Welcoming 2021 in His Divine Embrace Thousands across the globe logged in for an experience of elation as they rejoiced in a deep connection with the Master on the occasion of welcoming the New Year. Venerating Scriptures As part of the year-long celebrations of 125 years of Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, a magnificent pujan is held at the Ashram on every Vad Ekam as it was composed on Aso Vad Ekam. December 31 was the day of Maghsar Vad Ekam and devotees enthusiastically worshipped this magnum opus. Corresponding to the twelve sections of Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, twelve pairs of devotees performed Ashtaprakari Pujan of this sacred text while others recited each verse with devotional fervour and reverence. On this occasion, 125 animals were rescued from being sent to slaughterhouses and were rehabilitated. The three-day celebrations also included the recitation of Shri Bhaktamar Stotra, which shows the path to cross the worldly ocean of sorrow through true devotion towards Jineshwar Bhagwan. With that, an enlightening pravachan by Pujya Gurudevshri guided aspirants to move towards the permanent inner joy and bring about a paradigm shift in perceptions. Lockdown Diaries with the Divine An emotional sharing, aptly titled – Lockdown Diaries with the Divine, brought forth heart-warming incidents and experiences from devotees who had been in the Ashram with Pujya Gurudevshri during the Lockdown period. The chosen ones to share their stories were President of Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Dharampur, Vanprastha Abhay Jasani; Steering Committee Member, Sharnarpit Raman Tikka; Trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Medical Trust, Sharnarpit Dr. Tina Mehta; Vanprastha Jyoti Shah; Sharnarpit Kavita Shah; Sarvarpit Bhavin Rupani; Jivanarpit Dr Mansi Shah; Yuvarpit Asmi Rupani, Samarpit Ahanaa Dalal and Kruparpit Aanya Sheth. The soulful narratives of each one of them conveyed that being in Ashram was being at home. They observed that everyone went the extra mile to make the community living experience one of love and support. They won Pujya Gurudevshri’s heart through their touching stories and moved the audience to tears. Dissolving in Devotion Evenings were adorned with soulful bhakti. Devotees travelled back in time to the millennium bhakti entering into the year 2000 held at Lonavala. Bhakti on the Journey of a Devotee made seekers relive moments when the Master came, held their hands, lifted them and took them in His refuge. Devotees also immersed in Sufi bhakti with Pujya Gurudevshri. Reliving the blissful moments of the London Spiritual Centre Pratishtha Mahotsav devotees melted in devotion through an emotional bhakti – Shri Simandharswami Vinatdi Avdharo, signifying the deep love of a devotee and his plea to the seven Tirthankar Bhagwan and Param Krupalu Dev to come and get cemented in the Jinmandir and Rajmandir and in the hearts of devotees forever. On New Year’s Eve, devotees re-lived the Mission’s journey through the drama ‘Kalyanni Parampara’ which showcased that while the Mission’s activities have blossomed over the years, the underlying purpose and principles have remained the same. On this celebrative evening, Pujya Gurudevshri launched Raj Uphaar – an initiative to uplift and empower the rural women of South Gujarat. Over 100 products including healthy snacks, desserts, aromatics and utility items will be available under Raj Uphaar. A dedicated new website and social media handles were also launched at the holy hands of Pujya Gurudevshri. Atmarpit Nemiji played a key role in translating Pujya Gurudevshri’s vision about Raj Uphaar into action, providing inputs all along the way to the core team. Sarvarpit Sapna Shroff, Head of Raj Uphaar, shared the heart-touching stories of how rural women have evolved and benefitted from Raj Uphaar. Dr Aarti Shah – Trustee, Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care USA, expressed how Raj Uphaar is a laboratory of innovation; a school of learning; a space for conquering fears, building confidence, cultivating values; and a home for holistic development. Seekers went down memory lane through glimpses of delightful moments of swaying in bhakti on 31st December of previous years in the presence of Pujya Gurudevshri and renowned singers. As the time to bid adieu to 2020 came near, devotees expressed gratitude for the innumerable gifts showered by Pujya Gurudevshri during the year and also thanked healthcare officials, frontline workers etc. for their exemplary services in testing times. The new year was welcomed with the pious chants of Param Krupalu Dev’s hallowed name. The devotees sang in joy, greeting each other with a “how are you?” and lovingly everyone shouting out “the grace of Param Krupalu Dev is descending incessantly.” Blessings for the New Year Pujya Gurudevshri’s New Year message highlighted that in the ever-changing world it is only the presence of a Living Enlightened Master which is the most invaluable and incomparable treasure one can possess. Acquainting aspirants with four types of mentalities, He taught how by managing life, mind and time well one can surely succeed. Shri Arun Gaud, the sculptor who made the clay models of the seven idols of the new Jinmandir was felicitated, along with his disciple Saurabh Sharma. The grand finale to the three-day celebrations was the flagging off of the Rajgita Jnan Yajna, a study of Shri Atmasiddhi Shastra, by the benevolent hands of Pujya Gurudevshri on January 1st at the auspicious time of 12.39 pm. For thousands across the globe getting Pujya Gurudevshri’s virtual darshan to the seekers present in the Ashram, the devotees experienced that no matter what the circumstances are and will be, the one thing that will ever remain constant is His love and His compassion!