Over 550 dignitaries and well-wishers attended the grand event celebrating Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s new book, "Transcendence: My Spiritual Experiences with Pramukh Swamiji," held at Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi. The event was graced by H.H. Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, Former Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shri L.K. Advaniji, Founder & Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya Dr. S.S. Badrinath, Chairman of ISRO Shri A.S. Kiran Kumar, Business Chairman of GMR Group Shri B.V. Rao and Chairman of Manipal Global Education Shri Mohandas Pai and diplomatic representatives from eight embassies and high commissions in India.
The event began with Vedic prayers and the lighting of the inaugural lamp by Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami and was followed by a welcome speech by Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami in which he recalled the first meeting between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Thereafter, a stirring animation presentation on a giant screen illustrated the stories of two boys – a boatman’s boy who became a scientist and the 11th President of India, and a farmer’s boy who became the president of BAPS and a world-renowned spiritual leader.
Brahmavihari Swami described some of the interactions between Dr. Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj over the past 14 years. This was followed by a video of quotes from the book, highlighting some of the virtues and work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj which have touched Dr. Kalam, and his own vision for the future of the world.
Next, Prof. Arun Tiwari, the co-author of Transcendence, shared his experiences about writing the book. Mr. P.M. Sukumar, CEO of HarperCollins Publishers (India), publishers of Transcendence, narrated the record-breaking response to the book. He also announced that the book has already been licensed for translation into six other languages: Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam.
After a video of Dr. Kalam presenting his book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Sarangpur on 20 June 2015 was shown, the celebration ceremony of the book took place amid the chanting of Vedic mantras in which the stage guests inaugurated copies of the book and displayed them to the audience.
Signifying the universal relevance of the book, diplomats were felicitated and presented a copy of Transcendence. During the event, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was remembered for having received the book at the hands of Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami at his office in New Delhi on 26 June.
Thereafter, Hon. Shri L.K. Advani and other guests paid glowing tributes to the book and recounted their associations with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Pujya Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swami and Pujya Mahant Swami blessed the event. Pujya Mahant Swami noted, “Transcendence is a book that highlights higher values. The content is universal and transcends all human distinctions and barriers to make a person humane.”