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News India Times
August 26, 2016
10
Community
– that’s all you need to know
By a Staff Writer
piritual leader of the
Swaminarayan sect
Pramukh Swami
Maharaj, who was
born into a farmer’s
family, and yet rose to become
one of the most loved spiritual
masters of all times, spreading
his message of love, peace and
nonviolence throughout the
world for decades, died in
Sarangpur, Gujarat, August 13.
He was 95.
Officials from Bochasanvasi
Akshar Purushottam Swami
that he headed said Pramukh
Swami had been unwell for the
last two years. Because of age
and his frail health, he had
been living in BAPS temple in
Sarangpur.
Although he had been suffer-
ing from a chest infection, he
had gradually recovered from
the aliment. However, due to
longstanding heart problems,
he passed away peacefully at
the BAPS Swaminarayan
Mandir in Sarangpur.
His death left a pall of doom
among his hundreds of thou-
sands of his followers that
included all sections of the
society.
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi, who flew in from Delhi,
to pay tributes to Pramukh
Swami, described him as a stal-
wart among humans.
Modi bowed before the mor-
tal body of Pramukh Swami
and offered flowers in obei-
sance. “Swamiji has brought
about a reformation not only in
the Swaminarayan Sampradaya
but among all sadhus. Though
he is not physically with us
now, but we all feel his pres-
ence through his life, teachings
and works,” Modi said.
Speaking on the occasion,
Modi noted that “many have
lost a Guru and I, a father'.
Taking pride in his association
with him, he said that Pramukh
Swami has nurtured and nour-
ished him since the time when
nobody knew him in public life.
As a fatherly figure, Pramukh
Swami would often point out to
him his mistakes and molded
him,” he said.
Modi applauded his devo-
tion and his unswerving com-
mitment towards every word
that his guru Yogi Maharaj had
uttered. “He has set before us
an example of how a true
shishya should be,” Modi said.
Born Shantilal Patel on
December 7, 1921, Pramukh
Swami was ordained as Shastri
Narayanswarupdas. He was ini-
tiated as a swami in 1940 by
Shastri Maharaj, founder of
BAPS, and took over as guru of
BAPS followers in 1971. The fol-
lowers of BAPS believed that
Pramukh Swami was the 5th
spiritual successor of Lord
Swaminarayan.
As head of BAPS, Pramukh
Swami has overseen the growth
of BAPS as a global behemoth
after modest beginning in
Gujarat. Under him, maximum
Hindu Swaminarayan temples
across several countries in the
world came up. Temple officials
said for more than 7 decades he
travelled tirelessly, visiting over
17,000 towns and villages in
India and abroad.
His unremitting satsang trav-
els, selfless services to society,
saintly virtues and profound
devotion to God earned him
the respect and reverence of
countless worldwide.
Among several global lead-
ers, former president, late APJ
Abdul Kalam, was seen to be
among his leading disciples
who would seek guidance from
Pramukh Swami on spiritual
matters.
Renowned spiritual masters
and heads of state, including
the Dalai Lama, former U.S.
President Bill Clinton, former
U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan, the late Sheikh Isa bin
Salman al Khalifa of Bahrain,
and many other public figures
and dignitaries have been
deeply touched by his humility
and saintliness. New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio also
extended his condolence. “I
extend our deepest sympathies,
on behalf of all New Yorkers, to
the followers of Pramukh
Swami Maharaj ...He was a leg-
endary builder who lived to
serve. May we continue to cul-
tivate peace within our com-
munities in his example.”ffi-
cials said that arrangements
for his final darshan at
Sarangpur have been made and
will be on view from August 14
to August 17.
S
“Swamiji has
brought about a
reformation not
only in the
Swaminarayan
Sampradaya but
among all sadhus.
Though he is not
physically with us
now, but we all feel
his presence
through his life,
teachings and
works”
Spiritual Leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj Passes Into The Ages
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,...40
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