4 August 2002 (V.S.2058, Ashadh vad 10) Sunday, Amdavad
At the instruction of Swamishri, a 10-minute prayer (dhun) for rain was introduced from today in his morning puja. The dhun was chanted by over a thousand devotees and sadhus. Swamishri also joined in chanting the Swaminarayan dhun after puja.
6 August 2002 (V.S. 2058, Ashad vad 11) Monday, Amdavad
In the evening Swamishri initiated (vratman) 300 children into the Satsang-fold.
9 August 2002 (V.S. 2058, Shravan sud 1) Friday, Amdavad
Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and the Guru Parampara for the Akshar Purushottam Chhatralay on Mt. Abu.
10 August 2002 (V.S. 2058, Shravan sud 2) Saturday, Amdavad
In the evening assembly, a drama, 'Naiya Par', showed how Bhagatji Maharaj through his powers defused a life-threatening storm at sea and thus saved Ganpatbhai of Bharuch and Jethabhai Patel of Pij. Swamishri, in his blessings, appreciated the drama and said, "If one has refuge in God and His Sadhu then whatever difficulty arises, God protects in some way. But one must have faith and trust… Life in this world is like a camel ride. It is also compared with the vast ocean wherein one experiences both happiness and misery…"
11 August 2002 (V.S.2058, Shravan sud 2) Sunday, Amdavad. Bal Karyakar Day
In the evening assembly, volunteers of the Children's Wing presented a program 'Thaiye Yogi Jeva'. The program presentation symbolically showed how the moon and sun narrated the efforts of Pramukh Swami Maharaj in inspiring and pleasing the devotees regardless of physical discomforts, his devotion to God and his saintliness. The one-hour presentation included a traditional dance and prayers by the volunteers.
12 August 2002 (V.S.2058 Shravan sud 3) Monday, Amdavad
Swamishri performed the murti pratishtha rituals of 32 murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Radha Krishna Dev, Shri Hanumanji, Shri Ganpatiji and Lalji Maharaj to be installed in mandirs in Boston, Columbus, Cherry Hill and Atlantic City, USA. Thereafter, Swamishri blessed the assembly, "Through the wish of Shriji Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj mandirs are being established in India and abroad. By the grace of the murtis of Maharaj, Swami and the deities installed there, there has been an increase in Satsang... These murtis will be transported to America... Let us pray to God to bless everyone there with righteousness and good feelings and understanding of the glory of Maharaj and Swami... These murtis will redeem everyone and inspire peace, happiness and morality in all..."
13 August 2002 (V.S. 2058, Shravan sud 5) Tuesday, Amdavad
H.E. President of India, Dr Abdul Kalam, arrived at the Swaminarayan Mandir in Shahibaug at 9.15 a.m. He was welcomed with a garland at the mandir gate by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami and Pujya Viveksagar Swami. Then, children welcomed him with flowers as he walked on a red carpet.
As Dr Kalam arrived before Swamishri the sadhus sang Vedic peace mantras. Swamishri welcomed him with a garland. Accompanying the president were secretary Shri Y.S. Rajan, Chief Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi and other officials.
The dialogue that followed between Swamishri and President Kalam is as follows:
Swamishri: It is a matter of great joy that you have come here in this sacred mandir in the holy month of Shravan.
Dr Kalam: I came, because after I became the President, I thought I must come and seek your guidance. Well, the important thing in our country is how do we bring the unity of minds. The unity of minds shall shape, shall be the foundation for growth of our Nation. Swamishri, spiritual institutions like Swaminarayan can have a tremendous influence in bringing together the people. I have one thought in my mind. The land of Gujarat has given the best of minds. Mahatma Gandhi who lived here gave us peace. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who lived here united the country. Vikram Sarabhai who gave us technology and made the space programme... And we have a great spiritual institution like the Swaminarayan and many such institutions… whose integrated efforts will give permanent peace to the state and our country.
Swamishri: There is an abundant need for harmony and unity. The feelings of Gandhi, Sardar and religious organizations lie at the root of our Indian culture. The sentiments of Indian culture say that we are all God's children, therefore, we should stay together and strive for the progress of our country. The change we see today is due to decreasing of spiritualism in people's lives. There is a lessening of faith. And these cause differences in mind and the subsequent rise in problems. But our feelings are that if everyone works with unity, then our country will progress properly.
If there are feelings of hatred and vengeance among people then of what use will it be? If you think spiritually that God resides in everyone and if you see God in everyone then whom will you hate! With whom will you fight! Whose things will you take away! We are all one. Together we can help our country progress.
My guru, Yogiji Maharaj, used to give an example about unity. A king once called his official and told him to break the quiver full of arrows. But he couldn't and neither could anyone. Then on taking a single arrow he told a weak soldier to break it and he did. Likewise, if we are united then no one can break us. There is an abundant need for such unity in our country."
Dr Kalam: We all should work together. We will work together.
Swamishri: God has blessed you with the highest position in India. You are appropriate for this and thus God will work through you. You have faith in God. You have studied the Gita and Bhagwat. You have noble feelings for the progress of India, for inspiring unity in all and that there be no conflict among people. God will inspire others through you. I too shall pray to God that through you may all derive inspiration to give up hatred. By hating one cannot stop hatred. Only by giving up hatred can hatred be dissolved. This will be accomplished because there are other officials like you who are thinking in the same manner. I will pray to God to inspire such feelings in all people.
Dr Kalam: I want all your blessings. I will try to see how I can be useful to our country.
After the dialogue, Swamishri introduced the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj, saying, "This murti is 200 years old. Bhagwan Swaminarayan and my Guru used to keep Him with them. He worshipped Him every day. Only after offering water to Him would he drink water. If anyone brought a garland it would be offered to Him first and then he would accept it. He believed that everything belonged to God so whatever we take should be first offered to Him."
Dr Kalam folded his hands before Harikrishna Maharaj and bowed his head in respect before the murti.
Swamishri then gave prasad to the President and other officials.
As he took leave through the mandir precinct, the joy of the devotees who said the 'Jai' of Swamiji in a loud chorus touched him. He said, "A true spiritual leader can inspire spontaneous joy. Pramukh Swami has the purity and energy to reach every heart. I feel satisfied that I came."
President Abdul Kalam spent twenty-two minutes during his visit and felt happy and blessed.
15 August 2002 (V.S.2058, Shravan sud 8) Thursday, Amdavad. India's Independence Day
o The deities were attired for the Independence Day celebration. After arti Swamishri came to the mandir ground for the flag hoisting ceremony. When Swamishri arrived with Thakorji on the ceremonial stage, children sang "Vande Mataram". Then Swamishri unfolded the Indian flag. More than 3,000 children and devotees saluted and offered respects to the flag. Then everyone sang the national anthem and concluded with 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and the Jais of Sahajanand Swami and Guru parampara. Swamishri then addressed the gathering, "Today it is 15th August, India's Independence Day. We have celebrated this day in the mandir in the presence of God. Let us pray to God this day that there be peace in India. May there be an increase in moral feelings in people. We, as the citizens of India, are one. May all be inspired with feelings of harmony, friendliness and unity preached by Yogiji Maharaj. May all the small and big problems and difficulties of India be resolved. May all leaders of our country be blessed with good thoughts and intellect. We pray to Maharaj that there be peace in all parts of India.
"May the teachings of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, the principles of India, our culture and spirituality spread day by day and people become awakened to it all.
"We pray to Maharaj to do away with addictions, vices and ill-feelings and inspire feelings of faith and morality. May there be peace in our country and in Gujarat. May the fear in the minds of people dissolve."
o In the evening assembly, an impressive drama, 'Paksh', showed Shri Krishna's effort in explaining the Kauravas to avoid the Mahabharat war.