Strengthening bonds is a means to deeply know a person. At the two-part program, “Swami Malvathi - A Journey of Smrutis” on August 19, 2023, North American youth shared heartfelt reflections on how every gesture, blessing, and memory of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj forged their firm bond with their beloved guru. A relationship with a guru is among the most transformative relationships in life. A guru serves as a friend, a mentor, and most importantly, a guide through life's ups and downs. Part 1 of the program began in the afternoon with a special set of perspectives from women. They highlighted their personal experiences, demonstrating how distance is no obstacle to forming a spiritual connection with the guru. These recollections depicted emotional, intimate, and unique connections with Mahant Swami Maharaj, as they navigated challenges and successes in their personal, educational, and family lives. Through reflections on prayer, service, devotion, and memories from his previous spiritual tours in North America, many conveyed how Mahant Swami Maharaj profoundly influenced countless devotees.
Part 2 of the program, which took place in the evening in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj, continued this theme. Throughout the evening, youths candidly shared their experiences of college life and living away from home, reflecting on the intuitive foresight and support they received from Mahant Swami Maharaj's correspondence. Having witnessed the unconditional selfless love Mahant Swami Maharaj showered upon thousands through highly personalized letters, Pujya Gurumanandas Swami elaborated on these messages. By seeing God in every individual and possessing compassion and care for all, while never prioritizing himself, Mahant Swami Maharaj fulfills the inner desires of everyone who places their deepest troubles at his feet.
Several honored guests shared remarks that resonated with the day’s themes. Robbinsville Township Council President Deborah Blakely advised, “Our journey is to discover what you are passionate about, what brings you joy and fulfillment. Use these insights on your journey, whether in your community, school, or place of worship. This world is yours; you represent the future.” Dr. Basu-Ray observed, “We can employ the world's latest technologies to attempt to save someone’s life, but modern medicine doesn't heal the mind. Every moment should be a spiritual one, thanking God and our guru for our place in life.” AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel remarked, “Many of us know our family, but we are uncertain about our faith. This is not just a monument to our faith but also to our family, culture, and heritage. Passing this on to the next generation is crucial.” Dr. Gaurav Shah recalled the transformative impact of his time with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, noting, “The world looked different after a week with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It's like I saw the world with clarity. That’s the power of the presence of the divine person like Pramukh Swami Maharaj.” Mr. H. R. Shah conveyed lessons from Pramukh Swami Maharaj, emphasizing the importance of family for the younger generation. Dr. Chirag Patel galvanized the audience, sharing, “The world can look beautiful if you are spiritual. What you are doing here and what is passed to our generations to come is unthinkable and only can be done with the grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and Mahant Swami Maharaj.”
The program showcased the pivotal role the guru plays in navigating transformative years, nurturing youth in every aspect of their lives and empowering them for the future. Mahant Swami Maharaj provided practical guidance for a successful life, advising teens to engage in daily spiritual practices to solidify their foundation, while being mindful of the youthful challenges of social media, distractions, and negative influences. Addressing concerns about staying connected, Mahant Swami Maharaj assured the youth that when their inner desires align with his, their bond remains unbreakable.
In his loving blessings, Mahant Swami Maharaj stated, “The happiness and sorrows of this world will come and go for all, but if you keep your focus on prapti, then happiness and sorrows will not affect you. Remember, prapti is infinitely greater than your problems, you have nothing left to worry about since you have Maharaj and Swami. You obtained the unattainable. Our fortune knows no bounds.” The program concluded with an absolutely memorable evening, as a youthful Mahant Swami Maharaj matched the energy of the teenagers on stage joining them in the jubilant celebration. Through gestures of affection, Mahant Swami reminded the excited youths that memories together don’t disappear in the absence of one another.
This program was part of the Festival of Inspirations in Robbinsville, New Jersey. Lasting three months, the festival celebrates values to inspire future generations through the newly-built BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, aiming to foster values within individuals for self-improvement and harmony.
The program honored distinguished guests who journeyed to witness the Akshardham campus. Guests included:
Padmashri Dr. H.R. Shah, Chairman and CEO of TV Asia
Bharat Patel, Chairman, Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association (AAHOA)
Rahul Patel, AAHOA Secretary
Dr. Gaurav Shah, CEO of Rocket Pharmaceuticals
Alpesh Patel, Secretary, Leuva Patel Samaj of USA
Dipak Patel, Vice Chair at Dunkin Donuts and wife Varsha Patel with Anna Management
Vinay Patel, Principal, Head of External Affairs at Sree Hotel, and wife Shefali Patel
Dr. Indranill Basu, Cardiologist & Interventional Electrophysiologist
Ram Javia, Member of local Hindu Organizations in Maryland
Falguni Shah, Singer and Grammy winner
Chirag Patel, Amneal Pharmaceuticals Co-Founder and President, along with his wife Priti Patel
Christine Cuoco, Manager and Leader of Ruby Memorial Services
Deborah Blakely, Robbinsville Township Council President and integral member of the Mercer County Special Services

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