The grand 97th birthday celebration of Brahmswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj was held in Anand in the presence of a mammoth gathering of over 200,000 devotees and well-wishers, from all over India and the world.
Over the course of the three-hour programme, devotional songs, traditional dances, video presentations and speeches by senior sadhus were presented. The central theme of this year’s celebration was ‘Guruji—Nahi Bhulu Tamne’ (‘Guruji—I Will Never Forget You’), and focused on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s transcendental virtues and the transformational experiences of sadhus, devotees and well-wishers over the years.
Around 30 sadhus and 200 volunteers had tirelessly worked to erect a 180 foot long, 100 foot wide and 60 foot high ornate stage and backgrounds. Around 14 LED screens were deployed and more than 15,000 BAPS volunteered their services all through the evening.
At the event, it was announced that the BAPS Swaminarayan literature will be a part of the IGNOU curriculum as Swaminarayan Hindu Vedic Studies. There will be certificate, bachelor, post graduate and PHD courses available.
P Viveksagar Swami, a senior BAPS sadhu, shared incidents of selflessness from Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life. He expressed how Pramukh Swami Maharaj had tirelessly travelled to fulfill the wishes of his devotees. Other senior sadguru sadhus of BAPS, P. Kothari Swami, P Tyagvallabh Swami, and P Ishwarcharan Swami also shared how they were inspired by the life and work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Many dignitaries also recollected their own personal memories with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Shri Nazim Al Kudsi, a businessman from the UAE, who has served as the CEO of Invest Abu Dhabi, and whose grandfather served as the Prime Minister and President of Syria, said that a few years ago, he had met Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Ahmedabad and by his own account, his life changed thereafter. He reminisced about his transformational spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
In his blessings, HH Mahant Swami Maharaj propounded importance of spiritual understanding and awareness in every small act.
The celebration culminated in 200,000 lamps being lit together to perform arti. The celebrations were also webcast. On this occasion, PM Shri Narendra Modi tweeted, ‘I join the lakhs of devotees from across the world and bow to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj on his Jayanti. He was a remarkable soul whose exemplary service and humanitarian efforts positively impacted countless lives. My relation with HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a special one. The time I spent with him was memorable. I am fortunate to have been blessed by him. Here is what I had spoken about him in Sarangpur last year.’