Devotees and well-wishers came together at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Chicago on July 16, 2017, to celebrate the life of their beloved guru, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who passed away on August 13, 2016. The event was held in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj.
During the event, the audience was transported to Sarangpur, India, where Swamishri spent the final three years of his life. Through dances, speeches, skits, and videos, the performances highlighted Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s extraordinary qualities as a leader and spiritual guide in line with the theme: “He Pramukh Swami Run Tamaru.” Attendees shared memories of their uplifting interactions with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, reminiscing upon the heartfelt connection that cemented his influence and wisdom in their lives. Each narrated incident reflected the profound impact Pramukh Swami Maharaj had on the lives of individuals throughout the world.
Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, Mayor of Bartlett, Kevin Wallace and several other city mayors participated in the celebrations. The Governor referred to His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj’s emphasis on unity and being humble as principles of universal importance. Mayor Wallace of Barlett appreciated the contribution BAPS has made to the town. City mayors and representatives from surrounding communities including Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, West Chicago, Schaumburg, and Oakbrook were also in attendance for Sunday's celebration, each of whom presented Mahant Swami Maharaj with a ‘Key to the City.’
The celebrations left attendees with a deeper appreciation of Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life and gave them a firm resolve to further the legacy of their beloved Guru.