Flushing, NY: Hundreds of community leaders, devotees, and well-wishers gathered at Colden Center for Performing Arts in Flushing Auditorium on October 16 to commemorate the life of the late His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Param Shanti – the eternal peace was the theme of the centennial celebrations that were centered on three qualities that Pramukh Swami Maharaj consistently exemplified: humility, universal love, and sincere faith in God. The program included speeches, skits as well as choreographed dance segments performed by kids and the youth wings of BAPS.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual guru and President of BAPS gave his blessings to the attendees through a video message. Speaking on the profound impact of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s values on individuals and communities, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, “One of the qualities of Swamiji was that he hold hands and helped people when the new immigrants from India started coming to the US in the early 1970s as they had no relatives to help them.”
Born in 1921 and respected as a global ambassador of peace, harmony, and values, Pramukh Swami Maharaj served as the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha for over 65 years until his passing in 2016. Under his leadership, BAPS established an international presence with the creation of over 1,100 traditional Hindu mandirs as centers of peace and worship around the world. He had previously hosted events in the Colden Center in 1985 and 2000.
This centennial celebration was one of the hundreds of such events taking place not only across North America, but also in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, eventually culminating in a final, month-long, grand celebration in India in December, which is expected to be attended by millions of devotees and well-wishers from around the world.