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Swamishri's blessings

9 January 2002: Bicentenary Celebration

The grand finale assembly of the Swaminarayan Bicentenary Celebration was held on a festive scale. The towering colorful stage backdrop glowed with aesthetic and divine grandeur. The assembly commenced at 4.20 pm with the Swaminarayan dhun and prayers. Pujya Anandswarup Swami talked about the scientific benefits of meditation and mantra chanting.

Then Pramukh Swami Maharaj presented a model home to the Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Narendrabhai Modi, symbolizing the reconstruction of 9 villages and colonies and 43 schools in Kutch, Surendranagar and Rajkot districts by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. Addressing an assembly of 125,000 devotees, Shri Narendra Modi commended the extraordinary services of the Sanstha during the earthquake relief operation. He mentioned, " On reflecting upon the life of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, one sees that His life was dedicated in the service of the poor and suffering souls of society. Service, compassion and love for society was His dharma. There has not been any calamity or catastrophe where one would not find Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his sadhus alleviating the sufferings and pain of victims. I ask Pramukh Swami Maharaj to pray to God to redeem Gujarat from calamities that have been affecting it often."

Swamishri then blessed Shri Narendrabhai Modi. The program was interspersed with speeches, traditional theme dances and dramas. Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister for Narmada Dam Project, lauded the works of Swamishri. Pujya Dr Swami, Pujya Brahmdarshan Swami, Pujya Atmaswarup Swami, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, Pujya Viveksagar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami discoursed on the history, significance and glory of the Swaminarayan Mahamantra. The popular verse, ' Swaminarayan mahamantrani jalhal jyot jagavo ...' was sung by sadhus and chorused by the mammoth assembly. The brief impressive dramas portrayed the supremacy and power of the Swaminarayan mahamantra through stories of Shitaldas, Khimo Suthar and Naja Jogiya. A beautiful dance based on the bhajan ' Swaminarayan Mahamantrano Jagma Jay Jay Kar Chhe…' was exquistively performed by youths. An impressive video on Pramukh Swami Maharaj's efforts in spreading the glory of the Swaminarayan mantra was screened to the joy of the congregation.

Prior to his blessings, the giant congregation chorused the Swaminarayan dhun sung by Swamishri, for peace to prevail in India and for the eradication of terrorism in India and the world.
Finally, the assembly was crowned with the blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He said, "The Swaminarayan Mahamantra has the divine power to redeem one from the cycle of births and deaths. One finds spiritual wisdom in the scriptures but only through the Guru can one realize the knowledge and power of the mantra. One finds different types of power in this world; there is physical power, political power, money power but they all pale into insignificance before grave problems in life. However, the power of God sustains us in the face of all challenges. Hanumanji, through his faith in Lord Ram, was able to cross over to Lanka. So, the power of God is the highest power and the solution to all our problems."

The 5-hour congregation, telecast live to 156 countries, concluded with the grand mass arti performed by the entire congregation.

| Mahotsav Index, Gadhada | Diksha | Yagna | Holy Dip in the River Ghela | Procession | Ghela Arti | Murti Pratishtha |
| Bicentenary Celebration |
© 2001, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith