Narendra Modi inaugurated the grand centennial celebration on December 14.
By: Pramod Thomas
Many events were held during the first week of centennial celebration of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The grand centennial celebration was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi and His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj on December 14.
The celebration will continue through January 15, 2023, and each evening will feature a themed assembly focusing on the life, work, and messages of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a statement said.
Academic conferences will present research topics ranging from temple architecture and Hindu literature to women’s empowerment and social uplift by national and international members of academia as part of the celebrations.
Besides, specific conferences will bring together various professional associations, such as lawyers, doctors, and, entrepreneurs. Programmes with presentations and performances planned and produced by women will also be held.
Home minister Amit Shah on Thursday (15) inaugurated the month-long ‘International Convention for Better Living’ in the presence of Mahant Swami Maharaj and many leading industrialists of India. It highlighted Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life’s work in inspiring addiction-free lives.
Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group, said, “One stunning example of his vision is an entity is the BAPS Mandir in Abu Dhabi, which is the symbol of unification across races, religions, and nations. Swamishri’s principle that humanity must be built on a consciousness of unification and unshakable integrity to serve without expectations is now nowhere better reflected than the Mandir in Abu Dhabi.
Such an ability to unify millions of people comes not from the limiting power of geographical boundaries, but from the unlimited power of a unified effort.”
Pankaj Patel, chairman of Zydus Cadila, said: “As a spiritual leader, Pramukh Swami Maharaj propagated the message of equality regardless of caste, creed or religion. He was forever focused on uplifting the lowest members of society.”
GMR Group chairman G M Rao said, “He possessed nothing, wanted nothing, asked for nothing, and yet he has given us everything. His simple, humble and direct words were a reflection of the supreme divinity within him.”
The ‘Culture Day, Celebrating India Culture’ event on Friday (16) included presentations and performances that conveyed Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s efforts as a torchbearer of Indian culture and heritage worldwide.
Mahamahopadhyaya Bhadreshdas Swami, a scholar and swami of BAPS, who composed commentaries on the three foundational scriptures of Hinduism, said, “Our culture is generous as it is one of inclusive debate. The inauguration ceremony of Akshardham Delhi saw the presence of the president, prime minister and the leader of the opposition on one platform. This was reported in the media, which stated that a Muslim president, a Sikh prime minister and a Hindu leader together inaugurated Akshardham. This inclusiveness was the hallmark of Pramukh Swami.”
On Saturday (17), a programme focused on the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, his devotion and faith in God, themed ‘Parabhakti Day’ was held. During the event swamis close to him reflected on their experiences.
The ‘My Mandir, My Home’ programme focused on a fundamental contribution of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the establishment of 1,231 mandirs worldwide.
Sachchidanand Joshi, executive and academic head of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s mammoth task of creating temples, was not just about creating houses of worship, but also about creating centers of education and social service that revived heritage and spiritual tradition.”
His Holiness Swami Govind Dev Giri Ji Maharaj, treasurer of the Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, said, “I am here to bow my head to the person who showered the whole world with love. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a true sadhu, a true renunciate. He himself was the manifestation of a Mandir. Akshardham was built to last a thousand years, but the volunteers built by Pramukh Swami Maharaj are the immortal temples built by him.”
Current spiritual leader of BAPS Mahant Swami Maharaj, said” “Pramukh Swami Maharaj has said the mandir is a place to realise God. While it appears to be made of stone, each stone is infused with a divine life force and is a factory for making an ideal human.”