LOWELL, MA–Government officials, community leaders, devotees, and well-wishers gathered at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Lowell, MA, to pay tribute to the life of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj on Sept. 10th.
The fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan and leader of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha departed his mortal body on August 13, 2016, at the age of 95. From establishing mandirs (Hindu temples) across the world to humanitarian work to creating community infrastructure for education and healthcare in remote towns, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s contributions to society have spanned across generations.
Known by his motto, “In the joy of others, lies our own,” he dedicated his life to serve and inspire others for the greater good of mankind. Even today, this message resonates with millions of individuals from all walks of life and from around the world.
Special assemblies were held throughout North America during the month of September to pay tribute to his life and achievements. Throughout his life, his selfless compassion and humble prayers uplifted countless people. He led thousands on the path of spirituality and inspire even more to live a morally pure life.
“He will always be remembered for his selfless services to society, impeccable commitment to the community, and profound devotion to the faith that earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide,” said Baba Ramdev, a yoga teacher known for his work in Ayurveda.
Attendees shared memories of their uplifting interactions with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, reminiscing upon the heartfelt connection that cemented his influence and wisdom in their lives. Through memorable life experiences shared by these individuals, attendees were able to reminisce upon Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s compassionate and equipoised nature.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Former U.S. President Bill Clinton wrote of their memories, “Pramukh Swami didn’t just teach virtues – he lived them every day…His example helped his followers find more harmony – both with others, and within themselves. And we hope that humanity will build upon his legacy for generations to come.”
Secretary Clinton’s thoughts echoed the sentiments from heads of states in all parts of the world, including British Prime Minister Teresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and HRH Prince of Wales. Speaking of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life of service, Teresa May, Prime Minister of UK, added: “His legacy of selfless service will continue to benefit humanity for a long time to come.”
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, visited Sarangpur, Gujarat from New Delhi and addressed saddened devotees before the funeral rites saying, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a stalwart among humans who embodied compassion and humility…Today you have lost a Guru, but I have lost a father.”
Millions of people across the world honored Pramukh Swami Maharaj through a program themed “Timeless Tributes to the Life & Legacy of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj”. The program concluded with inspiring video blessings from Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace, and harmony. Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities at its 3,850 international centers, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have a high esteem for their roots – their rich Hindu culture. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions.
Since 1970, BAPS has been serving families and individuals across USA and Canada through various spiritual and cultural activities. Its 150 centers, including over 90 mandirs, form the hub of its various initiatives. With over 65 dedicated swamis giving spiritual guidance, the organization hosts over 630 weekly satsang assemblies for children, youth and adults.