The morning of the Kingsbury Nagaryatra (Staurday 23rd August 2014), also saw the conclusion of further parayan (scripture recitals) held on behalf of disciples to please Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa. Acharya Swamishree Mahraj blessed, in the presence of Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa within the mandir hall, the gifts these disciple had prepared for the parayan, before being led to the Sabha Mandap by Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band and the disciples to conclude the Parayan Vidhi (rituals).
After being seated on his Gadi in the mandap, Acharya Swamishree received guests, followed by the official launch of a series of e-books including the Gujarati Mukti Sanjivani, lovingly prepared by sants and disciple of the sansthan.
Additionally, the actor Saurabh Rajyaguru received a special award from Acharya Swamishree in recognition of his hard work on the night programmes and on behalf of all the organisers and teachers who contributed towards the amazing music, dance and acting entertainment that was provided for all over the last three nights.
Following this, Acharya Swamishree blessed the congregation with his divine ashirwad in which he stated:
One of the world’s most ancient and historic cities is the United Kingdom’s capital, London. The highest point in the London area is Kingsbury. Within Kingsbury, the place which grants the highest status to moksh-seeking individuals is Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa’s mandir. This status is the status of anadi-mukta – i.e. those souls who have achieved oneness with the Lord’s divine murti in Akshardham.
From all the religious statuses in the world, that of the anadi-mukta reigns supreme. An ordinary soul cannot even begin to comprehend the full meaning of this status. Only those who are able to experience happiness from the anadi-mukta status are those who have fully understood it. Jeevanpran Swamibapa has given us the true understanding of this anadi-mukta status.
Today, London is echoing the name of Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa, the one who has given us the understanding of the anadi-mukta status. While being immersed in the pure enjoyment of this celebration, three days have passed within the blink of an eye!
Yesterday, sants and disciples performed bhakti-nrutya (devotional dancing). Just as a child’s father becomes proud to see his child dancing, upon seeing your joyful devotion, our true father, Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa, is extremely pleased with all of His children. The Lord blesses you to submerge yourselves in this type of devotion throughout your entire lives.
In the same way, today, three parayans of the Vachanamrut have concluded. This scripture is the ultimate scripture that holds the treasure of experiencing ultimate bliss within the Lord’s murti. Who can give us this treasure? Just as only the householder knows the secrets of his own home, the secret of Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s home – the status of anadi-mukta – was explained to us by Lord Shree Swaminarayan Himself as Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree. The Lord showers His blessings upon all of the disciples who have sponsored these parayans with love and devotion. Today, we have all gathered here to achieve the highest understanding of this highest status of anadi-mukta.
Lord Shree Swaminarayan has explained in the Vachanamrut that there is nothing as difficult as keeping one’s mind inclined constantly on the Lord’s murti. Those who have not firmly understood this concept are not able to become one with the Lord’s murti. Further, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree has explained that any happiness an individual experiences outside the Lord’s murti is due to lack of religious knowledge. To eradicate this, we must include and never forget the Lord in any activity we do. As long as we do not understand this concept, we will never experience internal peace.
Hunger can be satisfied through a pound or pound and a half of food, but the mind can never be satisfied. Even though a person may have an enormous amount of wealth and worldly happiness, his mind cannot be satisfied. Muktajeevan Swamibapa has explained that this is how a person is weakened by his mind. People with this weakness are inclined to always want more – the newest cars, the newest homes, the newest phone models. They are willing to go to extremes, such as taking loans and going into debt, to obtain these items. If they see someone with something better, they too desire that just to show them that we have it as well. Whether they can afford it or not, they still want to have it to show off to people.
Spectators watching a cricket batsman may exclaim, “We want four, we want six,” but the batsman cannot do that very easily. He must watch the manner in which the bowler throws the ball, and only then can he decide if he may hit the ball or not. If he listens to the spectators that ask him to hit four or six every single time before using his own judgment, he will be out of the game.
Similarly, people will say to us, “You need to do this, you need to have this, you need to be this,” but we must decide for ourselves how to lead our lives whilst considering own capacities and capabilities. Otherwise, always trying to conform to what others demand will only result in unhappiness in life. Just like the cricket batsman, we too need to make our own choices after considering all factors, and not just what people want us to do or tell us to do. Lord Shree Swaminarayan has explained this in slok 145 of the Shikshapatri that “Spending should be in accordance with income. If expenditure exceeds one’s means, one will have to suffer hardship.”
The Lord has given all of His commandments for the benefit of all human beings. Even following just one of these will lead you to experience happiness. One such individual who experienced happiness from following the Lord’s wishes was Vadodara resident James Williams.
At that time, Lord Shree Swaminarayan was residing at the palace of Syajiraav. Deevan Vitthalraav was planning to harass and kill Lord Shree Swaminarayan, but when he was unsuccessful, he went to James Williams and asked him to arrest the Lord while falsely accusing the Lord of wanting to take over the kingdom. Lord Shree Swaminarayan, who is antaryami, came to know of this, so He sent Narupant Nana and Bapu Saheb Gardine to tell James Williams the truth – that He assured He did not want the kingdom. He also sent the message that his son, John, who had been captured by the enemy, would be freed and would come home in a few days. This made James Williams think, how could He possibly know this about my son? At the same time, the Lord gave darshan to John and told him he would be freed soon.
Soon enough, James heard official news that his son would be coming home, and at that time, he sent his own men to request Lord Shree Swaminarayan to come to his home and give him His darshan. However, because James Williams had drank much alcohol and had eaten much meat, the Lord denied his request. Instead, in His divine form, on top of a swan, He gave His darshan and garlands to Williams’ wife and daughter on the rooftop of their palace. At the same time, He told them He did not give James His darshan because he was drunk and had eaten meat. As soon as James Williams came to know that this was the reason he had not attained Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s darshan, he wanted to give up His drinking habits and to give up eating meat. The Lord then gave James Williams His divine darshan in a dream and said to him, “I know your troubles, but my only wish is that you give up drinking and eating meat.” James Williams was amazed to have His darshan, and thereafter, he gave up drinking and eating meet for good.
After James Williams had given up his bad habits, Lord Shree Swaminarayan gave him a kanthi and made him His disciple. With the Lord’s blessings, his son also came home. James Williams was so pleased. His health had improved, and he was now much more alert after giving up his bad habits, so he started to encourage others to do the same.
We have gathered together in this divine assembly of the Lord. Whoever has fallen into these bad habits should give them up, and the Lord will be extremely pleased with them and will bless them just as He blessed James Williams. During today’s occasion, we ask Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa, that just as James Williams did exactly as the Lord commanded, we too do exactly as the Lord commands of us. Our only desire is to remember you and your divine murti. Please give us the knowledge, strength, and devotion to give up worldly desires, jealousy, and bad habits so that we may focus all of our efforts on becoming one with you.
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury - Grand Opening - Day 4
Acharya Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swamiji Maharaj is the current spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. He is the heir to Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, and sixth in the lineage of ascetic Acharyas, which descends directly from Lord Shree Swaminarayan.