On December 10, 2013, thousands of devotees from all over the world gathered in the tiny village of Sarangpur. Anticipation and excitement were in the air as it was 23 years since the last time that HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s janmajayanti (birthday celebrations) had been held in his physical presence in Sarangpur.
At approximately 6 o’clock in the evening, Swamishri arrived at the mandir for darshan. An annakut prepared by sadhus was placed before all the murtis. Swamishri then graced the main assembly with his divine presence. The atmosphere rang with the applause of thousands of devotees as they welcomed Swamishri on stage. The theme of the assembly was centered on ‘Swamishri’s Upkar’ – what Swamishri has done for the devotees, society and ultimately for the betterment of the world. The life transformations he has done by inspiring thousands of people to lead an addiction free and God centered life, the peace he has spread throughout society even in difficult times, the selfless love he has showered upon thousands, the immeasurable amount of faith he has instilled in the hearts of the devotees and the strong conviction of salvation he has established within the minds of even young children are only glimpses of Swamishri’s life and work which were exhibited in the evening assembly. This portrayal was creatively done through short videos and speeches as well as a small skit that described real life examples of devotees who were present in the assembly.
The assembly concluded with mantra pushpanjali and ‘samuh arti’ – with thousands of devotees performing arti of Swamishri. After being garlanded by senior sadhus, Swamishri went to Shastriji Maharaj’s Smruti Mandir for darshan.
After the assembly, devotees dispersed with priceless memories of Swamishri giving darshan for nearly an hour and a half despite his fragile health – another mark of Swamishri’s 'upkar' towards the devotees even at the age of 93.