Day 11 - Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Shatabdi
Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Jayanti
Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sthapna Din
Samvat 2063 Bhadarva Vad Amaavasya, Thursday th October 2007
Day 11 Main
The ten year long celebration for the much heralded Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Shatabdi finally culminated with Acharya Swamishree performing mangla aarti darshan of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Thus commenced the eleventh and final day of the Mahotsav.
Following shangar aarti Acharya Swamishree arrived at Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smarak Bhavan for the darshan of Jeevanpran Swamibapa enthroned upon his Golden Tula. Waiting at the Tower were the Massed Pipes and Drums of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, Bolton, London, Nairobi and New Jersey to salute Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree. Seated on Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, the eternal Acharya of the Gadi Shree Jeevanpran Swamibapa with Acharya Swamishree at His lotus feet accepted the salutation. The Massed Pipes and Drums then began the swagat yatra towards the chaar rasta followed by the swayam sevaks bearing gifts and poojan items. Jeevanpran Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree were on a majestic chariot with a figurehead horse and charioteer intricately crafted and gilded by the sants of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. The Massed Bands led the swagat yatra to the sabha mandap. Acharya Swmishree led Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa to the stage where sants and students of Shree Muktajeevan Kala Academy were performing a traditional Sanskrutic dance. Following the dance the swayam sevaks presented their gifts and poojan to Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
One hundred cakes were arranged in a heart shape to signify the love of the santha towards Jeevanpran Swamibapa. Another cake had two hearts entwined; one representing the heart of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa the other of Acharya Swamishree. Both hearts beating as one pumping life blood to the devotees of the sanstha to invigorate and enliven them, and awaken the hybernating salvation seeking souls of Maninagar to the philosophy of the Swaminarayan religion and the unconditional and boundless love of Acharya Swamishree.
Once the cake cutting ceremony concluded and the cake had been offered to Jeeanpran Swamibapa, the curtains were drawn and the stage was set up for Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s Tula with nectars and precious metals and gems. The curtains drew back to reveal the tula laden with sugar candy, betel nuts, dried fruits, coconuts, honey, ghee and flowers. The Master of Ceremonies Shree Vignanprakashdaasji Swami read out the original invitation to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s Suvarna Tula fifty years ago to the day, bringing back memories of the day for those devotees who were fortunate enough to be present.
The nectars on the tula were then replaced with diamond, ruby and pearl encrusted gold bars, some of which were stamped with the Shatabdi murti of Jeevanpran Swamibapa. As the last bars were added, tipping the balance of the Tula, Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s murti rose with the Shatabdi anthem playing to the sabha. Acharya Swamishree held aloft two gold plates and the congregation was delirious with joy, dancing and singing along with the anthem and clapping their hands above their heads. The atmosphere was electric and the sabha, sensing the mood, seized the opportunity to please Acharya Swamishree with even more rapturous clapping.
Eventually, the sabha quietened down and proclamations were hailed to Jeevanpran Swamibapa, with the audience joining in at the finale. Thereafter, Acharya Swamishree first offered aarti to Jeevanpran Swamibapa and this was followed by the Swamibapa’s sants; the devotees also offered aarti to Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
After aarti, Acharya Swamishree inaugurated a twin DVD set of Maninagar Murti Pratishita Mahotsav and Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s Platinum Jayanti Mahotsav Tula DVD and a specially commissioned photograph album of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa “My Beloved Gurudev.” All the images were lovingly chosen by Acharya Swamishree.
Following the arshiwads, Acharya Swamishree gave mementoes to the disciples who had donated gold for the Tula ceremony.
Acharya Swamishree's Divine Ashirwad
- For the past ten years we have been preparing for the grandest of Mahotsavs by celebrating in so many different ways. Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s Shatabdi celebrations have not only arrived, but today is the last day of the festival. We are all engrossed by the bliss experienced during the past ten days; the sound of that joy has reverberated around this divine abode – Maninagar-dham, and resonates around the world.
- Yesterday, the disciples of USA and Nairobi had the opportunity to please the Lord during an evening of devotional music, dance and drama. If a child pleases his father, he will receive some kind of gift in appreciation; the Lord bequeaths His own Murti to all those who have taken part in any capacity during last and previous night’s devotional performances. The Lord says to you, “My dear children, you live in foreign lands yet you maintain our moral values. Continue to please the Lord in this vain and never let anything detract you from that pursuit.”
- Jeevanpran Swamibapa is the master of all that is sacred. He stole the hearts of both the young and old from His earliest age, and then became the most eminent of sages in His youth. We are celebrating the centenary of such a divine personage. In preparation, sants and disciple have ignored tiredness and fatigue and worked night and day. This kind of opportunity to serve the Lord comes around only once in a lifetime and is priceless. The Lord lovingly embraces all those who have grasped that opportunity. That service has reached the lotus feet of God. God says to those disciples, “You are extremely dear to Me and you are My true servants. Ensure that you maintain that love for Me until your very last breath and you will attain the bliss of My Murti.”
- So many departments have contributed to the success of this Mahotsav: Accommodation organisers; advertising and invitations; producers of scriptures and publications, CDs and DVDs; decorators of this awesome stage and creators of the amazing chariots we have seen; directors and performers of the evening’s events; and the most strenuous and important service of all – the preparation of meals. Not forgetting the service of the photography, video, sound and electrical departments who all had to remain alert during the Mahotsav. Obeying the call from God to aide in the spreading of His name, Pipe Bands from London, Bolton, Nairobi and the USA have enthusiastically served this Mahotsav. Finally, services like the medical centre and stall holders should not be overlooked. The Lord is enormously pleased with all these servants.
- By the inspiration of Jeevanpran Swamibapa, this Mahotsav has witnessed the recital of nine scriptures. This shows just how much disciples have taken the opportunity to please God, and adhered to His commands.
- As examples of unflinching adherence to the commands of God, Swamibapa’s own episodes are unparalleled. Jeevanpran Swamibapa was advancing with great speed in Mumbai and had thoughts of going to Africa. At that time Sadguru Shree Ishwarcharandasji Swamibapa (Sadgurubapa) commanded Swamibapa to come to Saraspur. Without a second thought, Swamibapa obeyed that command. When He arrived in Saraspur, He was initiated as sant by Sadgurubapa, who commanded Him to protect and spread the principles of Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree. We all know how much Swamibapa had to endure in order to fulfil this command. In 1972, Jeevanpran Swamibapa, after performing 61 days’ continuous meditation, received instruction from Lord Shree Swaminarayan: “Give physical embodiment to the throne (gadi) which I have previously established.” Swamibapa thus made us adherents of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. Today is also the anniversary of that auspicious event.
- This Shree Swaminarayan Gadi is the source of absolute salvation; it is where God Himself presides. It is so powerful that merely by its touch, a soul becomes liberated, i.e. a Mukta. It is the exact same throne upon which the Lord presides in Akshardham in his divine sinhasan. The Lord Himself manifested in the form of Jeevanpran Swamibapa and brought with Him, His own throne; such is the categorical divinity of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.
- Today, we had the divine darshan of Swamibapa being weighed against gold in the auspicious Tula ceremony. The shear amount of gold donated at the lotus feet of our beloved Gurudev is testament to the enthusiasm and zeal His disciples have for serving Him. This service is simply indescribable. Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s pleasure at seeing such loving and humble service is likewise beyond any words.
- All these services described today are purely the result of God’s inspiration, power and divinity. No-one should have even an iota of arrogance or self importance because of any service they have performed in any capacity. There is no greater fool than someone who has such egotistical thoughts. You must always remember that before you encountered God, you were absolutely nothing. He has mercifully given You His divine nectar and taken you under His shelter. He has forgiven all your sins and promised you His divine Murti. Everything we have is a direct result of God’s mercy. Never forget this thought.
- Let us pray to Jeevanpran Swamibapa: We have placed flower petals, in the form of our enthusiasm and faith for You, at Your lotus feet. We pray that You accept this humble service. We are Yours and You are ours; may this bond remain unbreakable. Never forget us.” In this way, you have all served the Lord beyond your means, with humility and enthusiasm, during this Mahotsav. I assure you that seeing this, God is extremely please with you all and has already given you His divine Murti.
- On one occasion, Shreejimaharaj was presiding over a Mahotsav in Dabhan. On the last day, all the gathered disciples were calmly placing their donations at the lotus feet of the Lord. One poor disciple was stood aside with joined hands, performing the darshan of God. He had a desire to place a donation at the Lord’s feet but was embarrassed at his mere contribution, having seen the grand offerings placed by other disciple. Knowing his genuine sentiments, Shreejimaharaj said to him, “Maneklal, do not worry in the slightest. Without another thought, give Me whatever you have brought.” Maneklal replied with joined hands, “Oh Maharaj, I am a mere, poor Brahmin. My wife and I beg for alms. These other disciples make grand donations, what is my rupee in comparison? I am embarrassed to offer you this meagre donation.” Shreejimaharaj said, “Your rupee is dearer to Me than 10 million rupees. It is totally invaluable. You both beg for alms and have fasted to collate this rupee. You have come here hungry as a result. I am so very pleased at seeing your sentiments of service. Place your donation in My hand.” Hearing this, Maneklal undone a knotted rag from which a single rupee emerged. As he went to place it at the Lord’s feet, Shreejimaharaj said, “Do not place it at My feet. Give it to Me in My hand.” Taking the rupee in His hand, Shreejimaharaj said to Shree Muktanand Swami, Shree Brahmanand Swami, etc, “Receiving this donation has truly completed this Mahotsav!” In this way, Shreejimaharaj showed immense pleasure at the poor Brahmin’s humble donation.
- Today, the Lord holds in His lotus palm, the donations and services of every single disciple. Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa has attached each or your names to the beads of His rosary. On the final day of the Mahotsav, let us pray to the Lord: Oh Bapa! You have mercifully accepted our otherwise insignificant service and associated our names with Your rosary beads. May we forever remain at the shelter of Your Swaminarayan Gadi. May we remain Your beloved children so that You always shower us with such affection. Oh Lord! Give us this divine conviction, wisdom and strength to do this.