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27 July 2002, Saturday, Charlotte, NC:

The Charlotte Mandir celebrated Guru Purnima on Saturday, July 27. The theme of this celebration focussed on a Hindu scripture Skanda Purana based verse: Gurubrahma Guruvishnu Gururdevo Maheshwaraha Guruhu sakshaat Parambrahman tasmai Shrigurave namaha

There were skits and short thought-provoking speeches that explained the above verse, and mentioned how H.D.H Pramukh Swami Maharaj had and continues to create virtues in man, how he sustains those ideals, and his role in destroying the inhuman, demonic qualities which exist in each of us. Melodious kirtans enthused and excited the spirits of the participants. A speech focused on the fact that knowledge (gnaan) is important, but nothing is attainable without the guru's grace. Our philosophy should be to realize and understand the guru and finally place total faith and trust in him. This will result in ultimate salvation or moksha. The celebrations concluded with participants offering their humble reverence to H.D.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj for his grace in making them better human beings.

 


Guru Purnima Celebration



 

 


Pujya Gnanpurush Swami honouring Mr. Hasmukbhai Patel

Pujya Shantmurti Swami honouring Dr. Frank Hughes



27 July 2002, Saturday, Houston, TX:

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir of the Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) celebrated the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. Devotees from all over Houston and surrounding BAPS centers in Texas gathered at the BAPS Mandir in Stafford with absolute veneration on Saturday, July 27 2002.

Hindus traditionally celebrate the day of full moon, Purnima, in the month of Ashadh as Guru Purnima. Also known as Vyas Purnima, the day is celebrated in remembrance and veneration to sage Ved Vyas. He is the Adi (original) Guru of the Hindu dharma, who classified the Vedas, wrote the eighteen Puranas and the Mahabharat. On this day, disciples honor their guru (Teacher), pay their respects and offer gratitude for the spiritual guidance that Guru provides them.

The Sanskrit root "Gu" means darkness or ignorance. "Ru" denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a guru. Only he who removes our ultimate darkness, known as Maya, and who inspires and guides us on to the path of God-realization is the true Guru.

With this in mind, devotees from all over Houston and beyond gathered together, on, to pay homage to their guru, His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The evening program commenced with the traditional dhoon and prathana. The program included several devotional bhajans including a melodious Hindi bhajan, that captivated the hearts of the audience. The program included speeches by santo from Houston and Atlanta highlighting the need for a guru in one's life.

In other highlights, Dr. Frank Hughes, a NASA astronaut trainer was recognized at the program. With the support and help of local satsangis, Dr. Hughes had presented a murti of Lord Swaminarayan to astronaut Jim Newman to carry with him aboard his recent Columbia mission. Coincidentally, the shuttle had taken off at the same time as the new Houston mandir foundation-laying ceremony was in progress! In addition, towards, the program end, Mr. Hasmukbhai Patel, a leading Republican party supporter and a satsangi was also honored. The occasion concluded with aarti and mahaprasad.


28 July 2002, Sunday, San Jose, CA:

Thorough analysis of all aspects of having a Guru in life was the summary of the Guru purnima samaiyo celebrated at San Jose mandir. An adorable Hindola, decorated with lintal grains and the presence of Resp. Saints Pujya Uttamcharan swami and Pujya Kaivalyamurti swami enhanced the divinity of the celebration. "Need for Guru in our life to attain our spiritual goal" was the first discourse of the day. Maintaining the flow, the second discourse on "Whom should we choose as our Guru ?" converged to "Pramukh Swami Maharaj - a true Guru". Video presentation of narration of a well-known prasang from Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life, demonstrating his Guru-bhakti, narrated by none other than Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself, provided a glimpse of ideal Guru-bhakti. Pujya Uttamcharan swami elaborated on characteristics of Guru and true meaning of the Guru-pujan which will help us achieve our ultimate spiritual goal of being brahmroopa. Rich content of discourses were complemented by related melodious kirtans, one of them was presented by bal-mandal.

 


Guru Purnima Celebration

Guru Purnima Celebration



 

 


Guru Purnima Celebration



28 July 2002, Sunday, Toronto, Canada:

The Toronto BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated the Guru Purnima Samaiyo on July 28, 2002. A blissful murti of Shreeji Maharaj adorned in white garments and bright red headdress further enhanced the beautiful backdrop of the stage. People partook in the celebrations and were overcome with a deep sense of gratitude towards Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

The program was interspersed with kirtans, a drama, pravachans and video presentations. In his pravachan, a satsangi articulated the difference between a material debt which can be repaid someday with effort, however, guru roon can only be repaid in kind. He emphasized the fact that we as satsangis are indeed extremely fortunate to have an unparalleled guru in Swamishri who constantly gives of Himself and never asks for anything in return. He provided the audience with only a glimpse of the magnanimous divinity of Swamishri and the unfathomable debt we owe Him. He continued to provide food for thought as to how can we even begin to repay such an enormous debt. He reminded us that we can merely attempt to repay a fraction of the debt by practicing what he summarized as 'The Ten Commandments' - Ghar Sabha, Ravi Sabha, Nitya Puja, Tilak Chandlo, No Television, No eating out, Personal Satsang Vikash, Unity and Total Submission to Swamishri.

Through a humorous drama, yuvaks and kishores adeptly delivered the message of 'Dharmado' in accordance with Shikshapatri. The drama clearly distinguished between 'Dharmado' and other monetary donations. Through a video presentation, the audience was updated of the haveli construction. He provided a general timeline and the target dates for various milestones in the construction. Yuvak launched the 'Family Walk for Family Values' with a video presentation of past Walkathons. This year the Walk has been scheduled for September 22, 2002. He invited one and all in the audience to participate in this event for family harmony.

Through a video darshan accompanied by the kirtan 'Vandan Kariye Karodo.. Swami Charano' one was able to catch a glimpse of Swamishri's twirl of the index finger, Swamishri's Charanarvind (lotus feet), Swamishri's genuine and innocent laughter, Swamishri's Walk, Swamishri's sheer devotion for Thakorji and many other facets of His divine personality.

In an address to the assembly, sadhus' provided insight in to the true meaning of Guru Purnima. The audience was encouraged to reflect and introspect on the immense effort that Swamishri unconditionally puts forth for the betterment of one and all. Furthermore, we should introspect on the quality of our efforts to truly venerate the intense efforts of our Guru - Swamishri. Building the haveli is a challenging task and is an opportunity of 'giving' of ourselves to emulate what Swamishri continually does. We should lead our lives according to Swamishri's principles and desires will itself be the truest form of guru pujan.

2001, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith