Over 650 invited dignitaries graced the special evening celebration of ‘Transcendence’. The guests included two former presidents of the Republic of Tanzania – HE Benjamin Mpaka and HE Ali Hassan Mwinyi – as well as the Indian High Commissioner, government officials, advocates, doctors, businessmen and other distinguished professionals. Reputed leaders of the Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities were also present.
The evening program featured videos on the life and work of Dr Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj, their interactions with each other and inspiring messages from ‘Transcendence’. A video of Dr Kalam presenting the first published copy of the book to Pramukh Swami Maharaj was also shown.
The highlight of the evening included uplifting speeches by Prof. Arun Tiwari, co-author of ‘Transcendence’, and Brahmavihari Swami, who narrated his firsthand observations of the numerous meetings between Dr Kalam and Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the spiritual messages Dr Kalam learnt from Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
Thereafter, the chief guests participated in the book launch to the accompaniment of Vedic verses.
The dignitaries were deeply touched by the enlightening messages conveyed during the evening and some addressed the assembly to share their feelings.
HE Benjamin Mkapa, Former President of the Republic of Tanzania said, “[These messages] are important reminders that we can have diversity as human beings, but also have unity of human beings…. Value lessons cannot start at schools and colleges. They must begin in the home, in the family and the community…. The stronger the spiritual wealth the stronger will become the other forms of wealth.”
HE Sandeep Arya, High Commissioner of India to Tanzania, commented, “This lesson of love, kindness, inner self-enrichment and self-realization is important for us to carry back with us and try to translate them in our life; that will be the real tribute to the book itself.”
Professor Palamagamba Kabudi, Dean of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, expressed, “This is an extraordinary book on an extraordinary person and written by an extraordinary personality…. Why is this book relevant to Tanzania today? Because of our religious diversity. This book enriches us on how to understand other faiths, tolerance and the co-existence of different religions…. it’s also a very important book to read now because it talks and deals with issues of integrity, ethical behavior and morality.”
Reputed advocate, Mr Deusdedith Duncan said, “Transcendence is not a book that can be written by an ordinary man. It is the work of a truly awakened soul who has lived and served selflessly for science and humanities for his entire life. While sharing his experiences with various people in his life and mainly his final guru, Dr Kalam has gifted us with the modern day equivalent of the great books like Gita, Koran and the Holy Bible. What has come out in the end is a great fusion of science, spirituality and leadership which is the rarest of the rare combination to find in the modern world. The theme of this book is not only fusion, but also unity. It is about eradicating the ego in us which will positively impact the ones around us. Dr Kalam said that it is by learning this lesson from his great teacher Pramukh Swami, that he has been able to rule India. That is why he is known as the people’s president.… Kalam may be gone but he is still living with us today, in this country and in this world. This book will remain in our hearts just like the Gita, Koran and the Holy Bible.”
The assembly concluded with the national anthems of Tanzania and India.