Senior British politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May mourned the death of BAPS president Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The creator of Delhi Akshardham passed away peacefully at the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur, Gujarat after his longstanding heart problems and chest infection. He was 95.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan.
“I would like to pay my condolences to British Hindus, especially the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, on the passing away of H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj,” Prime Minister Theresa May said. “H.H. 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.
“I remember fondly my visit to Neasden Mandir in March 2013, as Home Secretary, to speak at an inspiring conference for International Women’s Day organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. I also had the opportunity to see the fantastic work that BAPS does across the world to improve the lives of others, and people giving up their time generously to do it.
“H.H. Pramukh Swami Maharaj exemplified the values of British Hindus whose contribution helps make the United Kingdom one of the world’s most successful multi-cultural, multi-faith democracies.”
‘His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj dedicate his life for the well-being of others, fostering love, peace, harmony, righteousness, faith in God, and community service,” said Priti Patel, UK International Development Secretary. “His compassion for humanity, and conscious efforts to alleviate problems have inspired millions around the world. His humility, wisdom and spirituality have touched many world religious and national leaders, and inspired millions to lead a life guided by Hindu principles.
“Pramukh Swami Maharaj was recognised and respected as one of Hinduism’s great spiritual teachers. He embodied compassion and we will always remember him for his wisdom and vision for humanity. All of us who have felt the magnitude of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s personal blessings will deeply mourn the departure of our revered guruji’.
Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn said “The sad news of Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s death has reached me. My condolences to all BAPS. Jai Swaminarayan!”
“I am incredibly sad to hear that our spiritual Guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj has passed from this world. I send my most heartfelt condolences to the Hindu community and especially the Swaminarayan Community both in the UK and India and across the world,” said Keith Vaz MP.
“He was a special man, and those from all walks of life will feel this loss. I can remember the first time I met him at Heathrow Airport when he arrived to visit the old Temple at Neasden. All around the world we see his inspiration in the Temples that have been built. A quarter of a century ago I can recall my visit to Akshardham and I marvelled at the way in which the Temple had been built. I can remember the day my infant son Luke sat on his lap in the old Temple in Leicester. His smile was infectious. His love for us was enormous. He was a giant and in our hearts he will live forever.”
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said: “His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a mentor to me. I will never forget my interactions with him. Will miss his presence.”
His holiness the Dalai Lama, India’s late president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi, Prince Charles, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman al Khalifa of Bahrain, and many other royals, heads of state, renowned spiritual masters and other dignitaries have been deeply touched by his humility, saintliness and noble works.
Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani said: “Deeply pained to hear passing away of Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It’s irreparable loss to the society as a whole. He as a spiritual head of BAPS has played vital role in transcending the world as Swami Vivekanand did.”
The social-spiritual leader’s untiring efforts in 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 youths were some of his many outstanding services to society.
He also consecrated 1,100 temples and giant complexes like Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi and Gandhinagar in Gujarat to portray the cultural and spiritual heritage of India.