By Shukmunidas Swami
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States of America, once said, “To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals is courtesy, and to inferiors is nobility.” This statement brings to prominence the image of one unique personality-His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s secular and spiritual greatness was on an extremely high level, yet he was able to relate to each and every individual he met according to their status and circumstance. Those who were insignificant became important, and those who served him were served by him…
On June 26, 2000, when his car stopped at a cottage in Nottingham, UK, Pramukh Swami Maharaj unbuckled his seat belt. The youth driving the car said, “Swami! I would have unbuckled it for you. There was no need for you to do it yourself.”
Swamishri replied, “We have to become a svayam-sevak (one’s own servant).”
The youth responded, “There is no need for you to be a svayam-sevak. You are the boss!”
Swamishri, placing a finger on his own chest, said, “I am not the boss. I am a servant!”
We all know that Pramukh Swami Maharaj had worked tirelessly to nurture BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha by serving others without any expectations. He had no desire for credit or recognition because in his heart was the feeling of servitude. He could serve others irrespective of who they were, breaking the barriers that existed between his own status and that of others, and thus there was no scope for pride. Pramukh Swami Maharaj served the world till his last breath. He was truly a servant leader. Though he was a guru to millions, he believed himself to be a mere servant of God, a servant of the people. Not only did he believe that he actually lived according to his beliefs. Wherever he went, he was determined to serve individuals, communities, and all of humanity. Let us also make it our duty to serve others irrespective of who they are, with humility and without any expectations.