22 October 2010 (VS 2066 Sharad Punam) Friday, Gondal
The 226th birthday celebration of Gunatitanand Swami was celebrated on the mandir grounds. The mandir, Akshar Dwar, office complex, guesthouse and the facade of assembly hall were decorated with colourful lights. Swamishri was seated in the centre of the mandir pradakshina, and the senior sadhus and guests were seated below on the podium outside Akshar Deri. A performance stage was set up in front. Two huge LED screens were arranged to facilitate darshan for all.
The celebration assembly included speeches by senior sadhus, five artis, a drama, a dance and Swamishri’s blessings. The programme was as follows:
· ‘Shriji Maharaj and Gondal’ speech by Brahmadarshan Swami
· ‘Gunatitanand Swami Spread the Glory of Bhagwan Swaminarayan’ by Shrihari Swami
· ‘Bhagatji Maharaj’s Unique Mission’ by Siddheshwar Swami
· ‘Shastriji Maharaj’s Unparalleled Work of Establishing Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj’ by Tyagvallabh Swami
· Drama: Pratishtha of Bochasan Mandir
· ‘Yogiji Maharaj Encouraged Divyabhav and Suhradbhav’ by Ishwarcharan Swami
· ‘Swamishri’s Unparalleled Works’ by Atmaswarup Swami
· ‘God’s Doership’ by Mahant Swami
· Swamishri inaugurated publications of Swaminarayan Aksharpith: ‘Shobhe Shri Ghanshyam’ (CD of bhajans sung by Gurukul children), ‘Satsang Darshan, Part 108’ (DVD of Bhadra Pratishtha Mahotsav), ‘Bhagwan Swaminarayan – A Divine Story’ (Audio CD in Hindi) and ‘108 Prasangs’ in Kannad language.
· Balaks and kishores performed a traditional dance
· Swamishri was honoured with garlands by senior sadhus
· Swamishri’s blessings.
Swamishri blessed the huge assembly of 19,000 devotees, “Whenever we come to Gondal we get darshan of Akshar Deri, Maharaj’s darshan, and we experience divinity all around. Akshar Deri is divine. It fulfils the wishes of all. We are also reminded of Yogiji Maharaj, his bliss, his discourses and his works. The memorial shrines of Gunatitanand Swami and Yogiji Maharaj are present here. Shastriji Maharaj built this mandir. It is because of their divinity that we experience joy and happiness.
“Shastriji Maharaj spread the glory of Akshar according to the Vachanamrut. He himself had understood it and internalized it in his life. He did not spread the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam to gain personal fame, but so that if others understood it they would become brahmarup and attain his divine abode.
“Yogiji Maharaj chanted dhun in Akshar Deri and prayed for the growth of Satsang, mandirs and sadhus.”
The celebration assembly concluded at 10.00 p.m. All the devotees were given prasad of dhudh-pauva.
24 October 2010 (VS 2066, Aso Vad Padvo) Sunday, Gondal, Bal-Kishore Din
In the evening assembly, BAPS children performed a drama, ‘Don’t Forget Your Parents’. Then Ghanshyamcharan Swami addressed parents about instilling values in children. Then kishores enacted a drama ‘A Priceless Boon’. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Yogi Bapa wished and established bal mandals and yuvak mandals so that children and youths be nourished with values, excel in studies and grow up to be very good volunteers, businessmen and officers. But today the educational curriculum is such that students become troublesome and agitative. When values like non-stealing, morality, celibacy and non-addictions are introduced from a very young age, they stay till the end of one’s life. And that is why we have bal sabha, kishore sabha and satsang sabha.”
30 October 2010 (VS 2066 Vad Satam-Atham) Saturday, Gondal; Conference of Gurukul Alumuni
The annual gathering of past students who studied at the BAPS Gurukul in Gondal was held on the mandir grounds. More than 1,200 ex-students attended. The assembly commenced with reminiscences from past students. A drama, ‘Dream’, was enacted by the Gurukul boys. Then Mahant Swami gave awards to outstanding students of the Gurukul. This was followed by a traditional dance and offering of garlands to Swamishri. Another drama, ‘From Darkness to Light’, was performed by students of the Gurukul. Finally, Swamishri emphasized in his blessings about the need for values and understanding the glory of Yogiji Maharaj.