Chicago, IL: June 14 to 18, 2007
14 June 2007
While Swamishri was having breakfast Prakashbhai Patel was introducing the devotees who were offering their honorary services in Shayona. After the introduction was over, Swamishri asked Kanubhai Barot who was seated before him, “What is your role in Shayona?”
Vivekmurti Swami said, “He gathers around all, young and old, for the seva.”
Prakshbhai mentioned, “He makes everyone laugh and have fun. We don’t know how to talk the way he does.”
Swamishri said, “A ‘Barot’ knows how to talk right from birth!”
Kanubhai grabbed the opportunity and said, “Bapa! True that its an influence from birth, but this time it is the last birth, right…?”
Before he even finished the sentence Swamishri said, “Why do you still doubt that! Not just your last birth, but also the last birth of all sitting here! By forsaking the worry of one’s business or livelihood, whoever engages in the service of the mandir, it is their last birth! Everyone is doing seva with enthusiasm, and not believing it to be a drag. You don’t even have to ask whether it is your last birth.”
Swamishri’s words did not only apply to those seated before him but to anyone doing seva of Maharaj and Swami in any corner of the world.
Today’s memorable image was of one innocent ‘child’ intimately mixing with small boys. At night Swamishri sat on his bed to sleep, with his right leg hanging down. With folded hands Swamishri was visually blessing the devotees doing darshan. He had crossed his right leg on the bed. The gaatariyu had fallen down. There were no dentures in his mouth. And suddenly Swamishribroke out up laughing! Sitting opposite were 5 to10 kids doing Swamishri’s darshan. As soon as Swamishri looked towards them, they all raised their hands up together and turned them round and round. In this naive game the ‘child’ sitting on the bed also joined in! Swamishri right away grasped that the kids were imitative and so he too started turning his hands round and round, with double the speed than the kids. Overjoyed with such response from Swamishri, the kids started turning their hands faster and faster. Swamishri changed his action and started clapping. The kids also started clapping. Swamishri clapped faster, and so did the kids. Swamishri had pulled all into his mood and so everyone’s eyes were focused on Swamishri as to what he would do next. At once, Swamishri folded both his hands and said Jai Swaminarayan. So all the kids bowed down with folded hands and said Jai Swaminarayan! And hundreds of devotees witnessing this lila (divine act) also did the same thing. Ultimately Swamishri just wanted all to do this only: “Everyone should humbly bow down to everyone.”
During personal meetings one yuvak came to Swamishri. He had done some introspection and so he confessed timidly, “Please improve my nature, I see faults (abhav) in devotees.”
Swamishri said, “Whenever something like that happens you should think about the glory of the devotees’ connection with Maharaj. Have we joined this satsang to look at anyone’s faults? We don’t have to look at anyone elses; we just have to look at our own, as to what is my fault?”
Swamishri gave this yuvak the key to obstacle-free progress in satsang.
15 June 2007
While Swamishri was having his meal a volunteer was introducing the karyakars. One inspiring incident was told of a karyakar named Samirbhai. He had not been doing the tilak-chandlo before, but since understanding the glory of satsang he started doing it in his puja. Each day he would go to his job with his tilak-chandlo on his forehead. But he experienced some harassment from his boss. Samirbhai went to the human rights and complained. After a few days, the executives from his head office called him. Samirbhai was worried that they would now fire him. But it happened otherwise! The officers from the head office told him, “We are firing your boss and in his place we are appointing you.” Swamishri said, “Do not be ashamed to do it. Always do tilak-chandlo. Look at this miracle. We feel that ‘this will happen and that will happen’ but nothing happens. Yogi Bapa used to say, ‘We should do the tilak-chandlo (with pride)!”
As a part of Adhik Maas (extra month in Hindu calendar), today the mandal celebrated a symbolic Shri Hari Jayanti festival. In the morning puja the sadhus sang bhajans describing the divine personality and glory of Shriji Maharaj. Today Swamishri sat in a golf cart and came to review the compound surrounding the mandir. Everyone had great darshan of Swamishri sitting in a blue golf cart. Swamishri praised the beauty and the cleanliness of the gardens. Sitting in the golf cart, Swamishri performed the ground breaking rituals for a new Shayona building.
In the evening sabha selected episodes from the mega-drama “Sant Param Hitkaari” were performed.
Swamishri himself narrated the Apaiya Mukti (Quitting Revenge) episode from “Sant Param Hitkaari” – which was memorable. Then he preached, “We should always learn to win a person with love. If you keep on condemning and criticizing a person then he will become worse. That’s why Shriji Maharaj had applied the rule of love. He transformed all with love. Shriji Maharaj always used to keep a flower in one hand and a mala in another. He changed people’s lives with love and engaged them in devotion!”
17 June 2007
While Swamishri was having dinner Prakashbhai Patel said, “Here a radar is available that can jam up even the radar in a police car.”
Hemang Mukhi said, “Bapa, you should also give us such a special radar that will jam up the base instincts of lust, anger, greed, attachment!”
Swamishri said, “It is already given but people forget to use it. Maharaj has given the Shikshapatri. If everyone lives according to its codes then all the vices will be jammed.”
Prakashbhai said, “Just as the police radar is jammed, give us a radar that even if we don’t do anything the vices will be eliminated.”
Swamishri said, “Both of you start a factory for that.”
Prakashbhai: “You should just start a factory for that.”
Swamishri responded, “We don’t have a factory to break religious codes.”
Swamishri is always bound by codes of conduct. Where ever there is observation of codes, there is freedom from vices; and that is Swamishri’s abode. Swamishri is the eternal protector of religious codes.
Today is more important than gold! Because it is the day to celebrate BAPS Centenary Year. A great event of three hours was going to be celebrated in the “Sears Arena” in Hoffman Estates, IL. A grand tribute was given to the great gurus of BAPS. During this event State Senator Hon. John Millnar was the chief guest. He began his speech with a Gujarati sentence: “Bapa! Tamaaraa darshan karine aaje mane khoob ja anand thayo chhe!” On behalf of the State of Illinois he gave the Indian community a great surprise by announcing that Route 59 would be named “Pramukh Swami Road” from that day onwards. His proclamation was received joyously by all with a standing ovation! Another Representative of Illinois State Mr. Randy Rami announced another surprise, “Today is proclaimed as the ‘BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Centenary Day’ in the State of Illinois!” His announcement was also received with great fervor by all attendees. It was an achievement brought great pride to the Indian Community.
Finally Swamishri blessed all for advancement in life:
1)“You have to do business, job and everything else in this country but do not forget your religion, your values, and your religious scriptures. Do not forget the mandates of the scriptures. Our religion, our culture and our scriptures are our breath. The more we preserve it the more we will attain progress and peace.”
2)“We should surely support the progress of this country. And by following the laws of this country we should do service of this nation also. Whatever we do for others adds to our progress also!”
Dr. Bhagirath Katbamna came to Swamishri. He had a special capsule with him. He showed it to Swamishri and said, “Bapa, I am showing you our technology. In this capsule there are two miniature cameras. When a patient swallows this capsule, then pictures of his intestines and all other parts will be taken. Based on that, we get to know the condition of the body. This is our technology, but Bapa, now you show us your technology.”
Right away Swamishri said, “To become Akshar and do devotion of Purushottam – that is our technology. We are atma, we are Akshar, we are Brahman – always reinforce that knowledge. I am not Katbamna, I have no mother and father, I have no relatives and friends. I am Akshar, I am Brahman – if this is believed then one can be freed from the influence of maya.” Swamishri gave the spiritual technology prescribed in the Upanishads and other shastras of Hinduism.
Today everyone’s heart was eager to repay the debt to the Guru. It was the 57th Pramukh Varni Day (appointment of Swamishri as the President of BAPS). Chicago was blessed with this auspicious day. So each devotee of Mid-West region was eager to offer his flower of devotion to Swamishri. So when Swamishri arrived for today’s special assembly, Pujya Vivekmurti Swami announced “Pramukh Varni Day ni Jay!” As soon as he heard this, unaware of today’s celebration, Swamishri asked, “Who said that?” Swamishri had forgotten the most important day of his life! What humility!
In today’s sabha, the sadhus highlighted aspects of Swamishri’s unique humility. After that over 350 local devotees offered flowers of devotion and received blessings from Swamishri. Everyone tried to please Swamishri today.
Today, from Pramukh Varni Din, a shibir for the devotees of Mid-West region started.
In the first day of this 3-day “Divya Sannidhi Parva” Swamishri inspired pride for satsang in all:
1) Shastriji Maharaj incarnated on earth and gave the knowledge of Akshar-Purushottam. He established the Akshar-Purushottam Sanstha, which was not an imagination of the mind or a dream he had. He has given us a scriptural principle.
2) Always have faith that the philosophy of Akshar-Purushottam is really true. A person like Shastriji Maharaj would never speak untruth any day. A person like Yogiji Maharaj would never speak untruth any day. If we do satsang with this faith then we will achieve its fruits.
3) We have to take refuge at the feet of God and his abode (Satpurush). Without that nobody can relieve us from our sins. If we can take refuge of a true Satpurush then the knowledge of atma and Parmatma will be strengthened and ekantik dharma achieved.
4) When we go home does our wife say, “Oh! Oh! Oh! Welcome! Welcome! Sit here!” (No, she doesn’t.) Still we do not feel upset. Sometimes if she speaks against us then also we don’t feel upset. Because we know that it is our house. In the same way consider the mandir as our home. Consider all satsangis as one family. So when someone tells us off then our minds will not slacken from satsang. Swamishri forgot his own Pramukh Varni Din to such an extent that even in his sermon he did not mention one word about it. What humility!
A word from the satpurush, even if spoken
just casually, is so powerful! Swamishri's vision is that if the mother
tongue, Gujarati, is maintained then the culture will also be preserved.
Such is the magical influence of Swamishri's words.
The children received the blessings of
Swamishri after presenting festivals through relevant dances.
2. Why do wars happen?
Because of attachment. The cause of conflicts in family, society, or
nation is ego. With the notion of 'only I did it' differences in opinions
arise, and with that conflicts. For that, scriptures say that we should
tolerate and try to do good of others. If you believe that 'only I am
doing it' then you will have problems. With the belief that nothing
is mine, everything is God's, you will have peace. This belief is very
noble. If such values are ingrained in life then there will be peace