The third and final day of Ghanshyam Maharaj Amrut Mahotsav was upon us already. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj performed Mangla Aarti at 5.30 am – all the while the Sabha Mandap continued to fill up in anticipation for the divine darshan of the traditional panchamrut snan ceremony, where the Lord is bathed in the five nectars.
The Patotsav ceremony began at around 7.30am, followed by panchamrut snan ceremony where the supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa was bathed in saffron water, milk, yoghurt, sugar and honey by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and sants, as the thousands of disciples attending the Mahotsav file passed through the Mandir to catch a glimpse of this remarkable darshan. As the ceremony progressed, the atmosphere in the Mandir was filled with the aroma of the five nectars, resulting in a combined prasad solution of 700 litres, marking the 70th Patotsav.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj entered the Sabha Mandap adorned with garments made of fresh fragrant flowers, accompanied by the principle sponsors of the Mahotsav, before bestowing His divine Ashirwad;
The nectar of the Lord’s love has been enjoyed over the past 2 days and today is the final day of the festival.
Yesterday afternoon, we were granted the darshan of the Lord presiding on a magnificent chariot. During the procession, He was bestowing His blessings to countless souls and making them all worthy of salvation.
Today, He granted us His darshan whilst being bathed in water, saffron, milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar, perfume etc. As He bathed, His enchanting smile captivated the minds of us all. He then showered us with the consecrated nectar. By that, He has showered us with His love and grace. Remember how fortunate you are to have been blessed in this manner.
For months before the Mahotsav started, and even during the three days of the Mahotsav, it was apparent that the Sants and disciples were eager to serve the Lord in numerous ways. The skills and abilities that they have developed with the mercy of the Lord, was used for the progression of the Faith. Having the wisdom to realise that whatever you are is due to His grace, is itself a gift from God.
In Gadhada Middle Section Chapter 28, Lord Shree Swaminarayan states that the manner to please God is to serve the disciples of God with one’s mind, deeds and words. Who can perform such services? Bapashree explains in Varta 133 that only those who are the true children of the Lord can dedicate themselves to the service of the Lord’s Faith.
Seeing such dedication pleases Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa immensely. Realise that the Lord has given an opportunity to please Him. But do not become arrogant about what you have achieved. If you do become conceited about your achievements, your name will be relegated to the bottom of the Lord’s diary.
The Lord keeps a note of all His disciples, and they are listed in the order of their virtues and genuine devotion. For the Lord, a person who is educated or wealthy in worldly terms is not great, but the one who has good qualities and truly, faithfully, and humbly dedicates himself to God is the individual that He cherishes more.
Seeing such true devotion in His disciples during this Amrut Mahotsav has pleased the Lord, and He is gently smiling at us all. With His enchanting eyes, He is winking at us. And with His gentle hand, He is patting our heads. Look at His beautiful Murti. Stare at His lips.Become mesmerised by His smile. Become engrossed in His Murti. He has started to dance with us. Can you see Him in this manner? Develop the skills to visualise Him in this way.
The Lord has come today and His evoking spiritual happiness within us. He is doing this to ensure we never forget His glory and mercy.
Do not forget the nectar that the Lord has given during this Amrut Mahotsav. Remain fascinated by the divine Murti of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa. He presides here at Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, to fulfil the spiritual desires of His children. Take the opportunity to please Him and make your life truly worthwhile.
Following Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s Ashirwad, He returned to the Mandir to perform Annkut aarti to the Lord, who was giving darshan amidst an array of sweets and other dishes. Disciples then had the opportunity to offer aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj when He returned to the Sabha Mandap following Annkut aarti.
The final privilege and joy that everyone received before the conclusion of the Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Amrut Mahotsav, was that of bathing Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa with panchamrut – five nectars. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj commenced the ceremony, with the Mahotsav closing as everyone had this unique opportunity to please the Lord.