The morning of day 7 Navratri began with the worship of girls in the form of Maa Kālrātri followed by the musical recitation of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

Gandhi’s Humanism in the 21st Century – Dr. Vidyut Joshi

In the afternoon, we were graced with the presence of the writer and professor, Dr. Vidyut Joshi. Dr. Vidyut Joshi spoke on Gandhi’s Humanism in the 21st Century. He discussed how Gandhi’s humanism is the guide to many questions in the 21st century.

In the current times, one of the main issues is that of the environment, yet violence is on the rise. Terrorism is spreading. One human wants to exploit another. There is talk of distribution of wealth equally so that poverty decreases yet inequality is on the rise. At this time, it is imperative to take guidance from Gandhiji’s humanism.

The walls between humans are becoming higher. When differences between castes increase, we must practice and implement equality and fairness.

Dr. Joshi praised the shaping of children and the youth with great principles and values at Sandipani in the 21st century.

Living in Harmony – Pujya Bhaishri

Shrimad Bhagavat has been referred to as a risen sun by Ved Vyasji. Pujya Bhaishri commenced the seventh day saying we are exploring the path to the development of both our own individual self as well as our collective self through this ‘Bhagavat Dharm and Bapuʼ Katha.

The luminance and heat are both blessings of the sun as we are able to see in the light and we are able to live due to its heat. The sunʼs heat causes humidity and clouds to form, which in turn rain and cause food to grow in the earth to sustain life.

Truth, love and compassion

Bapu is a true Bhagavat Dharmi. Living by these principles outlined by Mohan in the Gita as maitraḥ karuṇa eva (BG 12.13), meaning, friendship and compassion in our dealings with fellow humans, other living beings and mother nature, Mohandas embodied the model for 3D harmonious living called ‘Bhagavat Dharmaʼ.

One who serves Shri Hari belongs to Shri Hari. Bapuʼs worshipped form of the Lord existed in every living being, not only in the idol of Ram.

Pujya Bhaishri said the solution to harmonious living would be simple if we could bring the system we have within our body into our Nation.

Man is not intended to live without his fellow man, so learning how to live with one another is essential to live a healthy, happy and peaceful life. Whilst all are equal in essence, all are qualitatively different! Thus we must seek to understand and accept others as they are and in doing so, learn how to live with them.

When are people forced to steal?

Without the right definition of progress, the best method for progress cannot be determined. Todayʼs measurement of progress as only “GDP” is delusive as we are heading for destruction in the name of ‘growthʼ.

The world has tried and seen the drawbacks in modern times of both communism and capitalism. Mohandas believed in the thought leadership of Mohan (Shri Krishna) with the idea of Yagya as a lasting solution for harmony and sustainable growth.

The framework of Yagya is-

  • This wealth does not belong to me alone;
  • This wealth does not belong to society;
  • This wealth belongs to the Lord!

When this Truth (Ram) manifests in oneʼs life, one gives up the sense of proprietorship towards wealth and even their body considering all to belong to the Lord to be used judiciously in serving Him in this collective form.

One realizes that this body is made up of five elements and is nurtured by these five elements. So the very least we must do is not harm these five elements if we are to honour our partnership with them.

Bapu dedicated his all including the body, mind, resources, time and abilities to the service of that Supreme Being in the form of this universal Existence. The satisfaction arising from the spirit of renunciation and working for the good of the whole is given in this Upanishad Mantra:

Tena tyaktena bhunjithā, Mā grdhah kasya svid dhanam.

This spirit of non-encroachment upon the wealth of another is one of the eleven vows Bapu spoke of.

When are people forced to steal? When some sections of society choose to hoard wealth! For social and economic equality and harmony, the vow of non-accumulation is crucial to the vow of non-theft being possible.

A vrat (vow/fast) leads to individual progress but a mahāvrat (great vow) leads to collective progress and emancipation.

Four Reasons why Bapu considered himself to be a Hindu

Harmoniously living with all is the essence of being a Hindu and Bapu very much was one. Bapu Himself has outlined four reasons why he considers himself to be a follower of Sanātan Dharma in an article authored in ‘Nav Jeevanʼ on 09.10.1921:

  1. I believe in the authenticity of the Vedas and Hindu Scriptures as well as in incarnations and re-birth.
  2. I believe in the core Vedic meaning of the social and economic organizational system called Varnāshrama; not in its corrupted form found in current social practiceʼ.
  3. I believe in the importance of Cow Protection, but I view its significance to be in a much broader context.
  4. I do not disbelieve in idol worship of the Lord.

Pujya Bhaishri expounded upon Bapuʼs vision and understanding of each of these dimensions of his identity in detail on Day seven as shown in this video clip.

Gandhi Garba

At night, Gandhi Garba by Shri Chetan Jethwa and team was organised in the presence of Pujya Bhaishri, Shri Gunvant Shah and many devotees. Majestic rās such as Athingā rās, Hudā rās and Māndvadi rās were presented. Pujya Bhaishri gave blessings to the team at the end of the programme.

Shri Hari Mandir Darshan

Let us bow down to Maa Karunamayi, who is seated in and supervising her ‘Super kitchen’ wherefrom all goddesses receive the skill to prepare food that satisfies this entire world. Mother Annapurna feeds all beings as both cause and effect; she herself is the force of hunger and she herself is the sense of satisfaction too.

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