Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav - Day 4
Sunday 15 February 2009, Samvat 2065 Maha Vad 6
Just before sunrise, Acharya Swamishree performed the Mangla Aarti of the Lord for the first time after the divine Murtis had been installed ceremoniously in the new Surat Temple. As soon as the Mangla Aarti had concluded, the glittering lights on the domes of the Temple were switched on and the sound of devotional songs reverberated throughout the entire site.
This was the final day of the four day festival and everyone had very special memories of this wondrous occasion to take back home, and cherish.
As the Sun rose, more and more disciples started to gather around the Temple. At 8.00 am, Acharya Swamishree and sants went for the Lord’s darshan. The conclusion to the scripture recital of Shree Rahasyarth Pradipika Tika Sah Vachanamrut was to be performed, so the main donors of the new Temple Murtis carried offerings, which were to be presented at the lotus feet of the Lord into the assembly marquee.
The mass bands of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Pipe Band, comprising of Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band London and H H Swamibapa Pipe Band Nairobi, led Acharya Swamishree and the disciples down the main steps of the Temple into the assembly. As Acharya Swamishree reached the stage, the bands saluted Him and were given an opportunity of taking a group photograph.
Disciples performed adoration to the holy scripture and Acharya Swamishree, and then performed aarti to conclude the scripture recitals.
Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s recorded blessings were heard, in which He described the magnificence and supremacy of the supreme Lord Swaminarayan and Bapashree. He also explained, using scriptural references, that there is no difference between the divine Murti of Lord Shree Swaminarayan that presides magnificently in Akshardham upon Shree Swaminarayan Gadi and the divine Murtis that are installed in our Temple.
Acharya Swamishree then blessed the assembly with His divine ashirwad.
- Surat has been blessed with the divine presence of the supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. The merciful Lord will now preside in Surat forever and bestow His divine blessings to all those who come for His darshan. In celebration of this Murti installation, we have been enjoying this festival for the past three days, and today, the fourth day, is the final day of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Surat Murti Pratishtha Mahotsav.
- Throughout the festival, all the sants and disciples, from all over the world, have dedicated themselves and their services in numerous ways. All this is done with one goal; to please the Lord. Pleasing the Lord is their only one aim in life. Having such love and devotion unto the supreme Lord and dedication to Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan are the virtues that the merciful Lord likes to see in His children.
- Today is Sunday; the day of the Sun. How appropriate that we are concluding the festival on Sunday! Surat is known as the city of the Sun, Suryanagar, and the River Tapi that flows here is known as Suryaputri, the daughter of the Sun. When the sun rises, all darkness is eliminated. Today, on Sunday, the day of the Sun, the Sun rose for the first time since the supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa presided in Suryanagar – and He has presided here to install the sun, in the form of true spiritual knowledge, into the true aspirants of eternal salvation.
- As we depart from Surat and return home, ensure that the qualities that the Lord would like to see in His children remain flourishing within you. Preserve the morality that Swamibapa has taught you and remain brave against immorality and impropriety. Ensure that the vices of lust, anger, greed, avarice, infatuation etc. never arise within you. If they do, the merit and divine blessings that you have amassed by being present and taking part in this festival, will have been lost.
After the ashirwad had concluded, the senior Sadguru sants garlanded Acharya Swamishree on behalf of all the disciples of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan for inspiring the magnificent festival. The sants and disciples then presented Acharya Swamishree with a plaque of commendation on behalf of all the children of the Faith. As Acharya Swamishree was presented with the plaque, sants and disciples on the stage showered Him with rose petals. The entire assembly marquee filled with elation and divine ecstasy, and the fragrance of roses pervaded everywhere.
Acharya Swamishree honoured three sants for their dedication and commitment in building the new Temple. These were Sant Shiromani Shree Bhagwatswaroopdasji Swami, Sant Shiromani Sadguru Shree Munibhushandasji Swami, and Sant Shiromani Shree Divyacharandasji Swami. Other sants garlanded for their unsurpassed work during the festival preparations were Sant Shiromani Shree Dharmavatsaldasji Swami, Sant Shiromani Shree Harikeshavdasji Swami, and Sant Shiromani Shree Nikhileshwardasji Swami.
As the festival drew to a close, the disciples received prasad and then, with cherished memories of the unprecedented Surat Festival, departed to return to their homes.