be the teachings of the scriptures and great saints have always been about the attainment of moksha. If one follows them then one is a human being. An animal has no discrimination as to where to sit, how to raise its offsprings; whereas man has been endowed with the power of discrimination. To become an ideal man the Shikshapatri has given 212 aphorisms…”
3 September 2006, New Delhi
Swamishri welcomed the vice-president of India, H.E. Shri Bhaironsingh Shekhawat, with a garland. He expressed his appreciations and praises for the
creation of Akshar-dham.
Thereafter the chairman of Metro Train, Shridharan, received Swamishri’s blessings.
The former Prime Minister of India Shri Deve Gowda was also welcomed and blessed by Swamishri.
4 September 2006, New Delhi
The Governor of Himachal Pradesh, H.E. Kokje, praised Swamishri after seeing Akshardham. “You have done great work for the youths of today. The volunteers here are very praiseworthy.” Swamishri said, “Everyone here serves with devotion. They do it to please God.” The Governor added, “All activities in the world today are money-centred. Whereas here I saw that people are service-centered.”
Later in the morning the former Lt. Governor of Delhi, Shri Vijay Kapoor, also came for Swamishri’s darshan and blessings.
5 September 2006, New Delhi
In the evening the Chief Minister of Haryana Shri Bhupendrasinh Hooda came for Swamishri’s darshan with some of his cabinet ministers. He was appreciative of Swaminarayan Akshardham and requested Swamishri to build one in Kurukshetra.
Thereafter the Finance Minister of India, Shri Chidambaram, came to Swamishri after seeing Akshardham. He, too, expressed his appreciation for the cultural complex.
7 September 2006, New Delhi
From 11.30 pm to 1.10 am Swamishri observed the lunar eclipse rituals with sadhus and devotees by attending the assembly of bhajans and discourses. In conclusion Swamishri blessed the congregation, “It is great to sing the glory of God. All our lives we have been singing the glory of the world and maya. When we praise God we experience inner peace. By listening to spiritual discourses, engaging in bhajan and kirtan one receives the blessings of God and experiences inner happiness. When God showers his grace then one becomes fulfilled. We, too, look upon others but with mundane purposes. So no inner transformation takes place. However, God’s divine grace and also that of his true sadhus and devotees are divine.”
The lunar eclipse ended at 1.10 am. Thereafter Swamishri and sadhus took a bath and performed puja. Swamishri retired at 2.00 am.
9 September 2006, New Delhi
At 6.45 pm Pujya Chinna Jeer Swami, Head of Ramanujacharya Sect, Andhra Pradesh, met Swamishri after seeing Akshardham. Swamishri welcomed him with a garland. Pujya Chinna Jeer Swami praised Akshardham and said, “You are transforming the inner selves of people. It is wonderful.”
Swamishri: All that happens is through the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Jeer Swami: It is through your grace. There is a lot to see in this world, but it does not give peace of mind. What you have shown here is not shown by anyone. A doctor gives medicine in a capsule form, similarly, you have used technology to show God.
Swamishri: These sadhus are educated and they have done it.
Jeer Swami: The soul is indispensable for the survival of body; you are the soul of the sadhus.
Swamishri: God is the soul. Guru is the soul. It was the wish of our guru Yogiji Maharaj.
Jeer Swami: An acharya (guru) may wish but one requires someone to translate it into reality. You have been making the guru’s wishes into reality. Through your sadhus you are inspiring thousands of people. Whenever I come to you I am inspired. I feel that I can do this and I am inspired further.”
Finally Swamishri honoured Pujya Chinna Jeer Swami with a shawl.
11 September 2006, New Delhi
At 6.15 pm the President of India Shri APJ Abdul Kalam arrived at Akshardham. He was welcomed by senior sadhus at the complex and by children donned in traditional clothes. Thereafter he saw the Gajendra Peeth, musical fountain and large format film Neelkanth Yatra. At 9.25 pm the President arrived at Swamishri’s quarters where he was welcomed with the singing of the Shanti Paath by 200 sadhus. He was garlanded by Swamishri. The president praised the large format film. A dialogue between Swamishri and the President took place.
12 September 2006, New Delhi
In the evening, the former Prime Minister of India, Shri Atalbihari Vajpayee arrived at Akshardham. He saw the monument, musical fountain and Neelkanth Yatra large format film. He was welcomed by Swamishri with a garland. Shri Vajpayee said, “Akshardham is indescribable.” After a brief dialogue Swami-shri blessed him.