Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya Glanir Bhavati Bharat
Abhusthanamdharmasya Tadatmanam Srujamyaham
Paritranayam Sadhunaam Vinashaiya Cha Dushkrutaam
Dharma Sanstharpanarthaiya Sambhavami Yuge Yuge
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in dharma and wicked actions dominate, I descend Myself and assume a form; in order to protect the good and to destroy the evil, I come into concrete existence from time to time.” (Srimad Bhagwad Gita)
In Purushottamprakash, Sadguru Nishkuland Swami enlightens us with the true meaning of this verse:
Maate sahu dharmakul maanjo, sahu karjo eni sev
Anya jan jeva eh nahi, e chhe jaanjo mota dev
“Hence all shall believe in the Dharmakul, all shall serve it;
They are not like ordinary beings, think of them as a great Dev.” (Doha verse 40, Purushottamprakash)
It is a widely accepted fact that the Swaminarayan sampraday has a unique heritage of leadership that stretches back to the Lord Almighty Purushottam Narayan Himself – Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan. The lineage of Dharmakul has been filled with incarnations from the outset, with the first Acharya of Ahmedabad Gadi, Shree Ayodhyaprasadji Maharaj being an incarnation of SheshNarayan.
Similarly Lord Shri Hari has been sending muktas (released souls) to sit on His Throne (Gadi) from Akshardham as per the needs of the time. Currently we have such an Acharya leading us on the path of spiritual enlightenment, Shree Tejendraprasadji Maharaj, who has been praised countless times for His dedication and foresight in the development of satsang in the dark times of kaliyug.
However, we must now also look to the next great leader that Bhagwan has sent to lead us. His Holiness Bhavi Acharya 108 Shri Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj is that leader. Throughout His life Lalji Maharajshri has dedicated each living moment to this holy satsang .
His achievements as Bhavi Acharya set a new precedence for the future of Shri NarNarayan Dev Desh and the sampraday as a whole. In addition to regular satsang activities and annual festivals in temples of Shri NarNarayan Dev, Lalji Maharajshri has been working tirelessly with the blessings of His Father Acharya Maharaj 1008 Shri Tejendraprasadji Maharaj to ensure that the future needs of this holy satsang are catered for.
The establishment of Shri NarNarayan Dev Yuvak Mandal (NNDYM) has been a major achievement of Lalji Maharajshri. An army of young devotees has been created to safeguard our religion, our culture and rich heritage handed down to us from generation to generation. These devotees have been attending regular satsang shibirs in India , UK , USA and Africa - all of which have been personally supervised by Lalji Maharajshri.
Grand festivals and celebrations on a scale never before seen in the sampraday have been organised by His Holiness Lalji Maharajshri, including the Shardha Satabdi Mahotav, Shashti Purti Mahotsav and the Chhapaiya Nij Mandir Pran Pratishta Mahotsav to name a few. The success of these festivals has revolved around the meticulous planning and inspirational leadership of Lalji Maharajshri coupled with the blessings of His Holiness Acharya Maharajshri.
The most ambitious initiative taken by Our Lalji Maharajshri has been the Jay Shree Swaminarayan television serial that is currently being broadcast all over the world. This project encapsulates the dedication, inspiration and foresight that Lalji Maharajshri brings to our sampraday. He has seen the need for these initiatives and taken it upon himself to fulfil those needs.
Despite all these achievements, Lalji Maharajshri remains very humble. His philosophy of working centres on the principle that everything can be achieved if we surrender ourselves to the lotus feet of Lord Shri Hari. All tasks, no matter how daunting they may seem at first, can be fruitful and filled with utmost success if performed with Bhagwan in mind.
These feats help us to understand and try to define Lalji Maharaj's greatness, although this can never be fully defined. The achievements narrated in this article are merely an overview of what Lalji Maharaj has done for our satsang through no obligation. To this date, no Bhavi Acharya in our sampraday has accomplished as many achievements as our current Lalji Maharaj.
It is clear from this that Bhagwan himself has descended to lead us into the next era of satsang in the form of a new Acharya for Shri NarNarayan Dev Gadi. There is no one better for looking after the interests of Shri NarNarayan Dev than our present Bhavi Acharya Shri Koshalendraprasadji Maharaj Pande.
Let us all hail to the new Acharya of Shri NarNarayan Dev Gadi, a majestic and supreme form of Almighty Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan, and follow the path of righteousness and His instructions to better this world in offering our humble services to mankind and to carry on the message of “sarva jiva hitava” to release ourselves from endless cycles of life and death and to achieve the ultimate salvation.
As a final note the passage below encapsulates our duty from this day forward:
“You two, who hold the Gadees, have been appointed spiritual preceptors; hence all Sadhus, Brahmacharis and Palas and all our followers shall always remain obedient to your commands, and shall serve you.
Should any person of a sect (belief) other than that of the two ruling spiritual preceptors of the line of Dharmadev be pre-eminent for his knowledge of the Shashtras or for his practice of Yoga or asceticism or for self renunciation, or for any other virtue, and if thereby the two ruling preceptors of the line of Dharmadev be lowered in estimation, nevertheless we command all Sadhus and Brahmacharis and Palas and all our followers, that in order to the salvation of their souls, they always and for ever honour the two ruling spiritual preceptors of the line of Dharmadev, and obey them in thought, word and deed.
Should one, failing this, seek refuge in another and honour him, his soul shall never have happiness in this world or in the world to come but shall suffer extreme pains.”
(Desh Vibhaag Lekh, paragraph 10)