Sunday 26 March 2023 | Chaitra Sud 5, Samvat 2079
Sun 26 Mar 2023
"I only have one desire within My heart; when I relinquish this body, even though there is no reason for Me to take birth again, I wish to reappear in the midst of sants." Lord Shree Swaminarayan, Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle Section 48
Accordingly, the Lord manifested again in the form of Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa.
"They (Shreeji-sankalp-murti) incessantly remain within the Murti. By the will of Shreeji, they appear here. By performing adoration to them, Hari (the Lord) has been revered. By harassing them, the Lord has been pained." Shree Harignanamrut Kavya
On Monday 7th October 1907 (Samvat 1963 Bhadarva Vad Amas), the Adya Acharya-pravar of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, Dharma-dhurandhar, Sanatandharma-samrat Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa manifested at the home of Muljibhai and Ichchhaba in the village of Kheda, Gujarat - a north-western state of India. His name prior to initiation as a sant was Purushottambhai.
On Wednesday 13th November 1929 (Samvat 1986 Kartik Sud 11), Sadguru Shree Ishwarcharandasji Swami gave Jeevanpran Swamibapa initiation as a sant and named him Shree Muktajeevandasji Swami.
Shree Ishwarcharandasji Swami entrusted the helm of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi to Jeevanpran Swamibapa on Tuesday 3rd November 1942 (Samvat 1998 Aaso Vad 11).
On Saturday 26th February 1944 (Samvat 2000 Fagan Sud 3), in accordance with the Vedic rituals, Jeevanpran Swamibapa (as He was affectionately known; Jeevanpran meaning - life and soul) ceremonially installed the divine Murtis of Shree Ghanshyam Maharaj, Jeevanpran Bapashree etc. in Shree Swaminarayan Mandir, Maninagar, Ahmedabad - the heart of the Swaminarayan faith.
Jeevanpran Swamibapa not only toured all over India, from village to village, town to town, city to city, establishing followers and temples where-ever He presided, but He gave the name of Lord Swaminarayan universal expression by touring and establishing Swaminarayan Mandirs all over the world, including United Kingdom, USA, Australia and Africa. He traveled far and wide resting very little and enduring much self-sufferance in order to help the people get a better understanding of the eternal peace that rests in God.
Like Lord Swaminarayan, Jeevanpran Swamibapa preached by example. He demonstrated the importance of meditation by sitting in uninterrupted meditation for 13 days (in 1943), 12 days (in 1944), 31 days (in 1948) and 61 days (in 1971 - at the age of 64). Such were the ascetics powers of this truly divine saint. He was recognised all over the world for His religious activities. He was made vice-president of All India Sadhu Samaj which is an organisation of Hindu priests from all over the India. He founded and created various institutions such as Swaminarayan colleges, high schools, kindergartens, libraries, clinics, general hospitals, hostels, guest houses and various other social institutions to provide social conditions for those who could not previously afford these services. Thereby He set an example for the service of mankind.
Many enormous festivals were held, expounding the glory of Lord Swaminarayan from Maninagar Mandir. Hundreds of thousands of people assembled there, from all walks of life and , from all over the world. Such festivals were held periodically every four to five years. At the ages of 50, 60, and 70, Jeevanpran Swamibapa was weighed against the weight of gold, platinum and precious stones. These were used for the establishment of numerous socially beneficial establishments. Each festival was celebrated with renewed zeal and enthusiasm by the loving followers of Lord Swaminarayan and Jeevanpran Swamibapa.