The evening sabha on Wednesday 23rd August commenced with Sandhya Aarti and Niyams at 6pm followed by Kirtan Bhakti.
The Swaminarayan Gadi Granth scripture recital was delivered, which the congregation attentively listened to whilst awaiting the arrival of Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Swamiji Maharaj. A swagat led Swamiji Maharaj into mandir as he was adorned in a splendid pink haar full of large yellow flowers.
Acharya Swamiji Maharaj's Divine Ashirwad, began with commendation for India who became the First Nation in the world to have landed a spacecraft at the Moon’s south pole - this being a huge source of pride for all of us. Swamiji Maharaj went onto pray to the Lord that the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi that led to this moment, continues to deliver great and greater achievements.
Swamiji Maharaj proceeded to explain that; In the Vachanamrut, the Lord explains that in the deep sleep state, sometimes a person experiences great happiness, and wakes up full of vigour and enthusiasm, and sometimes they feel disturbed. The reason for that disturbed state is that during sleep, which is the outcome of tamas attribute, the rajas attribute influences that sleep and causes a disturbance. The only way to avoid this is to truly recognise oneself as a soul (rather than as a physical body) and behave as such - meaning, that we should remain free from the three attributes of Maya. The means to achieve this is to ensure that all of our associations are pure (of the sattva attribute).
It is not only places, activities, etc that can be impure and to be avoided - but even deities, scriptures and mantras can be impure (rajsik or tamsik). We must be very alert to such influences. This can be a complex issue, but in summary, places, activities, scriptures, etc, associated with Lord Shree Swaminarayan are certain to be pure. Youngsters should be especially aware of this - at a young age, reading or watching impure things may not seem to have an immediate negative influence, but they certainly become detrimental later in life. All of this purity is in our own control - it is our choice.
This knowledge need not be complex. While all of this can be understood from our scriptures and philosophy, it can also be attained simply by abiding by the Lord’s commandments. By doing this, by keeping ourselves pure in this way, the favour and pleasure of the Lord is achieved, and mental peace is experienced.
The evening sabha concluded with an Ochhav to mark the last day of the Hindola festival. Following the Ochav which saw numerous children from Swamibapa Gujarati School partake, Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Swamiji Maharaj lovingly carried Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa off the Hindola swings to mark the end of the Hindola Festival.