DELHI, INDIA, July 5, 2015 (By Rajiv Malik, India/South Asia Correspondent, Hinduism Today magazine): A grand celebration and book release event of Dr. Kalam’s book “Transcendence” was held at Pramukh Sabhagruh, Akshardham Swaminarayan Mandir , New Delhi on Friday, July 3rd , 2015, in the presence of over 500 dignitaries, well wishers and devotees. The event was graced by the Pujya Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji of Vijaywada, Hon. Shri L.K. Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister Of India, Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation [ISRO], Shri Mohan Das Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education and Shri G.M. Rao, Chairman, GMR Group.
“Transcendence,” beautifully describes Dr. Kalam’s spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The book, published by Harper-Collins India, also included the social and moral contributions of BAPS to society, the co-relation of science and spirituality and creative leadership. It contains the essence of the Upanishads, Gita and Puranas and other principles propagated by Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
The event began with Vedic prayers and the lighting of the inaugural lamps by Pujya Mahant Swami and Pujay T.S.R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and was followed by a welcome speech by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami.
Thereafter the giant 10ft by 40ft LED screen transported the audience back in time through and animation presentation of the stories of two boys- the journeys of how a fisherman’s boy became a scientist and later the 11th President of India and how a farmer’s boy became the president of BAPS and a world-renowned spiritual leader.
Pujya Brahmavihari Swami in his speech gave glimpses of the mutual interactions between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj during their 14 year association [2001-2014]. According to him, “In all Dr. Kalam had seven meetings and many phone call conversations with Pramukh Swami Ji Maharaj. Interestingly while Dr. Kalam did not know a single word of Gujarati and Pramukh Swami did not know a single word of English, this never came in the way of their ever blossoming love and friendship.” He added that after Dr. Kalam’s first meeting with Pramukh Swami Maharaj in 2001, Delhi, Dr. Kalam had said he felt an inner calm pervade him and on the other hand Swamiji had declared that Dr. Kalam was a rishi.
Brahmavihari Swami went on to say, “When Dr. Kalam had his first meeting with Pramukh Swamiji and presented him his plans for India 2020, Swamiji’s first words were-“Along with your five areas to transform India add a sixth one- faith in God” and Dr. Kalam immediately and happily agreed to do so.” Dr. Kalam had also told Swamishri , “When I see Akshardham and your work….I feel anything is possible in the world. I want to work with you for a better India.”
This was followed by a video clip on Dr. Kalam presenting his book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur on 20th June, 2015, amidst the chanting of Vedic verses. (Seehttp://www.baps.org/News/2015/Dr-APJ- … h-Swami-Maharaj-8137.aspx for a report on this.)
While presenting the book to Swamiji Dr. Kalam said, “I have written this book. Your are a great teacher….I learnt to remove I, remove me. That is a great lesson I have learnt. Remove I and mine. I learnt from you.” Responding to this Swamishri said, “To rise above I and mine is only possible by God’s Grace. It is the best principle by which to remain happy in life.” Both Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swamiji were not physically present during the New Delhi event.
Professor Arun Tiwari, the co-author of “Transcendence”, sharing his experiences about writing the book said, “A few weeks after getting this assignment I realized I had not been able to write anything. Then I came to Ahmedabad and Pujya Brahmavihari Swami took me to Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, who blessed me by placing his hand on my head and he gave me a murti of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I took the murti home and sat down to type on my computer, and then words and sentences started flowing spontaneously.” Choked with emotions he shared, “A few days ago I went to my mother in Meerut , Uttar Pradesh. I took the souvenir plate given to me by Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On seeing it , my mother said , “Son, you have done a wonderful thing. One is the an ocean of love- Pramukh Swamiji and another is an ocean of knowledge–Abdul Kalam. You have filled two great oceans in a small pot [book] !”
P.M. Sukumar, the CEO of Harper Collins Publishers[India] , who published “Transcendence” announced that the English version would be translated shortly into six other languages : Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telgu and Malayalam.
Thereafter the celebration ceremony of the book took place amongst chanting of Vedic Mantras and then the stage guests formally inaugurated copies of the book and displayed them to the audience.
The chief guests, including Shri L.K. Advani Ji , paid glowing tributes to the book and recounted their associations with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Advani Ji, in his address, said that in the childhood he had learnt about Intelligence Quotient and later on came to know about Economic Quotient but as he grew up in life he felt that a happy and fulfilling life has to also have Spiritual Quotient, which is extremely important and with this quotient only it will be considered as complete.
During the event , Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was remembered for having received the book at the hands of Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami at his office in New Delhi on 26th June, 2015. The Prime Minister opined that he would read the book for it would help him and inspire him in his life.
Finally, Pujya T.S. R. Chinna Jeeyar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami blessed the event. Pujya Mahant Swami noted, ” ‘Transcendence’ is a book that shares about higher values. The content is universal and transcends all human distinctions and barriers to make a person humane.”