11 September 2008, (V.S. 2064, Bhadarva sud 11), Thursday, Ahmedabad
After the mangala arti at 6.00 a.m. a ritual procession of Thakorji, in celebration of Jal Jhilani, was carried out in a decorated palanquin. Senior sadhus and devotees circumambulated the mandir amidst singing of bhajans and with children dressed in festive costumes. Thereafter the procession terminated in the assembly hall where a mahapuja was held. Prior to Swamishri’s arrival Viveksagar Swami explained the meaning and significance of the festival. When Swamishri came he performed the arti of the mahapuja and then performed his daily puja. During puja sadhus sang bhajans and five artis were performed at regular intervals. During the bhajans Thakorji was placed in a remote-controlled boat in a large makeshift pool in the assembly hall. Swamishri’s Harikrishna Maharaj was placed in another smaller pool before him. As the sadhus sang bhajans in consonance with the occasion a projection of different pictures related to Jal Jhilani appeared on a wide-screen backdrop on stage. The fifth and final arti was performed by Swamishri. Thereafter he blessed the assembly, “Because there is bhakti in our hearts for God we make such arrangements to please him. Bhakti means to devotionally offer God what we use for our happiness. Bhagwan Swaminarayan had bathed in the river Sabarmati often. God is divine, whereas everything and everyone else is mayik. When the mayik comes in association with the Divine it becomes divine. So we must associate with God. This means doing daily puja, darshan, listening to spiritual discourses and singing kirtans in the morning. Then one should perform one’s worldly duties. And again, on returning in the evening, one should offer prayers, arti and do ghar sabha. Association with God also means taking refuge in him, having firm faith and conviction in him and offering bhakti… May you remember this occasion in your last moments and attain Akshardham.”
Finally, Swamishri also sailed the boat on which Shri Harikrishna Maharaj was installed with a remote control console. The entire hall, full of devotees, was overjoyed at the divine darshan of the Jal Jhilani festival. After 23 years (1985) Swamishri celebrated the festival in Ahmedabad. Thousands of devotees had observed a waterless fast on this day because it was a major ekadashi.