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Children and adults alike at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandirs across North America culminated on Sunday, December 4, 2011 as they celebrated the birthday of their guru, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Adorned by devotees touched through a lifetime of selfless service by their guru, the evening’s celebrations centered on the theme of “Eva Sant ne namu hu Shish,” exploring recognition of Swamishri’s effortless love and sacrifices for all.

Talented young children kicked off the celebration by singing devotional songs honoring the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj followed by spiritual discourses and cultural dances. Jaynish Patel, a volunteer in Atlanta, expressed his enthusiasm after the program. “Participating in the cultural program gave me the opportunity to not only celebrate my guru’s life work but also commemorate the life of someone who inspires me everyday.” A few days before on December 2, thousands of devotees around the world also took the opportunity to watch Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s puja live on his actual birthday as it was broadcast via television and the Internet.

To both respect and recognize Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s selflessness throughout his life, devotees every year pay tribute by performing a corresponding number of hours of personal spiritual observances. Nevertheless, this year, devotees took part in 91-hour stretches of fasts, prayer sessions, reading spiritual books, etc.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj is an inspiration for countless people around the globe. During the course of his lifetime he has personally counseled countless people, having read and replied to over half a million letters from people of all walks of life. Even at the age of 91, he continues to travel throughout India, inspiring people to lead lives grounded in spiritually and selfless service. Out of compassion for humanity, his life’s work aims to promote spirituality throughout society.

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