Since Saturday, 13th August, after HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj abandoned his mortal body, almost 2.1 million devotees paid tributes to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj in four days. Thousands of dignitaries from various walks of life also arrived at Sarangpur for Swamishri’s last darshan to offer their respects.
On the day of his final rites, Wednesday, 17th August, HH Mahant Swami and Shri Morari Bapu performed arti at 7:45 am. After offering flowers and a saffron shawl to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj, Morari Bapu offered tributes, saying, ”Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a confluence of simplicity and spirituality. It is quite rare to sustain simplicity after attaining such heights. I had many opportunities to experience his childlike simplicity. He was a ‘Mahatma’. He has not left us; his legacy shall remain present forever. I have not found such an instance yet where millions of people have paid such heartfelt tributes on the departure of any spiritual leader. Many respects to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and prayers for his sadhus and all devotees.”
Shortly thereafter, BJP National Head Shri Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Nitin Patel and Gujarat BJP head Shri Jitubhai Vaghani arrived at Sarangpur to pay their obeisances.
Shri Amit Shah paid tributes to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and said, “I have been fortunate to have known Pramukh Swami Maharaj since my childhood. He built so many temples. He inspired not only the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, but also Sanatan Dharma as a whole. He silently, yet so actively inspired millions of people to have faith and devotion to God. He consoled and instilled strength in me whenever I was frustrated amidst difficult circumstances in my life. His greatest contributions were revival of the sadhu sanstha and character building of society.”
Shri Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, paid tributes to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and said, “I had the good fortune of meeting him many times. He was a great listener. He made very deep points. His personality was in tune to the institution he headed. Under his astute leadership, BAPS grew, grew and grew. He inspired many youth to renounce the comfort of their homes. He inspired the very best talent of society. BAPS mandirs are ambassadors of Indian culture worldwide. He inculcated restraint and there was nothing boisterous about him. He engaged youth into creative endeavours of Indian spirituality. Pramukh Swami’s greatest legacy is BAPS that is always ready to work for society.”
Shri Suresh Prabhu, Union Railway Minister, paid tributes to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj and said, “He played a great role not only as a spiritual head of a giant organisation, but also as the best administrator who structured a massive institution of BAPS. He has created such temples, which are testimonies to how he materialised unimaginable creations. We are very fortunate and blessed to have him lived in the midst of us. Despite that he belonged to the whole universe, we are lucky that he chose India to grace us.”