This year, Guru Purnima Celebrations in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj were held at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Shahibaug, Ahmedabad. More than 35,000 devotees from all parts of India and abroad offered Guru pujan during the celebration assembly from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon.
The stage was beautifully adorned with a backdrop of floral arches and murtis of Akshar-Purushottam and Guru Parampara. The Guru Purnima assembly started with dhun, prarthana and bhajans by the sadhus. Thereafter, there were speeches by senior sadhus. Pujya Viveksagar Swami spoke on the need for a guru on the spiritual path, since without him atmagnan cannot be attained. Pujya Anandswarup Swami spoke on how Pramukh Swami Maharaj had obeyed all of Yogiji Maharaj’s wishes and served as an ideal disciple. Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami spoke about Yogiji Maharaj’s understanding of Shriji Maharaj’s divine glory and how Yogiji Maharaj saw divinity in every act of Shastriji Maharaj. In between, youths performed a splendid traditional dance to the tune of the bhajan, “Gurudev tumhãre charan kamalme…”.
After Swamishri’s arrival on stage, balaks enacted a skit reminiscing the tough times Shastriji Maharaj and his sadhus had faced in the early days of the Sanstha’s history. Swamishri was then honoured with decorative garlands devoutly prepared by devotees.
Thereafter, Swamishri inaugurated two new English publications produced by Swaminarayan Aksharpith: Essence of the Upanishads (translation of the Gujarati publication Upanishad Marma) and Contemplative Poems – a collection of inspiring poems promoting family values.
Then, all the devotees offered mantra pushpanjali after the sadhus had recited Vedic shloks.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “The goal of human life is to attain the knowledge of God and atma. And God himself manifested to give us this knowledge of Akshar and Purushottam, Brahman and Parabrahman, and Atma and Paramatma. We have taken many births, but only when God and his true Sadhu are attained does the jiva attain liberation. There is darkness due to ignorance, but when a true guru is attained and true knowledge is acquired from him, moksha is achieved. One who removes our ignorance is a guru. ‘Gu’ is darkness and ‘ru’ is light. What is our ignorance, that ‘this is mine, this is mine…’.
Thus, this historic Guru Purnima festival was celebrated with great devotion and fanfare. The entire celebration was webcast live on www.baps.org, enabling thousands of devotees all over the world to witness this grand historic occasion.