The news of Pramukh Swami a founder of Akshardham temples and a saint of the Swaminarayan sect earthly departure has created a fade of deep sadness among countless devotees and well-wishers not only in India but all over the world. He was recognized for his sharp intellect and management skills and was given the duty to take care of temples run by the sect. He was the fifth spiritual successor in Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s succession of Gunatit gurus. The guru was an ocean of goodness, of purity and humility, a summary of spirituality. He was also known for his social concerns as he actively participated in rescue and relief operations during the times of floods and famines, earthquakes and other natural disasters. His teachings are immortal. He will always be remembered for his humility and vision for humanity.
He was probably the tallest Hindu spiritual leader in recent living memory who took Hinduism to the western world. He has overseen the construction of over 1,000 temples including some grand ones like Akshardham in Gandhinagar and Delhi and had initiated over 800 youths to monk-hood during his life time. A man of few words has enhanced the grace, beauty and respectability of Hindu faith in modern time through his Akshardham temples across the world. The Akshardham Temples stand out as the flag bearer monuments of Hindu excellence in sculpture and architecture in the world today.
His message of compassion and service will remain an inspiration. He was quiet and his undisturbed love for God rose beyond all borders of nation, race and religion. With lakhs of followers across the world and temples all over the US, the UK, South Africa and Kenya, the sect has a strong global presence. Former President Dr. APJ Kalam had written a book on his “spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami. Pramukh Swami Maharaj became the fifth spiritual guru of BAPS in 1971 and spent much of his time travelling to Hindu communities around the world, promoting the organisation’s spiritual and social agenda and working for interfaith dialogue. Pramukh Swamiji was a great soul. His compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and striking simplicity touched many around the world. His service to society will always be remembered. His impeccable commitment to the community and profound devotion to faith earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide.
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)