1 to 2:
8 to 15:
- 1 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Jeth Vad 30) Saturday, London
The Indian Ambassador for South Africa, H.E. Niranjan Desai,
came for Swamishri's darshan. In his address he described Swamishri
as the global ambassador of Hindu tradition and culture.
- 2 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Ashadh Sud 1) Sunday, London: Children's Day
- As part of Children's Day program, a drama 'Sowing the
seeds of Satsang' showed how the 'Bal Basics Contest in
Satsang' (BBC-S) program was set up. The BBC-S project,
with the aid of a CD ROM and booklet was an effort to educate
children with an in-depth knowledge of Satsang, its rituals
Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly emphasizing the
need to expose children to our culture and character. "If
we fail to instil character in our children then it will
be a blot and a source of misery for us. The belief that
if children who will not roam or be exposed to outside things
will be left behind and outdated is wrong. People feel that
if children get involved in religious things then they will
become passive - but this is not true! So it is important
to inspire values and spirituality in them ..."
Swamishri then presented prizes to groups of a total of
856 children who had successfully participated in the Bal
Basics Contest Program.
- Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Minister of Maharashtra
state, India, was highly impressed by his visit to the mandir
and received the blessings of Swamishri. In his opinion
about the mandir, he wrote, "I am fortunate to visit
this temple - a monument of Hinduism and its concepts. This
is one of the wonders of the recent history. Only dedicated
people could have done this and Swamiji's blessings could
bring this dream true. This is a pilgrimage outside India.
I am glad to visit this and in getting the blessings of
Swamiji. This will help unite humanity."
- 6 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Ashadh Sud 5) Thursday, Wellingborough
Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by devotees in the evening
- 7 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Ashadh Sud 6) Friday, Wellingborough, London
Swamishri departed from Wellingborough at 10.40 am and arrived
at Dollis Hill, London at 12.55pm. On entering Arvindbhai Guru's
home, Swamishri fondly recalled the memories of Yogiji Maharaj's
stay here in 1970.
- 8 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Ashadh Sud 7) Saturday, London: Honor by Guinness
- At 11.35 am Swamishri blessed the one-day Vadil Shibir (senior
devotees' camp) assembly in the mandir.
- The evening assembly had two programs - the first was the
presentation of activities and information about the Swaminarayan
Independent School. And the second program was the honor accorded
by the Guinness Book of World Records to Swamishri for his
record consecration of 355 mandirs in 11 countries and for
creating the largest, traditional Hindu mandir outside India.
Mr. Tim Footman, the Managing Editor of Guinness World Records
presented the certificates of honor first to Lord Harikrishna
Maharaj and then to Swamishri. The ceremony of honor inspired
thunderous clappings and a standing ovation from 4000 devotees.
In his speech to the assembly, Tim Footman said: "Thank
you very much for such a warm welcome. I am quite humbled,
and if I have stumbled a bit, it is for loss of words. You
are so kind. I have always said that the Guinness World Records
is something like life. It's a combination of all things,
it includes for duration. Records for standing on one leg,
for 76 hours and things like the biggest collection of earrings
or eating the most baked beans in half an hour, or we have
got a record for a chap who pogo-sticked up to CN Tower in
Toronto, 2000 steps. This is part of what makes the Guinness
Book of World Records so successful, and indeed so much upon
to work on. I have got the best job of publishing, but there
are also some serious records and fundamental records. We
also like to acknowledge to show that your life is at full.
We have records about lives saved and lost, and we have records
of people like Bill Gate's Microsoft fortunes rise and fall,
and then of course, we have got records such as those held
by His Holiness which we are here to honour. I was very glad
last year to be able to honour His Holiness, for, well, what
you see around you in material form and also not only himself,
but all the people contributed to it. The 1526 craftsmen in
India who went towards it, is truly a mass record and we are
also very pleased to put the picture of this Temple and His
Holiness. And we are doubly glad this year to receive a record
which was just in time to include in the STOP Press. For the
record, for the person who has consecrated the most temples
of any religious building of any religion around the world,
355 -it is certainly an impressive statistic, and it is one
which we hope to include in the main body of the book next
year. I had little time to digest it and have full details.
What impressed me most about it is that it isn't simply an
Indian Record. His Holiness has traveled all around the World
and has disciples all around the world. I am prepared to put
faith into these temples and it is in the best of things,
truly a world record !"
Tim Footman was then presented with a memento. This was followed
by a brief video of mandirs consecrated by Swamishri. Finally,
the function was crowned by Swamishri's blessings. "We
congratulate (Tim Footman) for recognizing our work in the
Guinness World Records. As he mentioned there are many different
records and with that they have noted a spiritual record -
this a matter of peace for the world. Because peace lies in
religion and spirituality. Where there is a spirituality,
refuge in God, inclination towards dharma and the association
of bonafide spiritual people in this world, then the society,
country and everyone will benefit immensely.
"Whatever we have achieved is through the grace and power
of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and the blessings of Shastriji Maharaj
and Yogiji Maharaj. It was their vision and dream and through
the efforts of sadhus and devotees this has become possible.
The honor accorded today is therefore a felicitation to Bhagwan
Swaminarayan and a dedication to Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji
The ceremony of honor by the Guinness World Records was covered
worldwide by the TV networks and print media.
- This afternoon, 700 women devotees participated in the Women's
Shibir held in the mandir hall. Discourses on different topics
were delivered by learned women devotees. A grand procession
and ceremony of honor for Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was carried
out during the shibir.
- 9 July
2000: (V.S. 2056, Ashadh Sud 8) Sunday, London: Sponsored Walk
At 9.10 am, Swamishri performed the puja of Harikrishna Maharaj
and addressed the devotees gathered for the annual sponsored
walk. Swamishri flagged off the sponsored walk organized by
the Swaminarayan Mandir to give momentum to its ongoing services
to society. The participants enthusiastically filed passed Swamishri
to embark upon the 10km route. This unique annual event attracts
five year old children, youths and even seniors in their eighties.
This year the walk had devotees from Portugal, USA, Norway,
South Africa, Kenya and India. The event had a total of 1979
participants. At 11.12 am, to the surprise and delight of the
devotees, Swamishri arrived for the sponsored walk. Walking
with a large group of devotees, Swamishri and the sadhus chanted
the Swaminarayan dhun. For a full twenty-minutes Swamishri walked
towards the mandir.