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HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj's Vicharan

1 to 15 September, 2000
Houston - St. Antonio- Los Angeles - San Jose

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Swamishri's Itinerary
September 2000  

1 to 5:
8 to 14:

Houston, San Antonio
San Antonio, Houston
Houston, Los Angeles
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
    Swamishri performed 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 Jilani Ekadashi
    • 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, Los Angeles
    Swamishri conveyed 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 the devotees.
  Living with Swamishri :

2 September 2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 4) Saturday, Houston

  • God - the Doer

    A young American doctor, Teddy Aves, informed Swamishri, "I feel the tremendous pressure of work." Swamishri blessed him saying, "There is no need to bear the pressure of work. Believe God as the Doer. If you believe that you are the doer of work and because of you it is done, then you will feel the burden of work. But if you believe God as the Doer you will feel lighter."

11 September 2000 (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Sud 13) Monday, Los Angeles

  • Brahmjnan
    During a personal meeting session with devotees, a devotee said, "Bapa! Bless me so that I may attain Brahmajnan."
    Swamishri replied, " Read the Vachanamrut and Swamini Vato and you will easily attain Brahmajnan."

  • Faith and Courage
    On advising by phone to a youth depressed by his B.Pharm exams, Swamishri said, " If you get depressed now then how will you fare through life? You will meet problems in life but everything will be all right. If you get tensed now than what will you do when you start working? If you think that you are not happy with this or you cannot do this then you will spoil your life. Have firm faith in Shriji Maharaj. Have courage."
    The youth responded, "Yes Swamishri, the sadhus have talked to me and made me
    understand ..."
    "Then have faith in God and His realized sadhu. Give up all your mental resolves. Don't think that you won't be able to do this! Say that you will be able to do it - your studies in pharmacy, work, business ..."
    "Bapa! Bless me so that I can pass."
    "Yes, I am giving you my blessings."
    "But Bapa may I remain strong and confident ..."
    "If you have faith then you will become strong. First have faith. Then no matter what make an effort. Do all that you can. But you have accepted defeat and death. What benefit is there in thinking about dying? Make an effort. Everything will be fine. Have courage."
    Swamishri's words resuscitated a mentally collapsed youth.

15 September (V.S. 2056, Bhadarva Vad 2 ) Friday, Los Angeles

  • Fixing One's Mind in God
    Dr.Rajesh Patel, devotee and a psychiatrist by profession, asked Swamishri, "I have faith and do satsang, yet why does my mind waver?"

    Swamishri: Despite of doing satsang it is because of 'dehbhav' (body-mindedness) that one has doubts. Why did God do this and why didn't He do that? But whatever God does is for our good. It may be for the progress of Satsang. God desires to do good to all. When a parent stops a child from putting his hands in fire the child cries. He feels hurt for not allowing him to catch fire but it is for his good. Likewise, when we face problems and miseries in our business, family or social duties then it is for our good. But because we fail to understand this we doubt and waver. If you believe God to be the Doer and Undoer then you will fare well in life.

    Doctor: Why does the mind fail to attain tranquility in any way.

    Swamishri: When one becomes 'akshar-roop' one will experience peace. The mind wavers like a fluttering flag. Since it has maya within it, it thinks of mundane things. But if it is attached to bhakti then there won't be problems. God is still and equipoised. If one enjoins the mind in God then it will become still. But don't leave the mind idle. Do your work, business and when you are free then do bhajan and bhakti. It will think otherwise only when you allow it to be free and idle!

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