The evening sabha on Thursday 31st August commenced with Sandhya Aarti and Niyams at 6pm followed by Kirtan Bhakti.
Today's sabha brought a close to Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Swamiji Maharaj's UK and North American vicharan which started on 3rd June 2023 and which concluded on 1st September 2023 when Swamiji Maharaj and His Sant Mandal departed for India.
During this vicharan, Acharya Swamiji Maharaj has concluded 10 Vachanamrut Ganth Parayan's, 20 Swaminarayan Gadi Granth Parayans and 811 Jeevanpran Shree Abjibapashree ni Vato ni Samuh Parayan. Additionally, He has performed approximately 10 Mandir Patotsav's in this time.
The final sabha saw the purnahuti of 15 samuh parayan's. A short video was also compiled showing what a huge success Kingsbury Mandir's Summer Fair was - an event which took place in July. Gnan Mahodadhi Acharya Swamiji Maharj's Divine Ashirwad is summised as follows;
Seeing all the charity work that we have just seen in the video, Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Ved Ratna Acharya Swamishree Maharaj are extremely pleased with everyone involved and who contributed. The Lord tells us that if we have the ability and means to help those in need, it is our duty to do so. In parallel, we must also use those abilities, that wealth, to serve Mandirs and the Satsang.
A true seeker of salvation (Mumukshu) is someone who measures their devotion, their attachment to God, their detachment to material things, on a daily basis. Jeevanpran Bapashree explained this in the introduction to His Vato (Shree Abji Bapashree ni Vato) as the means to attaining the Lord’s Murti. Someone who does this becomes closer to God each day. The Lord explains this using the analogy of two boats that depart a port at the same time in the same direction. If one boat deviates ever so slightly, its divergence will not be see immediately, but only after a long time. In the same way, even a tiny attachment to the material world will not be noticed right away, but its effects will be felt much later.
Another characteristic of a Mumukshu is to constantly identify one’s own flaws and endeavour to correct those each day. This is easier said than done, but this extremely difficult task is what must be done by us all. It requires courage and enthusiasm, but just think - what can’t we achieve if we are determined?
To see others’ faults, to gossip about them or slander them is extremely detrimental to oneself. The time, that energy, should be used to instead see others’ virtues and assimilate them, and see your own flaws and eradicate them. If you can find no other means to do this, then simply consider everyone in this Satsang to belong to the congregation of Akshardham. Some may be slightly ahead in their journey, and some may be slightly behind, but we will all eventually end up sitting together in the assembly of Akshardham. If you do this, you are certain to stop seeing faults and flaws in others.
A further nature of a Mumukshu is to have a firm determination to achieve salvation. If we have that determination, that ambition, we will find ways to achieve that goal. It is said that to master any skill, one needs to practise it for a thousand days. Attaining the fruits of devotion is like this - one has to endeavour, and by doing this, the Murti will eventually but surely be attained.
In summary, the way to progress in the Satsang and enjoy its bliss is to remain in it with the sentiments of a disciple, student and servant. As you embark on planning for the Dashabdi Mahotsav next year, do so with unity and brotherhood. By all means, fulfil your desires in terms of how you want to celebrate this festival, but My main instruction to you is this: Complete at least one recital of the Rahasyarth Pradeepika Tika sah Vachanamrut scripture in the coming year; those who are under 18 should perform one recital of Sanskar Deepika 7 each month to complete 12 recitals before the Mahotsav.
Despite only small portion of His Vicharan taking place in London this year, He leaves some indelible memories for the Kingsbury Mandir community, the most prominent being the launch of Kingsbury Mandir's Dashabdi Mahotsav in 2024.
Acharya Swamiji Maharaj departed Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury, along with the Mandal of remaining Sants, in the afternoon on Friday 1st September, and arrived at London Gatwick Airport some time thereafter. Disciples who had gathered at the airport to see Bapa off, had their final darshan of His vicharan in the UK, before He departed for India.
Disciples will spend the next 12 months fulfilling the pledges made leading up to the grand 10 year, Dashabdi Mahotsav, in August 2024.