6th February 2003, Day 5 - Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Vadodara Rajat Pratishtha Mahotsav and Vishwa Shanti Yagna
5.30am Mangla Aarti
Today was the 5th and final day of the Rajat Pratishtha Mahotsav.
In addition, today, Vasant Panchmi, is celebrated by all disciples of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya as it is the day that our merciful supreme Lord Swaminarayan gave us His scripture of commandments, the Shikshapatri. Lord Swaminarayan presented this scripture in Vadtal 177 years ago for the benefit of all souls and for that reason, it is described as the Sarvajeevhitavaha. These rules are just as relevant today as they were nearly 2 centuries ago.
During the mangla aarti, Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj was casting His divine gaze over all His disciples and gently smiling about how His children remained contented due to their adherence to His commands stipulated in the Shikshapatri.
Immediately after the mangla aarti, the melodious sound of the Shikshapatri verses being sung started to fill the air and a feeling of unexplainable spirituality pervaded everywhere. In the mandir and the sabha mandap, the sants and disciples sat and recited the Shikshapatri.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree entered the Mandir hall and gave darshan to all. The sants formed lines on either side of the singhasan and Acharya Swamishree stood in front of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj on the Lord's right. Acharya Swamishree and the sants then recited each of the 212 Sanskrut sloks of the Shikshapatri.
After the Shikshapatri parayan, Acharya Swamishree performed poojan to Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, using gold and silver petals. The petals were contained in an elaborately decorated gold and silver urn. Acharya Swamishree then performed poojan to Jeevanpran Bapashree and Gurudev Adya Acharya Pravar Jeevanpran Swamibapa using the gold and silver petals.
Acharya Swamishree accepted the humble requests of the sants and disciples and also allowed them the opportunity of performing poojan to Him, using the precious petals.
On behalf of all the sants and disciples, Acharya Swamishree performed poojan to the Shikshapatri and offered aarti.
On this auspicious occasion, Jeevanpran Swamishree showered His divine blessings over all;
Today is a special day for everyone, because the Lord thought of us all as His children and presented His commandments today. Without rules, one cannot live an ordered life. We these rules, one cannot live a moral life. Everyone must maintain the utmost of respect to this Shikshapatri and obey these commands of the supreme Lord. It is everyone's sacred duty to abide by these rules. You must not contravene these stipulations and become defected.
There is a story in the Mahabharat about Duryodhan and his blind mother Gandhari. She told Duryodhan to meet him first thing in the early hours of the next day. However, he had to be completely naked. Because whichever parts of his body Ghandhari touched, they would become invincible. The next morning Duryodhan did as his mother asked and went to meet her, completely naked. However, Shree Krishna sat disguised as a gardener with a decorative belt made of flowers. Shree Krishna convinced Duryodhan that he should wear a flower belt and then go to his mother, as it would be disrespectful to meet a lady without any clothes. Gandhari placed her hands over Duryodhan's body and made him invincible. However, as she was unable to touch the area around his waist due to the flowers, Duryodhan's waist did not become invincible. During the great Mahabharat battles, Bhim tried to kill Duryodhan. However, as he was invincible, all of Bhim's great might remained completely ineffective. Then Shree Krishna signalled to Bhim to focus on Duryodhan's waist. Only then was Bhim able to slay Duryodhan.
Duryodhan had a defect in him, i.e. his waist. If you disobey the Lord's commands, then just like Duryodhan, a defect will remain in you.
If you mistrust the Lord or His great Satpurushs, or doubt their actions, then this constitutes a defect in you.
On this day, you must pray to the merciful Lord to provide you with strength, courage and conviction to remain adherent to His commandments. Then you will remain invincible and indifferent to the susceptibility of worldly affairs. And you will be able to please the Lord.
After the ashirwad, a vast array of food was offered to the Lord in the form of an annkut. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree performed the first aarti, after which many disciples were also given the opportunity to offer their devotion in the form of aartis to the supreme Lord.
At 2 pm, everyone travelled to the vast gardens of Malsa, on the banks of the river Narmada, which is just outside the city of Vadodara. Here, they were to celebrate the Shikshapatri Jayanti, Vasant Panchmi, in the traditional manner, with coloured water.
Acharya Swamishree first bathed Shree Harikrishna Maharaj in panchamrut, the 5 nectars, milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and sugar. He then sprinkled coloured water and auspicious gulal powder over the Lord. His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree then sprayed this prasadi coloured water and powder over the sants and disciples and made this concluding event of the Mahotsav an unforgettable moment in the lives of all the disciples of Vadodara.