the Fuldol festival, held in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj
in Sarangpur, is celebrated with grand devotion and joy. This
year, on 7 March 2004, the Fuldol festival commenced with Swamishri’s
puja at 7.25 a.m.
The stage decoration was themed on a beautiful garden –
Yagnapurush Fulvadi. A large artificial mango tree with fresh
green mangoes and several other artificial trees created an
ambience of a lush farm and garden. A swing suspended from the
mango tree had the utsav murti of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. An ornate
shrine with the murti of Shastriji Maharaj was arranged under
a canopy of lush trees. Swamishri’s seat was beneath the
mango tree with the senior sadhus on both sides of the stage.
The Fuldol assembly commenced with a speech by Brahmavihari
Swami who spoke about the development of BAPS. Viveksagar Swami
spoke about the origin of Fuldol festival, its significance
and application in life. Ishwarcharan Swami elaborated upon
the hardships underwent by the Guru Parampara in developing
the garden of Satsang. Dr. Swami charged the assembly with his
inspiring address about the necessity of remaining steadfast
in one’s morals in a materialistic society.
The winners of a recitation competition, held under the auspices
of the Golden Anniversary Celebration of the Children’s
Forum, were presented with prizes by Swamishri. Thereafter,
Swamishri inaugurated a helmet for BAPS volunteers to be put
on while driving scooters or motorcycles.
Finally, Swamishri blessed the huge assembly, “The Fuldol
festival was celebrated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan on several occasions
in Sarangpur. He once celebrated it in the small courtyard of
Rathod Dhadhal. The songs of Holi were being sung and Maharaj
asked ‘Who is that Sadguru?’ Then Maharaj touched
Gunatitanand Swami’s chest with a dance-stick and said,
‘He is the Sadguru and I am God.’ Shastriji Maharaj
built this beautiful mandir which is like Akshardham…One
should offer devotion to God with the realisation that one is
atmarup. This is the principle of Bhagwan Swaminarayan…”
Swamishri sprayed the fragrant coloured-water on Shri Harikrishna
Maharaj and thereafter on the devotees as they approached the
main stage. The joy and tempo of devotion was extraordinary.
Bhajans sung by sadhus, ‘Yagnapursh fulwadie. Hindolo
ambani dal..’ ‘He lage Vaikunththi rudu Vartal…’
‘Yogi avo te rang mune shid lagadyo…’ set
the festive ambience of joy and ecstasy. Swamishri coloured
the devotees who had arrived from USA, UK, E. Africa, Far East
and all parts of India.
More than 54,000 devotees attended the festival and departed
after having maha-prasad.