3rd February 2003, Day 2 - Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Vadodara Rajat Pratishtha Mahotsav and Vishwa Shanti Yagna
Vishwa Shanti Yagna
An extraordinary event was also held on Day 2 of the Mahotsav to further Acharya Swamishree's quest for World Peace.
The invited guests on this occasion were;
His Holiness Gowswami 108 Shree Dwarkeshlalji Maharaj, Religious Leader of the Vaishnav Sampradaya.
Shree Kamalbhai Pathak, Superintendent of the Medical College and Sayajirav Hospital.
Shree B P Patel, Police Chief of Traffic
Shree Bharatbhai Shah, Leader of the Vadodara City Helping Committee.
Shree Dilubha Chudasma, Councillor of Nandeswar.
On behalf of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, Acharya Swamishree presented prasadi prasanta paags to all the eminent guests.
On behalf of the entire Vaishnav Sampradaya, the chief guest, Shree Dvarkeshlalji Maharaj presented a garland and shawl to Acharya Swamishree and honoured Acharya Swamishree's commendable work and tireless efforts for the betterment of humanity.
Sanskar Dipika Part 1 and the Nitya Niyamavali publications have had to be re-printed due to an overwhelming demand. Acharya Swamishree and the chief guests performed the inauguration of these books.
Shree Kamalbhai Pathak
I am honoured to be given the opportunity of having the darshan of Acharya Swamishree and begging for His mercy and divine blessings. I am delighted that Acharya Swamishree has held such a Shanti Yagna in this city. I pray to Acharya Swamishree that pride and arrogance never corrupts me, and that I remain a humble citizen of the city and am able to serve the people well. May I be given the strength to convey Acharya Swamishree's sublime message of peace and compassion to all.
Shree D D Tuteja
I commend His Holiness Acharya Swamishree for taking on this magnificent task of spreading the message of Universal Peace. Actually, it is the responsibility of people such as myself to maintain peace and law. By knowing that great Sants and Leaders such as Acharya Swamishree and all the Sants have the same aim, I have been given a renewed enthusiasm to continue my responsibility with an even greater fervour.
Shree Dwarkeshlalji Maharaj
The city of Vadodara has been truly blessed today by the presence of Acharya Swamishree. Acharya Swamishree has travelled the world to spread His message of peace and tolerance and has today come to Vadodara for this purpose. It is vital for the people to become His ardent followers and live according to His teachings for morality to be disseminated throughout society.
When God created this world, He made animals walk on 4 legs and humans walk on 2. It is said that humans are the elite in the biological hierarchy. However, in reality, one's position in this hierarchy is not dependent on one's species, but on one's moral conduct. People today are forgetting their responsibilities as humans and instead, they behave as animals. Acharya Swamishree is teaching society how to become true humans, i.e. live lives of morality and principles. He is telling everyone what God has intended for us all and He is building us into true humans, and leading us to spirituality. On behalf of all Vaishnavs, I commend Acharya Swamishree.
Acharya Swamishree showered His divine blessings on all present;
Our beloved Jeevanpran Swamibapa has explained that just as the body requires sustenance in the form of food, the soul also requires sustenance in the form of meditation, devotion and through the listening to our reading religious texts (kathavartha).
By reading, or listening to the recital of these texts one is made increasingly aware that Lord Swaminarayan and His muktas are omnipresent. As a result, one will never experience loneliness, but will feel that the Lord and His muktas are always within close proximity.
Lord Swaminarayan in the 24th Vachnamrut of the Gadhada First Section, explains the reason why those who wish to achieve salvation have excellent qualities and virtues. These qualities are attained via having devotion towards the reading of, or listening to the recital of scriptures. Those seeking salvation will show as much interest towards God as they would show disinterest towards worldly affairs.
Our sacred religious texts state there are nine forms of devotion that one can perform to the Lord, and of these, the first is Shravan Bhakti (the listening to of religious texts). Through this form of devotion, the other forms of devotion to the Lord can be achieved effortlessly. That is why all our Mahotsavs comprise of the recitals of our great Scriptures.
Those who are fortunate to receive the love of the Lord are forever contented, and those who follow as their mind wishes will always be unhappy. They will not receive contentment in any shape or form.
Those who behave selfishly cannot achieve peace. They will not allow others to attain peace. It is only when everybody realises what is beneficial for all, and each individual adopts an appropriate behaviour that all society can live peacefully and harmoniously together as one.
Let us pray to Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa that we all behave according to His will and do our part to form society to be peaceful and tolerant.
The recital of the supreme Vachanamrut Scripture was continued. The sants narrated these words of Lord Swaminarayan and also eloquently explained some of the complex philosophical issues as they arose in each Vachanamrut.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then presented mementoes to the devotees of Vadodara who have relentlessly offered their services over the past 25 years for the progression of the Vadodara Temple and its social and charitable activities.
His Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed the sandhyaa aarti and the daily evening rituals.
Swamibapa's beloved sants and the young disciples of Vadodara presented a magnificent dance performance. For 2.5 hours non-stop, the dances continued. Each bhajan was merged into the next. As it was the silver jubilee of the Temple, 25 bhajans had been incorporated into this colossal dance rendition. The show was named "Madhur Smaran Ghanshyam Prabhu naa". Through each bhajan, a different event in the day of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj was narrated and in this way, a complete day was described. The first dance described the manglaa aarti. Then God's awakening, bathing, adorning beautiful regal robes, the shanghar aarti, dining, His afternoon siesta, awakening at 4 pm and eating some freshly prepared fruits, the sandhya aarti, when all the deities come for the darshan of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, the evening discourses, and finally, God removing His robes and resting for the night, was all described through the dances.
At the end of this epic performance, 25 young Vadodara devotees performed a raas dance to the bhajan "Shakhi jone shobhaa Ghanshyam ni".
The Chief Collector of Vadodara Shree Bhagyeshbhai Za had come to witness this splendid devotional dance performance. He has a deep interest in dance and music and was extremely appreciative of being given the opportunity of experiencing such a wonderful show. Shree Bhagyeshbhai Za was previously a student of our own Swaminarayan College and has a deep affection for our Sanstha. In his speech he said, "I have reached this position as Chief Collector because of the blessings of Jeevanpran Swamibapa. Whatever I am today, is due to Him and His divine mercy. One further splendid and greatly worthy deed that I have witnessed is the Vishwa Shanti Yagna instigated by Acharya Swamishree. No one in the world has done so much for peace as Acharya Swamishree has done. Others say that they want peace, but in reality, they are hungry for conflict."
On behalf of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree presented a prasanta paag and memento to Shree Bhagyeshbhai Za. The other main guests present to witness this dance performance were the sadhus from the Haridham Sokhda Sanstha.
One of the highlights of the dance performance was when a very young devotee sang a bhajan, the words of which were, "Bapa ne makhan bhaave re, Bapa ne misri bhaave re," (Bapa likes butter, Bapa likes sugar). When this kirtan was sung, Acharya Swamishree ran onto the stage and grabbed the plate of makhan sukhdri that was beside Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj and fed it to the Lord. All the sants took the opportunity to offer the makhan sukhdi to our beloved Acharya Swamishree. In return, Acharya Swamishree gave the makhan sukhdi prasad to each sant and made the evening's event an unforgettable moment in everyone's lives.