The second day of the 38th Navratri Anushthan began with the musical recitation of Shri Ram Charit Manas in the morning, a thirty-minute lecture by Shri Ajay Umat, a well-known and respected Senior Journalist, writer and orator from Ahmedabad, India. This was followed by ‘Bhagavat Dharma and Bapu’ Katha by Pujya Bhaishri.

Pujya Bhaishri said that God’s Katha has been described cleverly through the stories of God’s devotees. For example, the story of Narsimha Bhagavan has been described via the story of Prahladji. From the stories of various devotees, Pujya Bhaishri described the values that were mirrored in Gandhiji’s life.

Gandhiji spent his entire life to improve the lives of the Dalits, yet there was no whiff of racism. Whereas Narsinha Mehta ji went to the house of Harijans to do bhajan, when Gandhi Bapu established Sabarmati Ashram, Harijan family came there and destroyed racism.

The making of ‘Mahātmāʼ Gandhi

Pujya Bhaishri said that Gandhiji’s turning point came when young Barrister Gandhi was thrown off the train and called a porter with derision that stank of hatred. Gandhiji immediately wanted to protest the injustice of the system but was told to accept things as this is how it goes. He, however, did not wish to be quietened and resolved to fight this injustice.

Gandhiji had both the courage and intelligence to fight and knew how to do so. Fights are not fought or won in fist fights and thus he never retaliated when beaten or abused. However, he never backed down from achieving his goal of establishing Truth. Universal consciousness selected Gandhiji to fight for Truth (Satyāgrah).

Pujya Bhaishri said that he would like to pay his respects to those individuals in South Africa who had insulted him as a porter and pushed him. This is because it gave birth to the ideals of non-violence and respect of Gandhiji and he became the fortune of India.

We have all been sent on a mission in this lifetime and to prepare ourselves for the task and be ready to serve as an instrument is the highest form of devotion! If oneʼs soil is right, one can convert every experience to aid and sculpt oneʼs growth. Every insult can heighten the fragrance of oneʼs persona if one can receive everything in the right spirit.
Who is a great soul (Mahatma) and who is evil-minded?

In the words of Adi Shankracharya:

manas ekam vacas ekam karmanyekam mahātmanām’

One who possesses unity in thought, word and deed is a great soul (mahātmā).

manas ekam vacas ekam karmanyekam durātmanām’

one who means one thing, says one other thing and does yet another thing altogether is evil minded.

The Eleven Vows of Gandhiji

Pujya Bhaishri sang a Gujarati Poem summarizing the extraordinary 11 vows of Mahatma Gandhi and spoke of his focus on abhay (fearlessness) and aswād (freedom from taste). Gandhiji followed fasts both as a scripture (shāstra) and a weapon (shastra) to achieve his purposes.

Every Indian should read and be fully familiar with Gandhi literature- whether or not one agrees with him! If the scriptures such as the Bhagavat and Ramayan are medicines, then the transformative life stories of great souls who lived by their teachings are testimonials to boost our confidence in them. We must savour both!

When visiting Canada, Pujya Bhaishri recalled a local who asked him where he was from, to which he replied, “Porbandar, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi”. This Canadian was so deeply moved to hear this that he got down on one knee as one would do when proposing to a loved one, held and kissed Pujya Bhaishriʼs hand out of honour and joy for meeting a person from Bapuʼs birth city. Such is the impact and importance this great soul has left upon millions around the world!

Being the second day of Navratri, Maa Brahmacharini was worshipped in the form of a young girl in the morning by Pujya Bhaishri.

Gandhiji and Journalism by Shri Ajay Umatji

Shri Ajay Umat spoke on the topic Gandhiji and Journalism in his speech. He said that Gandhiji is uniquely recongnised as the father of the nation in India and South Africa. Gandhiji is the inspiration of any movements in any country related to non-violence.

Gandhiji was a journalist. He was able to forecast whether a particular movement will be successful. His articles were simple but to the point. Around two crore words of his have been printed in which there is no mention of lies, flatter or bribery. He was a loyal journalist to the citizens. His articles have been published in eleven different languages.

Shri Hari Mandir Darshan and Garba

In the evening, devotees participated in Shri Hari Mandir aarati followed by darshan of Shri Karunamayi Maa in the form of Maa Gayatri, the mother of Vedas who has five different coloured faces (to denote control over the five instruments of knowledge).

Thereafter, Rishikumars and devotees happily played garba within Shri Hari Mandir.


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