The Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha is a ‘vad granth’— a text that explicates and defends the foundational philosophical positions of a darshan. Authored by Mahamahopadhyay Bhadreshdas Swami, the Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha identifies the foundational philosophical principles of the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan, substantiates them based on readings from sacred texts, and defends its philosophical positions. Positioned within the Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha is the ‘Swaminarayan Siddhant Karika’— 565 Sanskrit verses that summarize the elaborate discussions in the Swaminarayan-Siddhant-Sudha and the core philosophical teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
Guruhari Mahant Swami Maharaj has expressed his wish that all able to do so should memorize the 565 karikas. All who memorize 565 Sanskrit karikas are bestowed the honorary title ‘Karika Jayi’.
Hence, from 21 May 2021, 157 balaks and 97 balikas, all aged between 5 and 14, from India, Australia, Dubai and other places embarked on the ‘Siddhant Karika Mukhpath Yagna’. From Mumbai, Shreyassetu Swami conducted daily two-hour online sessions to teach the children. The children were also regularly encouraged by the guidance of the sadguru swamis and other learned swamis.
During September these children were tested on what they had memorized. Of them, 52 balaks and 15 balikas were judged as having successfully memorized all 565 karikas. The others had memorized at least 250 karikas.
To appreciate their efforts, a special felicitation assembly was held for all the balaks, balikas and their parents in Sarangpur in the presence of Param Pujya Mahant Swami Maharaj on 13 October 2021.
Mahant Swami Maharaj’s Puja
The first session took place in Swamishri’s morning puja. The balaks, freshly tonsured and dressed in traditional attire, collectively recited selected karikas. Afterwards, Swamishri blessed the children.
From 9.30 to 11.30 a.m. the parents of all the balaks and balikas were congratulated for their efforts in motivating their children to memorize the karikas. Bhadresh Swami and Atmatrupt Swami guided them on how to sustain what the children had learnt. Also, Pujya Doctor Swami and Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami blessed the parents.
Mothers’ Felicitation Assembly
From 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. the Balika Pravutti Central Office organized an assembly to felicitate all the children’s mothers. In the assembly, balikas presented karika recitals, discussions, skits, a quiz and other activities.
Main Felicitation Assembly
From 6.00 p.m. the main felicitation assembly was held in the Pramukh Vatika, in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The assembly, which was conducted by the children, included a philosophical debate elucidating Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s philosophy, recital of the karikas, interviews of the children giving insights into how they prepared and other presentations. Also, Swamishri tested the balaks in a variety of creative and entertaining ways on the karikas they had memorized.
Blessing the assembly, Swamishri said, “This was outstanding. The balaks recited the karikas spontaneously and fluently. Now the children must also study sincerely at school. Memorizing all this in Sanskrit will help them to study well. This mukhpath is spiritual knowledge. It will lead to moksha.”
Mahant Swami Maharaj was extremely pleased by the outstanding efforts of all the children and blessed them profusely. Each ‘Karika Jayi’ balak and the father of each ‘Karika Jayi’ balika was presented a memento, certificate and prasad by senior swamis and had a photo taken with Mahant Swami Maharaj.