1 November 2007 (V.S. 2063-64, Aso vad 7)
Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Hanumanji and Ganapatiji and Shri Guru Parampara for the BAPS hari mandir in Karanj village.
9 November 2007, Diwali (V.S. 2063-64, Sharda Pujan)
At 6.15 pm Swamishri arrived for the Chopda pujan ceremony in which account books for the New Year were ritually worshipped. Swamishri presided over the mahapuja that was performed on the mandir precincts called Akshar Chowk. The backdrop to Swamishri’s seat was the huge entrance to the assembly hall. It was decorated with divas and Diwali banners. During the mahapuja arti there was a firework display. Then Viveksagar Swami discoursed about the significance of the Diwali celebration. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Shastriji Maharaj acquired this place and enshrined our philosophy, built this mandir and enhanced the glory of Gunatitanand Swami. Yogiji Maharaj stayed here for many years. The mahapuja was performed to erase our mistakes, negative attitudes and inner darkness. For many lifetimes there has been darkness. Out of compassion Shriji Maharaj brought his abode, Gunatit, and Shastriji Maharaj preached their glory, thus illuminating our hearts with divine light – that is true knowledge.”
10 November 2007, New Year’s Day Celebration
The New Year’s Day mahapuja rituals were performed parallel to Swamishri’s morning puja. The morning assembly was addressed by Viveksagar Swami. At 10.20 am Swamishri arrived and blessed the devotees. He said, “You have all come to celebrate the annakut festival here so I pray to Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj to bless you all with happiness. To attain Akshardham is our goal. The monkeys in the time of Ram built a bridge and realized that he was God. They said the name of Ram and the stones floated. They said his name with the faith that he was God. When such faith is absent one does things for mere show, which obstructs the accomplishment of any work. “A person or thing becomes divine through an association with God. The Kathis became divine due to their association with Shriji Maharaj. To overcome the cycles of life and death one needs to associate with God in human form.” At 11.15 am Swamishri went to the mandir sanctum where annakut had been beautifully arranged before Thakorji. Swamishri sat before the middle shrine, accompanied by Gondal Naresh Shri Jyoti Bapu and Prince Hemanshu. After singing five thals Swamishri performed the annakut arti. Thereafter Swamishri went to Akshar Deri and performed arti. In all, 20,000 devotees attended the grand annakut celebration.
15 November 2007 (V.S. 2063-64, Sud Pancham) Thuesday, Rajkot
The evening assembly to celebrate the BAPS Centenary Year was held at the Racecourse Ground. The assembly was based on the theme “In the joy of others lies our own”. The stage backdrop comprised a giant replica of Akshar Deri enshrining the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj along with huge photographic scenes of both Swaminarayan Akshardhams, in Delhi and Gandhinagar. Viveksagar Swami first addressed the assembly. Then Dr Swami spoke on BAPS’ spiritual and secular activities. Two videos on Akshardham and Pramukh Swami Maharaj were shown. Then the senior sadhus, devotees and guests honoured Swamishri with flower garlands. Children performed a cultural dance. To crown the assembly Swamishri blessed the huge gathering of 20,000 devotees and well-wishers, “Because of I-ness and Mine-ness one experiences pain and unhappiness in life. If they are dissolved then one experiences the divine joy of God. One must first understand that one’s true form is atma, and within it resides Paramatma. When God leaves from within then nothing will work. No matter how intelligent one may be nothing will be possible through one’s own effort.” In conclusion more than 20,000 devotees and guests performed arti. The celebration ended with a spectacular fireworks display.