Today the 96th anniversary of the manifestation of our beloved Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was celebrated and a special remembrance of Sadguru Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami was held.
The third and final day of the Mahotsav was Badarva Vad Amaas, Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Jayanti. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed Mangla aarti and niyams before sitting the entire sabha to perform dhyaan. Following dhyaan, Acharya Swamishree concluded the three day parayan of the Rahasyarth Pradeepika Tika sah Vachnamrut.
In Gadhada Section 1, Chapter 77 of the Vachanamrut, Lord Swaminarayan states that there are 32 great virtues of a true Sadhu. Jeevanpran Shree Abji Bapashree explains each of these in the Rahasyarth Pradipika Tika to this Vachanamrut. All 32 virtues could be found within Sadguru Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami. Lord Swaminarayan says that the darshan of such a Sant is equivalent to His own darshan.
Over the past three days, Acharya Swamishree had described the merits of Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami.
Sadguru Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami was born in Naranpur, Kutch, India, on 1st January 1939 .
Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami's sole aim was to please Jeevanpran Swamibapa. Very quickly, he became one of Swamibapa's most beloved Sants.
He worked with Acharya Swamishree and gained immense blessings from Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
He had the same respect for Acharya Swamishree as he did for Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
He became attracted to Jeevanpran Swamibapa and renounced his family life at a very early age. When he became a Sant in 1954, he was only 15 years old.
He was appointed by Jeevanpran Swamibapa as a Sadguru in 1967, together with Acharya Swamishree and Shree Ghanshyamcharandasji Swami.
He was the Mahant of Maninagar Mandir.
He was the main poojari of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj at Maninagar Mandir.
He was the Trustee of our main Temple Trusts .
He was the epitome of compassion. He possessed no anger within him.
He treated everyone, even the youngest of Sants, with reverence.
He was everyone's beloved Sadguru. Everyone, Sants and disciples alike, had a deep respect and admiration for Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami.
He was likened to Shree Muktanand Swami for his daasatva bhakti (subservient devotion and nature) that he possessed.
He was like a mother to the Satsang.
He had a great talent in music.
The darshan of such a virtuous Sant is extremely rare.
He departed from this mortal world and became merged within the divine murti of the Supreme Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa on 4th September 2003 (Samvat 2058, Bhadarva Sud 9) at 7.30am (Indian Standard Time) at Maninagar, Shree Swaminarayan Temple , Ahmedabad , India .
Sadguru Shree Bhaktavatsaldasji Swami remained in the service of the Satsang as a Sant for 49 years.
After the parayan concluded, Acharya Swamishree, the entire Sant mandal and the sabha proceeded to the Suvarna Tula Smarak Bhavan tower. Acharya Swamishree performed aarti to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa who was seated in an ornate palkhi. He then led a grand procession from the Tower to Maninagar Mandir; thousands of onlookers were able to have the divine darshan of Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree during this auspicious event. The procession ended on the stage where Acharya Swamishree garlanded Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa with a magnificent flower garland and gold necklaces and adorned Him with a golden moogat. Acharya Swamishree then cut a cake, specially prepared by Swamibapa's Sants for our beloved Gurudev's pragatya din, and offered it to Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa then graced the Tula , which had been intricately decorated with flower garlands. Swamibapa was weighed against flowers, saakar, green coconuts and beetle nuts respectively, to the recitation of the Purush Sukta Mantra. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then honoured the invited guests, the chairmen of the Standing Committee of the municipality and of the water supply of Ahmdavad, by giving them prashad paags and flower garlands. The honoured guest then had the opportunity to say a few words:
"I have always played in the grounds of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, from a very young age. But I never even dreamed that one day I would be stood here on this stage as an honoured guest. Today Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree have fulfilled all my wishes and dreams."
"After the earthquake in Gujarat , there was a desperate need for the rebuilding of schools and colleges, so that our children would not miss out on their vital schooling. Acharya Swamiji came to the rescue of these children by establishing new and rebuilding damaged educational establishments in the region. There are no words to describe Swamishree's immense mercy and generosity."
Devotees then had the opportunity to perform aarti to Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree before Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa showered His divine ashirvad on the sabha. Several eminent devotees then spoke of the grandeur and significance of Swamibapa Jayanti. Shree Vasanatbhai Patel spoke of the magnificence of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Smurti Mandir and Shree Lajibhai Sanghani spoke of his childhood memories of Sadguru Shree Bhaktavatsal Swami. Acharya Swamishree then gave His divine ashirvad:
"Lord Swaminarayan's children are all equal in His eyes, He gives each of His children the same love and knowledge. It is up to each of us take, understand and use this knowledge to please Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa. In the same way in a pangti, the server serves the same food to everyone and ill person will not be able eat as much as someone in good health and may not eat at all or reject it. Those who understand the glory, are well and will be able to accept the knowledge given to them by Lord Swaminarayan; those without any understanding about the glory, are ill and will not be able to accept it.
"There are three levels of mergence with the Lord: A stone may be in the sea for thousands of years, but once removed and cracked open there is no sign of it ever being immersed in the sea; When one looks at sugar that is mixed into milk, no sign of the sugar is visible. But when the milk is tasted, the sugar becomes apparent; When a river flows into the sea, the river water is forever indistinguishable from the sea water. Of these three levels of mergence, we must make our association with the Lord's Murti akin to that of the river flowing into the sea.
"When we have achieved this level of mergence with the Lord's murti, the bond of love between us and Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa will be such that we will not be able to live without Him, and He will not be able to live without us."
Following Acharya Swamishree's Ashirvad, each member of the sabha was handed a personal divo, so that they personally perform aarti to Lord SwaminarayanBapa Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree during the samooh aarti. Thaar prashad was then served to conclude this auspicious three-day Mahotsav.