Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s International Impact Highlighted during Centennial Celebrations

Dignitaries from around the world pay tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s work of fostering Hindu spirituality and culture in North America

Ahmedabad: Week four of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s centennial celebrations brought Diksha Din – monastic order initiation, programs on Women’s Empowerment, and international days for tens of thousands of devotees and well- wishers traveling from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj blessing Kamlesh Mehta, the publisher of The South Asian Times

Attendees enjoyed grand programs from each region and a magnificent musical tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj by 170 children and youths from 10 countries.

Dr S Jaishankar at the celebration ground in front of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s grand statue

On January 5, hundreds of women from BAPS centers around the world presented an inspirational program titled “Women’s Day: Celebrating Women’s Empowerment” before an audience of tens of thousands at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar.

Over 500 children and youth from more than 75 centers across North America performed a touching cultural program titled ‘Beyond Boundaries: North America Day’ paying tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s tireless spiritual travels around North America

On January 6, HH Mahant Swami Maharaj continued the ancient Hindu tradition sustained by Bhagwan
Swaminarayan and the lineage of BAPS gurus of initiating seekers into the monastic order. During the ‘Diksha Ceremonies’, 46 highly educated and devoted youths were initiated into the monastic order on their lifelong path of worldly renunciation, self-realization and service.

Stage Guests from USA and Canada on the ‘BAPS North America Day’ Celebration on Jan 7

“When I think of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, I see four big concepts: Compassion, Service, Community and Humanity. Firstly, BAPS is both local and global because it is connected to the land wherever it serves the people. They create their own identity without discriminating against anyone. Secondly, BAPS also employs technology and modern methods while remaining faithful to its traditions, culture, heritage, and values. The balance and symbiosis of technology with tradition can be seen in the temples BAPS builds around the world,” said Dr S Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs in his message to the audience in the evening.

Kamlesh Mehta Presenting the special supplement to HH Mahant Swami ji and Brahmavihari Das Swami ji. Also seen in photo: CM Swami ji and Lenin Joshi.

On January 7, over 500 children and youth from more than 75 centers across North America performed a touching cultural program titled ‘Beyond Boundaries: North America Day’ paying tribute to Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s tireless spiritual travels around North America.

In 1974, Pramukh Swami Maharaj consecrated the first BAPS Swaminarayan mandir in North America in New York City. His tremendous efforts led to the creation of 114 mandirs across North America, including majestic traditional stone mandirs in Toronto, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, and
Robbinsville, New Jersey, which includes the Akshardham Mahamandir which is under construction.

On January 5, hundreds of women from BAPS centers around the world presented an inspirational program titled “Women’s Day: Celebrating Women’s Empowerment” before an audience of tens of thousands at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar

The program captured the role of mandirs and Swamis in upholding cultural and spiritual teachings and helping Indian communities across North America lead values-based lives. The program also captured key milestones in the history of Hinduism in North America. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has been at the forefront of nurturing intercultural and interfaith dialogue in North America.

On the occasion of the Pramukh Swami Maharaj Centennial Celebration, The South Asian Times published a special supplement. Kamlesh Mehta, the publisher, presented the special supplement during the BAPS North America Day celebration to Mahant Swami Maharaj.

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. The festivities will conclude on January 15 with a grand finale program in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, dignitaries, community leaders and devotees from around the
world.

Images courtesy of BAPS and BAP

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