His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj's 83rd birthday celebration
was festively held in Kolkata from 7.00 a.m. to 12 noon. The celebration
commenced with Swamishri performing his daily puja at 7.00 a.m. The
main stage had a beautiful backdrop of the Konark mandir made of jute
and bamboo. The singing of bhajans by sadhus in praise of Swamishri
during his puja set the devotional tempo of the celebration. Thereafter,
the celebration assembly commenced. It was themed on the glory of a
God-communion Sadhu sung by the Hindu scriptures, namely, Upanishads,
Ramayan, Gita, Bhagvat and Vachanamrut.
Pujya Viveksagar Swami spoke about Swamishri's mammoth efforts in developing
Satsang in India and abroad. Then, mantras from the Upanishads were
presented, extolling the glory of the Gunatit Sadhu who lives in the
atmic state, above all worldly joy and pain. Pujya Atmatrupt Swami narrated
incidents from Swamishri's life that show his state of atma realization
and communion with God.
A brief enactment from the Ramayan was accompanied by singing of chopais
explaining that a true Sadhu endeavors for the good of others and that
he is a celibate.
A drama followed, showing how Swamishri was engrossed in unravelling
the students' reservation agitation in Amdavad to establish amity.
Thereafter, Pujya Vivekpriya Swami narrated incidents reflecting Swamishri's
service for the good of others. Pujya Anandswarup Swami cited examples
about Swamishri's celibacy.
The message of spiritual stability was imparted through the enactment
of a dialogue from the Bhagvad Gita where Shri Krishna explains the
qualities of one who is sthit pragna to Arjun. Swamishri's arrival was
welcomed with a colorful traditional dance native to the states of Bengal,
Orissa and Assam. Thereafter Pujya Aksharvatsal Swami spoke about Swamishri's
After a presentation of sloks on bhakti from the Shrimad Bhagvat, Pujya
Ishwarcharan Swami elaborated upon Swamishri's virtue of bhakti towards
Thakorji. Thereafter, an interesting drama showed Swamishri's devotion
to Thakorji prior to his bypass operation.
The glory of an ideal Sadhu as explained by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in
the Vachanamrut was presented. Pujya Dr Swami explained the glory of
Swamishri through his qualities of humility, compassion and socio-spiritual
works. Pujya Mahant Swami offered a profound prayer to Swamishri.
Finally, the celebration was crowned by Swamishri's blessings. Swamishri
first offered his shastang dandvat pranam to everyone and spoke about
the doership of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj.
He also appreciated the effort and cooperation of sadhus and devotees.
In conclusion, senior sadhus and devotees honored Swamishri with a variety
of garlands. The assembly concluded at 12.00 noon. The five-hour celebration
charged the devotees with spiritual joy and enthusiasm.
More than 8,000 devotees attended the celebration that was relayed live
by Astha Channel in 150 countries.