Sunday, August 5th, 2012, was the fourth and last day of the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Platinum Tula Mahotsav, and it was the day for which everyone had been eagerly awaiting for months. On this day, for the first time outside of India and for the first time since 1967, the Platinum Tula of our beloved Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa would be performed.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed mangala aarti to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa at 6 AM, and around 6:45 AM, the 175 pounds of pure platinum bars and coins worth $3.9 million to be used in the Platinum Tula, for which disciples had scoured the entire world, promptly arrived at the temple in Secaucus, New Jersey. This platinum had been mined in Africa, was stored in the United Kingdom, is owned by a Canadian company, and was used in the ceremony in the United States. Remarkably, this platinum has touched all the places that Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa traveled to outside of India and sanctified. Throughout the day, the platinum was kept under close watch by the Secaucus Police Department and a specially hired security team.
From 7 AM to 9 AM, Acharya Swamishree performed the 11th Patotsav ceremony to the divine murtis (idols) of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, and Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa installed in the temple prayer hall. Exactly eleven years ago, on Sunday, August 5, 2001, each of these divine murtis was weighed against over 250 kilograms of pure gold in a Suvarna Tula before being installed in the temple. That was yet another historic occasion that took place for the first time outside of India as well. During the ceremony, Acharya Swamishree performed the Patotsav poojan and raised new flags above the temple domes. Sants had also assembled a grand annkut with a variety of Indian sweets and delicacies before the divine murtis. Acharya Swamishree offered these sweets to the Lord and cut a Patotsav celebration cake, which He offered to the Lord as well. Acharya Swamishree and sants then performed aarti to Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree, and Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Disciples were given the opportunity to perform aarti as well.
At 9:30 AM, all of the attendees gathered inside Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Community Hall for the historic Tula. Over 1,000 people from all over the world packed inside the hall to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event, and hundreds more watched on closed circuit TV in other parts of the temple complex. The event was also being covered by India’s TV9 and TV Asia and was also live on YouTube and www.SwaminarayanGadi.com. Thousands of people from all over the world watched this event live from their homes and workplaces. Disciples residing in India, Africa and Europe gathered in their local temples to watch the live broadcast of the event together.
Once everyone was seated, Swamibapa Pipe Band escorted Acharya Swamishree, who was adorned in beautiful handmade vagha, into Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Community Hall. Sants trailed closely behind Him, carrying the beautiful divine idol of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, who was seated upon a golden palanquin. More sants followed, each carrying one of the twenty-four six-pound platinum bars to be used in the Platinum Tula of our Gurudev in chhaabs. They all walked onto the stage, where the magnificent golden scale to be used for the weighing was set up. Sants and disciples had worked day and night for the past week to assemble this scale and set up the stage for the event. As Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, Acharya Swamishree, and sants stood together on stage in front of the scale, holding the platinum in their hands, the congregation was so elated with what they were witnessing and what they were about to witness that they began to cry cheers of joy.
The platinum was placed aside, and Acharya Swamishree adorned Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa with a garland made of pure gold. Sants then removed Acharya Swamishree’s vagha and adorned Him with an American diamond garland along with matching arm and wrist bracelets. A large arrangement of assorted cakes and 700 cupcakes was then rolled out to the center of the stage in honor of the 70th anniversary of Acharya Swamiji Maharaj’s manifestation upon this Earth. Although there were 700 cupcakes on the stand, over 1000 cupcakes in total had been made by disciples while preparing the stand. By the Lord’s grace, they exceeded their goal of 700. Acharya Swamishree cut these cakes and offered them to Shree Harikrushna Maharaj and Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Sants then offered a piece of cake to Acharya Swamiji Maharaj. Acharya Swamishree then delighted the entire congregation by dancing jubilantly to celebration kirtans. Everyone in the entire congregation was dancing from their seats, clapping their hands and singing along.
It was then time for the Tula ceremony to commence. The idol of Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was seated upon a grand throne on one side of the scale. Acharya Swamishree and sants then placed flowers on the other side of the scale. The tick mark on the scale slowly began to change position as the weight of the flowers increased. Finally, when the weight of the flowers surpassed the weight of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s idol, the side of the scale with His idol ascended higher than the other, and there were cries of joy all around. Acharya Swamishree and sants spun the scale around for the entire audience to have the divine darshan of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa’s idol during the Tula. In a similar matter, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was then weighed against saakar (sugar crystals), coconuts, and betel nuts. Each time the scale tipped from one side to the other, there were ecstatic cries of joy from all over.
The moment that everyone from all over the world had been eagerly awaiting for many months finally arrived. The betel nuts were removed from the scale, and the idol of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa descended to the ground once again. Acharya Swamishree and sants then began to place the twenty-four pure platinum six-pound bars and the four hundred pure platinum one-ounce coins on the other side of the scale. They also placed the pure silver coins engraved with the divine murtis of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree especially for the occasion on the scale as well. Slowly, the scales shifted, the murti ascended, and the cries of joy that were exclaimed exceeded all previous ones. Acharya Swamishree then performed the first aarti to Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. For the first time in 45 years and for the first time outside India, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was weighed against one of the most precious metals in the world – platinum. Naturally, Acharya Swamishree was so filled with happiness from seeing His beloved Gurudev weighed against platinum that He began to dance. Acharya Swamishree then asked the entire congregation to get up and dance along with Him, and within seconds, everyone was on their feet dancing and singing during this incredible moment.
Acharya Swamishree then further delighted the audience. He sat down on the scale to give darshan at the lotus feet of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa, and They both ascended on the scale together as the platinum descended to the ground. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. The crowd was in uproar to witness this divine darshan of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree during the Platinum Tula. No one will ever forget this. Memories from this event have already been permanently engraved in the hearts of all attendees and those who watched the live broadcast.
Sants then performed aarti to Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree, and Acharya Swamishree was then seated upon His gadi. Many honorable guests were in attendance, including Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli, Secaucus Councilman Rob Constantino, and TD Bank’s Tim Gardiner, who assisted incredibly in acquiring the platinum for the occasion. The guests were honored with flower garlands, shawls, and chocolates. Several of the guests gave speeches on the greatness of the occasion. Several sants and disciples also gave speeches on the historic occasion that will be remembered forever. Acharya Swamishree then bestowed His divine blessings upon the congregation.
Acharya Swamishree was extremely pleased by all the hard work put in by disciples to make this historic and blissful day a success. In His ashirwad, He warned the assembly of the vices of ego and pride. Everyone should know that all of this success was possible because the Lord and His Satpurush were with us in our work and efforts. We cannot even lift a leaf without His will. All of us should work together in everything we do to make tasks easier, and we should not worry about who gets the credit for the work. Wishing for credits will only strengthen our self-pride and will take us further away from the Lord. Whatever services we do, we should do them with utmost faith and only to please the Lord. This will surely devoid us of ego and jealousy. All of our thoughts should be similar and focused on one goal only – to make the Lord happy – in order to make progress, and this is only achieved if we work together. God will fulfill all our wishes as long as we live according to His wishes. We should perform pure devotion similar to the pure platinum in which we weighed our Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Swamibapa wants to make us just as shiny and precious as the platinum coins. Acharya Swamishree explained that during the Survarna Tula of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa in 2001, He gave blessings saying, ‘May your devotion be as golden as this gold.’ And on the occasion of this Platinum Tula, He granted everyone with blessings saying, ‘May your devotion be as precious and pure as this platinum.’ God has granted this human life to us. This human life is graced by service, not greed. We are all so fortunate to be witnessing this amazing event due to the Lord’s grace.
During His blessings, Acharya Swamishree was overcome with so much bliss once again that He got up and started to dance upon His gadi to the magnificent kirtan “Ayo Re Ayo Re” or “Dhaam Gaaje Re.” He asked the congregation to join Him in dancing again, and they very eagerly obliged. All of the sants were on their feet dancing and singing excitedly as well. Acharya Swamishree, sants, and the entire congregation danced for almost fifteen minutes straight. Afterwards, everyone was seated once again, and Acharya Swamishree concluded His divine blessings.
Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa is giving hugs and kisses to everyone who is witnessing this once-in-a- lifetime event and saying, “You all are true disciples and are all very dear to me, so keep the same love towards the Lord and His sants until the very end, and I will personally come with Swaminarayanbapa to take you to Akshardham.” Shree Swaminarayan Gadi is the path to eternal salvation, and Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa blessed us with its physical embodiment from Akshardham. We must remain under its shelter. Swamibapa gave us His ashirwad, but if our man (mind and heart) is not patient and peaceful, and if we don’t have faith in His words, all of the internal enemies will take over and reside within our man. His ashirwad will only come to fruition if we live by the Lord’s commands and blessings given to us.
The status of American disciples was poor until Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa came to United States in 1970. From that day on, the disciples have made a great progress both in religion and worldly affairs, especially after the first temple was built in 2001. If this temple were not built, the youth and others would not have acquired the talents displayed during the SGS Talent 2012. Live by the Lord’s commands and blessings, practice pure devotion, and we will surely progress closer and closer to the Lord with each passing day under the shelter of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.
After Acharya Swamiji Maharaj’s blessings, every single one of the platinum donors was then given a chance to perform aarti to Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree seated upon the scale with the platinum. All of the disciples were also blessed by Acharya Swamishree as He was seated on the scale. The honored guests, police officers, and security team were blessed by Acharya Swamishree as well. In addition, disciples presented Acharya Swamishree with a beautiful long garland made out of puffed rice (mamra). When the aartis finished, and everyone had their darshan, the truly magnificent event came to an end. Acharya Swamishree was escorted out of the temple, and the entire congregation was then served lunch outside. This concluded one of the most historic events to take place in the history of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. The memories made during this occasion will last an entire lifetime, and no one will ever forget the love shown by Acharya Swamishree for His Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and also for His disciples during this occasion.