(World Hindu Council of America)
Office of the President
7 Gannon Terr., Framingham, MA 01702
Aug 13, 2016
Remembering Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj Ji
We are so deeply saddened to learn about His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj Ji’s earthly departure. Today, Aug 13, 2016 at 6 p.m., the spiritual head of B.A.P.S., celebrated for his worldwide socio-spiritual services, passed away peacefully at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur, Gujarat, at the age of 95 years.
A stalwart and one of the greatest sons of Ma Bharti, he will dwell in our hearts and minds forever. His wisdom and his quiet leadership, his vision and creativity, his humility, his devotion and his endless compassion inspired millions of devotees like me around the world. His saintliness and nobility was only matched by the simplicity with which he lived and related to the common man, and the number of lives he touched and transformed.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor in the tradition of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For over seven decades he traveled tirelessly, visiting over 17,000 towns and villages in India and abroad. Born on 7 December 1921 to a humble farmer’s family in the small village of Chansad, near Vadodara in Gujarat, he renounced home in 1939 to become a sadhu and received initiation from his guru, Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj. On completing his Sanskrit studies, he was appointed as the kothari of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur at the age of 25 years. In 1950, Shastriji Maharaj selected him as the President (Pramukh) of BAPS and ever since he was fondly known as ‘Pramukh Swami.’ In 1971, after the departure of guru Yogiji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj succeeded him as the fifth spiritual guru of BAPS. Then started his unremitting selfless services to society which earned him the reverence of countless worldwide.
His untiring efforts in uplifting the vanavasis, liberating thousands from vices and addictions, providing relief and rehabilitation to innumerable people in times of calamity and catastrophe, and inspiring character and faith in hundreds of thousands of children and youths were some of his many outstanding services to society. Alongside he created 1,100 mandirs and giant cultural complexes to portray the cultural and spiritual heritage of India.
These magnificent Akshardhams he gifted to the world as spiritual and learning centers of profound beauty will remain as his eternal signature. His service to Hindu society and mankind at large will always be remembered, and will continue to inspire us forever to follow his example.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America
Source: World Hindu News (WHN)