Search Contact Site Map Download News Vicharan Home What is Vicharan Past Vicharan Vicharan
HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj's Vicharan

16 to 30 June, 2000
Paris - Lisbon - Ashton - Preston
Leicester - Nottingham - Center Parcs - London

Swamishri's Itinerary
June 2000  

15 to 16: 16:
16 to 19:

19 to 21:
21 to 22:
22 to 25:
25 to 27:

28 to 30:

Paris, Lisbon
Lisbon, Manchester, Ashton
Ashton, Preston
Preston, Leicester
Leicester, Nottingham
Nottingham, Center Parcs
Center Parcs
Center Parcs, London

  • 16 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Vaishakh Sud 15) Friday, Paris, Lisbon (Portugal)
    Swamishri arrived in Lisbon at 1.35 pm from Paris. At 8.10 pm Swamishri was welcomed at the Palacio De Belem (Presidential Palace) by President George Sampaiao. H.E. Sampaiao, also the president of the European Economic Community (EEC), was informed about Swamishri's socio-spiritual services to society, Akshardham monument and London mandir. The President was impressed by Swamishri's divine personality and his activities. He said, "I am very happy that you have come here. You have my hearty wishes in your efforts for peace and harmony." The President was then offered a photo momento of the London mandir, publications and prasad. The diplomatic adviser to the President, Mr. Carlos Pereira Marques, opined, " Swamiji is a delightful personality. He speaks few words yet his presence is very much felt." (News report)
  • 17 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 1) Saturday, Lisbon
    Swamishri performed his morning puja at the Radha Krishna Mandir. At 11.00 am he arrived at the newly established Satsang Bhavan and performed pujan and arti of the all - in - one murti of Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and guru parampara. Swamishri then sanctified the first floor, ground floor and basement and blessed the satsang assembly. The evening assembly was held at the Radha Krishna Mandir.
  • 18 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 2)Sunday, Lisbon
    • As a celebration to Father's Day, a few youths from London offered gifts before the murti of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj. Swamishri, pointing to Harikrishna Maharaj, said, "This is your real Father. Spiritual Father. Atma's Father. Never forget Him. Say the rosary, perform puja and offer devotion to Him everyday. You should bow down daily to your father and always remember this Father. In all your activities say 'Swaminarayan, Swaminarayan...' He is your Atma's Father while the one at home is the father of your body..."
    • At 10.30 am the Indian Ambassador for Portugal, Shri Bhatnagar came for Swamishri's darshan.
    • Bernadino meeting Swamishri, formerly a retarded, deaf and dumb boy, was first blessed by Swamishri in 1984 in Lisbon and again in 1988. Ever since then his growth became normal and he can now talk and hear.
    • At 6.45 pm the Mayor of Lisbon, Mr. Juan Soares, welcomed Swamishri with a bouquet in an assembly of 1700 people.
  • 20 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 3)Tuesday, Ashton
    In the evening assembly the murti of Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by the devotees. In his blessings Swamishri said, " In return for our devotion to God, He never forgets us. Lord Swaminarayan remembered Dada Khachar throughout his life because he had sacrificed his home, family and wealth in the service of God. God gives infinitely more than what we offer Him..."
  • 21 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 4)Wednesday, Preston
    At 11.40 pm the moment Swamishri arrived near the mandir, a small welcome procession burst with the sound of brass band, and traditionally dressed drummers and dancing children.
    After Thakorji's darshan and welcoming ceremony, Swamishri elaborated upon the theme that we do not wish to go to Akshardham because we are comfortable with the worldly life. Swamishri narrated the story of the worm and the bee and then midway included the story of the king and his ailing queen (formally a beggar). Then Swamishri narrated the incident of Jodho Bharvad who was unhappy with the boiling of milk... In concluding, Swamishri said, "We have been blessed with Satsang, God and the holy sadhu, so there is no need to search for them anywhere else. There is no need to allow our mind to stray in superstitions. Happiness and liberation lies here..."
  • 23 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 6)Friday, Leicester, Kishore Day
    In the evening assembly, the Kishores presented a program, Leicester Satsang - Past, Present and Future. The special program was interwoven with dialogues, skits, a slide show and speeches that traced the establishment of the mandir in 1977 to the fostering of Satsang activities by Swamishri. The program was crowned with Swamishri's blessings.
  • 24 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 7)Saturday, Leicester, Children's Day
    In the evening, the Children's Day saw various presentations and performances by the balaks and their tutors. Children performed a drama, 'Chhiye ame to chhotaji', a dance and another drama depicting the different obstacles they could face for the construction of the new mandir in Leicester. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, emphasizing on the need of mandirs in society: "Today some people say where is the need for mandirs? But if someone were to say where is the need for colleges? Where is the need for hospitals? And are military and police required? Where is the need for courts and judges? Does one ever feel why pile stones for all this? How mad one would be if one were to speak in this manner? Similarly, one who says where is the need for mandirs is mad. Through mandirs one's mind becomes pure. Through the association of a Sadhu one finds the right path. It is not merely a place to sit and ring a bell, but through it so many services are offered to society. Children are inspired with character from a young age..."
  • 25 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 8)Sunday, Leicester, Nottingham
    In the morning assembly Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by devotees.
    National Family and Children's Shibir ( 25 to 27 June)
    At 6.10 pm Swamishri arrived at the University of Nottingham campus, Nottingham, for a three - day National Family Shibir (camp)and Children's Shibir.

    A total of 1017 members, 674 young parents and 343 children, had registered for the shibir. The theme of the National Family Shibir was 'Aap Rijo em Raaji' and for the Children's Shibir, 'Mare Swamine Raji Karva Chhe'.
    The shibir agenda had been interlaced with speeches, bhajans, slide shows, Swamishri's blessings and darshan, sports and quizzes. The family shibir and children's shibir programs included: Swamishri Cares (slide show), When I needed you, You were there (incidents of kishores), Agna (speech), Divinity, Raas (folk dance), Swamishri's narration of incidents, Photo - story narration by Swamishri, Question - answer sessions and sports.
  • 27 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 10)Tuesday, Nottingham, Centre Parcs, Kishore - Kishori Shibir
    Swamishri arrived at Center Parcs at 7.50 pm for the 4-day Kishore - Kishori Shibir. The much awaited exciting and enlightening shibir was attended by 260 kishores and 220 kishoris.
    In the opening session Swamishri said, "Kishore Mandal's Jay. I am very happy to see your love and enthusiasm. The venue of the shibir is very nice. You have to pass through a maze of buildings to get here. And you can get lost in the maze. You are all lost in the maze (of life) so you have to come out! We have come here to get you out. Do you understand? ... Only one who knows the way can get you out of the maze. God and the holy Sadhu are our friends, relatives and well-wishers ..."
    The 4-day shibir program from 27 to 30 June included videos, slide shows, narrations by kishores on 'Swami cares', explanations about murtis and holy relics in Swamishri's puja, 'Ruchi' quiz, question - answer session and sports.
  • 28 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 11)Wednesday, Centre Parcs
    At 10.55 am Swamishri addressed the kishores, saying, "If we take you to the villages of India what would you say? Oh it's dirty ... But Ram, Krishna, Shriji Maharaj and 500 parmahansas, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj have done 'Vicharan' on that land. It is not dirty but divine! ... During vacation you go on a holiday and return back with vices. You waste your money, body and still there's no peace of mind. Whereas by going to a divine place you get inspired with virtues.
  • 29 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 12)Thursday, Centre Parcs
    • During a question - answer session with Swamishri, a question was posed, "Say a sentence in English." Swamishri replied, "If I don't know then how can I say it? It is good that you have all come (into Satsang). We all have to offer love to God. What is an ant (a soul) before God? Still, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj loves us. Therefore we should also have love for them." Then Swamishri addressing all the kishores spoke in english, "I love you all." And the conference hall thundered with the unanimous sound of clapping.
    • In the concluding session of the Kishore Shibir, Swamishri logically explained the importance of spirituality: "Today, kishores ask why in all things. Why mandir? Why puja? But do you ever ask, Why eat? Because you know that if you don't eat you'll die. Do you ever ask, Why school? Why hospital? If you are ill or have a disease then you have to be admitted there. Likewise, coming to the mandir, reading our scriptures and listening to discourses from sadhus cures the mind of its inner diseases. Even here we have operations on removing base instincts (swabhavas). So you shoud go to the mandir, do puja daily, apply tilak - chandlo and never feel why in these things ..."
  Living with Swamishri :

21 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 4) Wednesday, Preston

  • John's Devotion
    While Swamishri was having lunch, John was sitting in an uncomfortable posture because of lack of space. Perceiving this Swamishri told everyone to come forward a little. Then Swamishri asked John, "Now, are you all right!" John said yes.
    Later, when John came to meet Swamishri someone introduced him, saying, "John was attracted to Satsang through a festival in the mandir. Despite his inability to understand Gujarati, both he and his wife regularly attend the Sunday assembly. His wife is at present engaged in seva with the other women devotees.
    "Once, to attend your puja in London John got up at 2 am and drove to London."
    Swamishri was immensely pleased at his devotion and blessed him.

  • Freedom from Fear
    A person troubled with a fear came up to Swamishri. He said that a Brahmin had told him that his son had 'kal-sarp dosh' in his horoscope. "My son will suffer from some physical problem," he said.
    Swamishri replied, "Don't get entangled in such superstitions. Say the holy name of Swaminarayan. The body is susceptible to disease. Even I have stomach aches and fever. So there is no need to be fearful or superstitious. Engage yourself in bhajan and all will be well."
    Swamishri unshackled him from blind faith and superstition and inspired him with faith in God.

22 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 5) Thursday, Preston, Leicester

  • Disregarding Fatigue and Hunger
    After a two-and-a-half hour drive from Preston, Swamishri arrived in Leicester at 12.40 pm. After Thakorji's darshan and attending the brief welcoming assembly, Swamishri saw an old devotee. Despite his long journey he went to the left of the stage, bent low without any support and enquired of his health.
    By the time
    Swamishri reached his residence it was 1.25 pm - late by 55 minutes for lunch. When Swamishri got up to have lunch he came across Thakorji's room. Thal had been offered to Thakorji (Lord Harikrishna Maharaj). On seeing Thakorji, Swamishri entered the room and without the slightest hurry, lovingly did darshan of Thakorji and the murtis in the home-mandir.
    Despite the 55 minute delay in his routine lunch schedule, Swamishri was patiently engaged in Thakorji's darshan.

26 June 2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 9) Monday, Nottingham

  • I am Sevak
    When the car stopped at the cottage, Swamishri unbuckled his seatbelt. The youth driving the car said, "I would have unbuckled it for you. There was no need to do it yourself."
    Swamishri replied, "Sometimes one has to become a 'svayam-sevak' (one's own servant)."
    The youth responded, "There is no need for you to be svayam-sevak. You are the boss!"
    Swamishri, placing a finger on his chest, said, "I am not boss. I am 'sevak' (servant)."
    Despite being the guru of hundreds of thousands, Swamishri always harbors the feeling of sevakbhav and whenever any occasion permits his virtue of servitude is revealed.

  • Inclination for Bhajan
    In the evening, Swamishri arrived on time at 7.10 pm for the children's assembly. But not a single child was present. The compere apologized, saying, "Swami I am sorry, you have arrived but the children have not. What shall we do till then?"
    Swamishri naturally replied, "There's nothing to worry. We will do bhajan."
    With no trace of disturbance or agitation on his face, Swamishri's inclination for bhajan is an ongoing agenda.
  Gems From Swamishri :
  • Strive to earn according to one's needs but don't take giant strides. On doing more than one's needs, one then fails to worship God.
  • Progress means offering devotion to God and expelling lust, anger, greed and base instincts. Otherwise, there is darkness.
  • Even a little refuge (ashro) in God, Satsang and righteous living will save you from any powerful enticement.
  • Faith in God and good character will help accomplish any work.
  • We fold our hands at the arrival of the father-in-law and son-in-law, then should we not do likewise to God who has given us this human body!

© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith