Although it was not possible to celebrate His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 99th birthday in person at BAPS mandirs across North America due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, virtual celebrations were held with equal fanfare, joy, and devotion in the homes of thousands of devotees across the world. Through five days of interactive, home-based celebrations paying tribute to the life and work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, devotees expressed their love and bhakti with personal and family-based activities.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was an ocean of virtues. His goodness spread throughout the world, with all that he directly or indirectly came into contact. Pramukh Swami Maharaj exemplified what it means to think globally and act locally. Through his actions, Pramukh Swami Maharaj taught that to change the world, one must start with oneself. Each of us should strive to be better parents, children, siblings, cousins, friends, and good citizens. Each person should “lead by doing” and cultivate noble thoughts and actions within oneself to collectively create positive families, communities, and nations. Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired thousands through his deep spirituality, humility, and dedication to service. Through inspiring the construction of traditional Hindu mandirs and centers across India, Europe, North America, and Africa, he inspired devotees to lead values-based lives founded on the Vedic principles. Pramukh Swami's loving and gentle guidance helped devotees to balance spirituality with the pressures of school, work, and family life. This focus on personal development, in turn, helped foster stronger communities, steeped in the universal humanitarian values of love, peace, and respect for all.
The five-day virtual programs included sadhus, devotees, and notable personalities reflecting on the positive impact Pramukh Swami Maharaj had on their lives. With a focus on samp (unity), seva (selfless service), samjan (understanding), sadhana (spiritual effort), and smruti (remembrance of divine memories of the Guru), the program highlighted Pramukh Swami Maharaj's spiritual teachings and wisdom. The interactive and introspective celebrations left families with a deeper appreciation of Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life work and a firm resolve to imbibe and carry forward their beloved Guru's legacy.