In the evening assembly of tens of thousands, Mahamandaleshwar Yatindranand Giriji of the Juna Akhada said, “I bow millions of times at the feet of the head of all swamis and Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar is a phenomenal creation that reminds me of the creation of a new universe as described in the Puranas, and I commend the 80,000 volunteers who served selflessly in its creation. In the Ramacharitmanas, Rama Bhagwan taught us that one will find devotion to God only in the life of the true sant. Such a true sant was Pramukh Swami Maharaj. At his feet, all the problems of one’s life are resolved. Contact with Pramukh Swami Maharaj liberated millions from slavery to addictions and connected them with God. We are fortunate to have been inspired by the immortalizing nectar of his divine words that taught us to be better humans and do good for others.”
Dattatreya Hosabale, General Secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said, “The activities of BAPS and Pramukh Swami Maharaj have never been for their own benefit, but for the benefit of society, the nation and the world. The extraordinary programmes organized at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar are enkindling the sentiments of spirituality in the hearts of millions. There can be no greater service to humanity than creating a sense of spiritual contentment and joy in the hearts of people. Spiritually enlightened souls like Pramukh Swami Maharaj enkindle the dormant spirituality in people’s hearts and grant them the experience of spiritual bliss and contentment.
“Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life was an embodiment of the four virtues of dharma – truth, purity, compassion and austerities. Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired people not only through his words, but through his life. He lived his motto “In the joy of others lies our own,” and served others every second of his life. The true celebration of his centenary is not for just one month or one year, but it is to live the values he taught throughout one’s life.
“It is our good fortune that we have been born in India in this era. We have the confidence that India will show the world a path forward through the darkness due to the inspiration of great souls like Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Everyone can pay homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj by improving their own life. We may not be able to give light to the whole world like the sun that was Pramukh Swami Maharaj, but taking inspiration from him, we can be a lamp that eradicates the darkness in our vicinity by following in his footsteps with all the strength we have.”
Chidanand Saraswatiji, Head of Paramarth Niketan Ashram, was also present in the assembly. He shared, “I have been deeply touched by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s simplicity and humility, gently guiding society by seeing God within everyone. He may have been anywhere in the world, yet regularly took out time to read and respond to letters even from villagers in India. Thus, I had declared many years ago that Pramukh Swami Maharaj is the ‘Saint of the Century’.
“An event like this would typically not even attract 80,000 people, but here the volunteer count itself is 80,000 people! I witnessed how everyone has a smile on their faces. It convinces me that Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s spirit is very much alive here. Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar is an extraordinary place infused with the divine messages Pramukh Swami Maharaj conveyed through his life. Unlike entertainment parks, it gives the world his message of peace which needs to be infused in every village and city across India. By remaining true to our values, ideals and spiritual roots, peace and harmony will be strengthened in our families and across the world.
“This festival is teaching the millions who attend that our global challenges such as conflicts, climate change and environmental degradation can only be addressed by implementing spiritual ideals in individuals, in families and in neighbourhoods, as that will ultimately transform the country and the world.”
Singh Sahib Giani Ranjit Singhji, the Head Granthi of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi, added, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj embodied the virtues of spirituality, humility and renunciation, which are the virtues of a true sant. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life was for others. From schools, hospitals and de-addiction campaigns to water pumps and many such humanitarian activities, for many years, Pramukh Swami Maharaj worked to reduce others’ pain and benefit their lives. Thus we must pledge to follow his example by respecting all and loving and serving one another.”
In conclusion, Mahamandaleshwar Dr. Swami Rameshwardasji Maharaj of Manokamna Siddh Shri Hanuman Mandir, said, “88,000 rishis performed austerities at one time in Naimisharanya Kshetra, one of the most sacred of sites in India. The 80,000 volunteers serving here are a representation of those rishis. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s spiritual and social outlook and vision were broad and for the good of all. He revolutionized the Swaminarayan Sampradaya, creating mandirs and transforming society. The world follows the path set by sadhus. The efforts and austerities of Pramukh Swami Maharaj are the reason why the world considers him the spiritual leader of all.”