Bhagwan Swaminarayan traveled the length and breadth of India reviving dharma, rejuvenating a morally flailing society, fulfilling spiritual desires of the devout and granting liberation baring distinction. To ensure the continuance of a morally and spiritually conscious society, and to guarantee the wellbeing of one and all, He wrote the Shikshapatri. This quality of being a benefactor and liberator of humanity was highlighted during this year’s celebration of Chaitra Sud 9.
Swaminarayan Jayanti and Ram Namvi mark the birth anniversaries of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and Bhagwan Ram, a festival celebrated across the globe with fanfare and exalted devotion. Mahila mandals at the BAPS Mandirs across North America also held annual assemblies on this occasion during the weekend of April. The Sarva-Jiva-Hitakari epithet used for Bhagwan Swaminarayan to characterize his quality of being a redeemer of all, was elaborated through the teachings of the Shikshapatri, a booklet of 212 verses written by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
The program was executed such that it mimicked the environment of a mall with several booths, one of which was a ‘Solution Booth.’ Here, solutions to a customer’s problems were derived from the tenets of the Shikshapatri. It further presented scenarios, through various skits, of the do’s and the don’ts of a Swaminarayan devotee. Planned by the mahila wing, the program was additionally lauded for various dramatizations, folk dances, and additional performances by women of all ages - all of which enhanced the theme of the assembly-Sarva Jiva Hitakari: Shikshapatri. Discourses emphasized on the practical necessity of streamlining one’s life according to the tenets of this scripture, which delineates a path for practical, moral, as well as spiritual elevation of an individual. Video blessings by Pramukh Swami Maharaj elaborated on the centrality of Shikshapatri in individual lives.
The Janmotsav, ‘Dharma gher anand bhayo, jay bolo Ganshyam ki,’ sung animatedly and accentuated the festive, devotionally charged atmosphere as Thakorji rested on a decorated swing.