On Sunday, 9 August 2015 a grand event was held at Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad, to pay tribute to our distinguished late former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and celebrate his last book Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji. The event was graced by Shri Ramoji Rao (Chairman Ramoji Group), Dr P. Sudhakar (Chairman & Managing Director, ECIL), Dr K. Jayraman (Director, DRDL), Shri Harikishan Eppanapally (Founder & Chairman of Lead India, USA) and more than 800 dignitaries, well-wishers and devotees.
As everyone entered the venue, they offered a floral tribute to Dr Kalam by placing flower petals before his photo.
The program began with Vedic prayers and the lighting of the inaugural lamp by Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami (Pujya Kothari Swami) and Shri Ramoji Rao.
Thereafter, a 40ft by 10ft LED screen transported the audience back in time through an animation presentation of the stories of two boys – the journeys of how a boatman’s boy became a scientist and later the 11th President of India and how a farmer’s boy became the president of BAPS and a world-renowned spiritual leader.
Brahmavihari Swami then narrated some highlights of the 14-year friendship between Dr Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. This was followed by a video depicting some of these interactions and Dr Kalam presenting his book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur, Gujarat, on 20 June 2015.
Thereafter, Prof. Arun Tiwari, the co-author of Transcendence, shared his experiences about writing the book. Then P.M. Sukumar, the CEO of HarperCollins Publishers (India), who published Transcendence, narrated the responses to the book. He also announced that the English version would be translated shortly into other languages, including Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
The celebration ceremony of the book took place amongst Vedic mantras and thereafter the stage guests inaugurated copies of the book and displayed them to the audience.
On this occasion Dr P. Sudhakar, Shri Harikishan Eppanapally and then Shri Ramoji Rao also addressed the gathering, sharing their experiences of the evening.
Thereafter, Pujya Bhaktipriya Swami blessed and enlightened the audience with a speech.
The grand celebration event concluded with a floral tribute to Dr Kalam by the guests on the dais while the Shanti Path was recited and the singing of the national anthem.