As part of the continuing celebrations of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Satabdi,
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree hosted a special devotional dance and
musical concert performed by the immensely talented Sants of Shree Swaminarayan
The event was held on Friday 15th February 2002, at Tagore Hall, Ahmedabad.
Chief Guests present were Mahamandaleshwar Shree Mangalanandji Maharaj, "Lankesh"
Shree Arvind Trivedi and Bollywood's infamous musical director Shree Anandjibhai.
Lord Swaminarayan encouraged His sants to become proficient in all areas of
the cultural arts and use these skills in their worship of the Lord. Sants became
poets, singers, musical artists, dancers, painters, sculptors etc. Each sant
was skilful enough to make fortunes using their talent and prowess in society
at large. Yet they devoted their skills only to please the supreme Lord Swaminarayan.
Similarly, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree has provided constant encouragement
to each of His sants so that they excel in their learning of literature and
the arts. The love of Acharya Swamishree for the spiritual arts can be seen
in each and every sant as they perform cultural dances or sing kirtans on stage.
Over 50 years ago, Gurudev Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa established the Shree
Muktajeevan Swamibapa Kala Kendra, a centre for the learning of all the fine
arts. Through this Kala Kendra , the sants of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan
have reached the pinnacle of talent. There had been a great demand from the
leading citizens of Ahmedabad for Acharya Swamishree to hold a public gala where
His sants could demonstrate their skills. His Holiness Acharya Swamishree accepted
their wishes and held this event.
The highlight of the performances was the creation of the Swastika symbol whilst
dancing. A sant performed a classical Indian dance on a bed of auspicious kumkum.
As he danced, he drew a perfect Swastika with his feet. The Swastika is a symbol
of Hinduism and of the eternal religion. It symbolises unity, spiritual progression
and the wheel of auspicious life. Many meanings relating to spirituality have
been assigned to the Swastika symbol. It is therefore used to grace the entrance
of homes and is inscribed as part of various religious and social ceremonies.
The youth of today have blindly followed the western practises and ignored
their own rich identity and heritage. In an attempt to rekindle interest in
the Bharatiya arts, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree has held grand devotional
dance and music performances throughout the world. In this way, Acharya Swamishree
has upheld, preserved and disseminated the glorious and rich heritage of Bharat.
After the performances, Shree Mangalanandji Maharaj reaffirmed this fact, announcing
that it is Acharya Swamishree and His sants that are preserving the true, essential
heritage of India in the exact manner that the ancient Rushi Munis had intended.
Lankesh Shree Arvind Trivedi and Shree Anandjibhai spoke about their delight
at being present to witness such performances. They commended Acharya Swamishree
for His creation of such talent.
At the end of the programme, His Holiness Acharya Swamishree blessed the assembly.
Acharya Swamishree talked about how bad habits and addictions cause lives to
become useless and unaccomplished. "The youth today have become obsessed
with addiction, to fashion, adultery, sin and immorality. The purpose of events
such as this, is to save them from such futility, and encourage the youth today
to live honourable and worthy lives."