Day 1 - Suvarna Pratishtha Mahotsav in Mankuva - New District
Inside the temple devotees gathered to awaken the Lord and be granted the divine darsan of the first divine aarti of the day... Mangla Aarti.
The disciples chanted the dhoon "Swaminarayan Gadi, Swaminarayan", followed by "Swaminarayan Gadi, Jay Ghanshyam" to awaken the Lord. As 5:30am drew near, the chanting grew louder and the rhythm increased.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed Mangla aarti.
On this first day of the Mahotsav, the sants and devotees waited patiently at the Hanuman temple in Mankuva navovaas, in anticipation of the divine darshan of HDH Acharya Swamishree. Jeevanpran Swamibapa installed the murti of Shree Hanumanji here many years ago. More recently, through the divine blessings of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree, the Hanuman Temple has been completely renovated. The fortunate devotees of Mankuva pulled the beautifuly decorated chariot with HDH Acharya Swamishree gracefully seated upon it carrying Shree Harikrishna Maharaj. Shree Ghanshyam Band from Madahapur led the procession announcing the arrival of HDH Acharya Swamishree to the Sabha Mandap.
For the upcoming Shree Jeevanpran Swamibapa Satabdhi Mahotsav in 2007, all the devotees from around the world will take part in writing the Swamianrayan Bapa Swamibapa Mahamantra. In addition, each year leading up to the Mahotsav, a new satsang exam will be released. Today, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree inaugorated Sanskar Dipika Part 3.
All the devotees were encouraged to take part in the Mantra writing and take the Satsang Examinations. It is the wish of HDH Acharya Swamishree that a total of 1 billion mantras are collectively written. On this occassion, everyone was given sheets of lined paper and red pens so that they could write wherever they were, and whenever they had a few minutes to spare during the Mahotsav.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree's divine ashirwad;
"What is our Nectar? The divine speech of Lord Swaminarayan and His divine Anadi Muktas is our nectar. In this Mahotsav, there are three Parayans, Swaminarayan Gadi Granth, Swamibapa ni Vato Part 1 and Swamibapa ni Vato Part 2."
"The entire Shree Swaminarayan Gadi parivar, Sants and devotees from all around the world wanted to witness this auspicious mahotsav but due to various circumstances many devotees have been unable to attend. With saddened hearts, many have prayed personally to include them as part of this auspicious occasion....."
"This is the first day of the Mahotsav. If we want to fully benefit from these five days we must control our ten senses and the eleventh, our mind."
"Whoever understands the true supremacy of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, as well as the divinity of Lord Swaminarayan, their lives will become divine and they will experience the happiness of Lord Swaminarayan in this very life."
"If you want to experience the happiness of Lord Swaminarayan, then early in life, you must offer your body, mind and wealth to Lord Swaminarayan. Until you do this you will not attain the true joy of Lord Swaminarayan."
"Bapashree has said that people who have no faith or trust in My words, will not be able to do as I say."
"That is why Swamibapa has explained to us, that you are all here in this Mahotsav to take part, as students, and servents of Lord Swaminarayan. If you do so, you will attain true happiness. A student must never talk back to his Guru, and always follow what his Guru says. That is why a student always prays to the Lord, that O Lord, I am your student, apart from you, I have no other place. You are the One that brings me peace and shows me the true path to salvation. When a devotee asks for this as His humble servent, the Lord takes pity and shows him the path to salvation. If you want to seek salvation, you must understand the true greatness of the Lord."
"The best tool to achieve salvation is human effort. Our beloved Jeevanpran Swaminbapa has said that whoever uses his senses for the devotion of Lord Swaminarayan attains salvation."
"One day, on the way from Bhuj to Manukva, Lord Swaminarayan stayed at Suthar Natha's house. Lord Swaminarayan used to eat half a measure of red hot chillies with Rotla. On one such day, Dungarji Kshatri of Dandavia came for the darshan of Lord Swamianrayan. Lord Swaminarayan offered Dandavia the prashad that Brahma wants and cannot receieve. Dandavia ate this, and found it so hot, that he fainted. Lord Swaminarayan got up and with his own divine hand, softly fed set Ghee to Dandavia as he regained consiousness. Lord Swaminarayan then gave him Daal. Dandavia was eating very quickly. Lord Swamianrayan told him not to do this and to control his sense of taste. Dandavia stopped and did as Lord Swaminarayan commanded. Lord Swaminarayan was very pleased with his obedience. In this way if we all behave according to the wishes of Lord Swaminarayan Bapa Swamibapa, then He will become pleased with us".
"Prathna: We pray that we all leave the wishes of our own minds, and stay at the lotus feet of Lord Swaminarayan, and always sing His praises."
Carrot Halwa, Barfi, Samo, Khadi, Baateta nu shak, Ferahaari chevado.
"In Bapashree ni Vato, there is only talk about Lord Swaminarayan's divine Murti. Whoever reads or listens to this divine scripture will surely attain salvation........"
"In Bapanshree ni Vato Part 1, number 117, a devotee asked 'How will I know that my path to salvation is complete?' Bapashree replied that ''Whoever recites the scriptures, meditates, and performes devotion and never forget their status of being the humble servent of the Lord, then your path to salvation is complete.'........"
"We have got the roots and foundations of true happiness here at Shree Swamianrayan Gadi. So what is the need to go anywhere else?....."
"This satsang is a garden where Sants and devotees are flowers. Bad characterisitcs are the thorns, and good characteristics are the fragment scent of flowers. This garden blossoms with the fountain of knoweldge given by the great Anadi Muktas."
"As a Divine sant was walking through a garden, the flowers spoke to him and asked 'Please pick us and use us to garland Lord Swaminarayan because otherwise we will only be picked and be used for a funeral pyre, or to be tied in a ladies hairpiece. The Divine Sant felt great pity and did as the flowers asked, and made garlands which were then offered to Lord Swaminarayan. We pray to Lord Swaminarayan, that His divine hand has picked our souls, and now, we ask that our good skills are used to please only Lord Swaminarayan and no one else. "
"Lord Swaminarayan was celebrating the Vasant Panchimi festival at Ghadhpur. The devotees from Dashanter had come for the divine darshan of Lord Swaminarayan. Two brothers of Sarangpur, Vagakachar and Amrokachar wanted to come to Ghadhpur but because they were poor, they felt that they should take even a very small gift. They made clothing and a paag for Lord Swaminarayan. Lord Swaminarayan was seated, with Sants and devotees from various places had gathered in front of his lotus face. Lord Swaminarayan requested His devotees to come and do His puja. Fine heavy beautiful garments and ornaments were presented by the devotees. Both brothers felt that their gift next to these elloborate gifts were not appropriate, and so they both decided to remain seated. Lord Swamianrayan requested Vagakachar and Amrokachar to present their gifts, and said "How did you come to know that I needed white garments today?" They played with coloured powder and coloured water sprays at the River Gela. That night, whilst sleeping, the souls that lived in the cotton thread that was used in the garments that were presented to Lord Swaminarayan, came to thank the two brothers and said 'You have given us salvation, we are now going to the Lord's Akshardhaam.' In the morning, when the two brothers went for the darshan of Lord Swaminarayan, The Lord asked 'what did you see last night?' The two brothers recited the whole story to the gathered assembly. Just as the souls in the cotton thread attained salvation because they were useful for the Lord's devotion, anything that is used for the devotion of the Lord, Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa will surely grant salvation."
Kadi and Samo
Devotees from all over India as well overseas gathered near the Hanuman Temple in Mankuva.HDH Acharya Swamishree arrived in an intricately carved chariot pulled by devotees of Mankuwa. He sat in a beautiful hindola, and then proceeded to cut a cake and then offer it to Shree Harikrishna Maharaj.