On Sunday, July 16, 2017, the Honorable Bruce Rauner, the 42nd Governor of the State of Illinois, joined the Hindu-American community at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago, IL to celebrate the life and work of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the presence of his successor, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. Upon arriving at the mandir, the Governor first met with His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. The Governor welcomed Mahant Swami Maharaj to the State of Illinois and lauded the positive impact that BAPS has had over the past many decades in Illinois. The two then discussed the importance of an elected official’s role in fostering unity and in being a servant of the people in order to bring about positive change. Mahant Swami Maharaj lastly offered his prayers and blessings to the Governor and the people of Illinois for the state’s continued prosperity and the strength to overcome obstacles.
Mahant Swami Maharaj and the Governor then made their way to the assembly where attendees were excitedly awaiting their arrival. After the Mayor of Bartlett and the mayors of eight surrounding towns offered proclamations or keys to the city to His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the Governor shared an inspiring message of unity and service with the audience. The Governor referred to His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s emphasis on unity and being humble as principles of universal importance.
Throughout His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s vicharan across the United States and Canada, he has been welcomed and honored by senior political leaders, including United States Congressmen: Rep. Rob Woodall (GA); Rep. Joe Wilson (SC); Rep. Hank Johnson (GA); Rep. Bill Foster (IL); Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL); and Rep. Peter Roskam (IL).