The fourth day of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Amrut Pratishtha Mahotsav, Maninagar was observed as Shree Sadguru Din.
The fourth day of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Amrut Pratishtha Mahotsav, Maninagar was observed as Shree Sadguru Din. Shortly after Mangla Aarti, the Shree Sadguru Din observances of Dhyaan (meditation), Dhoon (recital of the Lord’s sacred name), Kirtan Bhakti (devotional singing) and singing of the Sansmaran Kirtan took place in the Sabha Mandap.
Immediately after Acharya Swamishree Maharaj performed Shangar Aarti, Sants and disciples honoured Him on precisely the day – Falgun Sud 2 – of the 40th anniversary since His investiture as Acharya of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, when He was handed the helm of the entire Karan Satsang by Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
On that day, Gurudev Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa said:
I command all Sants and devotees to do implicitly as Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swami asks.
He is highly learned and fluent in many scriptures, but He behaves with great humility, as though He is neither educated nor knowledgeable. None of you who are educated or intellectual should ever think that He lacks any of these abilities.
In every respect, Lord Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Bapashree and I, will work through Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swami, and will always remain with Him.
You all must have absolute faith that the investiture today, has been performed by the supreme Lord Swaminarayan Himself.
After that special remembrance of the investiture 40 years ago, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj made His way, along with His Sants, to Shree Suvarna Tula Smarak Bhavan, Shree Swaminarayan Tower, for darshan. Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band Nairobi and New Jersey today had the opportunity to lead the morning Shoba Yatra, and led the procession, including Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s chariot into the Sabha Mandap. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was saluted by the Band as soon as He arrived on stage through the guard of honour formed by them, before taking place His amongst the Sinhasan. The Sabha then listened to Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s Ashirwad, as is traditional on Shree Sadguru Din.
The main guests for the day were Honourable Shrimati Bijalben Patel (Mayor of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation), M.S Dasuji (Chief of the Gujarat Fire Department), Amul Bhatt (committee member at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and aide to Gujarat’s Chief Minister), Rakesh Shah (Member of the Legislative Assembly from the Ellisbridge constituency of Ahmedabad) and former Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela. A certificate of appreciation was read out, which was awarded to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj by the Public Assistance for Rescue, Disaster and Support Services (PARDSS), whose founder and president, Acie Fabon, visit the Mahotsav on the second day.
World Peace Ambassador, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Maharaj then showered His divine blessings on everyone.
In celebration of the historical event that took place exactly 40 years ago today, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was seated alongside Gurudev Swamibapa on a ceremonial swing decorated with flowers. Senior Sadguru Sants sat before Him and offered poojan on behalf of all the Sants and disciples to mark the occasion. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has magnificently led the supreme spiritual lineage of Lord Shree Swaminarayan for the past 40 years. He has spread the name and supreme tenets of Lord Shree Swaminarayan and Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree around the world, and progressed the remarkable work commenced by Gurudev Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa for this cause.
Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan and its adherents have prospered in every respect due to the blessings, inspiration, encouragement and divine love bestowed by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. His mercy towards everyone is unique and unparalleled. His kindness and generosity, especially towards those in need is unfounded. That is why eminent scholars have bestowed Acharya Swamishree Maharaj with honorary titles such as Sad-dharma-ratnakar - The ocean of true religiousness, Sanatan-dharma-sanrakshak - The protector of the eternal religion Sanatan Dharma, Vishwa-vatsalya-mahodadhi - Greatest Ocean of spiritual love and compassion for the entire world, and most recently, World Peace Ambassador.
To demonstrate their devotion towards Him and to honour His remarkable work throughout the world, Sants and disciples offered poojan and Aartis to Acharya Swamishree Maharaj.
Today saw a grand procession of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj giving their divine darshan through the streets of Ahmedabad. While the tradition of such Nagar Yatras in the Karan Satsang stems back to the time when Lord Shree Swaminarayan was giving darshan in a human form, this particular parade took on a unique and poignant form, and became a Shanti Yatra – Peace Parade. Gone were the grandeur of the elephants and flamboyance of numerous musical bands. Instead, recently anointed World Peace Ambassador Acharya Swamishree Maharaj inspired a parade to inspire peace, unity and tolerance.
Throughout the entire Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj Amrut Pratishtha Mahotsav, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has taken every opportunity to pray for peace, pay homage to those who lost their lives in the recent Pulwama attacks, and give tribute to the brave personnel who serve India in protecting the ‘Nation of God’ – particularly those that have paid the ultimate price and laid their lives for their country. Indeed, every single Ashirwad that Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has delivered throughout the festival has begun with these sentiments. This follows the 14th February cowardly attacks when a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel – all of whom have attained the beatitude of the Lord with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s blessings.
On a warm afternoon, the chariots, five branches of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, along with the first wave of disciples, gathered on the banks of Lake Kankaria from where the Shanti Yatra would commence. Acharya Swamishree Maharaj arrived as the Pipe Bands from Maninagar, London, Bolton, Nairobi and New Jersey warmed up the crowds with a medley of melodies. They saluted Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj to kick off the parade. The theme of peace and unity was prevalent throughout the parade; the Pipe Bands played patriotic melodies; ladies carried “hamaiyas” that represent world peace, and participants of all ages carried placard carrying messages of patriotism, unity, peace and love.
The Shanti Yatra started on Kankaria Road and then proceeded towards Apsara Marg, via Pushpakunj Circle, onto Rambaug Kankariya Road, and then onto Lala Lajpat Rai Marg – a prominent shopping and commercial district – for the majority of the 3km route. The final stretch saw the parade come along Maninagar Railway Station Rd and onto Punit Maharaj Road, where thousands of onlookers had the divine darshan of the Lord, and finally onto Bhairavnath Road on which Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Maninagar is located.
Despite the parade carrying a relatively solemn tone compared to past Nagar Yatras, it was still very much a true spectacle that thousands of people came to watch, and thereby attained the divine darshan of Lord Shree Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj. Dozens of onlookers took the opportunity to offer aarti as the procession proceeded.
The Peace Parade ended at Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Maninagar in the early evening. As Acharya Swamishree Maharaj’s chariot entered the Sabha Mandap, it was full to the brim with disciples and onlookers. It was clear to see that Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was in jubilant spirits as He descended from His chariot and was carried aloft into the Mandir – all the while Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band played to a thunderous crescendo, concluding this unique Shanti Yatra.