Exactly 50 years ago, the young Shastri Narayanswarupdas (Pramukh Swami Maharaj) was declared the President of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha by his Guru Shastriji Maharaj. This historic event took place in a small, simple room at Ambli Vali Pol, Amdavad.
The 50th anniversary of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Presidentship was celebrated with profound devotion and color by 14,000 devotees in Bombay on 17 June 1999. The 3˝-hour program highlighted the stupendous efforts and dedication of Swamishri towards Shastriji Maharaj, Yogiji Maharaj and the flourishment of the BAPS.
Swamishri was honored as he entered the mammoth assembly hall. The stage was exquisitely decorated with the murtis of Akshar and Purushottam, Harikrishna Maharaj and Shastriji Maharaj. The children and youth members of the Sanstha performed extraordinary dances and charged the air with devotion and reverence. After the preliminary speeches, lauding Swamishri’s work, an 18 min. video show depicted the services of Swamishri in the last 50 years.
Swamishri was then honored with garlands.
On blessing the assembly Swamishri said, "The tremendous work that you
see (in the Sanstha) and talk of, is the work of God and God is the
doer. When this seat (of presidentship) was proposed I told Shastriji
Maharaj that it is beyond my strength and power. This work is not an
ordinary task but a great task. Hundreds and thousands of devotees and
sadhus, the gigantic task of organisation and administration of mandirs
- was beyond the capacity of a small person like me. I requested him
(Shastriji Maharaj), but because of his blessings, grace and wish I
accepted this seat. He blessed me that ‘Maharaj will do the work, you
should not worry.’ He also told Yogiji Maharaj to bless me so that I
could do the best and be graced with saintly virtues. Today I also believe
and understand that this work is beyond my capacity and power, and it
simply cannot be done. Even today what we see being done (in the Sanstha),
it is all due to his blessings, power and inspiration. If we do not
have the power and blessings of both the gurus (Shastriji Maharaj and
Yogiji Maharaj) then this work cannot be done. And the growing number
of sadhus, which was the dream and blessings of Yogiji Maharaj, giving
their fullest support and cooperation in the mammoth festivals, mandirs,
are travelling to the villages, discoursing and seeing people, setting
up Bal Mandals and Yuvak Mandals. The devotees too, are also full of
Prayers were then offered by chanting the Swaminarayan dhun for the souls of the martyred soldiers.
© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith