The month-long grand celebration for Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s Centenary is underway in Ahmedabad. Over 2 million visitors have visited the colossal Pramukh Swami Nagar in the first two weeks.
The last week of December 2022 at Pramukh Swami Nagar featured the following themes: “Family-unity Day: Celebrating Family Values,” “Education Day: Celebrating values-based education,” “Darshan-Shastra Day: Celebrating Timeless Wisdom.”
On December 31, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was conferred the honor of ‘Sanatan Dharma Jyoti’ for his countless contributions to protect, foster and nourish the timeless wisdom of Hinduism and his continuous encouragement to preserve and promote the Vedic scriptural tradition. The award was presented to His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj by more than 30 eminent scholars who had gathered from all over India to pay tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unprecedented services to Indian philosophy. The ceremony occurred in the presence of tens of thousands who had gathered to commemorate ‘Darshan-Shastra Day: Celebrating Timeless Wisdom’.
When announcing the award, Professor Vijaykumar CG, Vice-Chancellor of Maharshi Panini Sanskrit and Vedic University, Ujjain, explained, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life was dedicated to the moral and spiritual uplift of society. He inspired Mahamahopadhyay Bhadreshdas Swami to create a historic set of commentaries on the Prasthanatrayi to explain Akshar-Purushottam Darshan. Earlier this month, all the vice-chancellors of India’s various Sanskrit universities gathered to discuss how we could honor such a magnanimous personality like Pramukh Swami Maharaj on his centennial birth celebrations. We unanimously decided to confer upon
Pramukh Swami Maharaj the title ‘Sanatan Dharma Jyoti’ along with a proclamation of honor on a copper plate signed by all the vice-chancellors of all the Sanskrit universities of India. We feel blessed by being able to offer our respects at the holy feet of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.”
Earlier in the week, on December 29, 2022, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and several dignitaries paid homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s efforts to strengthen family unity in millions of homes around the world as tens of thousands gathered to commemorate ‘Family Unity Day: Celebrating Family Values’ at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar. To pay tribute to the unique gift of ghar sabha given by Pramukh Swami Maharaj on the occasion of his centenary celebrations, Mahant Swami Maharaj inspired a large-scale Family Unity Campaign between January 31 to April 15, 2022, to transmit the message of family harmony throughout society. Over 72,000 male and female volunteers spent 7.2 million hours personally visiting 2.4 million homes and inspiring family harmony among 6 million individuals in over 10,000 villages and cities across 17 states of India. As a result of this unprecedented campaign, 1.9 million families pledged to have at least one meal together daily, over 1 million families decided
to perform daily prayers together, and over 400,000 families were inspired to conduct a regular
family home assembly (ghar sabha).
On December 30, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj and dignitaries paid homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s visionary leadership and tireless efforts in establishing educational institutions and student hostels to foster value-based education before the tens of thousands who had gathered to commemorate ‘Education Day: Celebrating Value-based Education’ Aware of the importance of education for the individual and the nation, and inspired by Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s instruction to foster the propagation knowledge,
Pramukh Swami Maharaj established nearly 40 educational institutions and student hostels to nurture the educational and character development of over 22,500 students annually. In addition, his unparalleled educational services include the reconstruction of 55 schools in disaster-affected areas, providing financial assistance to 23 other educational complexes, and annually supporting over 5,000 students in need of scholarships.
Leaders and experts in education attended the important event. Padma Shri T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education (Manipal University) shared, “To resolve the challenges of humanity, we must learn from Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who taught us to live together as human beings, to be compassionate, to care for our children, and to care for nature. He established temples worldwide to inspire countless people to live in peace, to care for everyone, and to harm no one in society. I am confident that inspired by the teachings of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS will carry on its extraordinary work of educating humanity on how to live in this new world, find peace within, have compassion for others, take care of our planet, and make sure that all of us leave a better world for our children.”
In closing, the present BAPS spiritual leader, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj stated, “Character deficiencies cause tremendous problems, so only value-based education that fosters character will ultimately bring success and happiness to a person’s life.”
In support of these efforts, Pramukh Swami Nagar features experiences for the whole family, including a children’s section with interactive exhibits, games, and rides conducted mostly with the volunteer efforts of youths. There is a great deal of entertainment to experience, along with thought-provoking shows for children and adults, sowing and nurturing seeds of values. While we see the world cynically, heading in a negative direction and wonder about the destiny of future generations, Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life was dedicated to character-building of future generations of educated global citizens guided and anchored in spiritual values and altruistic motives.
Thousands of children currently volunteer their time at Pramukh Swami Nagar while simultaneously pursuing their studies. What a life he must have led to motivate and inspire thousands of youths to turn away from worldly offerings, sacrifice personal time, and serve for the benefit of others. When inquired about their source of inspiration, one hears countless stories of lives personally touched by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s constant travels and sacrifice. Think of a future with such leaders and doers shaping communities and nations.
The month-long celebration is His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s vision to provide inspiration from the life, efforts, teachings, actions, and contributions of Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
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