1 to 5:
8 to 14:
Houston, San Antonio
San Antonio, Houston
Houston, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, San Jose
- 1 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 3) Friday, Houston
Swamishri visited the
Mayor's office in downtown Houston at the City Hall. Mayor Lee
Brown cordially welcomed Swamishri. The Mayor was happy to learn
of Swamishri's socio-spiritual activities and efforts for peace
and harmony. He honored Swamishri by presenting the Key to the
City and a certificate of Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador
of the city of Houston.
- 3 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 5) Sunday, Houston
the foundation stone laying ceremony with Vedic rites for the
new Shikharbaddh mandir in Houston. The historic function had
102 main participants ('yajmans'), 750 couples and leading dignitaries
during the maha-puja ceremony. An assembly followed after the
rituals wherein dignitaries expressed their congratulations
and good wishes for the mandir project. Mr. James Adolfse, a
Fortband County judge, said, " I take this opportunity to invite
His Holiness to come to Houston in a couple of years to open
the traditional Hindu Temple. I pray to God and offer my best
wishes for his excellent health. I have no doubt this temple
will be an excellent monument due to your labor of love and
of course the divine blessings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj."
Mr. Leonard Scarcella, Mayor of Stafford, expressed his feelings
on the occasion, " I have no doubt in my mind that a beautiful
temple will be built here. Your temple will serve everyone and
raise the profile of team spirit and family values." In conclusion,
Swamishri blessed the function, "Here in future an abode of
our culture and a divine center of religion will be created.
Along with our efforts in creating mandirs the important facet
is that our own lives are inspired with spiritual values, honesty,
non-violence, self-control, mutual love and compassion. And
these values are attained through faith and devotion to God
and obedience to the commands prescribed by our holy scriptures.
This fundamental aspect of life is achieved through mandirs."
In the later part of his blessings Swamishri elaborated upon
the details of the Narmada Dam Project and its gigantic benefits
to the water-starved areas of Kutch and Saurashtra. Swamishri
also pointed out the misconceptions and false information being
disseminated by some social workers protesting the project.
As a firsthand observer of the project and the prevailing suffering
due to the water crisis, Swamishri authentically spelled out
the necessity of the project and appealed to all to sign a petition
for the completion of the project that has been presently stalled
by a court stay. In a matter of hours 11000 devotees and well-wishers
signed the petition. Swamishri had appealed to the other BAPS
centers and Indian organizations to sign the petition to be
presented to the P.M. of India, Mr. Vajpayee and officials of
the International Rivers Network (IRN) in Washington DC.
- 4 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 6) Monday, Houston
Shri Kamlesh Lulla,
NASA's chief scientist for International Space Station project,
dedicated and inaugurated his book 'NASA - Mir Science and Dynamic
Earth' at the hands of Swamishri. Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was
first paraded for darshan in a decorated buggy and then honored
by the devotees.
- 6 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 8) Wednesday, San Antonio, Houston
- The previous day, Swamishri
arrived at San Antonio at 10:55 am. This morning Swamishri
performed the murti pratishtha of Thakorji (canvas) at the
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir and blessed the assembly of devotees.
- At 10.35 a.m. Swamishri departed
from San Antonio and arrived in Houston at 11.20 a.m. The
evening assembly was announced as `Family Harmony Day'.
Swamishri's blessings were centered on family harmony.
- 8 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva
Sud 10) Friday, Los Angeles
At 10.45 a.m. the Consul General for India, Shri R.M.Abhayankar,
came specially for Swamishri's darshan and blessings.
In the evening assembly the Mayor of City of Pico Rivera - Mr.Garth
Gardener and the Mayor of Lynwood - Mr.Louis Byrd welcomed Swamishri
with bouquets. Mayor Louis Byrd presented Swamishri with the
Key to the City of Lynwood.
- 9 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 11) Saturday, Los Angeles: Jal
Swamishri celebrated Jal Jilani festival at a nearby park
and on blessing the assembly said, "People go on a
boat trip in a lake or ocean but darshan of the Lord's murti
having a boat ride brings inner peace. We go on a boat ride
but do not experience peace because it is a worldly joy
whereas this is transcendental joy." In conclusion,
Swamishri prayed for rains in Saurashtra and Kutch, Gujarat.
- Swamishri then offered worship
to Lord Harikrishna Maharaj and Shri Ganeshji and performed
arti. Then Swamishri took the murtis of Lord Harikrishna
Maharaj and Shri Ganeshji for a boat ride. This darshan
of the Lord and Swamishri evoked joy and devotion in the
hearts of devotees. Finally Swamishri ritually placed the
murti of Shri Ganeshji in the waters.
- In the evening assembly, Lord
Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by the devotees.
- 10 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 12) Sunday, Los Angeles
- On the occasion of the mandir's
17th murti-pratishtha anniversary (Patotsav) Swamishri performed
arti of Thakorji and blessed the assembly.
- At 10.45 am Swamishri sanctified
a proposed site for the mandir with flowers and prayers.
- 13 September
2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 15) Wednesday,
his blessings through a telephonic conversation to the Prime
Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was in Washington.
Swamishri also appealed on behalf of the citizens of Gujarat
to be of help in solving the case on the Narmada Dam Project.
After Swamishri's morning puja a collective home visit (samuh
padhramani) ritual was held. The devotees performed puja and
arti of Thakorji and had personal darshan of Swamishri.
In the evening assembly, the L A County District Attorney -
Mr.Gil Garcetti, welcomed Swamishri, saying, "It is good that
we have a spiritual leader from another country come here to
bless us. And it is nice to know that thousands of people respond
and listen to him. His message and teachings help to make our
lives better and make others' lives better ..." The Mayor of
Glendora City - Mr.Larry Glenn also spoke glowingly of Swamishri's
work. "There are many influences outside but the spiritual influence
is the best. I am mostly impressed with your efforts to help
the youth. You are setting an example to our youth by saying
'No' to drugs and alcohol. I am deeply impressed by your message."
- 14 September
2000(V.S.2056 Bhadarva Vad 1) Thursday, Los Angeles
- At 11.30 am Swamishri visited
the Sanatan Mandir that was under construction and showered
flowers on the unconsecrated murtis.
- The evening assembly was declared
as Kishore Day. Firstly Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored
by carrying out a colourful procession that concluded in
the assembly hall. The Kishores of Los Angeles performed
a drama 'Drishta' and presented a slide show of Swamishri's
memories during his 7-day stay in Los Angeles.
- 15 September
2000 (V.S.2056 Bhadarva 2) Friday, Los Angeles, San Jose
In the evening Satsang
assembly in San Jose, Lord Harikrishna Maharaj was honored by