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A Spiritual Travelogue of Pramukh Swami Maharaj
  1 to 15 November 2007  
Gondal (1 to 11 November 2007)
Rajkot (11 to 15 November 2007)

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(Photo Story 1 - 2)
  • BAPS Youth Training Center
  • Photo Story - 2
    • 1 November 2007 (V.S. 2063-64, Aso vad 7)
      Swamishri performed the murti-pratishtha rituals of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj, Shri Hanumanji and Ganapatiji and Shri Guru Parampara for the BAPS hari mandir in Karanj village.
    • 9 November 2007, Diwali (V.S. 2063-64, Sharda Pujan)
      At 6.15 pm Swamishri arrived for the Chopda pujan ceremony in which account books for the New Year were ritually worshipped. Swamishri presided over the mahapuja that was performed on the mandir precincts called Akshar Chowk. The backdrop to Swamishri’s seat was the huge entrance to the assembly hall. It was decorated with divas and Diwali banners. During the mahapuja arti there was a firework display. Then Viveksagar Swami discoursed about the significance of the Diwali celebration. Finally, Swamishri blessed the assembly, “Shastriji Maharaj acquired this place and enshrined our philosophy, built this mandir and enhanced the glory of Gunatitanand Swami. Yogiji Maharaj stayed here for many years. The mahapuja was performed to erase our mistakes, negative attitudes and inner darkness. For many lifetimes there has been darkness. Out of compassion Shriji Maharaj brought his abode, Gunatit, and Shastriji Maharaj preached their glory, thus illuminating our hearts with divine light – that is true knowledge.”
    • 10 November 2007, New Year’s Day Celebration
      The New Year’s Day mahapuja rituals were performed parallel to Swamishri’s morning puja. The morning assembly was addressed by Viveksagar Swami. At 10.20 am Swamishri arrived and blessed the devotees. He said, “You have all come to celebrate the annakut festival here so I pray to Maharaj, Gunatitanand Swami, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj to bless you all with happiness. To attain Akshardham is our goal. The monkeys in the time of Ram built a bridge and realized that he was God. They said the name of Ram and the stones floated. They said his name with the faith that he was God. When such faith is absent one does things for mere show, which obstructs the accomplishment of any work. “A person or thing becomes divine through an association with God. The Kathis became divine due to their association with Shriji Maharaj. To overcome the cycles of life and death one needs to associate with God in human form.” At 11.15 am Swamishri went to the mandir sanctum where annakut had been beautifully arranged before Thakorji. Swamishri sat before the middle shrine, accompanied by Gondal Naresh Shri Jyoti Bapu and Prince Hemanshu. After singing five thals Swamishri performed the annakut arti. Thereafter Swamishri went to Akshar Deri and performed arti. In all, 20,000 devotees attended the grand annakut celebration.
    • 15 November 2007 (V.S. 2063-64, Sud Pancham) Thuesday, Rajkot
      The evening assembly to celebrate the BAPS Centenary Year was held at the Racecourse Ground. The assembly was based on the theme “In the joy of others lies our own”. The stage backdrop comprised a giant replica of Akshar Deri enshrining the murtis of Akshar-Purushottam Maharaj along with huge photographic scenes of both Swaminarayan Akshardhams, in Delhi and Gandhinagar. Viveksagar Swami first addressed the assembly. Then Dr Swami spoke on BAPS’ spiritual and secular activities. Two videos on Akshardham and Pramukh Swami Maharaj were shown. Then the senior sadhus, devotees and guests honoured Swamishri with flower garlands. Children performed a cultural dance. To crown the assembly Swamishri blessed the huge gathering of 20,000 devotees and well-wishers, “Because of I-ness and Mine-ness one experiences pain and unhappiness in life. If they are dissolved then one experiences the divine joy of God. One must first understand that one’s true form is atma, and within it resides Paramatma. When God leaves from within then nothing will work. No matter how intelligent one may be nothing will be possible through one’s own effort.” In conclusion more than 20,000 devotees and guests performed arti. The celebration ended with a spectacular fireworks display.


    • 4 November 2007, Gondal
      Swamishri was retiring to bed at night. Sadhus and devotees were engaged in Swamishri’s darshan. At that time Bhimo, one of the mandir cooks, was also doing darshan. Swamishri saw him and enquired as to when he had started wearing spectacles. Bhimo was called nearer, and Swamishri asked several questions regarding how he managed his life and expenses. Bhimo has been offering his services as a cook in the Sanstha for many years. Swamishri took interest and care in Bhimo and blessed him for his sincere services.


    • 13 November 2007, Rajkot
      A distinguished guest came for Swamishri’s darshan and blessings. He praised Swamishri and requested, “If I can get even a little amount of the energy you have, then I believe nothing would be impossible for me to do. I am impressed by your organization because everything is so well planned, and it is all due to you. It is due to your energy.” Swamishri replied, “No. It is due to Shriji Maharaj’s.” “But you are the means,” the guest added. “But it is his inspiration,” Swamishri respon-ded with humility.

    To please Bhagwan Swaminarayan and guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj children, youths and senior devotees perform austerities, pilgrimages and other devotional means. The spiritual endeavours performed by devotees during Swamishri’s visit to the local centres are congratulatory and worthy of recognition. They also reflect Swamishri’s divinity for inspiring such spiritual efforts in children, teenagers and devotees.

          2 November 2007, Gondal

    Harshadbhai of Jetpur observed a 10-day liquid fast. Vipulbhai of Jetpur observed an 86-hr fast.

          4 November 2007, Gondal

    200 male and female devotees pilgrimaged 100 km by foot from Amreli, Dhari, Chalala and Devrajiya; 8 female and 13 male devotees from Derdi – Kumbhaji; 8 women and 3 male devotees from Mehta Khambhaliya; and 43 women and 15 male devotees from Moviya.

           8 November 2007, Gondal

    15 devotees pilgrimaged by foot from Jasdan.

          11 November 2007, Rajkot

    Pragnesh (6 yrs) observed an 108-hr liquid fast; Rashmin Parmar and Pratap Chauhan observed waterless fast for 100 hrs, Harikrishna Ranpara (72 hrs), Dinesh Amipara (24 hrs) and Siddharth Parsana (50 hrs). Many devotees observed liquid fasts: Ramesh Kholiya, Kishore Gohil and Rakshit Kheraiya (200 hrs); Siddharth Parsana and Pravin Ramani (187 hrs); Devraj Hirani, Mihir Chotaliya, Vishal Gediya and Jayesh Dakshini (100 hrs); Jitendrasinh Vala (144 hrs), Kartik Gediya (125 hrs), Alkesh Parikh (87 hrs) and Kirit Belar 36 hrs. Sharad Kacha refrained from ghee, cooking oil and salt. Umang Bhatt ate only one meal a day (ektana) for four months. Many female devotees observed different types of austerities: 20 women observed waterless fasts for 100 hrs, 25 women observed a 100-hr liquid fast, 5 women observed khatras, 550 women observed a chain of waterless fasts for 42 days. One female devotee observed dharna-parna for 100 days. 78 women devotees performed dhun, mantra jap, mantra lekhan, Janmangal Namavali, pradakshina and dandvat. They also chanted non-stop dhun for 100 hrs.

      12 November 2007, Rajkot

    A child named Harsh observed waterless fasts for seven days and also pilgrimaged 15 km by foot to Gondal.

          13 November 2007, Rajkot

    1000 bal-balikas performed 25 malas, dandvats and pradakshinas for Swamishri’s good health.

           14 November 2007, Rajkot

    8 devotees pilgrimaged by foot from Moviya. 275 balikas observed various austerities.

            15 November 2007, Rajkot

    17 devotees pilgrimaged by foot from Bhadra; 17 male and 27 female devotees pilgrimaged by foot.