June 2006 (V.S. 2062, Jeth vad 14) Saturday, Amdavad; Youth
A special Youth Day assembly
was arranged for youths residing in Amdavad, Gandhinagar and
Mahesana. In all, 4,500 youths had assembled. The assembly
commenced with dhun, prayer and bhajans by youths. The theme
of the assembly was, “Tamara Hriday Akashma Pankhi Bani
Udiya Karu”. An interview was arranged with Ishwarcharan
Swami and Viveksagar Swami who elaborated upon the youth training
given by Yogiji Maharaj and their experiences with Pramukh
Swamishri arrived at 11.00 am. The stage backdrop had a giant
heart with a bird in a flying pose. Swamishri was welcomed
by youths, dressed in white, dancing to the theme song.
Several youths who had been observing
various satsang niyams received Swamishri’s blessings.
Thereafter a wonderful dialogue took place in a skit format.
Swamishri gave guidance to youth-related issues like fashion,
eating out and marriage. The assembly concluded with the singing
of “Re Sagapan Harivarnu Sachu” by the youths.
June 2006 (V.S. 2062, Ashadh sud 2) Tuesday, Amdavad; Rath
Every year the city of
Amdavad celebrates the popular festival of Rath Yatra with
pomp and joy. The murtis of Bhagwan Shri Jagannath, Balaram
and Subhadra are ceremoniously carried in floats from the
Jagannath Mandir through the streets of Amdavad all day.
The Rath Yatra festival was also celebrated by Swamishri at
the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Amdavad. Swamishri arrived
for Thakorji’s darshan at 7.20 am. A golf cart was transformed
into a decorated rath. Swamishri performed pujan of Shri Harikrishna
Maharaj and Bhagwan Jagannath. Thereafter Swamishri sat in
the rath and performed five pradakshinas of the mandir. In
the lead were dancing children dressed in traditional clothes.
Then sadhus followed, singing bhajans and charging the air
with devotion and festivity. Behind Swamishri’s rath
were many leading devotees. And all around the festive path
thousands of devotees were singing and joyfully absorbing
the festive darshan.
In conclusion, Swamishri’s chariot was steered into
the main auditorium. The singing and dancing by children and
youths made the occasion devotional and divine. Swamishri
was seated with folded hands, blessing the devotees as the
rath proceeded towards the stage.
During Swamishri’s puja sadhus sang bhajans on the rath
yatra festival. Thereafter Swamishri performed pujan and arti
of Maharaj’s murti. In
the evening assembly Swamishri steered Shri Harikrishna Maharaj
on a small rath with a remote control console. Thereafter
in his blessings he said, “Man loves festivals. Shriji
Maharaj celebrated festivals. Though he was God, he celebrated
Janmashtmi, Ram Navmi, Rath Yatra and other festivals. He
added the elements of spiritual discourses and bhajans so
that one could strike a rapport with God. Maharaj reformed
the prevailing gatherings into festivals of devotion, worship
June 2006 (V.S. 2062, Ashadh sud 3) Wednesday, Amdavad; Opening
of Shri Swaminarayan Vidyamandir, Raisan
Today, Swamishri was schedlued
to inaugurate another BAPS school in Raisan, near Amdavad,
in the presence of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendrabhai
Modi, Shri Y.S. Rajan (representing President Abdul Kalam),
and ministers of the government of Gujarat.
Swamishri arrived at 9.00 am and presided over the inaugural
assembly. Viveksagar Swami spoke about the educational activities
of BAPS. Thereafter the chief guest and dignitaries were garlanded
and honoured. Ishwarcharan Swami addressed the assembly about
the importance of value-based education. Thereafter Shri Y.S.
Rajan spoke to the audience and read out a message by the
President of India, “Courage. Courage to think different,
courage to invent, courage to discover the impossible, courage
to combat the problems and succeed, are the unique qualities
of youth. I, the youth of my nation, will work and work with
courage for the prosperity of my nation.”
The Chief Minister said in his address, “Through Pramukh
Swami Maharaj’s inspiration there has been an immense
change in the spiritual realm. There is a general mentality
that whatever we as Indians have achieved in our society is
worthless. We ourselves believe that anything that (is Indian)
is of low grade. Our tradition of sadhus and rishis is wonderful.
In Kutch and Saurashtra you will find alms houses along the
way giving free food to travellers. This is our culture. I
believe that because of two things the 21st century belongs
to India: firstly, we have the largest population of youths
in the world. One can imagine what future we have with such
a substantial youth power. And secondly, the 21st century
is the age of knowledge. India has always been a leader in
Finally Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Our country,
society and religious organizations have put in a lot of effort
in moulding and educating our children. We must always remember
our heritage and preserve our values. Today our children do
not have the knowledge of the Mahabharat, Ramayan, Gita, Bhagvat
and Vedas. Spirituality is our true wealth. Serving others
is our wealth. Through our shastras and holy sadhus we are
inspired with pride for our country, society, and religion.
Such knowledge should be given from a young age. When such
values are imparted from a young age the child develops properly.
“Attaining degrees from colleges is apara vidya. Through
this the nation progresses. Para vidya is the root and with
it one can properly apply the knowledge of apara vidya. Para
vidya means knowledge of atma and Paramatma. With more faith
in dharma and God, and good character in life, the more progress
we will have in life. When one endeavours in bettering one’s
village, society, country and dharma then one has to face
many obstacles; but with faith in God one can accomplish the
Thereafter Swamishri and the Chief Minister performed the
inaugural rituals of the school’s primary section amidst
Vedic chantings. Swamishri sanctified the classrooms and blessed
the students by showering flowers. The
school has commenced in the new academic year with KG 1, KG
2 and standards one to four classes. Gradually the school
will also teach secondary students till grade 12.