The third day of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury Grand Opening festival, Friday 23rd August (2014) started with darshan of Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa's darshan resplendent in golden paag in the new Kingsbury Mandir. Disciples on whose behalf parayan were being recited were blessed with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj's darshan, before leading him in his chariot to the Sabha Mandap, where the parayan vidhi (rituals) were completed.
Following the receipt of guest, Acharya Swamishree blessed the congregation with his divine ashirwad.
One of Europe’s largest and greatest cities is London. The greatest Lord, Supreme Almighty Lord Shree Swaminarayan, will soon arrive with His mukta mandal to make this mandir His newest eternal home.
We have invited everyone to join us in these historic celebrations, and those who have understood the greatness of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa have come running here from countries all across the world. They are now experiencing the divine ecstasies of this Mahotsav.
Yesterday, we saw a wonderful musical drama production put on by disciples. These types of dramas, which, alongside comedy, reveal spiritual knowledge, were popular during Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s time on this Earth. They were then forgotten for years until they were revived by our Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa. The Lord is extremely pleased with all of the disciples who partook in this production, and He showers them all with blessings so that they may perform this type of devotion and seva throughout their entire lives, just as they did to prepare this production.
The Lord is extremely pleased with all of the disciples who have sponsored grand parayans in honor of this Mahotsav, four of which have concluded today. He showers His blessings upon them to continue performing this type of loving devotion in order to please the Lord.
Today in London, we are swimming in Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s ocean of love. Even though there was nothing special within us, Swamibapa called us to Him, remembered us every minute, showered us with love, and made us His children.
The paramount glory of the Lord and His satpurush may only be understood by a knowledgeable soul. One such knowledgeable person was England’s Lord Bishop Heber, a talented scholar, artist, writer and debater who had been sent to India by the British government to spread the Christian religion throughout India.
Bishop Heber had come to learn from Vadodara resident Mister Williams that Lord Shree Swaminarayan had transformed the lives of uncivilized people, leading them from the path of amorality onto the path of morality, non-violence, and religion. Lord Shree Swaminarayan has transformed the worst of villages into the best and most righteous villages. Upon hearing these divine wonders of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Bishop Heber had the desire to meet Him. He humbly requested to meet the Lord, and the Lord lovingly accepted.
Just as great scholars of our time are enlightened upon hearing about the glory of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, Bishop Heber was enlightened upon hearing about the glory of Lord Shree Swaminarayan. Lord Shree Swaminarayan was able to attract people of all different religions, races, and backgrounds with His gentle character, welcoming nature, and love. Bishop Heber had never seen nor heard of anything like this before. Such was the unsurpassed glory of Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
Lord Shree Swaminarayan and Bishop Heber met in person on Saturday, 26 March 1825. During this meeting, Bishop Heber had 50 men on horseback and 50 men armed with spears, and Lord Shree Swaminarayan had 200 men carrying various arms and weapons. Bishop Heber thought to himself that if the two armies were to battle, his army of 100 was smaller, but more professional and skilled, and, therefore, it would surely win. However, Bishop Heber’s men were there because they had to be; this was how they made their living. They knew nothing whatsoever about Bishop Heber. On the other hand, Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s men were there because they were devoted to Him, and they sincerely wanted to protect Him; they were His disciples. If someone even touched Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s clothing in the wrong way, His men would fight until the very last drop of blood in order to protect the Lord. In that aspect, which army was superior? Bishop Heber thought to himself that surely, it was Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s.
Bishop Heber also noted that the manner in which Lord Shree Swaminarayan, as a spiritual leader, transformed the lives of His followers in India (i.e. via His kind and loving nature) should inspire and encourage Christian leaders to practice that same gentle nature and love with their own followers.
We are celebrating the arrival of that very same impressive and supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan to this magnificent new mandir of His. Upon seeing everyone’s love and devotion during this Mahotsav, Jeevanpran Swamibapa is sweetly smiling down upon us all.
During today’s celebrations, let us pray to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to give us the knowledge, strength, and devotion to become enlightened and inspired by the Lord’s glory just as Bishop Heber had become. In this way, we may become Sahajanand-Sinh, the Lord’s lions, who forever roar His glory.
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury - Grand Opening - Day 3
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.