Tuesday 16 August 2022 | Shravan Vad 5, Samvat 2078

Tue 16 Aug 2022

Acharya Swamishree celebrates 4th anniversary of Bolton temple and 25th anniversary of Swamibapa's final sabha at Lake Windermere

Bolton Patotsav Images
Lake Windermere Visit Images

14th August 2004

The evening's events began with the devotees of Bolton inviting His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree to be seated on a beautiful hindola created from flowers, and presented Him with an ornately decorated garland. Acharya Swamishree gave His divine darshan from the hindola throughout the evening’s events of classical Indian dances. Each dance was lovingly performed by both young and old devotees of Bolton to please Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. The classical dances concluded with the entire congregation taking part in samo raas inspired by HDH Acharya Swamishree while the immensely talented sants performed kirtan bhakti. The evening ended with everyone receiving prasad.

15th August 2004

Today marked the fourth anniversary of the installation of the murti of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shree Jeevanpran Bapashree and our Gurudev, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa by our beloved Acharya Swamishree, in the Bolton Temple. HDH Acharya Swamishree commenced the Patotsav ceremony at 8am, during which HDH and the santo performed aarti; ankut prasad and cake was offered to Lord Swaminarayan and HDH Acharya Swamishree conducted the annual flag changing ceremony.

The proceedings then moved to the sabha hall where the Swaminarayan Gadi Granth parayan was concluded. HDH Acharya Swamishree then officially opened the SwaminarayanArtGallery.com website, which details and explains the beautiful and intricately painted murti that adorn the ceiling of the Bolton Temple community and culture centre. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then gave divine ashirwad to everyone, during which He praised the great devotion and efforts that the devotees of Bolton had taken to during the Patasov. The day's celebrations ended with everyone receiving a delicious prasad lunch.

16th August 2004

Our beloved Gurudev Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa held His final sabha on a hill at Lake Windermere, shortly before concluding His divine leela on this Earth. As a result Windermere has become a significant pilgrimage site for devotees of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, and this year marked the 25th Anniversary of this event.

In remembrance of this divine episode, a procession was held from Windermere Town centre to the pier of Lake Windermere. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree and the sant mandal departed from the Bolton Temple for Lake Windermere at 8am. Contrary to weather reports the heavy morning rain cleared, to reveal bright sunshine as Acharya Swamishree arrived in Windermere. Acharya Swamishree was welcomed to the Town by a representative of the Windermere Constabulary that was assisting the procession. Acharya Swamishree honoured the sergeant in charge with prasad, a Sansthan memento and a commemorative shawl.

His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then graced a golden palkhi and Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band performed salutes to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. The band led the procession though the winding streets of Windermere to the pier. During this time Acharya Swamishree was held aloft in the palkhi by His beloved sants and devotees. Hundreds of residents and visitors to the town gathered to have the divine darshan of Acharya Swamishree and the sant mandal.

At the pier Acharya Swamishree was welcomed by the Mayor of Windermere and the Director of Lakeside Cruises. The trustees of the Sansthan presented the Mayor with prasad, a Sansthan memento and a commemorative shawl. Shree Muktajeevan Pipe band saluted the honoured guests. The Director of Lakeside Cruises had the pleasure of receiving the darshan of Acharya Swamishree, who presented him with mementos of the occasion.

Three special liners had been reserved for Acharya Swamishree, the sants and gathered devotees. Acharya Swamishree then boarded the first cruiser, led by Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band, and the three boats set-off for a one-hour tour of Lake Windermere. It is on this lake that Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa lovingly embraced Acharya Swamishree – the moment that was captured in the "bhet na murti" that is now commonplace in homes and temples throughout the world.

Following the Lake tour, a special sabha was held at the exact location of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa's final sabha. Acharya Swamishree and the sants performed poojan and aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Extracts of the Vachanamrut were recited after which His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree gave ashirwad in which He stated that SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa undertakes vicharan to fulfil the wishes of His beloved devotees and whilst doing so He grants salvations to innumerable souls. Further, Acharaya Swamishree explained that we must all accept and have absolute faith in the words of SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa, and the immense power that they possess.

He gave the example of faith that Sadguru Muktanand Swami held in the words of Lord Swaminarayan. On one occasion the Lord held a handkerchief in His hand, and asked Muktanand Swami 'What is this that I am holding?' Muktanand Swami replied ‘It’s a handkerchief’. The Lord said ‘No it is not, it is a sword’, and then asked Muktanand Swami ‘What do you do with this?’ indicating to the handkerchief in His hand. Muktanand Swami said ‘You can cut people’s heads off with it’. Lord Swaminarayan said ‘What! With a handkerchief, you can cut off people’s heads? Muktanand Swami replied ‘Who put the strength into the sword to enable it to severe heads? You did. Therefore, by Your will, a sword can be so blunt that it cannot cut one’s head off, and You can give the handkerchief the ability to sever heads’. Lord Swaminarayan was extremely pleased with Muktanand Swami’s unfaltering faith in His words. Acharya Swamishree said that we must all display a similar devotion to the words and commands of Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa as Muktanand Swami.

To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s visit to Lake Windermere, the devotees of Bolton had prepared a special surprise. They presented Acharya Swamishree with a parcel. The parcel was wrapped in 25 layers. As each layer was unwrapped a piece of golden jewellery was revealed, and presented to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa as a gift. Also contained in each layer was a written note. Within the first three, there were prathna to Lord Swaminarayan; the remainder contained kirtan, which the santo sang to please Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree.

Acharya Swamishree, the sants and gathered devotees then took prasad and lunch, before Acharya Swamishree and the sant mandal departed from Windermere for London in the late afternoon.