Satguru in Ahmedabad January 9
When a group of BAPS Swamis came to Kauai late last year, they invited Bodhinatha, beseeched him would be more apt, to attend the amazing 100 Jayanti Celebrations for Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It is an important milestone in Swaminarayan history. Bodhinatha said yes, and flew to the venue a few days back. He gave a short talk, which is below in both text and video form.
This was his report from India about the day:
"We visited the celebrations on day 26. The scale of the exhibitions is what first strikes you. 600 acres of displays with an average of 100,000 devotees present at anytime during the day. For the first few hours we were shown sample exhibits, such as movies for adults, youth dances, game areas for the children, a replica of the Akshardham compound and temple and newly-crafted statues of Pramukhswami. Next we participated in the Africa evening assembly during which I gave a five-minute talk. Dinner was next, followed by a meeting with the current guru Mahantswami Maharaj. Quite an impressive event, worthy of some coverage in Hinduism Today."
Here is the text of his address, sent by Niraj:
Talk by Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami
"In today's troubled world, many thoughtful individuals are concerned with bringing greater peace into the world. A temple such as the Swaminarayan mandir helps individuals find more peace within themselves, which in turn brings greater harmony into their homes, which in turn brings greater tolerance and unity within the community. Certainly, the many mandirs established through the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj including those in the African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa will continue generation after generation, helping Hindu values, traditions and customs flourish as well as contributing in an unseen way to making the world a more peaceful place.
"A second important aspect of the Swaminarayan mandirs is how they will influence the current and future generations of children. With most schools focusing solely on secular studies, there is a need for children to learn traditional values in a religious setting such as this. In other words, it is not enough to simply learn to read and write, children also need to learn what to read and write. The concept of what it means to be a successful adult needs to include not only wealth and family, but also the principles of a pious life, virtuous conduct, fulfilment of duty to the family, community and country, and regular worship of God and guru in the mandir and in the home shrine.
"In our 2004 visit to the opening of the Houston mandir one father proudly told us about how his two sons devoted their entire summer working all day in the construction of the Houston mandir. We were quite impressed at the extent of their dedication. Through the inspiration of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS is an excellent model for other Hindu organizations to follow in successfully involving youth in the construction and subsequent activities of mandirs worldwide."
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