The third morning’s procession commenced at the home of the sponsors of the Rahasyarth Pradeepika Tika sah Vachanamrut scripture recital, where His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree went to bestow His darshan. He then boarded His horse-drawn carriage to start the procession as the rhythmic beats of Naranpar Band reached a crescendo. Since most of the procession was along the main highway, a larger-than-usual number of people lined the route to the Sabha Mandap. Bystanders and passers by on this busy road, including bus-loads of passengers, had the darshan of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree presiding in His ornate, silver carriage.
Acharya Swamishree received the chaab gift offerings from the sponsoring disciples before blessing them all and commencing His divine ahirwad. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree’s Divine Ashirwad
We all experienced the joy of devotional music and song at the concert performed yesterday evening in Bhuj. Such devotional music and songs describing the glory of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa has the strength to transport a soul from the mortal world into the divine. It is for that purpose that Lord Shree Swaminarayan commanded His eminent Sants to become proficient in playing different kinds of instruments, singing and composing devotional songs. That tradition remains alive and flourishing at Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. We were all witness to this fact yesterday.
Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa held grand festivals such as the one we are celebrating today, so that people can learn the essential rudiments of living a righteous life. The perversions in their minds can be pacified; the strength of true devotion can be evoked. People perform selfless devotion. Those who are not selfless assert their authority and consider themselves to be right always. What they have in their mind is the manner to be followed; any deviation from their thoughts is wrong as far as they are concerned. Lord Shree Swaminarayan says in the Vachanamrut that such manner of thinking is the definition of arrogance. People see faults in others, but fail to identify the grave faults in themselves. Such a person cannot progress within the Faith.
In GFS 6 of the Vachanamrut, Lord Shree Swaminarayan states that a discriminating person (viveki) in this Faith, will day by day recognise and acknowledge the faults within himself and also, day by day appreciate the good virtues of the Lord and His disciples. If the Lord or Sant say some harsh words to him, he appreciates that these are for his own best interest and takes them as being beneficial to him; but does not become hurt or offended. Such a person attains a firm standing in the Faith. In contrast, a person without the sense of discrimination, will day by day think more and more of his own virtues, as he experiences the Satsang affairs and listens to the religious discourses. When the Lord or Sant identify flaws in him, he reacts adversely as a result of his own pride. Furthermore, he perceives fault to exist in the advisers. Day by day, such a person diverges away from the Faith and loses his prestige within it.
People of the world have the perseverance to sit in front of a television for hours on end, but are unable to sit in a religious discourse or assembly. They have no shame in drinking or smoking, and leading their life to ruin; the uncontrollable traits take them to places and situations that they would be embarrassed if they were completely sober. The discernment to renounce such undesirable characteristics is learnt through an association with true Sants. Such vital life reforming learning is imparted during religious festivals.
In Loya 18 of the Vachanamrut, Lord Shree Swaminarayan states that a person, who does not realise the divinity of the Lord and Sants, continues to falter in whatever he does. He continues to perceive faults to exist in the Lord, Sants and disciples. He perceives that the Lord is siding with some, and not with others. He believes that the Lord is calling some more than He talks to others. He regards the Lord to have more affection for some people than He does for others. Due to his disregard of the divinity of God and Sants, that person falls from the Faith.
You have been fortunate to have the perfect opportunity for pleasing the Lord. Ensure that no vile traits exist within your mind. Make sure that you understand the glory and divinity of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and the Sants of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.
Disciples escorted Acharya Swamishree from the Sinhasan at the conclusion of the third morning’s proceedings before everyone received Prasad lunch.
Evening - Nagaryatra
A picturesque scene at the start of the Nagaryatra comprised of the magnificent sight of four grand elephants amidst thousands of disciples and onlookers, eagerly awaiting the arrival of His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree. The elephants had the privilege of carrying the golden carriages of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree. The grounds of Dahisara High School was the gathering point. Kirtans and rhythmic bands filled the air as Acharya Swamishree arrived, mounted His elephant; marking the start of the Nagaryatra.
All along the route, which started at the main cross roads in the Village, the Nagaryatra travelled up the main high street in Ghanshyamnager, the townsfolk came out to experience this unique darshan. Many fed the elephants as the marched gallantly by – another form of donation as today, these elephants were the fortunate servants Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. Disciples and locals alike took the opportunity to perform aarti to the Lord as carriages passed them by. Those who weren’t previously aware of the parade were soon attracted out of their homes and businesses by the melodious kirtans and thumping bass beats of the bands.
As daylight dwindled, fireworks began to light the darkening sky near Shree Swaminarayan Temple, adjacent to where the Nagaryatra was due to conclude. As His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree disembarked His carriage to enter the Temple – lovingly carried by disciples – the fireworks increased in frequency and amplitude. The crackling of fireworks all but overwhelmed the noise of the jubilant crowd, who seemed still full of fervor and vigor, despite the energy-sapping march. Acharya Swamishree entered the Temple and performed the evening aarti and niyams.