Thursday 5th August 2021 marks precisely one year according to the Samvat calendar, since Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj willed to withdraw His human darshan on Samvat 2077, Ashadh Vad 11. The episodes performed by the Lord and His Satpurshs whilst on this Earth are all divine and extraordinary. They are not bound by the constraints of the mortal world. Everything that they do occurs due to their will. In that same manner, this episode of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s human darshan too was also divine and extraordinary. This first Purnyatithi was marked around the world at Mandirs of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.
At Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury, a special evening to reminisce about Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s divine life episodes and celebrate His truly profound legacy was held. Given the current circumstances many hundreds of disciples watched this event online, while the Mandir remained open all day for the community to have the darshan of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj on this special occasion.
The evening commenced with that which was very dear to Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj – the performing of dhoon and dhyaan. Swamibapa Orchestra – one of the many activities that Acharya Swamishree Maharaj inspired, encouraged and nurtured – performed kirtan bhakti throughout the evening; each kirtan carrying indelible memories of milestones from Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s numerous visits to London and the UK. Disciples spoke of their many experiences of Bapa’s grace, divinity and benevolence – mere glimpses of His innumerable remarkable and divine episodes that could easy fill volumes of scripture.
All throughout this auspicious occasion, Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, bestowed His divine darshan from His Gadi, beautifully adorned with bejeweled garments and a mughat. On behalf of the entire Mandir community, the principal sponsors of today’s event offered Poojan to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj before performing Aarti.
A special video was shown, which recounted Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s final Ashirwad, in which He reminded everyone just how fortunate we, the disciples of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, are to have had the opportunity to know the supreme Lord as He truly is, and for having the privilege of being sat at the divine lotus feet of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Bapa reminded us of our duty to the Lord if we are to truly acknowledge that grace; we must remain, united, under the shelter of Shree Swaminarayangadi, no matter what circumstances are faced (‘dabaya champaya’). The video concluded with the darshan of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s cremation ceremony, during which Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj delivered His first Ashirwad.
With a year now passed since Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj performed this divine leela, the words of Acharya Swamiji Maharaj – through whom today, as the present Acharya of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, we have the divine darshan of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj – were a timely reminder of the duty we all have: “In a rope, even the smallest strand forms part of its strength. In the same way, to uphold this Sansthan, everyone from the eldest to the youngest Sant and disciple has an equal role.”
On this special day, we pray to Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and Acharya Swamiji Maharaj to bestow us with the divine ability, wisdom, strength and devotion to obey that command.