Delhi is the throne. The flag should fly high in Delhi. A pinnacled
monument will rise. The land which has been performing penance shall
Now Yamunaji is waiting. She has become restless. With certain surety,
land on the banks of Yamunaji will be acquired. The Lord will fulfil
this in His divine way."
20 years of determined effort the historic day finally arrived.
It was a day of euphoria and celebration. A testament to the efficacy
of words uttered by Yogiji Maharaj and Pramukh Swami Maharaj - the
vision to build Akshardham in New Delhi. After years of patient
searching and tremendous endeavor a 30-acre land was attained on
the banks of river Yamuna in east New Delhi.
8 November, 2000 will forever be etched in gold in the history of
BAPS. It was the high point in Swamishri's profound desire to fulfil
the vision of Yogiji Maharaj. The Shilanyas Vidhi - foundation stone
laying ceremony, was the first and significant step for the Akshardham
Amidst auspicious bhajans Swamishri's puja commenced on the site
at 7.15 am. The shilanyas ceremony began with maha-puja. More than
100 sadhus and 500 devotees from all over India and abroad participated
in the Vedic rituals. The presence of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj and
Swamishri breathed sanctity and festivity to the occasion.
After the maha-puja, Swamishri, senior sadhus and devotees entered
the foundation pit and worshipped the shilas (stones symbolizing
the gods of earth). Then the Nidhikumbh, containing the asthi )bone
relic0 of Shriji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj and
coins from 154 countries, was placed in the center of the pit and
mortar was poured on it. Water and soil from 101 countries, packed
in copper pots, were also placed in the foundation pit.The shilanyas
ceremony concluded with arti, mantra pushpanjali and prayers.
Swamishri then blessed the Shilanyas assembly: "
A mandir is a place that calms the mind. The mind wavers and roves
in all directions. God is calm and undisturbed. So by going to the
Lord one's mind becomes still. And the mandir takes one nearer to
God. Man has developed science and learnt to fly in the air, invented
comforts and attained material happiness, but still there is discord.
There is no peace in material things, power or money. As the material
wealth of a person increases his ego also increases. Alongwith material
progress one finds destruction. True progress is inner progress.
And this why mandirs are necessary. By going to the mandir one is
redeemed of greed, lust, jealousy and ego.
"Today, we find ill-feelings, terrorism and atrocious tendencies
in man. How can one say that man has progressed? Our rishis and
Bhagwan Swaminarayan have wonderfully guided us for inner progress.
Our great sages, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj have experienced
happiness in God. The great acharyas (Shankracharya, Ramanujacharya,
etc.) have carried out their mission with their priority and allegiance
to God. Amidst all the pain and tribulation in life they remained
undisturbed and unaffected. The rishis had acquired all the faculties
of knowledge but they believed that the divine knowledge of God
was supreme. If one keeps God then one willl get everything.
"It has beeen said 'Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha'. In protecting
Dharma, one is protected by Dharma. If you look after your money,
then the money will look after you. If you maintain your clothes
then they will protect your body. Likewise, by preserving our values
and our culture, we are protected by them. This is our wealth. Children
are our wealth too. When children go morally astray so many parents
are left in grief. But the sad consequences arise because they are
not looked after in the first place! Bhagwan Swaminarayan had established
mandirs and initiated sadhus to preserve and protect values and
through them guided people onto the path of Dharma. Mandirs, scriptures
and sadhus are the three protectors of culture.
"For the establishment of a mandir here in Delhi, Yogiji Maharaj
used to write letters to Chandrakantbhai Trivedi (a devotee). At
that time the Lieutenant Governer was Shri Jagmohan. Yogiji Maharaj
had sent a garland for him and wrote a letter, saying, 'Garland
the Saheb, the land will be granted.' It was Yogiji Maharaj's vision
to have a mandir on the banks of the Yamuna. And so due to his wish,
this land has been acquired. Whoever comes here will be redeemed.
People not only of this world, but of the whole universe will come
and avail of this. Yogiji Maharaj's wish will be definitely fulfilled.
"God will redeem all those who have come here, done darshan
of the Shilanyas ceremony and helped in any way. Shastriji Maharaj
and Yogiji Maharaj will be extremely happy upon everyone. We pray
to Maharaj to redeem all. We also pray that the construction of
Akshardham be completed as early as possible and supremely and may
the bells toll."
The assembly was attended by 3000 devotees and well wishers.