The fifth and final day of the Mahotsav marked the 60th anniversary since Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa installed the divine Murtis of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa at Shree Swaminarayan Temple, Kera. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree commenced the Patotsav ceremony, performing the ancient Vedic rituals while sants chanted the Sodshopchar mantra.
After the Patotsav ceremony had concluded, all the disciples had the opportunity to perform aarti to Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj on this auspicious occasion, giving His divine darshan amidst the array of sweet and savory delicacies that formed the annkut. Everyone then moved to the Sabha Mandap to receive Acharya Swamishree’s divine ashirwad.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree’s Ashirwad
We have all been waiting a very long time for the Kera Shashtipurti Mahotsav. That Mahotsav finally came, and today is the last day of the Mahotsav! Yesterday Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa was granting His divine darshan to all onlookers in the Nagar Yatra seated on an elephant. Whoever had the darshan of the Lord’s Murti will be showered with His mercy.
We have all taken the opportunity to offer Poojan, Aarti and Annkut to the Lord. Seeing all this, the Lord has become extremely pleased. Even if a disciple has donated only one rupee, in his last moments he will get the fruits equivalent to millions of rupees. When we experience the bliss of the Murti we will forget everything in this world. In the Vachanamrut, it is explained that worldly happiness is not true happiness, but true happiness is only found within the Lord’s Murti.
In the same way that a father wishes his son to be well educated and become wise, our true father Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa wants us to be truly happy, therefore He is always showing us the road to true happiness. In this world people believe that if they have money, they are happy, but in reality the more money and wealth one has the more troubles he has.
Even King Yudhistir, who was a devout disciple following the principles of the religion, became engrossed in gambling such that he even wagered his kingdom and wife, and lost everything. This wealth is such that it creates conflicts between two brothers, father-in-law and son-in-law. One will be able to buy nice food with money but not buy his hunger, he will be able to buy medicines but not buy his wellbeing.
After Acharya Swamishree’s blessings, all disciples who had contributed to the Mahotsav received a memento from Acharya Shree – an encased golden Murti of Shree Nilkanth Varni. The local newspaper had provided extensive coverage of the Mahotsav over the five days, included the related charitable efforts of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. Its editor, Shree Vasantbhai Patel, took the opportunity to say a few words.
“I have been a journalist for many years, but never have I covered an organization that is more dedicated to helping society than this Maninagar Sanstha. You have supported schools and hospitals to the tune of hundreds of thousands of rupees. For this I commend you!”
The disciples from Nairobi, Kenya, who had travelled to the Mahotsav, had made a special garland made from 71 individual strands of dried fruit. This meticulously hand-crafted garland was present to Acharya Swamishree as part of the concluding ceremony. For the grand finale, the sants showered His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree with fresh flowers as kirtans boomed out at full volume. Soon, the whole sabha was up on its feet, dancing and rejoicing. Sants carried Acharya Swamishree’s Gadi into the audience so everyone could have His darshan more closely, which only sent the crowd into an even more jubilant frenzy – I fitting end to a magnificent Mahotsav.
The Sabha, and indeed the Mahotsav, concluded, and everyone went for Prasad lunch. Acharya Swamishree’s tireless and inspirational efforts took Him immediately to Ghanshyamnagar a few kilometers away where that village’s Shashtipurti Mahotsav would commence the following day. Such is the success, glory and prevalence of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, and such is the love, devotion and enthusiasm of its disciples, that the end of one Mahotsav often marks the dawn of another – as is the case today.
Day 5 Morning - Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Shashtipurti Mahotsav, Kera