Inspirator: His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj
Mumbai Mahotsav - Day 3 - Gateway of India


The evening’s events were truly historic. A special stage had been built right under the Gateway of India - one of the foremost monuments in India. The evening’s itinerary comprised of performances from Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band, Jeevanpran Swaibapa’s sants, and disciples form around the world, to promote the upcoming celebrations marking the centenary (Shatabdi) of Jeevanpran Swamibapa. The performances highlighted the incredible talent and dedication that Jeevanpran Swamibapa inspired and nurtured in His disciple, and which remains flourishing today under the divine tutelage of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree. The theme of the evening was of tolerance and cooperation between the many faiths that can be found in India – one of Acharya Swamishree’s principal tenets.

The evening commenced with 10 boats, carrying Acharya Swamishree, sants and disciples, embarking on a cruise of the Arabian Sea. On their return, Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band welcomed the principle guests for the evening, Shree Avid Ali, Religious Leader Of Islami Khoja, and Father Dr. S M Michael, Chairman of Inter Religion Dialogue. Other guests this evening included:

Shree R R Patil, Deputy Chief Minister & Home Minister Garb Maharastra
Shree Raj Purohit, MLA, Mumbai
Shree Mukhathi Granthi Manjeet Sidhag, Shree Gurudara Sandha Sikh Sabha, Mumbai
Shree Inspector General A. Raj Sekhar, Head of Post Guard West Religious
Shree Atul Shah, Ex-MLA, Mumbai

Acharya Swamishree delivered His ashirwad, which was broadcast live on TV in over 120 countries, and simultaneously webcast all over the world;

The children of the Almighty Lord have assembled today at this historic place. India is renowned as a country of spirituality. This Gateway of India is therefore symbolic of the path that every person must take; the pathway of spirituality – in order to reach the Gateway to the divine proximity of God.

Representatives of all the religions are here. Why? Because our Mother India is home to people of all faiths. We are all brothers and sisters of our Motherland. We are proud of our country and its beliefs. India is an all-inclusive country; all are warmly welcomed. Today’s congregation, comprising of people of various religions standing alongside each other, is confirmation of that fact.

True religion, the essence of all faiths, is that of truth, love, compassion, and respect and tolerance of each other. These are the values that Lord Shree Swaminarayan has commanded all His disciples to abide by. He says in the Shikshapatri that such virtues must never be abandoned, even if one is coerced to relinquish them by another, or if there seems to be much financial or other gain by doing so.

Our Gurudev, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa brought together leaders of different faiths and denominations to promote universal accord and harmony. During such assemblies, He would state, “We are all children of the Almighty Lord; therefore, we must evoke a spirit of understanding and consideration for everyone, irrespective of their race, religion or nationality.” And for such teachings, the first President of India, Dr Rajendraprasad hailed Him as a saviour to all mankind.

Where there is tolerance and respect, there is true value and worth in a community. Today’s event reminds me of one of Aesop’s phrases, which was commonly used at the time of India’s independence. ‘United we stand, divided we fall; unity is the best policy’.

Just think; seeing all of us together, praying for the progression and harmony of Mother India and indeed, the entire World; will the Almighty God not be looking at us? Will He not be pleased with us all? God is undoubtedly, extremely delighted to see His children praying together.

Let us pray:

Oh Lord!
From darkness, lead us to light.
From ignorance, lead us to knowledge.
From intolerance, lead us to compassion.
For all eternity, keep us with You.

Disciples of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa then demonstrated their devotion through a programme of musical and dance performances:

  1. Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s sants, devotional dance to the kirtan “Shreeji tere darshan ke bina”
  2. Kamlesh Patel, patriotic dance to the song “Buri nazar se hamko na dekho”
  3. Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band London, rendition of Indian popular and patriotic melodies, including the Indian national anthem
  4. Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s sants, devotional dance to the song “Jaha dal dal par soneki chidia karte he basera”
  5. Disciples from London, devotional dance to a kirtan medley
  6. Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s sants, devotional dance to the kirtan “Yeh bhumi he viroki”

During the course of the evening, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree received a rapturous standing ovation from the thousands that had gathered at the Gateway of India this evening.

The evening concluded with a spectacular laser and fireworks display. 


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