Shila Pujan of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Mahuva
1 February 2009 (VS 2065, Maha Sud Chhath) Sunday, Vadodara
Prior to his morning puja Swamishri performed the foundation-stone laying rituals of pujan, arti and mantra-pushpanjali for the shikharbaddh mandir in Mahuva. The senior sadhus had completed the preliminary rituals before Swamishri’s arrival. Swamishri blessed the devotees of Mahuva and said, “The mandir will be one of the best. Maharaj will liberate you all and take you to Akshardham…”
The Akshar-Purushottam Chhatralay (APC – hostel) in Atladara was celebrating its silver jubilee on this day. The students of the hostel sang bhajans in Swamishri’s puja.
In the evening Swamishri arrived for the silver jubilee celebration of APC. A traditional dance was in progress on stage. A brief video showed clippings of 25 years of APC. A drama, ‘Navyugnu Nirman’, written by Yogendra Swami was enacted by youths. Thereafter Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus. In all 1,350 students had stayed and graduated from the hostel. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Through the hostel one’s life is transformed, enriched with values and a feeling of pride and glory is gained. Yogiji Maharaj was a great sadhu who dreamed and wished of such things. Shastriji Maharaj built mandirs to establish the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam. Yogiji Maharaj fostered that knowledge immensely and that is why he made great wishes. The thought of establishing a chhatralay was his. The first one was in Vidyanagar. He called it a college of brahmavidya. Where there are no values, the effects of bad company takes over. Today’s youths are interested in drinking, gambling and immoral behaviour. That was why Yogiji Maharaj desired for the establishment of chhatralayas. Through them one is saved from kusang. The youths (who presented the stage programmes) have been inculcated with values and that is why they have presented what we have seen today…”
25th Anniversary Celebration of Akshar Purushottam Chhatralay, Atladra
Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj Suvarna Tula Mahotsav Smruti Din
3 February 2009 (V.S. 2065, Sud Atham) Tuesday, Vadodara
Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of murtis for BAPS hari mandir in Jesingpura, and the re-pratishtha of murtis for the hari mandir in Antoli and Nilkanth Varni for New York mandir.
8 February 2009, (V.S. 2065, Sud Chaudas) Sunday, Vadodara
In the morning and evening a shibir on the Vachanamrut was conducted by Brahmadarshan Swami.
The highlight of the evening satsang assembly was the tula (weighing) of Shastriji Maharaj. Sixty years ago, in 1949, Shastriji Maharaj’s Suvarna Tula was held in Atladra. He was weighed against sugar crystals and after Shastriji stepped down from the balancing scale jewellery and gold were placed by devotees. To commemorate that occasion a giant scale was arranged on stage with the utsav murti of Shatriji Maharaj seated on one pan. The stage backdrop was a scene from Dada Khachar’s darbar.
On Swamishri’s arrival Kothari Rajeshwar Swami explained the glory and importance of the tula celebration. Thereafter Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus. Then Swamishri blessed the assembly, “You have all got the auspicious thought of celebrating and remembering the suvarna jayanti (golden birth anniversary) of Shastriji Maharaj. The life incidents of God and celebrating his glory bring peace to one’s soul. One may attain any object of this world but one will not experience inner peace. But God’s incidents, bhakti and service to him imbues one with peace.
“A devotee of God finds no happiness other than in God. He finds nothing besides God to be the best. One should read our shastras. Read the Vachanamrut and Swamini Vato. Listen to the Bhagvat, Bhagvad Gita and Upanishads. You will feel happy and joyful, because they are divine. By listening to them with devotion one will experience joy. Shriji Maharaj established the sampradaya and gave the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam. Shastriji Maharaj studied it and confirmed it to be true…”
At 7.30 p.m. the Suvarna Tula programme commenced with pujan, on Swamishri’s behalf, by Viveksagar Swami of the murtis of Harikrishna Maharaj and Shastriji Maharaj. The murtis were placed on the tula (scale). Swamishri placed small sugar crystal bags on the scale. Then all sadhus and devotees placed sugar crystal bags on the scale. Swamishri remained seated, giving darshan to all. The celebration induced joy and devotion in the hearts of all.
10 February 2009, (V.S. 2065, Maha Vad Padvo) Tuesday, New Delhi
Swamishri reached Swaminarayan Akshardham at 8.45 p.m. and was welcomed by youths dressed in local dresses of various states where Satsang is flourishing: New Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Nepal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, etc. There was also a fireworks display.
15 February 2009, (V.S. 2065, Vad Chhath) Sunday, New Delhi
BAPS children sang bhajans and performed bhangra dance in Swamishri’s morning puja to mark Children’s Day. In the evening assembly balaks played two games, hot potato and musical chairs before Swamishri and the audience. Blessing the assembly, Swamishri said, “It was Yogiji Maharaj’s wish to instil values in children. By so doing they progress and attain perfection in their family, society and religion. We find that pride for one’s country, family and religion are gradually fading. The reason lies in the adverse circumstances. We have good schools and colleges but they merely give education. Formerly, in the ashrams of rishis children used to be groomed in values. Science has given us speed but not direction. Getting true direction is of prime importance. Direction means values.”