- To celebrate the occasion a village atmosphere of Chhapiya and the
home of Dharmadev was set up on the stage. After the preliminary dhun
and prayers, a drama depicting the importance of instilling character
and values in children was brilliantly performed by members of the
Rajkot Satsang center. This was followed by a bhajan sung by sadhus
and a dance performed by the Rajkot Bal Mandal. Pujya Viveksagar spoke
eloquently on the glory and greatness of Shriji Maharaj.
- The murti of Harikrishna Maharaj was profoundly honored by the devotees
- Swamishri's blessings : Audio
Swamishri blessed the assembly of 6,000 devotees, saying, "Today is
the birthday of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, and we have all gathered here
to celebrate this festival. God comes on this earth to redeem countless
souls. We celebrate such festivals to enhance our devotion for Him
and to become recipients of His joy and blessings. On receiving His
blessings we become happy in this world and in the world beyond. Without
His grace and pleasure nothing becomes possible. God is pleased only
through devotion. He cannot be pleased by offering Him money or power.
King Bali pleased God through devotion. He did not ask anything from
God in return for his devotion. Prahlad also pleased God through devotion.
He too did not ask anything from God. He said, 'I have not offered
devotion to you for any mundane things. I have done it purely to be
blessed by you and to protect me from my senses and mind and free
me of ignorance and worldly desires.'
"So devotees have always asked for God's pleasure and blessings.
Dada Khachar experienced a lot of difficulties and problems but he
never asked anything from Shriji Maharaj except that He be pleased
upon Him. He devoted himself to Shriji Maharaj with purity and divinity.
He gave up his personal nature and habits that did not please Shriji
Maharaj. If we want to please and win God then we must live according
to His wishes. We must perform all our duties with the awareness that
we want to please God.
"God's incarnations come on earth to please us. Maharaj says
He comes all the way from Akshardham. He comes so that we can have
His darshan, offer devotion to Him and be blessed with redemption.
Sometimes we feel that we have offered a lot of devotion and effort
for Maharaj through offering money or physical efforts. But His effort
is more than ours! Shriji Maharaj has come from Akshardham. Any amount
of penance, devotion or effort cannot bring God to this earth. He
has come out of sheer grace for us. But man becomes egotistic just
by the virtue of his spiritual efforts. There was an aspirant inclined
towards penance. For many years he performed a lot of penance to please
God. His body became emaciated and so God felt pity for him. He then
appeared before him and told him, 'Ask whatever you desire.' The aspirant
said, 'Maharaj, look at my penance.' Again God told him to ask whatever
He wished. But he repeated, 'Maharaj look at my penance'. He had become
arrogant by virtue of his effort. But before God our penance is nothing.
What is the light of a glow worm before the resplendence of the sun!
Likewise, our penance is insignificant before God...
"So Shriji Maharaj had performed a lot of penance in Muktinath...
By celebrating such festivals of God and listening to His qualities,
we should be inspired with the thought that we too should do something
that pleases God. It is said that we listen to spiritual talks, but
if we live according to what we listen then we will experience happiness..."
- The senior sadhus then garlanded Swamishri with a variety of garlands
prepared by the devotees of Bhuj. At 10.10 pm Swamishri performed
the festival arti. With jubilant victory calls in honor of the birth
of Lord Swaminarayan, a team of sadhus sang "Dharma gher anand bhayo..."Swamishri
participated in the singing with devotion and profound joy. This was
followed by a bhajan "Sonna bor jule Dharmakishor...". Swamishri humbly
and gently rocked the cradle in which the murti of Lord Harikrishna
Maharaj was placed. The rhythm and devotion of several more bhajans
charged the atmosphere with divinity. The celebration concluded with
the victory calls of Lord Swaminarayan