Friday 22 September 2023 | Bhadarva Sud 7, Samvat 2079

Fri 22 Sep 2023

"We all want God's mercy and divine happiness to remain ever blossoming within our souls. But for this to happen, we must cultivate a garden in our souls, a garden of mahimaa (glory); i.e. we must understand and appreciate God's magnificence. In this garden, we must plant huge trees of gnaan (knowledge); i.e. we must have knowledge of God's greatness. Only then can we tie swings, swings of prem (love) in our hearts, so that we can gently rock the ever-merciful Lord upon them, forever. And to that swing, we must tie a string, a string of sneh (affection), with which we can lovingly cradle our beloved Lord."
Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.

Sunday 20th August - Shravan Sud 4

Theme - The Moksh Dayi Yatra 2000 - Disneyland

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 20th August

Wednesday 16th August - Adhik Shravan Vad 30

Theme - Rainforest

Hindola Darshan London - Wednesday 16th August

At the mere age of eleven years, Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj relinquished his family life, to embark on an extraordinary expedition with the intention to bestow salvation on souls around India. During this forest expedition, he assumed the guise of the sage known as Nilkanth Varni. Young Nilkanth Varni took only a mala, water pot, grass waistband, a small Shaligram (used for idol worship of God), a small bowl, and a booklet containing a few extracts from important dharmic scriptures. Over his 12,000km journey, Shree Nilkanth Varni performed divine acts such as plunging himself into rivers and letting the vigorous currents carry him and performing tapni mala (standing on one leg) in the bitter cold of the Himalayan mountains.

Lord Shree Swaminarayan himself said:

During My stay in Purushottampuri, I lived only on air as My sustenance for many months. I let My body be dragged away by a river that was three or four miles wide. Whether it was winter, summer or the monsoon season, I stayed without any shelter and only wore a small kopin. I roamed through thick forests that were inhabited by tigers, elephants and wild buffaloes. Even though I travelled in such arduous conditions, My body survived. (Vachanamrut Gadhada First Section 29)

Thursday 13th August - Adhik Shravan Vad 12

Theme - Solar System

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 13th August

Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swami ni Vato – Varta 692 A true disciple named Krishnaram Shastri was in discussion with a group of Vedic astrologers about the upcoming lunar eclipse. After checking the scriptures, the majority agreed that a lunar eclipse will take place in their region, but without checking, Krishnaram hastily disagreed. The discussion got intense and in the heat of the moment, everyone took a pledge: if the eclipse occurred, Krishnaram would behead himself and vice versa.

When Krishnaram went home and checked, he discovered that an eclipse will indeed take place. Krishnaram was now very worried as his life was at stake.

The astrologers visited Gopalbapa and explained the situation. Understanding what was at stake, the almighty Gopalbapa explained that a lunar eclipse will take place, but it will not be visible in this region. Although the astrologers disputed this, Gopalbapa reminded them that He speaks the truth, and it is indisputable.

Krishnaram’s son heard this and quickly returned home to tell his father. Krishnaram was elated and immediately cleansed himself and went to see Gopalbapa. Gopalbapa advised Krishnaram to never take such pledges in the spur of the moment and that He will now have to prevent the eclipse just to save His dear disciple. Krishnaram understood and expressed his eternal gratitude to Gopalbapa.

On the day of Poonam, Gopalbapa made the planetary orbits become still to prevent the eclipse from taking place. Seeing this, the astrologers came to Gopalbapa and asked for forgiveness for not believing in Gopalbapa’s word. They witnessed that truly Lord Shree Swaminarayan and His Sankalp-Swaroop’s have immense love for their disciples - they would even pause the planetary orbits just to save their disciple’s lives and golden chance to obtain eternal salvation.

Thursday 10th August - Adhik Shravan Vad 10

Theme - Farm

Hindola Darshan London - Thursday 10th August

Inspired by a Western farm barn, this hindola is riddled with stories and the history of our Gurus embracing agriculture.

The cow seated on the side is Gomti, Dharmadev's cow. She had a special connection with Lord Ghanshyam and if Lord Ghanshyam did not receive an equal amount of milk as everyone else who had seated for dinner, she would not give her regular amount of 2 litres.

When Suvasinibhabi decided to test this, she begged the Lord for forgiveness for testing the affection that exists between the Lord and 'Mother Gomti'. Thus, Suvasinibhabi has personally experienced that the Supreme God had manifested on Earth as Lord Ghanshyam.

The name of the barn, "Ghanshyam Vaadi" is where Smruti Mandir now stands. On the sides of the barn are pictures of Swamibapa, Prem Murti Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Swamiji Maharaj along side animals from around the world. Many approached Lord Ghanshyam for His divine darshan.

We are taught to respect nature as it is known that all living creatures have a soul. Furthermore, in the Shikshapatri, shlok 11 it states:

"My followers shall never kill any living being under any circumstances. Knowingly, not even small insects like lice, bugs, etc."

Sunday 6th August - Adhik Shravan Vad 5/6

Theme - Charanavind

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 6th August

Lord Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan’s Charanavind Hindolo.

Our Hindolo is based on a historic event, when Lord Shree Swaminarayan gave Suvasini Bhabhi darshan of His divine lotus feet.

Distinct features made Lord Swaminarayan unique and divine. He had many beauty spots all over His body. These features and chihans are only possessed by the Supreme Lord.

The Lord has sixteen symbolic icons on his Lotus Feet, with nine chihans on His right foot and seven on His left foot. These chihans are unique to Almighty God and no other human being on earth possesses such features. One can recognise Almighty God Supreme by observing His divine Lotus Feet.

One gains guidance and help to the path of righteousness and salvation through meditating and focusing upon the Lotus Feet of the Lord.

Thursday 3rd August - Adhik Shravan Vad 2

Theme - Sealife

Hindola Darshan London - Thursday 3rd August

One day, something very distressing occurred. Young Bapashree had gone swimming with his friends to Lake Krishna. They had a competition about who could dive and remain under water for the longest time. Each of the boys held their breath and immersed themselves into the water. The boys stayed in for as long as they could, and as soon as they felt uneasy, they surfaced to take some air.

Bapashree swam far into the deep water and then dived under the surface. Reaching the bottom of the lake, he immediately sat down to meditate. A long time elapsed and Bapashree had still not surfaced. All the boys became extremely worried. “Could he have drowned?” they fretted. A few of the boys started to dive into the water to try and find him. Some of the boys started to cry as they were convinced that Bapashree had drowned. A few more brave boys had the courage to search more. Yelling the name of god at the top of their voices, they prepared to dive in.

Just then, Bapashree emerged from the water loudly greeting them, “Jay Shree Swaminarayan”. The friends took a sigh of relief and started to tell him off. “We were all so worried about you! We thought you had drowned. How could we have faced your parents and the other villagers if something had happened to you? How could we have looked at them? Where did you dive in and go?”

Bapashree calmly replied, “I had gone to Chhapaiya for the darshan of Shreejimaharaj. Afterwards, I went to bathe in Lake Narayan and Lake Khampa. From there, I visited Gadhada, Vadtal, Amdavad, Jetalpur, Junagadh, Muli, Bhuj and the other sacred sites of pilgrimage for darshan. I enjoyed the darshan of Lord for a long time. Shreejimaharaj enabled me to remain in the water and enjoy the experience of those sacred sites for as long as I wanted to. That’s why it took a long time for me to emerge from the water.”

The friends started to laugh. “That is impossible!” they insisted. “You cannot jump into the lake and emerge at lots of different places. What you are saying is not possible.” Bapashree replied, “It is absolutely right to be surprised. Even I was astonished and wondered how it happened. I merely dived into the water and sat in meditation. Just then, Maharaj granted me his divine lustrous darshan.”

The friends were fascinated to hear more of Bapashree’s adventure. Bapashree pointed to the edge of the lake and said “Let’s go and sit under that tree, and I will tell you exactly what I saw!”

Sunday 30th July - Adhik Shravan Sud 12

Theme - Lights

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 30th July

Today's hindolo is made from lights which is a representation of Lord Shree Swaminarayan Bhagwan's divine lustre which Illuminates the surroundings and captivates the devotees hearts with the awe-inspiring brilliance that mirrors the divine splendor of our Lord Swaminarayan.

In the profound words of our beloved Guru, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa,

તેજના સમૂહમાં, શ્રીજી દર્શન (2) નવલા દે છે રે, કૃપાથી જીવને મૂર્તિમાં રાખી, મુક્ત અનાદિ કે' છે રે

Amongst a mass of divine lustre, magnificently presides the Lord Transforming souls into Anadi-muktas, He graciously keeps souls within the Murti.

Thursday 27th July - Adhik Shravan Sud 9

Theme - Sports

Hindola Darshan London - Thursday 27th July

Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj highlighted the importance of sports and the physical and moral benefits they bring to ones daily life.

Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was asked about the alignment of the Olympic Games, ethos with ancient scriptures. He responded by saying that Indian scriptures like the Ramayan and Mahabharat do refer to sports and games like hockey, archery, discus, wrestling, kabaddi, gilli danda, high jump, javelin and even chess. Playing these games can enhance physical and mental health and develop qualities like strength, coordination, and mental agility.

Moreover, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj emphasised that the spirit of true sportsmanship goes beyond the field. The skills of team play, team spirit, and fair play learnt during the participation of sporting activities should be applied to all aspects of ones life. He warned against arrogance, stating that it leads to failure and instead advocated for humility and discipline in all endeavours.

Acharya Swamishree Maharaj compared the qualities required in sportsmanship to those needed in ones association with faith. He encouraged individuals to incorporate virtues like humility, prudence, and politeness in their interactions with the faith, becoming true sportsmen in all situations.

In summary, Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj stressed the importance of sports and games in an individuals development. Engaging in physical activities is not iust beneficial for health but also instills qualities essential for leading a virtuous and successful life. The spirit of true sportsmanship, including humility, discipline, and fair play, should extend to all aspects of life, including ones faith and interactions with others. Becoming a true sportsman in all circumstances can lead to spiritual growth.

Source: Sadachar Sandesh, Chapter2.40, True Sportmanship

Sunday 23rd July - Adhik Shravan Sud 5

Theme - Painting & Decorating

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 23rd July

Lord Shree Swaminarayan is seated in a colourful hindola designed and constructed to resemble a house. As the Lord gently swings in his new home, each devotee is given the opportunity to become immersed in the Lord’s murti and experience a tranquil state of mind. The hindola has been carefully and intricately designed with Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s own designer paint tins, paint brushes sprayed in gold and silver and large vibrant colour pallets & charts. The vibrant bright colours remind us of the Hindu festival of Holi/ Fuldol Utsav also known as the festival of colours. During this festival, people hurl colour over each other and a swing is erected and decorated with flowers upon which the Lord is seated and swung with devotion by His devotees. In the Swaminarayan faith, devotional raas is played around the divine murti of the Lord seated upon a hindolo. The murti of Lord Swaminarayan is bathed in panchamrut and then with coloured water and auspicious gulal powder. Many mythological stories exist to explain the origins of the Holi and Fuldol Utsav festival. All have the same theme; destruction of evil and triumph of good. For disciples of the Swaminarayan religion, this evil also refers to our own internal evils that obstruct us from our devotion unto the Lord.

Thursday 20th July - Adhik Shravan Sud 3

Theme - Paper Art – Peacock and Flowers

Hindola Darshan London - Thursday 20h July

Young Lord Swaminarayan, known then as Nilkanth Varni had a deep love for nature and enjoyed staying in the forest. Wherever Nilkanth Varni went, he would like to stay in a place surrounded by a garden or natural beauty. Nilkanth Varni regularly adorned a flower behind his ear.

At Maninagar Mandir, Lord Shree Swaminarayan is almost always adorned in a fresh flower garland. He wore flower armlets (બાજુબંદ), flower bangle (ગજરા), held a rose (ગુલાબ) and wore flower anklet bracelets (તોળાં).

The peacock is said to be a lifelong brahmchari (celibate) and pure. It is said that the peahen (female peacock) pecks on the tears of a peacock to get pregnant. When the Mandir at Gadhada was being constructed, Laduba said to Maharaj, “sinhasan koroo lagae che” (the Sinhasan looks plain). Maharaj said, “morr banavo” (make a peacock). Maharaj then completed a ચિત્ર (drawing) of a morr for the sinhasan.

Sunday 16th July - Ashadh Vad 14

Theme - Clocks

Hindola Darshan London - Sunday 16th July

Thursday 13th July - Ashadh Vad 11

Theme - Monopoly

Hindola Darshan London - Thursday 13th July

Swamibapa is the gem that has taken our Swaminarayan Gadi Sanstha from existing solely within India to all around the world. With the divine grace of Lord Swaminarayan, we now have communities and Mandirs worldwide. This monopoly board gives you a chance to travel to all these Mandirs and meet fellow Satsangi's to say Jay Shree Swaminarayan!

Saturday 8th July - Ashadh Vad 6

Hindola Darshan London - Saturday 8th July

Theme - Hawaii

From Sunday 25th June to Friday 30th June 2017, our beloved Prem Murti Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, together with twenty-six sants and disciples completed a vicharan of the Big Island of Hawaii. They stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort located on the sunny Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and sants were greeted with a ‘welcome’ sign to the resort coupled with a tilak-chandlo and a heart made from red and yellow flower petals which they were greeted with in their rooms.

Throughout the five days of the vicharan, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, sants, and disciples participated in various excursions. These included a beach picnic and breakfast on Anaeho'omalu Beach, snorkel sail off the Kohala Coast featuring scuba-diving amongst the colourful tropical fish and natural coral reef, a visit to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach (home of Hawaiian green sea turtles), a tour of Volcanoes Natural Park, and a Big Island helicopter tour featuring an aerial view of the continuously erupting Kilauea Volcano.

On the fourth day of the yatra, the disciples celebrated Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s Sadbhav Amrut Parva. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was adorned in a flower garland made from 750 individual flowers. Disciples had written "Happy Birthday" and “Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa" on each petal five times. Disciples also offered a fresh fruit cake to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj who in turn presented disciples with Hawaii Vicharan 2017 shirts and badges.

The Sadhbav Yatra Hawaii was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spiritually retreat with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and sants in a location that is truly one of the Lord's most magnificent natural creations on this planet. Sadbhav Yatra Hawaii.

Wednesday 5th July - Ashadh Vad 2

Hindola Darshan London - Wednesday 5th July

Theme - Wooden Carved Swing