Diwali - Chopda Pujan
17 October 2009 (VS 2066, Diwali ) Saturday, Gondal & Rajkot
Akshar Mandir, Gondal, was illuminated with lights and decked with decorations for the Diwali festival.
At 6.25 p.m. Swamishri arrived on the main stage in the mandir grounds to participate in the mahapuja ritual and chopda pujan. The rituals concluded at 7.40 p.m. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Akshar Deri is a great, sacred place. All our wishes are fulfilled here. Yogiji Maharaj had blessed that Maharaj would fulfil the wishes of whoever comes here for darshan and seva. May the New Year usher in happiness and peace in the lives of everyone. Life is full of ups and downs. Difficulties arise but they are resolved by having firm refuge in God. For this one must have faith and trust. One has trust in other things, but not in God. When in misery one questions why God allows such misery. But believing God to be the all-doer, one becomes liberated from such thoughts.”
For a devotee’s happiness
17 October 2009, Gondal
Ramanbhai, a devotee of Rabod village, had asked in his letter to Swamishri to bless him for a new bore well he wished to have on his farm. After going through the detailed letter Swamishri made a mark and placed two sanctified flowers on it. Then Swamishri told Dharmacharan Swami, “Take this letter and sanctify it in the Akshar Deri and also get it blessed by touching it to the murti of Harikrishna Maharaj.
”The special care and time that Swamishri takes for his devotees reflect his care and concern for their happiness.
18 October 2009 (VS 2066, New Year) Sunday, Gondal & Rajkot
Annakut Festival: At 11.30 a.m. Swamishri went to the mandir shrines to participate in the offering of annakut to Thakorji. The scion of Gondal, Shri Jyoti Bapu, and 200 other guests and devotees were seated beneath the mandir dome, engrossed in annakut darshan. After singing five thals Swamishri performed Govardhan puja and arti. Thereafter Swamishri went to Akshar Deri for annakut darshan and arti. In all, 17,000 devotees came for darshan.
* 19 October 2009 (VS 2066, New Year Bhai Bij ) Monday, Gondal & Rajkot
New Year’s Day: After performing his morning puja, Swamishri blessed the devotees, “Today, the New Year has dawned. Gondal is a great, sacred place. Here we have the memorial shrine to Gunatitanand Swami. This place was also very dear to Yogiji Maharaj. He had celebrated many festivals here and brought joy to all. All of you have come here from many parts of India and the world and you will depart after darshan of Akshar Deri. This will make your year happy, peaceful and full of bhakti for God.” Thereafter Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus.
29 October 2009 (VS 2066, Prabodhini Ekadashi Nirjala Upvas ) Thusday, Gondal & Rajkot
Rajkot; Prabodhini Ekadashi: The day marked Swamishri’s 70th diksha anniversary and the offering of fresh vegetables (hathdi) to Thakorji. After darshan Swamishri performed arti of Thakorji.
At 6.40 p.m. Swamishri attended the festive assembly. The stage backdrop comprised of fresh vegetables, cutouts and giant photos of vegetables. More than 8,000 devotees were seated in the giant assembly hall. Viveksagar Swami addressed the assembly. Then a traditional dance was performed by teenagers. Thereafter senior sadhus honoured Swamishri with garlands. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “By celebrating festivals we enhance our devotion to God. We do everything for our body. One prepares and decorates oneself for a marriage ceremony and other occasions. But a devotee of God nourishes the single thought of what he can do for God. We celebrate such festivals to increase our devotion and earn the blessings of God.”