Second day of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Panchmahal Padarpan Shashtipurti Mahotsav
Morning - Divine Ashirwad
Acharya Swamishree was ceremonially led from the temple to the assembly marquee, with sants and disciples leading the parade. Shree Muktajeevan Pipe Band saluted Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa and commenced the procession.
Disciples who had held recitals of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Granth performed the mahapooja ceremony, and then the recitals commenced.
Acharya Swamishree bestowed divine blessings, in which He said:
The enthusiasm of the disciples from Panchmahal, Africa, England, the Kutch region and the rest of Gujarat is truly extraordinary, and this is evident from the number of scripture recitals being held today. Over 300 recitals are being held today. Everyone has the same trust and faith, that any small offering made at Shree Swaminarayan Gadi reaches the lotus feet of the almighty Purna Purushottam Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
When Swamibapa first came to this Panchmahal region, the people lived in dire poverty. They were tied to black magic and superstition. They were addicted to intoxicants. Under such circumstances, they turned to black magicians and occultists, who took advantage of their vulnerability. When anyone was ill, the occultists did not allow proper medication to be administered but instead, tied a string around the person's wrist and said that it had magical curing powers. Seeing the distress of the people of Panchmahal, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa came here in 1952. The sacred, omnipotent 'Swaminarayan' mantra gave strength and courage to the people here to become free from the occultists, and reform their lives.
When Swamibapa first came here, He lived in small mud huts, with absolutely no facilities. The disciples who had invited Him to Panchmahal had merely one pair of clothing to wear. When they bathed and washed their clothes, they had to remain naked until their clothing dried. Such was their severe poverty. The small hut that they lived in comprised of only one room. This was their sleeping quarters, kitchen, and living room. It was also the place where they had to tie their cattle at night time. If they left the cattle outside, there was a good chance that they would be attacked by wild animals. When Swamibapa stayed the night in Panchmahal, He also stayed in one of these primitive huts with cattle tied beside Him. And each time that the cattle urinated or excreted, they would raise their tails and flap them up and down; and with that, there would be a spraying of urine and cow dung over everyone. Swamibapa slept on a small, broken cot. Sants made a cushion made of dried mud, and covered it with a piece of cloth. Swamibapa endured such basic living conditions for the welfare of the people of Panchmahal.
Today, the people of Panchmahal are witness to the fact that since the day that Swamibapa came here, their lives have been transformed completely. Even today, they may not be rich, but they have food to put into their mouths, and clothing to cover their bodies. The divine Murti of the Lord has truly been instilled into their souls. The genuine divine love given by Swamibapa has touched their hearts. The vile traits within their characters have vanished. Their lives have become filled with devotion and morality. They are truly devoted to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. For that reason, they are demonstrating their dedication and love towards the Lord during this grand festival.
With the inspiration of Acharya Swamishree, Shree Muktajeevan Disaster Relief Academy has been established. This is the only such non-government institution in India who train and remain ready to provide help to people at times of natural disaster or to save lives during terrorist acts. Furthermore, such efforts have been established in the Saarc countries, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which also has groups in Pakistan, Shri Lanka, Afganistan, the Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
During the afternoon of Tuesday 6 March 2012, a historical event took place at which representatives of all these countries came together for the first time. People of all faiths sat together on one stage and were blessed by Acharya Swamishree for their admirable efforts to eradicate acts of terrorism in the world. Acharya Swamishree said in His divine blessings that Lord Shree Swaminarayan was an advocate of peace, unity and compassion, and seeing His genuine love for people of all faiths and cultures, people from all statures of society became devoted to Him.
After taking prasad, all the sants and disciples reassembled in the marquee to see a video of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa when He performed the inauguration of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir in Swaminarayan Palli in 1974 and in Vaghjipur in 1975. This historical footage was augmented with commentary from senior sants who were present on those occasion.