The California State Assembly welcomed Mahamahopadhyaya Bhadreshdas Swami as a special guest in recognition of his academic achievements. As a distinguished global scholar, he is renowned for his profound insights into Hindu philosophy, beliefs, and culture. With a remarkable four-decade journey of studying Vedic literature and texts, Mahamahopadhyaya Bhadreshdas Swami's exceptional achievements were honored in an event that transcended academic boundaries. The event was hosted by California State Senator Dave Cortese, along with California State Assembly members Alex Lee and Ash Kalra, warmly welcoming the esteemed BAPS delegation, led by Mahamahopadhyaya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami.
Mahamahopadhyaya Bhadreshdas Swami authored the "Swaminarayan Bhashyam", a classical-style Sanskrit commentary which meticulously explores the depths of the ten Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras. Notably, he elucidates the Akshar-Purushottam Darshan philosophy, a distinctive Vedantic perspective revealed by Bhagwan Swaminarayan. A philosophy that has garnered global recognition from luminaries and institutions alike.
Later in the day, the Swaminarayan Bhashyam and the Satsang Diksha shastra were presented to the California State Library. In a symbolic gesture, Deputy State Librarian Rebecca Wendt and Communications Manager Alex Vassar received these revered texts. As a welcome note, Deputy Librarian Wendt said, “We are honored to receive these scriptures at the state library. Not very often do we have these kinds of events, especially with the author himself here. We are grateful to BAPS for thinking about the State library.” Explaining the importance of this event, Alex Vassar said, “The mission of the California State library is to empower the people of the nation's most populous and diverse state by including and providing access to the state's unique history and life of the people living in the state. Your history is California’s history, and we are grateful for the addition of these scriptures to our collection.”
Assembly Member Alex Lee and Ash Kalra were also present at the event in the California State Library. “I am very excited to see our state library receive valuable treasures today. It will inspire every Californian to live a positive and impactful life. It's a momentous occasion as this ceremony highlights the transfer of knowledge. When we transfer knowledge, that’s when we truly embrace diversity”, said Assembly member Alex Lee.
Explaining the importance of these scriptures, Assembly member Ash Kalra eloquently shared, “I grew up studying the Vedas, and particularly the Bhagwad Gita – but just the text itself does not impact the learnings without the learned, someone who has that wisdom helping us interpret them. And that’s why Swamiji’s work is so important. It's not just words on papers or text that matter, but it's how we translate them to life. His works help us implement them in our ordinary lives.”
In the California State Library, Bhadreshdas Swami delivered a special message speaking about the American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. He explained how the values of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness are essential today to the strength of the United States, and are also the foundational values of Hinduism. He urged all to continue to embrace these very important values to promote progress, prosperity, and positivity in California, and throughout the United States.
At the end, Bhadreshdas Swami prayed for everyone’s peace, prosperity and progress. He shared the message of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj inspiring us all to unite and nurture global harmony collectively: “In the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” i.e. the entire world is one family, let’s reach out to extend the circle of global harmony.”