Chief Minister of Gujarat comes for the darshan of the Mahotsav.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj was led into the Sabha Mandap by Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Bands London and Bolton on the fourth morning of the Mahotsav. Arriving in a golden chariot, He was drawn towards the Sinhasan as the recital of the Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Granth scripture was concluding.
Acharya Swamishree Maharaj showered everyone with His ashirwad, which today focused on true accomplishments in one's life. To read highlights of Acharya Swamishree Maharaj ashirwad, follow @SGadiManinagar or click here Day 4 Morning Sabha
After ashirwad concluded, the congregation welcomed the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani, Minister of Law, Judiciary and Parliamentary Affairs Pradipsinh Jadeja and British Deputy High Commissioner in Ahmedabad. They were led in by over 70 members of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, who then saluted Acharya Swamishree Maharaj and the honoured guest. The entire congregation then stood to sing the Indian National Anthem, accompanied by the Pipe Band.
The three guests were honoured with a paag and memento of the Mahotsav. They were also joined by Hashmukhbhai Patel and Kidhorbhai Polan from MLA as well as Yogeshdan Ghadvi, Chairman of Kala Academy.
A letter was then read out from Pandit Jasraj, the Indian classical vocalist, and a cheque for INR 110,000 donated to his academy on behalf of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan. Members of Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band London presented the Chief Minister and the Deputy High Commissioner with a memento, much like they did with Narendra Modi nearly 10 years ago.
Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa was passionate about education and established educational institutions - a legacy which Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has flourished even further. Accordingly INR 1.5million was donated for the purpose of education. In yet another incredible act of giving INR 500,000 rupees was donated for provision of clean water.
Vijay Rupani then spoke to the rapt congregation in admiration of Jeevanpran Swamibapa's dedication and devotion to society. He noted how a Guru's ashirwad, such as the sublime teachings of Jeevanpran Swamibapa and Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, helps everything and everyone progress. He described eloquently that Lord Shree Swaminarayan inspiring and initiating so many sants is precisely why the Swaminarayan Faith is such a progressive form of Hinduism – something which continues to thrive due to inspirational leaders as Acharya Swamishree Maharaj.
He also noted that it was a matter of immense pride and happiness that the current Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, was a student of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan’s college.
A long standing tradition of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan is to convey spiritual, moral and ethical learning through the medium of drama, and in keeping with this, the fourth evening of the Mahotsav saw a musical drama production, followed by devotional dances from disciples from around the world.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Maharaj arrived at the sabha mandap at 8pm, and the evening commenced with our talented sants performing a prathna dance to the kirtan "Prabhu Deje Mane Re Shakti."
The disciple of India performed a religious drama titled "Suicide," which combined comedy with a meaningful lessons about abiding by the Lord's commands, having faith in Him, and being guided by Him. A full recording of the drama can be viewed here: Concert of Devotional Drama and Dances
The story is based on a son of farmer whose whole family depends on the productivity of the farm. His father borrows money to educate him, and his mother has faith in God that one day her son will be successful and the family will enjoy much stability. After he graduates, the son struggles to find a job despite getting a great degree. Coming under severe pressure and having torturous feelings, he decides that suicide is his only option.
As the young, disillusioned, man heads to the railway tracks to end his life, he has visions of numerous individuals and characters including superheroes, disciples and deities. Finally, some inner voice tells him to go to Smruti Mandir where the Rajat Mahotsav is taking place. He abides, and once he reaches Mandir, he overhears a businessman’s phone conversation about needing to recruit a new accountant. He approaches the man and finally lands a job – everything suddenly looks much brighter.
Whilst at the Mandir, he is surprised to see one of the people he envisaged whilst on his way to the railway tracks, there in person. He comes to the realisation that God was always with him, but that in his state of disillusionment, he wasn’t able to recognise Him. He learned the invaluable life-lesson that one should keep faith in God, through dark times as well as light.
Disciples from Kenya kicked off devotional dance performances by bringing a unique tribal performance and traditional masaai dance choreographed to a kirtan made especially for the Rajat Mahotsav. Sounds of African drums reverberated throughout the sabha mandap, as the disciples brought a taste of Africa to the Mahotsav.
Disciples of Bolton UK performed a devotional dance to the kirtan "Main To Joya Joya Main To Joya Ghanshyam." Their vibrant costumes and energetic choreography made for a colourful performance.
Disciples from the USA performed a medley of comedic drama and devotional dances, featuring Talking Tom, mannequins and different styles of dance. With small anecdotes about each of the countries the disciples of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan reside in, along with teachings about Gurudev Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa and His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, the performance was engaging and entertaining for all.
The final performance of the evening was by London. Seventy-four disciples - for the seventy-four years since Acharya Swamishree's manifestation on this Earth - performed an eclectic dance to a kirtan composed especially for the Mahotsav. Drums, dhols, flags, and divas filled the stage as the disciples of all ages took the stage for an enthralling finale.
The evening concluded with Acharya Swamishree Maharaj blessing all of His loving disciples who had taken part in the performances. As the hit kirtan of the Mahotsav, "Hasine Bolaavi Maru Chit Chori Lidhu Re" began to play, all of the disciples from all over the world gathered around Acharya Swamishree and danced together in a wonderful show of unity. Overfilled with joy in seeing His children come together, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj joined and danced along with them all to create some amazing memories for all.