Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bhavya Raasotav

Brief Information about the Utsav at bhuj : A celebration surely not to miss. Whether you can physically be in Bhuj or take part via the live broadcast, do not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity, when together we will celebrate Shree HariKrishna Maharajs 150th anniversary. Various offerings will be taking place throughout this month such as mantralekhan, dhun and jaap yagna before the event kicks off on 22nd February with the recital of Shrimad Satsangi Jeevan by saints from Bhuj Mandir. This event will be graced by His Holiness Acharya Maharajshree from Ahemdabad.

Raasotsav will be at our temple (shree tanzania swaminarayan mandir)

Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord Swaminarayan instructs His followers in the 84th verse of the Shikshapatri to offer obeisance to Vishnu, Shiva, Ganapati, Parvati and the Sun. Shatanand Swami honoured Him in the 77th mantra of the Janamangal Namavali (Aum Panchayatan-Sanmanaay Namah) which highlights the Shikshapatri verse.
In the 127th verse of the Shikshapatri, Lord Swaminarayan instructs the Acharyas (Spiritual heads of the Nar Narayan Dev and Laxmi Narayan Dev diocese) to perform worship of Ganapati on the fourth day of the bright half of the month of Bhadrapada and that of Hanuman on the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month of Ashwin.
As per the Ganapati-Khanda of the Bhramavaivarta Purana, Ganapati/Ganesh is considered an incarnation of Lord Shree Krishna and has been established as first worshippable deity amongst the Gods.

Holi

Significance

Phalgun Sud Poonam marks the celebration of the Holi Festival. Various aspects of the festival of Holi make it significant to one’s life. It may not be so apparent but analysing it reveals the significance of Holi in more ways than it meets the eyes.

Festivals in Sanatan Dharma are to enjoy and be indulged in Devotion towards the Lord and get closer to Him. Ranging from religious to cultural significances, there is every reason why we must heartily enjoy this holy festival cherishing the reasons for its celebrations.
Religious Significance:

The Narad Puran and Bhavishya Puran entail the religious significance of this festival. According to these holy texts, Hiranyakshipu; a powerful demon considered himself as God out of his ego sought to be worshipped by all. To his great ire,

his son Prahalad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakshyapu tried various methods to get him killed but he was always protected an unharmed. Having a boon to enter fire unscathed, aunty Holika assured her brother that she will

be successful in killing Prahalad in fire with Prahlad on her lap. Shed paid the price for her sinister intentions when she burnt to death while Prahalad remained unharmed. Hence this day is celebrated as ‘Holika dahan’.

 

Cultural Significance:

The religious significance associated with Holi reassures Devotees of the power of the truth and the ultimate victory of good over evil. It also enlightens us that the Lord always protects His Devotees that truly surrender unto Him.

Thus it helps us to be righteous and also believe in the virtue of being truthful. In today’s modern society people resort to evil practices for gains torturing honest ones, hence this festival helps remember the virtues of truthfulness,

righteousness and honesty to fight away evil. This festival is also celebrated during a time when people expect a good harvest due to the spring season giving them a chance to rejoice in thanking the Lord for His benedictions.

 

SADGURU SHUKANAND SWAMI

Shukanand Swami was the private secretary of Lord Swaminarayan from VS 1855 to 1925. He was one of the five sadhus who compiled and wrote the Vachanamrut.

Shukanand Swami (the private secretary of Lord Swaminarayan) from VS 1855 to 1925

At a very young age, Jagnath Bhutt was educated in Sanskrit and learnt other activities which were required as a Brahmin. He was obeying Naishtik Brahamchari (celibacy) rules. He regularly associated himself with holy Sadhus. One day, he came in touch with Swaminarayan Sadhus which were going to Durghpur (Gadhada) and decided to join them.

He stayed in Durghpur for some time under the guidance of Muktanand Swami as he was a very important Sadhu. Muktanand Swami gave Maha Diksha to Jagnath Bhutt under the guidance of Lord Swaminarayan. He was given the name of Shukanand Swami (Sukh Muni in short) and Muktanand Swami always kept Shukanand Swami near him. Because Shukanand was a very good writer who would not miss anything, Lord Swaminarayan appointed him to write personal and private letters. He was referred to as Lord’s right hand man.

Lord Swaminarayan once said, “this swami is my devote Sadhu and possesses great saintly values which are increasing over time, he has some saintly qualities as Muktanand Swami.” (Vachanamrit, Kariyani 3)
Lord Swaminarayan appreciated Shukanand Swami by saying that he likes three things in Dabhan:
A mango tree, now in Laxmiwadi
An ox which was used for transportation of sadhus

Shukanand Swami
One day, Shukanand Swami was writing letters which were dictated by Lord Swaminarayan at night. The oil in the lamp finished and it was getting dark. Shukanand Swami said, “Oh Lord, I cannot write any more as there is no light.” Lord Swaminarayan decided to show him His divine presence by glowing his right thumb of His leg. The glow was so intense that Shukanand Swami could hardly see. He felt the divine presence but could not write anything. He requested Lord Swaminarayan to reduce the light so he can continue writing the letters.

One day, Shukanand Swami was very ill and could not walk. He sent a message to Lord Swaminarayan that he cannot come today to write any letters. Lord Swaminarayan wanted to show him His divine powers so asked two people to bring him. Shukanand Swami asked what he can do for the Lord. Lord Swaminarayan looked at him and the illness disappeared. From that day on, he was never ill again except for one case.

When Lord Swaminarayan left this world, Shukanand Swami was always sad and felt the pain of separation from the Lord. He prayed to Lord Swaminarayan asking for some illness so that the pain of separation can be reduced. Lord Swaminarayan obliged and for 12 years he had slight pain.

Shukanand Swami spread satsang in Umreth town and towns around it after Lord Swaminarayan left this world.
He was one of the five sadhus who compiled and wrote the Vachanamrut.

SADGURU PREMAMAND SWAMI

Premanand Swami was born in Vikram Samvat 1840, in the town Dora Bharuch. Owing to slandering by the villagers and risking the death of a child, his mother had to abandon him with a broken heart. Dosa Tai, who was a Muslim, found him and raised him. He learnt and mastered the art of music in Vadodara. At the age of eleven, he went to see the inauguration of Lord Swaminarayan at Jetpur with his foster father. He saw Maharaj riding the horse and immediately ran towards Maharaj and held the stirrup of the horse while walking alongside the horse till the end of the procession at Unnad Khatchar’s Darbar. Since then he remained at Maharaj’s service. Later on Maharaj sent him to Ujjain to a school of Music where he gained excellence in singing and instrumental music. Maharaj initiated him and named him Nijabhojdhanand Swami.

Once, Maharaj called Nijabhojdhanand Swami and asked him to compose a hymn. Even though he did not study in this field, he stood in front of Maharaj and observed His image minutely and started to describe Maharaj’s body in a hymn form. However his own name did not rhyme properly with the hymn so Maharaj renamed him as Premanand Swami. This name reflects his love for Maharaj, hence is also referred to as Premsakhi. Premanand Swami is known for his poetic contribution to the Swaminarayan Sampraday. His kirtan expressed strong love for Swaminarayan Bhagwan and described Him as Pratakshya Purshottam (Almighty God Himself). Maharaj and the devotees were completely engulfed by the songs composed by Premanand Swami. He composed kirtans for all times, starting from Prabhatya (morning kirtans) to the Chesta, which summarises the life of Lord Swaminarayan. One of the famous kirtan’s he wrote was ‘Aaj mare orade re…’. He left his physical body on the bright half of the month of Magshar, Vikram Samvat 1911.

SADGURU NISHKULANAND SWAMI

Nishkulanand Swami was born near Jamnagar in Vikram Samvat 1822, as Lalji Suthar. His father’s name was Rambhai Suthar and mother’s name was Amritba. From childhood it was obvious that Lalji Suthar was a true devotee. His parents married him off at an early age hoping to tie him in the life of householders. He accepted the family business of carpentry and lived a happy life. He became a father of two sons; Madhavji and Kanji. He still continued to pay attention to religion and devotion for the glory of God. Being a disciple of Ramanand Swami, he had met and heard about the leela of Nilkanth Varni.

During one of Maharaj’s journeys to Kutch, Lalji Suthar accepted to become His guide. This is when Lalji Suthar experienced the true spirituality of Maharaj and thus decided to forsake his married life and dedicate his life in the service of Maharaj. He got initiated as a saint and was named Nishkulanand Swami. He was known as ‘Vairagya ni murti’ because of his strong character of non-attachment. He clearly expressed this through the poetic kirtans he composed. He possessed strong attachment to Lord Swaminarayan and has expressed this particularly in the Bhaktachintami scripture. He was also an excellent preacher of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. He convinced his older son Madhavji to dedicate his life in the service of Maharaj. Madhavji became a saint and was named Govindanand Swami. Since Nishkulanand Swami had the skills of art and craft aswell, Maharaj put Nishkulanand Swami in charge of building a beautiful temple in Dholera. The dome-arches and the frame work of the temple doors at Dholera are really beautiful! At the age of 82, in Vikram Samvat 1904, Nishkulanand Swami left for Akshardham.