101 Manifestation Celebrations
Adya Acharya Pravar Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa is:
- The fourth spiritual leader in Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s divine heritage, which commences from Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swamibapa;
- The protector and propagator of the sublime philosophy of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan, which was clearly elucidated by Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree;
- The elite spiritual master who commenced the spread of the eternal name and philosophy of Lord Shree Swaminarayan around the world;
- The ‘life and soul’ of thousands of disciples, who lovingly honoured Him by the ceremonially weighing Him against gold, platinum and precious stones;
- The revolutionary, visionary, divine Sant, who combined religion with the performing of charitable deeds and thus, serving humanity;
- The revered Sant, who the Akhil Bharat Sadhu Samaj (the society of India’s greatest ascetics) hailed as the Elite, Shimmering Gem;
- Whose main purpose for manifesting on the Earth was to create a unique centre of Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s supreme Karan Satsang in Maninagar, and give a physical embodiment to Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s divine throne, Shree Swaminarayan Gadi.
On Samvat 2064 Bhadarva Vad Amas, Monday 29 September 2008, exactly 101 years will have passed since Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa manifested on the Earth. In celebration, a magnificent three day festival has been inspired by Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s beloved heir, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree.
The festival will be held in the magnificent grounds of Swamibapa’s eternal home, the worldwide headquarters of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, Shree Swaminarayan Temple Maninagar.
Throughout the duration of the celebrations, the recital of the scripture, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Leelamrut Sagar – Part 3, will be performed by Acharya Swamishree and honourable sants.
This entire festival will be relayed live over the internet.
Bhadarva Vad 13 - Saturday 27 September 2008
Nirkhu Naina Bhari CD
Thousands of disciples from all over the world had gathered in Maninagar to take part in the festival.
Before sunrise, many gathered inside the main temple for the darshan of the Lord’s mangla aarti. The temple was completely full of sants and disciples. After performing the mangla aarti, Acharya Swamishree initiated the scripture recital. He then performed the Shangar aarti of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, Shree Harikrishna Maharaj, Shree Sahajanand Swami Maharaj, Jeevanpran Bapashree and Jeevanpran Swamibapa in the temple.
Whilst some of the sants and disciples sat in the assembly, held in the grounds of the temple, and listened to the scripture recital, Acharya Swamishree, sants and disciples went to Shree Swaminarayan Tower. A procession was held from the Tower to the temple, during which Acharya Swamishree presided on a golden chariot that was pulled by the disciples on whose behalf the scripture recitals were being held.
Acharya Swamishree was led onto the stage, which had been decorated with a natural garden setting in which Jeevanpran Swamibapa was presiding. Various photographs of Jeevanpran Swamibapa had been placed all around periphery of the assembly.
Disciples then carried a small golden sitar onto the stage and presented it to Acharya Swamishree. This sitar contained the new CD of devotional songs, called Nirkhu Naina Bhari. Acharya Swamishree performed the inauguration of the new CD.
In His divine blessings, Acharya Swamishree said:
Today is the first day of our festivities to celebrate the manifestation day of Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa. On Monday, exactly 101 years will have passed since He appeared on the Earth.
We are celebrating the festival at Swamibapa’s eternal home, Maninagardham. This is the magnificent site where Lord Shree Swaminarayan Himself used to visit and sit under a mango tree and say, ‘This is the place where I will come in the future and then remain forever. This will become the headquarters of My eternal Faith. My supremacy will be spread around the world from here.’
Swamibapa was a truly unique personality who revolutionised the entire Swaminarayan Faith. We are all fortunate to have encountered this divine, visionary Sant and to have become His disciples. Swamibapa disseminated wisdom and spiritual knowledge to us all. It is our duty to instil these teachings into our hearts and abide according to the wishes of Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
All the flaws and inappropriate tendencies that exist within you must be washed away. For that, you must remain vigilant about remaining free of such faults and at the same time, you must continue praying to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to save you from such inappropriate thoughts and deeds.
When a true disciple surrenders to the lotus feet of the Lord, that merciful Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa holds his hand. He never let’s go of His child’s hand, but the nature of souls is such that they forcedly slip away from the Lord’s grace. Instead of following the wishes of God, they run after the material objects that their mind yearns for. A young calf grazes in the fields and wanders to wherever there it sees grass. It becomes so engrossed in the grass that it becomes unaware of any deep ditches into which it could fall and die. Similarly, the inclination of souls is such that it follows its desires and disregards what is right and what is wrong. Whilst such behaviours exist, one cannot progress within the Satsang; meaning, the continued happiness and mercy of the Lord cannot remain showering upon that individual.
On the occasion of Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s manifestation festival, let us pray to the almighty Lord that He eradicates the flaws and internal enemies that exist, so that we can live forever in the divine shelter of the supreme Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa.
After the aashirwad, the morning assembly concluded and all the disciples went for Prasad.
During the afternoon assembly, Swamibapa’s scholarly sants continued the recital of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Leelamrut Sagar.
During the evening, a concert of devotional songs was presented by some of Bollywood’s leading singers. Acharya Swamishree brought delight to everyone by going onto the stage during one of the performances.
Bhadarva Vad 14, Sunday 28 September 2008
He Sadguruji CD
Before sunrise, sants and disciples had gathered in the temple for the darshan of the Lord at mangla aarti.
Today was the 17th anniversary of the opening of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smruti Mandir. So, immediately after the mangla aarti, Acharya Swamishree, sants and disciples went to Smruti Mandir. Acharya Swamishree performed the ceremonial adoration of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa.
Everyone returned to Maninagar by the time of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj’s shangar aarti. After taking the darshan of the Lord’s shangar aarti, everyone gathered at Shree Swaminarayan Tower. A procession was held from the Tower to the grounds of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir. Acharya Swaminarayan presided on a chariot shaped like a sports car made of fresh flowers. The disciples, on whose behalf the scripture recitals were held, carried offerings to place at the Lord’s divine, lotus feet.
As today was World Heart Day, a free heart diagnosis camp was held in Shree Muktajeevan Auditorium. Acharya Swamishree performed the opening of the heart camp in which various heart care awareness activities were held. Information about heart disease preventive measures, healthy habits, unhealthy habits, and risk factors to be aware of, was given through a presentation and workshops. Heart health diagnosis tests were also performed.
The inauguration of a CD of devotional songs, ‘He Sadguruji’ and a reprint of the booklet, ‘Kutch naa Sant Abji Bapa’ was performed by Acharya Swamishree.
A few minutes of silence, prayer and meditation was held in honour of Bollywood’s famous playback singer, Shree Mahendra Kapoor who died on late Saturday, at the age of 74 from cardiac failure. Shree Mahendra Kapoor has sung many of our Organisation’s devotional songs and had a great regard for Jeevanpran Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree.
In His divine aashirwad, Acharya Swamishree said:
- Today, the second day of our festival to celebrate our Gurudev’s 101st manifestation day, let us remember all the disciples living around the world who have prayed to be part of this Mahotsav.
- This day is also the patotsav of our glorious Smruti Mandir. Many magnificent buildings and temples exist around the world. However, our Smruti Mandir is unique because here exists magnificence, together with true divinity. Therefore, our Smurti Mandir is unique and supreme.
- The divine presence of Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa exists here. For that reason, anyone who devotedly comes for the darshan of the Lord here comes instilled with the virtues of true dedication – that is dedication towards the supreme Lord and to humanity. The highest qualities of morality flourish within such a disciple. These virtues must be protected and preserved so that they continue to flourish, but never diminish from within you.
During the afternoon, a grand procession of peace and unity was held through the streets of Maninagar.
Bhadarva Vad Amas - Monday 29 September 2008
Thousands of disciples were eager for the Lord’s mangla aarti darshan on this auspicious day. The Lord has explained the significance of the mangla aarti darshan; that the merit gained from having the darshan of 1 mangla aarti is equivalent to the merit gained from the darshan of 100 shangar aartis. Furthermore, this was the day that Jeevanpran Swamibapa chose to manifest on the Earth. So the spiritual gain from the Lord’s darshan as He awoke that morning would be truly divine and splendid. As it was also Shree Sadguru Din, after the aarti, everyone sat in meditation and performed dhoon and kirtan bhakti.
When the Lord has been adorned in His splendid clothing and jewellery, Acharya Swamishree performed the shangar aarti. Everyone then went to Shree Swaminarayan Tower from where the procession was held. Acharya Swamishree presided on a chariot alongside Jeevanpran Swamibapa. In from of the chariot walked 101 young disciples carrying various articles for performing the grand adoration ceremony before Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
At the front of the stage, Jeevanpran Swamibapa was seated on a throne. One by one, the disciples brought fresh and dried fruit, flower garlands and robes, sweets, clothing, incense, candles and many other kinds of offerings. These were presented at Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s lotus feet. Acharya Swamishree adorned Jeevanpran Swamibapa with a magnificent golden shawl and a diamond encrusted crown. Throughout the ceremony, scholarly sants and priests chanted sacred Sanskrit verses from the ancient scriptures. A cake was offered to Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
Jeevanpran Swamibapa then presided on the grand tula (scale) and was ceremonially weighed against fresh flowers, sugar candy, coconuts and finally with gold. This darshan reminded everyone of last year, when Swamibapa’s Centenary was celebrated. The same delight and divinity experienced then could be sensed again today.
On behalf of all the disciples living around the world, Acharya Swmaishree performed aarti to Jeevanpran Swamibapa presiding in the tula.
A recording of Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s ashirwad was heard, after which, Acharya Swamishree showered His divine blessings. In His ashirwad, Acharya Swamishree said:
- Today is our Gururaj, Swamibapa’s manifestation day. In worldly terms, our Gurudev is 101 years old today. Swamibapa has mercifully manifested to give to us all. He has given us this magnificent Maninagardham. He has given us this supreme, eternal Shree Swaminarayan Gadi. And He has given us this wonderful garden, in the form of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan’s elite, Karan Satsang. Just look at the flowers that are blooming in this garden! Swamibapa dedicated His entire divine life to cultivating this garden, and making sure that the flowers growing in this garden, i.e. His disciples, remain fresh and fragrant. He has not considered His own comfort and instead, both night and day, He has provided these flowers with sustenance, in the form of the religious decree, spiritual knowledge, asceticism and devotion towards the supreme Lord Swaminarayan.
- We owe everything to Jeevanpran Swamibapa. It is now our duty to remain, strictly adherent, to the words of Swamibapa, because these are the words of the supreme Lord Shree Swaminarayan.
- You must sincerely and faithfully surrender to the Lord. Then, your protector from all pains and anxieties, becomes the Lord Himself.
- When a couple are sitting under the wedding canopy, they say to each other, ‘I am now yours and you are mine.’ From then onwards, they look after one another. In the same manner, once a disciple has truly become the Lord’s, it is the Lord who then takes care of him. The Lord says that ‘this is My promise.’
- For that promise to remain firm, one’s mind and thoughts must remain clean, pure, calm and joyous. The disturbances, such as lust, anger etc. must not taint one’s mind. One’s pride and ego must be discarded. And then, whatever strength, ability, talent, wisdom, or intelligence that one possesses should be considered to be the gift of God, and which should be used for pleasing the Lord.
- One’s intellect must never be used in a manner that contravenes the will of the Lord. Great benefit may be sensed by performing a particular task. However, if that deed contravenes the will of God, it must never be performed. Lord Shree Swaminarayan states this in verse 73 of the Shikshapatri. ‘Any act that contravenes dharma (the obeying of sadaachar, i.e. good conduct) must never be performed even though it may seem immensely profitable at the time. Only dharma is truly able to bestow real prosperity. Under no circumstances should dharma be abandoned.’
- With one’s mind, words and body, only auspicious activities should be performed. Only then can a disciple honestly say that he has remained firm to the will of Jeevanpran Swamibapa. Then, that disciple will forever remain Jeevanpran Swamibapa’s blossoming flower. Otherwise, by that individual’s own actions, he will wither away and fall back into the ghastly mire of worldly Maya.
At the end of the festival, prasad was distributed to all the disciples.