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Aus PM joins world leaders such as UK Prime Minister Theresa May to pay condolences following the passing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offered his condolences mourning the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, spiritual head of the Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).
Pramukh Swami passed away at the pilgrim spot of Sarangpur, Gujarat, on 13 August 2016. He was 94.
“My condolences to the Hindu community for the passing of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His spiritual leadership, charity and support for interfaith harmony will leave an enduring legacy,” PM Turnbull said.
NSW Premier Mike Baird also offered his condolences to the BAPS community.
“The Indian community of NSW makes up a large proportion of the BAPS congregation, and my thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time,” Mr Baird said.
The premier had visited the BAPS Mandir at Rosehill recently to receive Sunday blessings.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor in the guru parampara tradition of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. For more than seven decades, his unremitting satsang travels, selfless services to society, saintly virtues and profound devotion to God earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide.
His untiring efforts in uplifting the tribals, liberating thousands from vices and addictions, providing relief and rehabilitation to innumerable people in times of calamity and catastrophe, and inspiring character and faith in hundreds of thousands of children and youths were some of his many outstanding services to society.
He also created and consecrated 1,100 mandirs and giant cultural complexes like Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar to portray the cultural and spiritual heritage of India.
Swamishri met many heads of government and world figures, and all were profoundly touched by his spiritual personality and humanitarian services to society.
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed her condolences to the British Hindu community over the death of Swaminarayan sect’s spiritual head Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
“I would like to pay my condolences to the British Hindus, especially the BAPS, on the passing away of Pramukh Swami Maharaja,” May said.
“Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired millions with his powerful motto: In the good of others lies our own. This legacy of selfless service will continue to benefit humanity for a long time to come,” she said.
Nihal Agar, President of Hindu Council of Australia, said “The world has lost one of its greatest inspirations. The need of the hour is to offer our gratitude to Shri Pramukh Swami Maharaj and then to use his inspiration to manifest that great power that resides in us and is starkly visible in some of the greatest standing monuments on this earth.”
Swamiji was born on 7 December 1921 in the tiny village of Chansad, near Vadodara in Gujarat. In 1939, he renounced home to become a renunciate and received initiation into the sadhu-fold from his guru, Brahmaswarup Shastriji Maharaj and was named Sadhu Narayanswarupdas.
On completing his Sanskrit studies, he was appointed as the kothari of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur in 1946 at the age of 25 years. Then in 1950, aged 28 years, Shastriji Maharaj selected him as the President (Pramukh) of BAPS in his place. Since then, he had been fondly known as ‘Pramukh Swami’.
Shastriji Maharaj passed away in 1951, declaring Yogiji Maharaj as his spiritual successor. Thereafter, Pramukh Swami served under the guidance and blessings of Yogiji Maharaj. In 1971, after the departure of guru Yogiji Maharaj, Pramukh Swami Maharaj succeeded him as the fifth spiritual guru of BAPS.
The mortal remains of Pramukh Swami Maharaj were consigned to the flames at the Sarangpur Mandir campus around 3 p.m. on Wednesday 17 Aug in the presence of a galaxy of political leaders and thousands of followers.
BJP President Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Kathakar Morari Bapu, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh, businessman Anil Ambani, Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, state BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani, Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch L.K. Advani and state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki, among others, offered their respects.
The news of Swamiji’s earthly departure has created a pall of deep sadness among countless devotees and well-wishers. A massive concourse of devotees and others streamed into Sarangpur for his last darshan and to pay their final respects to him.
Meanwhile, ‘palkhi yatra’ (palanquin procession) of Pramukh Swami’s body had to be cancelled due to the alterations in his body which was kept under minus 10 degree temperature in a glass container since the evening he breathed his last.
More details at www.baps.org
(From IANS reports and temple communiques)