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16 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 3) Wednesday, Nairobi, Kampala
At 9.35 am Swamishri departed from Nairobi by flight and landed at Entebbe airport near Kampala the capital of Uganda, at 10.55 am. Swamishri was welcomed by Bhikhubhai Patel (chairman), Ramjibhai Patel and other devotees. Swamishri was honoured as the state guest of Uganda by Mr. Ambrose, managing director of civil aviation. After a 45 minute drive Swamishri arrived at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Kampala. Swamishri was welcomed by the resounding ‘jais’ of devotees. Members of an African music and dramatic society welcomed Swamishri with a traditional African dance. After Thakorji’s darshan Swamishri sat briefly in the mandir hall and blessed the devotees. Thereafter Swamishri proceeded towards his living quarters.

17 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 1) Thursday, Kampala
The Home Minister of Uganda, Dr Rugunda visited Swamishri. He had been impressed on seeing Swaminarayan Akshardham during his recent visit to New Delhi. He told Swamishri that it was wonderful and there was no doubt that it is one of the wonders of the world. He asked Swamishri to bless his country with peace and prosperity. Swamishri assured him that he would pray daily.
In the evening welcome assembly at the mandir Viveksagar Swami addressed the gathering. Thereafter the youths performed a welcome dance for Swamishri and also presented a drama on Hira Mukhi. Swamishri was then garlanded by senior sadhus and leading devotees. Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Satsang in Kampala has existed since the time of Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. Through their wish and grace the mandir was built here. Due to certain circumstances a difficulty arose some time ago but by God’s wish and the blessings of Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj peace returned to the country. The new government handed over all the mandirs to their respective followers. Due to our true bhakti God inspired all and we too received our mandir back and today all of us are doing bhajan and bhakti here. Through inner faith and trust one’s mission is realized.”

Yagna ,Kampala

Murti-Pratishtha ,

19 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 3) Saturday, Kampala
Yesterday, during Swamishri’s evening dinner, devotees from the towns of Eganga, Kaliro, Bigori, Mabale, Jinja, Tororo and others gave reports of their satsang activities. A yagna for the murti-pratishtha rituals was performed yesterday morning in the mandir hall.
In the morning Ishwarcharan Swami, Viveksagar Swami, Anandswarup Swami and Bhaktavatsal Swami performed the first part of the murti-pratishtha rituals of the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Radha-Krishna Dev and Guru Parampara. Thereafter the senior sadhus addressed the assembly.
In the evening, before presiding over the Satsang assembly, Swamishri performed the final pratishtha rituals of arti and pujan of the murtis. Thereafter Swamishri attended the joint pratishtha, centenary celebration and farewell assembly. Youths performed a drama on how the 200-year-feud between the villagers of Odarka and Kukad was resolved by Swamishri. Thereafter a traditional dance was performed.
Then Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus and devotees. Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, “In the Bhagvad Gita Shri Krishna says that God comes on earth to destroy unrighteousness and evil, and establish dharma and protect and liberate mankind. Bhagwan Ram destroyed Ravan. Bhagwan Shri Krishna taught the Gita. Bhagwan Swaminarayan came on earth with his abode (dham) and muktas to liberate countless souls. He taught all to abstain from addictions, violence, stealing, meat-eating and adultery. He taught that one should respect and perform acts that bring happiness to all. Bhagwan Swaminarayan did not fight battles and did not kill evil men, but transformed their evil nature and blessed them with dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti to make them happy. Then Gunatitanand Swami continued his mission. Thereafter Bhagatji Maharaj came and Shastriji Maharaj established the BAPS. Yogiji Maharaj had also been here, and he too blessed all with happiness. So, the mission of Bhagwan Swaminarayan was for the good and benefit of all mankind. For this purpose the pratishtha of God’s murtis has been completed today. May all imbibe the knowledge of God in their lives.”
During Swamishri’s dinner devotees from the villages of Mabale, Kyunga, Lira, Barara, Aruva, Saroti and others were present for darshan.

20 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 4) Sunday, Kampala, Dar-es-Salaam
At 10.20 am Swamishri took off from Kampala and landed at Dar-es-Salaam International Airport, in Tanzania at 12 noon. Swamishri was welcomed with garlands by Subhashbhai Patel (Chairman of Tanzania Satsang mandal), Minister for Cultural Sports and Media, and Deputy Minister of Labour Work and Acquirement Mr. Mummad S. Khatif and Immanuel Cheembi respectively. Thereafter Swamishri arrived at the BAPS mandir amidst jubilant ‘jais’ from devotees and children showering flower petals. Shri Kantibhai Patel, a senior devotee, and Subhashbhai Patel garlanded and honoured Swamishri. Then Swamishri took lunch and retired for the afternoon.
In the evening Swamishri arrived for the welcome assembly at the Lakshminarayan Mandir. Bhaktavatsal Swami gave the welcome address on behalf of all and then the youths of Dar-es-Salaam performed a traditional welcome dance. Thereafter Mahendrabhai Barrister, Subhashbhai Patel and Ashwinbhai Sampat (Chairman of Sanatan Mandir) gave welcome speeches. Then heads of various religious organizations and mandirs welcomed Swamishri and the sadhus with garlands. In conclusion Swamishri blessed the assembly, “We can attain everything in life, but our shastras say that if fail to attain devotion to God, dharma, satsang and other virtues then our life is worthless. God has given us this human body and intelligence. Animals cannot understand right and wrong whereas man can think because God has endowed him with extra powers. Therefore a person should always think about the purpose of life. Human birth is attained out of punya acquired through pilgrimage, yoga, yagna, charity and other means. May we all through this priceless human birth do such works that it gives peace to one’s soul…”

21 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 5) Monday, Dar-es-Salaam
During Swamishri’s stay devotees and youths of Dar-es-Salaam, Mwanza, Tanga and other centres gave reports about their satsang activities.
At 5.45 pm President Kikwete came for Swamishri’s blessings at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir. Swamishri honoured him with a garland. The President welcomed and thanked Swamishri for coming to Tanzania. He requested Swamishri to pray for peace and prosperity to prevail in his country. Swamishri praised the President for his generous and open attitude. He blessed the President for great accomplishments in his life, and for peace and progress to prevail in the country.
Finally, Swamishri gave a mala to the President and told him to use it while praying because it would give him peace within, and peace would prevail in his country.
The President departed after twenty minutes.
The evening assembly was held to commemorate the BAPS Centenary Celebration Year. Atmatrupt Swami addressed the assembly. Thereafter a drama on Hira Mukhi was enacted, and finally children and youths performed a traditional folk dance.
In conclusion, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “God is the all-doer. Whatever he does for us, whether it brings misery or happiness, will be for our benefit. God comes to do good, but we suffer pain and misery because of our karmas, thoughts and feelings. There are true devotees who have full faith in God and believe that whatever God does is for the good of all. Such devotees never lapse in their faith in God. Even when God shows human traits he liberates the souls.”
The youths of the Dar-es-Salaam BAPS Satsang Mandal perform charity once every month by personally delivering food and gifts to blind patients or those afflicted with leprosy or cancer at the local hospitals. The women devotees of Dar-es-Salaam also distribute food and needy materials once every three months to an orphanage.
The BAPS youths of Mwanza Satsang Mandal cook 50 kg of rice and 20 kg of pulses and feed 350 physically challenged children every month.


Resolving a Devotee's Sadness
21 May 2007, (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh sud 5) Monday,


pregnant lady devotee from abroad was disappoint on learning that she was expecting a baby girl. She and her husband desired for a boy so that they could later offer him to Swamishri to become a sadhu. The husband rang up Swamishri and informed him about their sadness.
Swamishri calmed him, saying, “By the wish of Maharaj if a girl is born then receive her happily as if she is a boy. Furthermore, it was your wish to have a son and make him into a sadhu then believe that your son is a sadhu. Raise and look after the girl with the feeling that she is a boy. Your child will make you happy and give you peace in your life.”
Swamishri encourages devotees to accept the birth of a girl or a boy with equal joy. He holds no distinction or favours for either because he believes it to be the wish of God.
To dissolve the disillusionment of the devotee on expecting a baby girl, Swamishri tells him to raise her as if she is a boy.
A pregnant lady devotee from abroad was disappoint on learning that she was expecting a baby girl. She and her husband desired for a boy so that they could later offer him to Swamishri to become a sadhu. The husband rang up Swamishri and informed him about their sadness.
Swamishri calmed him, saying, “By the wish of Maharaj if a girl is born then receive her happily as if she is a boy. Furthermore, it was your wish to have a son and make him into a sadhu then believe that your son is a sadhu. Raise and look after the girl with the feeling that she is a boy. Your child will make you happy and give you peace in your life.”
Swamishri encourages devotees to accept the birth of a girl or a boy with equal joy. He holds no distinction or favours for either because he believes it to be the wish of God.
To dissolve the disillusionment of the devotee on expecting a baby girl, Swamishri tells him to raise her as if she is a boy.


23 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 7) Wednesday, Dar-es-Salaam; Yagna and Nagar Yatra Yagna
Under the auspices of the murti-pratistha ceremony of the BAPS mandir a yagna for world peace was arranged at the Lakshminarayan Mandir. Seated around 51 kunds 500 devotees participated in the yagna rituals. During the yagna Swamishri performed pujan of the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Radha-Krishna Dev and the Guru Parampara and performed arti. Thereafter Swamishri blessed the function, “It is a wonderful and divine day today. This hall has been a venue for spiritual discourses, kirtans, festivals and yagnas. Yogiji Maharaj had presided over many assemblies held here. So this is a sublime place. Today a yagna has commenced and the murtis will be consecrated. God is within us, in our hearts. This is a matter of faith, and after perceiving his glory one should daily go for his darshan, bhajan and discourses.”
Nagar Yatra
At 3.00 pm a grand procession (nagar yatra) commenced with the murtis installed in three wonderful floats. The floats were made by Bengali craftsmen brought from India a month earlier. For the procession and pratishtha functions devotees had come from Tanga, Morongoro, Dodoma, Itimgaambeya, Lidimtevara, Arusha, Moshi, Shinyanga, Tobora, Kigoma, Bukoba, Musoma, Mwanza, Makamba, Nanshiyo, Kapunga, Deita, Nachingvuaaa, Tunduru, Songeya, Masasi and other places throughout Tanzania. Furthermore devotees from India, UK, USA and Indonesia were also present.
The procession resounded with dhun, bhajans and folk-dance performances. The police banded the procession, followed by youths on motorbikes, devotees from abroad holding flags of their respective countries, traditionally dressed children and youths performing folk-dances, sadhus singing dhun, Hansa Rath with the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, senior sadhus with Harikrishna Maharaj in a car, Hasti Rath with the murtis of Guru Parampara and the Mayur Rath with the murtis of Radha-Krishna Dev. The entire procession stretched for 1 km and it concluded after two hours.

Nagar Yatra ,Dar-es-Salaam

24 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 8) Thursday, Dar-es-Salaam; Mandir Re-consecration Ceremony
At 10.45 am Swamishri performed the consecration rituals of murtis that would be adorned with clothes – Shri Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Radha-Krishna Dev and small, delicate murtis of Guru Parampara in marble. An annakut of 1,151 vegetarian food items was offered to Thakorji. Swamishri performed the pratishtha rituals of pujan, arti and mantra pushpanjali.
In the pratishtha assembly Viveksagar Swami gave a brief history of Satsang in East Africa. Thereafter Swamishri blessed the congregation, “Today, the murti-pratishtha festival has been wonderfully accomplished for the third time. God is very merciful. Such occasions help to enhance our bhakti. Through genuine devotion God is pleased upon us. We have to consolidate God’s instructions and the philosophy of Akshar-Purushottam in our souls. Maharaj had accomplished a unique mission. Thereafter Shastriji Maharaj established the upasana of Akshar and Purushottam, and that God is one. We do not become God but forever remain his humble servant. No matter how intelligent one may be, no matter how wealthy one may be but one has to remain a humble servant.”
In all 3,500 devotees and well wishers took mahaprasad

Overcoming The Senses And Mind

26 May 2007 , (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 10) Saturday, Dar-es-Salaam) 

Swamishri asked a youth named Niraj, “Who do you belong to?”
Niraj replied instantly, “Swami, I am yours.”
Then later on, after some contemplation, the youth confessed to Swamishri, “I belong to my senses and mind. Very often I succumb to them. Tell me what I should do to overcome them.”
Swamishri replied, “Contemplate on the spiritual association and benefit you get daily, and also ponder upon the fact that you are atma.”
The youth replied, “I contemplate that Pramukh Swami is my atma.”
Swamishri answered, “That is alright, but the fact is that you get overwhelmed (by your senses and mind). For this, believe that you are atma and gradually you will overcome (the material inclinations of your senses and mind).
Swamishri taught the youth the Upanishadic truth to realize that he is atma to overcome the influences of his senses and mind.



27 May 2007 (VS 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 11) Sunday, Dar-es-Salaam, Mombasa (Kenya)
At 10.00 am Swamishri departed by flight from Dar-es-Salaam and landed at Moi International Airport in Mombasa at 10.30 am. After having darshan of Thakorji at the BAPS hari mandir Swamishri and sadhus were welcomed at a devoteee’s bungalow in Nyali by the ocean shore. Swamishri inaugurated his four storey bungalow.



Symbolic Birthday Celebration of Swamishri

1 June 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth sud 15) Friday, Mombasa
This morning devotees of Mombasa and from other places held a symbolic celebration of Swamishri’s birthday. On Swamishri’s arrival for his morning puja balloons rained from the entire marquee and everyone sang and wished Swamishri a happy birthday. In the evening celebration assembly senior sadhus extolled Swamishri’s saintliness. The youths of Mombasa Satsang Mandal enacted a drama on Alexander the Great’s encounters in India. Jaydeep Swadia sang bhajans and senior sadhus honoured Swamishri with garlands. Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, “From the day we landed in Africa there has been joy, joy and joy. The love of the devotees is profuse and full of enthusiasm. Shriji Maharaj has said that people love festivals and discourses because it bonds them with God. Therefore one must participate for the purpose of pleasing God. Devotees have always had one goal and that is to please God. When God is pleased he blesses us with the happiness of this world and his abode hereafter.”

5 June 2007 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth vad 4) Tuesday, Mombasa
A hundred years ago today (5 June 1907) Shastriji Maharaj had performed the murti-pratishtha rituals and arti of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj in Bochasan. To commemorate this memorable occasion a unique function was arranged at 11.00 am. Swamishri’s seat had been designed in the form of a decorative tula. Swamishri presided over the historic small celebration assembly. Viveksagar Swami spoke about the history of BAPS. Then Ishwarcharan Swami addressed the small assembly. Shri Mahendrabhai Barrister expressed their appreciations to Swamishri. After a bhajan Swamishri blessed the assembly, “This Satsang tour has been arranged to celebrate the BAPS Centenary Year, in which hundreds of thousands can experience and avail of the festivity. The celebration has commenced from Africa. Shastriji Maharaj inspired the establishment of Satsang here. The beginning of Satsang and mandirs abroad started from here. So the celebration should be supremely and gloriously celebrated everywhere. It has been prescribed in the shastras that a devotee of God should dedicate his wealth, home and family in the service of God. Dada Khachar and other devotees proved this true. Similarly, this time the devotees of Africa have done this. So there will be peace and that peace shall endure. The reason is he has an understanding of God’s greatness. Whatever we do and achieve is through intelligence which is given by God. Whatever we have has been gifted to us by God.” Swamishri’s blessings concluded at 12.08 pm On this auspicious day Swamishri wrote a letter for all sadhus and devotees: BAPS SANSTHA CENTENARY DAY Date 5.6.2007 Adhik Jeth vad Choth – 4 Mombasa A hundred years ago on this earth Pragat Brahmaswarup Pujya Shastriji Maharaj, for the first time established a shikharbaddh mandir in Bochasan to spread the pure upasana of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, and enshrined Akshar and Purushottam Maharaj in the middle shrine of the mandir. On this holy day may dharma, gnan, vairagya and bhakti be consolidated in your lives and that you also realize Ekantik Dharma. For this, Pragat Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj and Pragat Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj had performed their work with saintliness. So may we all tread on that path and endeavour for the development of Satsang – which will be a great seva. I bless you that you all strive with inner strength. Jai Swaminarayan Shastri Narayanswarupdas.

7 June 2006 (V.S. 2063, Adhik Jeth vad 6) Thursday, Mombasa (Kenya), Stansted (UK), Chicago (USA)
After spending seven days in Mombasa and blessing all with his divine joy and satsang Swamishri departed from Moi International Airport at 12.12 pm towards Chicago via Stansted, UK. During the flight Swamishri had a discussion with the sadhus narrating many divine incidents from the time of Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. Swamishri also talked to the stewards and inspired them to give up meat and addictions. The chartered plane landed at Stansted airport at 9.00 pm GMT (11.00 pm Mombasa time). Swamishri blessed the sadhus and devotees of London. The plane departed for USA at 10.30 am and Swamishri retired to bed immediately thereafter (12.30 am Mombasa time). At 12.40 am (4.40 am Mombasa time) Swamishri performed his morning puja in the plane. The flight landed at O’Hare Airport, Chicago, at 1.30 am. Swamishri was welcomed by devotees and American officials of state. At 3.00 am Swamishri arrived at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago. More than 700 devotees were present to welcome Swamishri. The youths performed a brief traditional dance to welcome Swamishri. Swamishri went to sleep at 3.20 am and woke up at 11.30 am. After darshan of Thakorji in the mandir and abhishek of Nilkanth Varni Swamishri took lunch and thereafter conversed with the sadhus and devotees.

Living with Swamishri

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