2 May 2007 (VS 2063, Vaishakh sud 15) Wednesday, Bochasan, Amdavad, Gandhinagar.
Swamishri departed from Bochasan or at 5.10 pm and arrived in Ahmedabad at 6.45 pm. After a home visit, Swamishri arrived at Amdavad mandir for darshan. Swamishri blessed the large gathering of devotees before departing to Gandhinagar.
7 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 5) Monday, Ahmedabad, Nairobi
At 10.30 am Swamishri’s chartered plane departed from Sardar Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad, towards Nairobi the capital of Kenya. Swamishri was accompanied by Ishwarcharan Swami, Viveksagar Swami, Anandswarup Swami, Yogicharan Swami, Dharmacharan Swami, Krishnavallabh Swami, Narayancharan Swami, Nirbhayswarup Swami, Yogismaran Swami, Yagneshbhai Devani and Shri Subhashbhai Patel. After a journey of 3,119 miles the plane landed at Jomo Kenyatta International airport at 2.40 pm (Kenya Standard Time or 5.10 pm IST). Swamishri was welcomed by the Deputy High Commissioner of India Shri Shukla, Bhaktavatsal Swami, Mahendrabhai Barrister (Chairman of East Africa Satsang), Harshadbhai Rana, Arvindbhai Saheb (President of Nairobi Mandal), Kiranbhai Patel and others. Swamishri arrived at the BAPS mandir at 3.25 pm. Children and devotees welcomed Swamishri with ‘jais’. After Thakorji’s darshan Swamishri addressed the gathering, “Because of your love and sentiments we have come and are having Thakorji’s darshan, darshan of sadhus residing here and your darshan. The festivals in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar-es-salaam and Mombasa will be celebrated well. So many have done austerities, which reflect your profound feelings and bhakti. In India, too, devotees perform fasts and pilgrimages, and sing dhun with the same deep feelings that (Swami’s) health remains well. May Maharaj grant all those who have fasted with inner strength and more bhakti.” At 4.15 pm Swamishri retired to rest. At 7.00 pm Swamishri woke up and engaged himself in reading and writing letters.
8 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 6) Tuesday, Nairobi
In the evening welcome assembly Viveksagar Swami delivered his exposition on the BAPS centenary history. Thereafter Ishwarcharan Swami addressed the assembly. A welcome dance was performed by children and teenagers. Then Swamishri was welcomed and honoured with garlands by Bhaktavatsal Swami and sadhus, and senior devotees. Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Bhagwan Swaminarayan came on earth and blessed all with true knowledge – the knowledge of Akshar and Purushottam, atma and Paramatma, and Swami and Narayan. The Gunatit Sadhu is God-realized and he reveals and spreads God’s true glory. The Bhagvat, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Gita, Vedas, Upanishads, Vachanamrut and Shikshapatri contain the life stories, glory and teachings of God and his devotees. When one understands this knowledge one’s life is liberated. So while celebrating the centenary celebrations may we never forget the supreme knowledge of Maharaj and Swami, and to preserve the culture of Hindu dharma. One runs one’s business with a feeling of ownership, similarly, doing bhajan, listening to spiritual discourses, visiting the mandir, observing moral canons and having an addiction-free life with a sense of ownership pleases the Satpurush.”
Swamishri Commemorates the 100th Patotsav of Bochasan Mandir (English date) ,Nairobi
9 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 7) Wednesday, Nairobi
During Swamishri’s ten-day stay in Nairobi his breakfast, lunch and dinner times were scheduled for satsang reports and presentations by children, teenagers and devotees from various towns and cities of Kenya, South Africa and Botswana. Children and teenagers recited Vachanamruts, Swamini Vato, kirtans and narrated incidents. The devotees were from Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kericho, Kakamega, Thika, Durban and Lenasia (S.Africa) In the morning katha Atmatrupt Swami narrated and elaborated upon Swamishri’s incidents from the ‘Brahmopanishad’. The evening assembly agenda included a speech by Viveksagar Swami on the BAPS centenary saga, dramas and folk dances by children and teenagers from different centres and speeches by senior sadhus. Then Swamishri concluded the assembly with his blessings. Today, in the evening assembly Anandswarup Swami addressed the congregation. Swamishri arrived at 6.50 pm and children of Eldoret and Nakuru Mandals performed traditional dances. Thereafter the youths of Nairobi Mandal presented a drama entitled 'Mokshanu Dwar' drama. Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, elaborating upon the meaning of moksha.
13 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 11) Sunday, Nairobi; Shastriji Maharaj Day
Under the auspices of the BAPS Centenary Celebration Year a grand procession (Bhakti Feri) was organized. More than 4,500 devotees from India, USA, England, South Africa, East Africa, Botswana, Zambia and other places had assembled to participate. At 10.15 am Swamishri flagged off the Bhakti Feri. Senior sadhus along with the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj showered petals upon the mandir and procession from a helicopter. The colourful devotional pageant included sadhus chanting dhun in front, followed by a marching band of BAPS youths playing the Swaminarayan dhun and local tunes like ‘Jambo, Jambo bana…‘, children waving BAPS flags, the BAPS Centenary float with the utsav murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, devotees carrying flags of different countries, and finally women dressed in traditional dress carrying auspicious kalashes on their heads. The 2.5 km long Bhakti Feri, awash with colours, devotional singing and dancing, proclaimed the message and spirit of the BAPS Centenary Year Celebrations. At 6.50 pm Swamishri arrived in the assembly hall. Extracts from the mega-drama, ‘Yagnapurush Sukhakari’, were enacted, namely, Shastriji Maharaj’s departure from Vartal, the difficulties faced by his sadhus (‘Gaamo gaame ghume…’) and lively traditional dances on the lyric ‘Haiyamaa anand ati ubhraay…’ The entire hall was packed with devotees and well wishers. Swamishri blessed and honoured MP and former Environment Minister of India Shri Suresh Prabhu with a garland. Finally, in his blessings, Swamishri said, “It was Shastriji Maharaj’s principle to sing the glory of Maharaj, teach the philosophy of Akshar and Purushottam, and please Maharaj. He himself was unique and divine, and by God’s grace he had a following of faithful devotees.” Then Swamishri explained the philosophy of Akshar and Purushottam as propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan with scriptural references and historical examples.
Yogi Jayanti Celebration ,
14 May 2007 (V.S. 2063, Vaishakh vad 12) Monday, Nairobi; Yogiji Maharaj Day
After Swamishri had completed his morning puja he gave the bhagwati diksha on African soil for the first time in the history of East Africa Satsang Mandal to two parshads, originally born and brought up in Nairobi. They were named Sadhu Gnanyogidas and Sadhu Siddhayogidas. An annakut of 738 food items was offered to Thakorji in the mandir shrine. Swamishri performed arti and blessed the devotees for their devotional efforts. In the evening assembly a drama on Yogiji Maharaj’s divine personality, entitled ‘Yogi Charitam’, was performed by BAPS children, teenagers and youths. In conclusion Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Yogiji Maharaj’s every action was pure and divine. He was child-like. Whosoever has had his darshan can never forget him. In his discourses there was humour and joy. He used to give a memorable pat on the shoulders of all. “His purity and saintliness touched all – whether the person was a devotee or not. A person of any religion experienced divinity in him. There was no ostentation in his life. He never believed and felt that he was great, that he was a great person or that he knew a lot”