16 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 3) Tuesday, Gondal, Bhavnagar
At 7.00 pm a welcome assembly and volunteers’ assembly was held. Swamishri was honoured by the Mayor of Bhavnagar Shri Mehulbhai Vadodaria, Deputy Mayor Shri Jashvantsinh and Standing Committee Chairman Shri Tulsibhai. In conclusion Swamishri blessed the assembly, “I congratulate all the devotees for serving in the mandir project by disregarding all physical difficulties and discomforts. The summer heat is scorching but still you have served to please Shriji Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami. The sadhus too have served immensely in the mandir project. You have engaged yourself in this project and attained a Ph.d. You have attained the Ph.d. because you have offered your services with the sole motive of pleasing God. You did not desire for material happiness, wealth or status but to please Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj”
17 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 4) Wednesday, Bhavnagar; Prasad Pravesh
The BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir has been built of pink stone from Rajasthan in the Nagradi style. It is 80 ft high, 169 ft long and 128 ft wide. The mandir has five shikhars, one main dome, five small and six large domes; 136 ornate arches (torans), 136 carved pillars, 20 gavakshs, 21 jharukhas, 61 murtis on the mandir pillars, 40 murtis in the mandovar, 24 murtis inside the ghummats.
From 8.00 am the prasad pravesh rituals, prior to the pratishtha day, were held in the presence of senior sadhus. Swamishri came and performed the pujan of kalashes and dhaja-dand and the concluding rituals of prasad pravesh.
At 7.00 pm Swamishri saw a drama presentation of how Satsang has developed in Bhavnagar. The drama included the stories of Brahmanand Swami’s transformation, Sagram Vaghri of Limli, Atmaram Darji, Bhakta Kuberbhai who begged for alms with Shastriji Maharaj, and incidents on how Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj had developed the Satsang. The drama concluded at 8.20 pm.
Swamishri holds a kalash as part of the yagna rituals
24 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 12) Wednesday, Bhavnagar; 114 Birthday Celebration of Yogiji Maharaj
In the evening the assembly celebrating Yogiji Maharaj’s 114th birthday was addressed by different sadhus lauding the virtues of Yogiji Maharaj on the theme “Vani amrutthi bhari madhu sami...” Thereafter Viveksagar Swami addressed the assembly. After a traditional dance by BAPS children and youths Swamishri blessed the devotees, “Yogiji Maharaj had countless virtues. Whatever has been written in the shastras about saintliness, one finds them in the life of Yogiji Maharaj. There was no maya or mundaneness in him. He saw only God in all. We talk about the Gunatit state, but we could see it entirely in Yogiji Maharaj. He never thought or desired for glory, greatness, fame or to look nice before others. He was always humble and beheld all devotees and small children with glory...”
Ten thousands devotees availed of the celebration.
18 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 5) Thursday, Bhavnagar; Yagna for World Peace, Nagar Yatrao
The yagna, under the auspices of the pratishtha rituals, had 1501 participants (Yajmans) seated around 187 yagna kunds with 110 Brahmins pundits performing the rituals. There were an additional 11 main yagna kunds on stage with 105 participants.
Swamishri performed the panchamrut rituals on Shri Harikrishna Maharaj and thereafter he blessed the assembly, “The yagna has commenced for the murti-pratishtha ceremony. It is also a yagna for world peace. Hindu dharma is very charitable and perseveres for the good of all. It seeks to elevate and bestow moksha to all animals and humans. People may say that there is no peace in India. But to live amidst difficulties is indeed God’s grace and protection. By performing such yagnas we seek to be blessed with God’s grace, happiness and to become brahmarup...”
Swamishri then performed the pujan and arti rituals of the murtis to be installed in the shikharbaddh mandir, namely, Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Ghanshyam Maharaj, Harikrishna Maharaj, Radha Krishna Dev, Ram Panchayatan, Shiv Panchayatan and Guru Parampara.
Twenty-one thousand devotees and well-wishers came for darshan of the yagna and partook of the mahaprasad.
At 4.30 pm a grand procession (nagar yatra) of the murtis was carried out on the streets of Bhavnagar. The colourful pageant of devotion and its various attractions attracted the city dwellers, inspiring joy and devotion in their hearts.
19 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 7) Friday, Bhavnagar; Murti-pratishtha Festival
The mandir building project commenced with the foundation-stone laying ceremony performed by Swamishri on 15 January 2002. The mandir was completed through tremendous voluntary efforts by the devotees of Bhavnagar and thousands more had performed austerities and devotional worship and rituals for its successful completion.
Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and the senior sadhus performed the rituals of the remaining murtis. After the rituals were over Swamishri also performed the first pujan of all the murtis. Thereafter annakut was displayed before the deities and Swamishri and senior sadhus performed the pratishtha arti. The pratishtha rituals concluded at 9.30 am.
At 10.30 am Swamishri was welcomed to the pratishtha assembly amidst thundering applause. Several dignitaries were honoured on stage, namely, Minister for Urban Development, Roads and Buildings Shri I.K. Jadeja, Minister for Energy Shri Saurabhbhai Patel, Mayor of Bhavnagar Shri Mehulbhai Vadodaria, MLAs Shri Sunilbhai Oza, Mahendrabhai Trivedi, leading Congress member Shri Shaktisinh Gohil and many others. After the addresses by senior sadhus and dignitaries Swamishri inaugurated three pictorial publications by Swaminarayan Aksharpith: Ramayan and Mahabharat (Hindi) and Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj (English).
Swamishri was then honoured with garlands by the senior sadhus. The youths of Bhavnagar performed a traditional dance celebrating the mandir inauguration. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Our culture since time immemorial has been sustained by the Vedas and mandirs. Through mandirs one is inspired with character and values. Through one’s association with mandirs and a bonafide Sadhu one’s senses revert within. Bhagwan Swaminarayan came on earth to inspire character, values and to grant moksha to people. He has given a beautiful code of ethics in the Shikshapatri. It prescribes injunctions for the happiness of mankind. He has given two great things in it ‘Dharmo gneyah sadE3chE3rah’ (righteous living). If one lives righteously then there will be no hatred for others. You follow the faith you believe in by obeying the moral codes written in your scriptures, but do not villify other faiths. And the second thing is to live an addiction-free life.”
More than 31,000 devotees attended the pratishtha festival and partook of the mahaprasad.
25 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 13) Thursday, Bhavnagar, Surat, Navsari
At 11.40 am Swamishri departed by plane from Bhavnagar and landed at Surat airport at 12.00 noon. Thereafter Swamishri proceeded by road towards Navsari, reaching the BAPS mandir at 1.10 pm.
In the evening assembly, after Viveksagar Swami’s discourse on the Vachanamrut, Swamishri was welcomed with garlands offered by sadhus and devotees. Thereafter a welcome dance was performed by BAPS children and youths. Then the youths performed a drama based on the theme of atma-gnan from the Upanishads – Sanatkumar and Naradji. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly.
26 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 14) Friday, Navsari
After his morning puja Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of the murtis of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj, Radha-Krishna Dev, Hanumanji and Ganapatji and Guru parampara for a BAPS hari mandir in Borifaliya-Onjal.
Swamishri performs murti-pratishtha rituals and kalash pujan for hari mandir of Borifaliya - Onjal
27 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Vaishakh vad 30) Saturday, Navsari
The city corporation or council members honoured Swamishri in the evening satsang assembly at the mandir. Prior to this Viveksagar Swami discoursed on the Vachanamrut and BAPS tribal children performed a tribal dance. Thereafter, Shri Kanjibhai MP had a painting on Mahatma Gandhi receiving the blessings of Shastriji Maharaj during his Dandi March unveiled at the hands of Swamishri. Gandhiji had met Shastriji Maharaj in the village of Navagam on 13 March 1930. The painting depicting the historic incident would be displayed in the exhibition on Gandhiji at Dandi.
Shri Nitinbhai Kansara, Executive Chairman of Navsari Municipality, read the citation before presenting it to Swamishri. Then the office bearers of various leading organizations of Navsari also presented separate citations to honour Swamishri: Vijalpur Corporation, Navsari District Office, Chamber of Commerce, representative of Kabilpor village office, Rotary Club, Manav Kalyan Trust, Saiyaji Vaibhav Library, Health Centre and Yogasan Organization, Agrawal Community, BJP Youth Wing, President of Navsari District, BJP President of Ahwa-Dang district, Kutch Kadva Patidar Samaj, Prajapati Samaj and Giants Club.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly expressing that the honour and accolades offered were all due to the efforts and grace of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj.
30 May 2006 (V.S. 2062, Jeth sud 3) Tuesday, Navsari, Kosamba (Tithal)
After performing his morning puja in Navsari Swamishri performed the pratishtha rituals of the murtis of the BAPS hari mandirs in Bhinar and Mahudi.
At 10.20 am Swamishri departed from Navsari and arrived at Valsad at 11.00 am. After the welcome rituals Swamishri inaugurated the newly built residence for sadhus.