A tribute ceremony was held at Smruti Bhavan, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) headquarters in Reshimbagh, Nagpur in remembrance of the late spiritual guru and president of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Pramukh Swami Maharaj who passed away on Aug 13, 2016 at Sarangpur, Gujarat due to heart problems. RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Governor of Assam Banwarilal Purohit were also present at the ceremony which was well attended by many saints of the sanstha, RSS members and prominent personalities of Nagpur.
The guru who was revered by millions over the world was instrumental in creating more than 1000 temples worldwide which also includes the Swaminarayan Akshardham temples at Gandhinagar (Gujarat) and New Delhi. A video, shown at the ceremony, of people paying tributes and sharing their experiences with the late guru included Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Chairman of Reliance group Anil Ambani, Chief Minister of New Delhi Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani, Congress politicians Shaktisinh Gohil and Ahmed Patel, Industrialist and founder of Nirma Group Karsanbhai Patel among many others.
Mohan Bhagwat in his 30-minute long speech spoke about his meetings with the late guru over the years and described him as a guru who was a visionary, an inspiration, possessed a positive aura, had the same love for everybody and was somebody who was capable of bringing peace to a person instantly. Bhagwat said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was like the sun who gave light to everybody. He not only did the good work himself with all humility but also inspired others to do the same. Taking him as an inspiration, when a temple was being built in London, many Hindu kids in London joined the cause and would donate their earnings for the construction of the temple.”
Photos by: Darshan Bagwe and Amar Ashok Jajoo