Final Day of the Mahotsav
Friday 1 May 2009, Samvat 2065 Vaishak Sud 7
This day, Friday 1 May 2009, marks the diamond jubilee of the establishment of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Madhapar. Exactly 60 years have passed since Jeevanpran Swamibapa established the first ever Mandir of Shree Swaminarayan Siddhant Sajivan Mandal, and that historic event took place in Madhapar. With the blessings and divine inspiration of Acharya Swamishree, a grand festival was held in the village. Today was the fourth and final day of the festival.
After the Mangla Aarti, Acharya Swamishree performed the Patotsav ceremony of the Lord, in both the men’s and ladies Mandirs. Sants and disciples gathered in the Mandir hall for this divine darshan. The devotion of the disciples of Madhapar took the form of a vast array of food, which was offered to the Lord on this occasion, in the form of an Annakut. Disciples then took the opportunity of performing Aarti.
Once the Patotsav ceremony had concluded, sants and disciples ceremonially led Acharya Swamishree to the festival assembly marquee held in the MSV High School. The concluding ceremonies of the scripture recitals took place during which the benefactors performe adoration to the supreme Lord, the divine scripture and Acharya Swamishree. They then offered gifts at the lotus feet of the Lord.
After the divine blessings of Jeevanpran Swamibapa were heard, Acharya Swamishree addressed the congregation, in which He said:
- Whenever festivals like this are held, there are numerous tasks that need to be performed, including planning the festival programs, preparing the food, decorating, arranging accommodation etc. This gives an opportunity for sants and disciples to serve the Lord and His disciples and in this manner, please the Lord. That is one of the purposes of holding festivals such as this, because if the Lord is served faithfully and He becomes pleased with a person, that individual attains the strength, wisdom and guidance of God.
- You must enjoin your mind to the Lord whilst performing even worldly tasks. The pleasures of worldly sensualities are transient and futile. When experiencing worldly pleasures, the five senses, i.e. sound, touch, vision, taste and smell, are stimulated one at a time. In comparison, when the spiritual pleasures associated with God are experienced, all five senses are enthused simultaneously. However, this is appreciated only if the greatness of God is understood.
- How should one understand the glory and magnificence of God? They should understand that the earth remains still because He has kept it in this manner, and it begins to tremble if He wants it to quake. He has kept the galaxy of stars floating high above without any support, and He causes the clouds to shower. And it is because of His command that the sun and the moon rise and set and the phases of the moon continue to wax and wane. And the ocean maintains its limits even though it has no boundary. Man is created through a drop of water and through this, they acquire the senses and sense organs, such as the hands, legs, nose, ears etc. And water is kept hanging in the form of a reservoir in the sky, and there occurs thunder and lightening. They understand that infinite such miracles happen because of the Lord.
- Once such an understanding has been sincerely instilled into your mind, nothing can cause a person to doubt these facts. The person becomes transformed forever. Base metals are transformed into gold by the touch of the Paras-mani stone. Subsequently, not even that Paras-mani can turn that gold back into the base metal. Similarly, if the Lord’s greatness has been acknowledged and understood properly, and a soul has become transformed into a disciple of God, there is nothing in the world that can cause him to then become averse to God.
- Through festivals such as this, we are gathering together to learn more and more about the Lord’s greatness and appreciate His limitless glory. That merciful Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa is present at Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. Therefore, when we hold festivals such as this, sants and disciples are also given the opportunity to experience His spiritual intimacy and become more and more, firmly united with Him. Ensure that you return home after attending the festival with this understanding, appreciation and memories of the Lord, and cherish them forever.
After the divine blessings, sants and disciples led Acharya Swamishree to the front of the stage, where a cake, shaped like the number ‘60’ was presented before Him. Acharya Swamishree cut the cake and offered it to Shree Harikrishna Maharaj.