Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav - Day 2
Friday 13 February 2009, Samvat 2065 Maha Vad 4
Nagar Yatra Images
Video: Acharya Swamishree's Ashirwad
Video: Nagar Yatra
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree commenced the second day of the Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav by performing Mangla Aarti and morning niyams, before presiding to the site of the havan besides the Temple to continue the Yagna ceremony.
Acharya Swamishree is world-renowned for His charitable and societal endeavors, as well as His spiritual and religious efforts. In keeping with this, He inaugurated a Blood Donation Camp as part of the Mahotsav. The first to donate blood were Acharya Swamishree’s own sants; the camp will remain open throughout the Mahotsav to enable all visitors to the festival to donate.
At approximately 9am, Acharya Swamishree was saluted by His Holiness Swamibapa Pipe Band Nairobi who then led Him towards the Sabha Mandap. The continuing recital of the Rahasyarth Pradipika Tika sah Vachanamrut was taking place in the congregation. As Acharya Swamishree’s Band-led chariot approached the entrance to the Sabha Mandap, Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band London took over the privilege of leading the parade. Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band led Acharya Swamishree to the stage and then saluted Him and the honoured guests, which included:
J.R. Ghandhi of the Council of Gujarat
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings on the congregation. The morning’s events concluded with everyone taking Prasad lunch, before proceeding to the start-site of the afternoon’s Nagar Yatra.
Purushottam Prakash Swami of Dangprayasha Pratishthavan
Maghanbhai Shroff – Chairman of the Vrajbhumi Group
Shantilal Sojitra – Antashastri
Villabhai Savani – President of the E.M. Charitable Trust
Prabhudas D Patel – President of the Surat Diamond Association
Dhirubhai Vasoka of Sahajanand Lehar Technology
Sharadhbhai Kakjia of Khagrani Builders
Babubhai Lapani of Kiran Khetporters
Babubhai Viradiya of the Suri Diamond Association
Rameshbhai Vadhani of Samji K carpenters
Narendra Babhubhai of Agrari Builders
- A temple is God’s palace. Whether an eminent or young disciple comes to such a palace, the love they receive is equal; the one who enjoins more with God, benefits the most. Here in the presence of God, the rich and poor, the uneducated and scholarly, and those with a higher and lower status’ should all leave their external personas outside and consider themselves the subjects of God. In this manner, a temple is the principal means for the betterment of mankind.
- There was once a builder who decided to retire. When he went to ask for permission to do so from his manager, his manager refused to let him retire. Despite this, the builder did not wish to continue working. He hired under-skilled workers and used inadequate material to build the next house, in the hope that his manager would let him retire after building a sub-standard house. Upon completion of the building, his manager gave the keys to the house to the builder, as retirement gift. The builder was full of regret and thought to himself, ‘had I known this building was for me, I would have build it to a much better quality. Now I have to live in this house!” Jeevanpran Swamibapa has said that in this way, people who have built week foundations only find out, and regrettably suffer, later in life. In this example, the individual is the builder and the house is one’s soul. How you build your life is in your hands.
- Those who do not think in this way are idiots and ignorant. In the 20th Vachanamrut of Gadhada First Section, Lord Shree Swaminarayan has stated that a person notices many external qualities of a person, e.g. that he is handsome or ugly, that a child, adult or aged, etc. He never takes a look at himself, nor his own internal qualities. Such a person is the most ignorant amongst the ignorant. In order to eradicate such ignorance, one must associate with the Satsang.
- Lord Shree Swaminarayan visited Bhavnagar on a particular occasion. The tailor, Aatmaram, of Surat who was residing in Bhavnagar came to the Lord with a finely embroidered, tailored coat. The Lord became extremely please with him as he had stitched his own love and effort into the garment. When the Lord adorned the coat, it fitted extremely well, as if the tailor had measured the Lord. The Lord told Aatmaram to ask for a boon, and Aatmaram prayed to the Lord that he remain under the Lord’s shelter for all time. Another disciple asked Aatmaram how he had made such a perfectly fitting coat without having the opportunity to measure the Lord. Aatmaram replied that when he meditated, he could vividly see the Lord’s Murti – and using that, he tailored accordingly. Talk of the quality of the coat spread far and wide, and a local King invited Aatmaram to make him a coat too. Aatmaram told the King, “The coat was not made merely by my skill and ability as a tailor, but it had my own love stitched into it. How can I evoke the kind of love needed to make such a perfect coat again?!” The understanding King was amazed at the love and devotion of Aatmaram, and replied, “The person for whom this coat was made is truly unparalleled.”
- This is precisely the kind of episode that Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa is enabling us to experience at Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. Today, the Lord will sit on grand chariots to bestow His divine darshan throughout the streets of Surat. All those chariots contain the stitches of love of sants and disciples. That love and devotion will shine bright for all to see during this afternoon’s Nagar Yatra (parade).
Inspired by His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree in order for all the residents of Surat to have the divine darshan of the Supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa, a magnificent Nagar Yatra was held. The divine ‘Pat-Murtis’ that are to be installed in the Sinhasan of Shree Swaminarayan Temple Surat, were paraded throughout the procession for all to see. Acharya Swamishree presided on a magnificent, ornately decorated gold chariot; sat beside the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan, They bestowed Their divine darshan throughout the six kilometre parade route.
The Nagar Yatra comprised of a range of dancers, musicians, performers and marching bands, including Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band from London, UK, and His Holiness Swamibapa Pipe Band from Nairobi, Kenya, who all performed tireless throughout the parade. The procession started at the Hira-baagh Circle area of Surat, made its way along the main highway and concluded at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Surat.
Hundreds of thousands of onlookers lined the entire path of the parade – not a single location along the route was bereft of crowds that were at least six to seven people deep; in places, literally thousands gathered in crowds that were dozens deep to have the divine darshan of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamiahree. A special helicopter had been granted permission to accompany the Nagar Yatra; throughout the parade route, it showered fresh flowers on the procession.
At approximately 9pm, the Nagar Yatra arrived at Shree Swaminarayan Temple Surat. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree’s chariot was led by the combined Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band and His Holiness Swamibapa Pipe Band to the foot of the Temple. The Bands then lined the steps of the Temple as Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s devout sants held Acharya Swamishree aloft and carried Him into the Temple. Inside the Temple, the Bands filled the air with the rhythm of drums and melodies of bagpipes, all accompanied by the beats of the sants playing dhols. Hundreds of disciples and sants that filled the Temple danced with joy to make this a truly remarkable occasion that will remain an unforgettable event for those who were blessed to experience it.