Jal Jhilani Ekadashi - 2016, Haridham
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The festival of Jal Jhilani was celebrated by the Haridham family and around 2500 devotees from Vadodara and its surrounding areas with great devotion on sacred and welfare day of Jal Jhilani Ekadashi on Tuesday, the 13th September 2016 between 4.30 pm & 8.00 pm in the evening on the sacred soil of pilgrimage place of Haridham.
Three more historic events are also connected with this day and they are, 1 out of 10 incarnations of Lord Shree Vishnu, Shree Vaman came on this day, Guruhari Swamiji put life in His mobile Thakorjee (small idols of Thakorjee) on this day in 1973 and it is the birthday of P. Shashtriswamiji! Thus, the saints and the devotees had devotionally celebrated this day as a combination of 4 highly auspicious festivals.
With the grace of God it rains in Monsoon resulting in overflowing of all the rivers and lakes and even the nature also blossoms. To acknowledge and thank for this obligation/debt of God, devotees celebrate this festival today by worshiping Thakorjee, taking to lake/river waters in boat for pleasure and express their devotion which is called the Jal Jhilani Festival. After this, the devotees take the Prasad of cucumber.
In the premises of the pilgrimage place of Haridham, a procession on this occasion, with a chariot/float pulled by 2 horses on which, Shree Thakorjee and P.P. Swamishree were seated on very beautiful decorative seats was taken out while, Shree Thakorjee was placed in a palanquin and worshiped and garlanded by the spiritual mother-like saint P. Kothariswami, P. Shashtriswami, P. Santvallabhswami, P. Vitthaldas (Fuva) and P. Davesaheb. The procession was started from the Anirdesh premises. In the beginning, the chariot of the palanquin was pulled by the elderly saints. Chanting the bhajan-kirtans along with the saints from the Suhrad Kirtan Mandal, all the other saints-devotees also joined the procession. All expressed/presented their devotion by pulling the chariot one after another. By the time the chariot completed a round of the temple, all the saints and volunteers/sevaks from all the different departments on the way worshiped/garlanded Shree Thakorjee. The loud sounds of crackers and of chanting the dhoon of Swaminarayan mantra had made the entire surrounding atmosphere alive.
The procession ended at Ambrish Hall where, the elderly saints, elderly devotees and the local and foreign guests gave bath to Shree Thakorjee with the water mixed with panchamrut, saffron and sandal-wood. The elderly saints and the devotees took the benefit of giving a bath to Shree Thakorjee under the shower prepared very beautifully/attractively along with a small nice artificial basin by P. Harisaurabhswami, P. Harisanmukhswami and the sevaks from the decoration dept. creating a scene of the time of Shree Nilkanthvarni’s journey through the jungles.
Then, Shree Thakorjee was decorated with very beautiful dress, ornaments and the garlands and seated in 2 boats. In one boat, along with Shree Thakorjee, the portraits of Swamishee Shashtrijimaharaj and Swamishree Yogijimaharaj were placed while in the other one, the portraits of Guruhari P.P. Swamishree was placed with that of Shree Thakorjee. The elderly saints had sailed the boat with the portraits of Shree Thakorjee and of Shree Swamiji and, after offering the Prasad of cucumber to them it was dropped in the water in the same basin.
While very nicely managing the entire program, P. Gungrahakswami had also informed the glory of the festival Jal Jhilani Ekadashi to all the devotees.
After the above boating, the portraits of Shree Thakorjee and that of Guruhari Swamishree were placed on the stage and garlanded and several food items were offered.
Addressing the devotees present on this occasion, P. Dasswami said that, P.P. Swamiji loves devotion very much and he also described celebrations of this function by P.P. Swamiji on Thames river in London, in America, in Chicago etc. and presentation of devotion by Him there and he further said that, religion, knowledge and renunciation do help/support our atma/soul but, to make it involved in God totally, devotion is a must and put up a prayer at the lotus feet of Guruhari P.P. Swamishree so that, the devotion like those of Gunatit persons is developed in the life of all the devotees and describing the qualities like faith, affection, atmiyata and suhradbhav in P. Shashtriswami also requested for the same.
This was followed by presentation of Thal before Shree Thakorjee and performing arti with prayer-flowers and then, taking the special Prasad of cucumber, all the devotees dispersed.
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