After a phenomenal opening ceremony Tuesday evening, the Kingsbury Mandir Grand Opening Festival officially began on Wednesday morning of the 20th of August. Overnight, the opening ceremony concert arena had been transformed into a majestic sabha mandap, resembling a divine assembly in Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa’s Akshardham.
Following mangala aarti, sants and disciples gathered in the sabha mandap to perform samuh parayan mahapooja and main scripture recitals. Upon conclusion of the pooja and recitals, Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band, sants, and disciples escorted His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree to the sabha mandap.
Disciples in the Shree Muktajeevan Dance Academy then performed a splendid and entertaining swagat nrutya to welcome Acharya Swamishree to the sabha mandap for the first time during the Mahotsav.
Several honourable guests, including Tarachandbhai Cheda - Gujarat Minister of State for Industry, members of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and leaders from the Shree Hari Krishan Temple in Watford, came to the mandir for Acharya Swamishree’s divine darshan. They were blessed and honoured by Acharya Swamishree, and they shared sincere congratulations to Acharya Swamishree and the congregation.
Acharya Swamishree then showered His divine blessings for the first time during the Mahotsav upon the entire congregation.
The name and glory of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Shree Swaminarayan Gadi are echoing all throughout London today. Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s wish was to have a traditional sikhar-bandh mandir of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa’s sarvopari siddhant erected in London. That wish has come true today, as we are all celebrating this Kingsbury Mandir Grand Opening Mahotsav.
Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa – the King of Kings – has arrived in this sikhar-bandh mandir, making Kingsbury His newest home. Today, the true meaning of this areas name has finally come to fruition.
Yesterday, we saw the history of the London mandal portrayed in the opening ceremony. The Lord is extremely pleased with all of the sants and disciples who performed seva for these events, and He showers His divine blessings upon them all.
Today, we performed the scripture recital of Shree Abji Bapashree Ni Vaato. Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa has explained the importance of this scripture. This scripture is akin to a delicious meal of which just one bite makes us wanting more and more of it. The more we read and study this scripture, the more we yearn for it. Via Bapashree Ni Vaato, our knowledge about the soul and our inclination towards the Lord’s murti strengthen, allowing us to unite with the Lord’s murti and become “rasbas.”
Such is the unsurpassed kindness of the Lord that He takes everyone, no matter how sinful they may be, under His divine shelter. Lord Shree Swaminarayan had rescued those trailing on sinful paths, such as Joban Pagi, Munjo Suro, Verabhai, etc. and had guided them onto the blissful path of bhakti, making them ardent and righteous disciples of the Lord. Even the British government in India during Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s time on this Earth was amazed by how He could transform the most sinful of souls to the most pure through His endless love and compassion.
During the Lord’s time on this Earth, He had formed a relationship with the British government in India. Today’s relationship our Sansthan experiences with the British government is coming from the time of Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
“London” can be broken down to the two words “Len” and “Den” – which mean a relationship of give and take. During the Lord’s time on Earth, the British resided in India, and today, the King of Kings has arrived in Kingsbury, London. As such, the true meaning of “London” has also come to fruition. The Lord had already known He would reside in Kingsbury, London one day from the time He formed a relationship with the British in India.
The British in India all experienced the Lord’s divine episodes and glory. During the Lord’s time, British official Aaron Saheb succeeded Mr. Dunlop as collector in Ahmedabad. He credited the Lord for being able to obtain this position. One day, Aaron Saheb was trying to save the villagers in Ahmedabad from a tiger that was creating havoc for them. Aaron Saheb’s found his life in jeopardy as he tried to do this, but he immediately remembered the Lord whilst in this debacle. The Lord then appeared for Saheb’s rescue and scared the tiger away. Aaron Saheb was so frightened after the near death episode that the Lord brought him back to his home, and Aaron Saheb then realized that this was the supreme almighty Lord that He had met before. He thought to himself that if it hadn’t been for the Lord, he would have lost his life.
In conclusion, we all pray to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa that just like Aaron Saheb, we always remember the divine mercy and compassion that the Lord has showered upon us. The Lord will always be with us whenever we remember Him. We pray that the Lord give us the strength to perform His seva and bhakti in order to please Him always.
After Acharya Swamishree’s divine blessings, ascetics from the Hari Krishna Temple came for Acharya Swamishree’s darshan. They were blessed and honoured by Acharya Swamishree, and they shared heartfelt congratulations to Acharya Swamishree and the congregation.
Acharya Swamishree then inaugurated twenty-one new scriptures, audio books, kirtan CDs, and kirtan DVDs, including: Shree Jeevanpran Swamibapa's Divya Ashirwad 2 – CD, the Kirtan CD - Haidama Vhala Lago and the pustak Sadachar Sandesh in English, by Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj.
Disciples on whose behalf parayan were recited were then blessed by Acharya Swamishree, and He was escorted out of the sabha mandap to conclude the morning’s sabha. Everyone was served mahaprasad lunch in Purushottam Mahal afterwards.
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury - Grand Opening - Day 1
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.