4th February 2003, Day 3 - Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Vadodara Rajat Pratishtha Mahotsav and Vishwa Shanti Yagna
5.30am Mangla Aarti
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed the mangla aarti to Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, Jeevanpran Bapashree and Adya Acharya Pravar Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
As it is the 3rd day of the Indian month today, Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj had adorned a pink paag with 2 choglas and orange coloured robes, and He held an orange coloured handkerchief in His right hand. He was wearing numerous precious gold necklaces and other gold jewellery. And with such divine darshan, He was bestowing His blessings over all His children.
The sants and disciples led Acharya Swamishree into the sabha mandap. The recital of the Vachanamrut scripture was continued, after which Acharya Swamishree blessed everyone with His divine Ashirwad;
Jeevanpran Bapashree has said that in order to become deserving of the Lord, one must become sincere and abide by His teachings.
When one is willing to serve the Lord through their mind, words and actions, then the divine seeds of spirituality have been sown in them. They will then be worthy of the divine grace of the Lord and through this mercy, their devotion will blossom.
Many varieties of trees may be growing in a field. These trees are all irrigated using water from the same well. However, it is not the water that determines the nature of the fruits of these trees. A mango tree will produce juicy mangoes, a lemon tree will produce sour lemons and sugar cane will produce a sweet crop. The water assumes different qualities depending on the plant that it come into contact with. The contact of the crop determines the different tastes that the water assumes. In the same way, the company that it kept determines and influences one's personality.
In the Vachanamrut, Lord Swaminarayan has explained that the Lord will bestow His divine darshan to those who have a pure mind and soul. The Lord will not grant this opportunity to those with polluted minds and souls.
Let us pray to the Almighty Lord Swaminarayan that we remain always in the contact of divine personages, so that we remain free from pollution and immorality. May we remain adherent to His will and pleasure.
The main guest for today's event was the International Chief Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shree Pravinbhai Togdiya. Other guests included the Assembly Member for Vadodara, Shree Jitendrabhai Sukhdiya and Shree Yogeshbhai Patel.
On behalf of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sanstha, His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree presented prasanta paags to each of the main guests.
On behalf of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, its representative on this occasion, Shree Pravinbhai Togdiya presented a garland to Acharya Swamishree.
In order to provide permanent homes to people in the Kutch region who have still not been able to rebuild their lives after the tragic earthquake in 2001, Acharya Swamishree presented a charity cheque to the Kutch Rebuilding Committee in the presence of the chief guests.
On this occasion, Shree Pravinbhai Togdiya said, "After coming here today, to be amongst the divine presence of Acharya Swamishree, I have become extremely delighted to know that His work is not limited to making Temples and praying, but He is just as eager to help society and offer His assistance to alleviate the pains of the people. This humanitarian work is just as much His religion as it is to pray to God. I am greatly inspired by this. The other issue I wish to mention today is that the pains of the people is dependent on themselves and the thoughts of each individual. If each person's mind is kept in control but not left free to wander, then they will be able to learn the ideals taught by Acharya Swamishree. This world would then be a much safer and more pleasant place. We all have a great need to listen to Acharya Swamishree and abide by His teachings. On behalf of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and indeed the entire Hindu world, I greatly commend Him for His relentless e fforts to spread this sublime message around the world."
Acharya Swamishree then blessed the assembly;
Terrorism within the world today, is at such a level that it is becoming out of control. As a result peace is also diminishing, and therefore it is very important to guide man towards the true path towards peace.
We live in a mundane materialistic world, and man is rarely pleased. Man has forgotten that the true spiritual target in life is to do what is beneficial for the soul. Instead they concern themselves with materialistic targets such as the attainment of wealth and status.
There are five principles one must bring into society if it is to progress.
1) Love and affection towards one another.
2) Harmony and Unity.
Our society will become capable of progressing if these five principles are applied.
Let us pray to Lord Swaminarayanbapa Swamibapa to show compassion and help restore peace and unity to Gujarat and the rest of the world.
At 3.30, the recital of the Vachanamrut scripture was continued, after which His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree distributed prasad to all the disciples who had contributed to the preparations of this Mahotsav.
At 6.30 the Sandhya aarti and evening rituals were performed.
At 7.30, the devout students of the Swaminarayan Boarding School, in Maninagar performed a cultural drama production called Balidaan (sacrifice). This drama was first performed 40 years ago in the presence of Gurudev Jeevanpran Swamibapa.
The evening show commenced with a classical Indian dance performed by 2 of Swamibapa's talented sants, to the words of the kirtan "Toom ko naman."
The story of the drama was as follows;
Shree Mathurbhai was a devout disciple of God. Through the blessings of his Guru, he had become a virtuous satsangi and lived his life according to the commands of Lord Swaminarayan. From his Guru, he had come to understand the glory of Lord Swaminarayan and had a firm faith in Him.
Mathurbhai had 3 sons. Vasant was the eldest, then Bar, and the youngest was Dinesh. The virtuous spiritual characteristics of Mathurbhai had been instilled into Bar. Dinesh was too young to know the difference between right and wrong. However, Vasant had adopted a different lifestyle. He had no interest in the stories about God but instead preferred listening to film stories. He remained uninterested in the kirtans in praise of God but instead remained engrossed in pop music. He had no desire to concentrate on the murti of God but instead was obsessed with film heroes and heroines.
When Mathurbhai realised that his son Vasant was of this inclination, he became deeply distressed. He prayed to the Lord for forgiveness and to restore his son to the correct path of spirituality. Mathurbhai took Vasant to his Guru. The sympathetic words of advice from the Guru had such a great effect that Vasant's character was reformed and he began to live a life of morality.
One day, Vasant left home to join the Guru in his travels from village to village, in order to spread the supreme name and teachings of Lord Swaminarayan. During these travels, a mob of irreverent youngsters started to attack the sants. Rather than allow any of the sants to be harmed, Vasant instead became prepared to give Balidaan, sacrifice his own life, to protect the sants. Such was the complete change in the character of Vasant due to the merciful words and compassion of the Guruji.
And this was where the drama ended.
After the drama, Swamibapa's sants performed a Daan Lila Raas.
This entire production was prepared under the direction of our beloved Acharya Swamishree.