Mahant Swami Maharaj's 90th Birthday Celebration
Letters of Inspiration
"Yours Forever, Sadhu Keshavjivandas": these words have completed hundreds of thousands of letters written by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj to people around the world. Inked in these letters are his compassion, love, and respect for all. On September 13, 2023, hundreds of devotees gathered to celebrate the 90th birthday of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj in his divine presence in Robbinsville, New Jersey. The celebrations centered around his humility and love, showcasing how Mahant Swami Maharaj touched the lives of millions across the globe through the letters he wrote.
This year, the celebrations were integrated into the Festival of Inspirations, a three-month-long celebration of the upcoming inauguration of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey.
Mahant Swami Maharaj penned words of compassion and care to innumerable devotees, but his words also provided strength and motivation when written for collective action toward spiritual growth. Pujya Yogananddas Swami highlighted the power of Mahant Swami's statements, the intention of every word he wrote being only for the spiritual and personal progress of countless devotees. By seeing these excerpts, one bears witness to how sincerely Mahant Swami Maharaj has spent a lifetime encouraging the transmission of gnan, or spiritual knowledge, through recitation of scriptural verses and inspiring hundreds of youth to engage in seva, or selfless service, gaining priceless and transformative life lessons.
Devotees of varying backgrounds and ages recollected personal stories of how letters from Mahant Swami Maharaj carried them through life's joys and sorrows with faith, resilience, and steadfastness of mind as a spiritual guide, friend, and mentor. Oftentimes, little did they know how attentively Mahant Swami Maharaj tended to each letter, frequently even reading the same letter multiple times to understand the complexity and intricacies of its content before responding. This purity and enhanced spirituality earned Mahant Swami Maharaj a place in the hearts of many.
In heartfelt videos, world leaders, devotees, and spiritual leaders from across the globe shared their impressions of meeting His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. They impressed upon the audience Mahant Swami Maharaj's aura of compassion, spirituality, and peacefulness. In the words of Cyrus Sabavala, "He doesn't say a word, but his face and impression are so powerful, so divine, that you surrender your whole life to him. The divinity that radiates from Mahant Swami Maharaj transcends words - one simple look or gesture is enough to fill one's heart with love."
Mahant Swami Maharaj's utmost humility shines through during one particular incident from 2001. Before a convention, Mahant Swami Maharaj spent hours preparing what he thought was an engaging presentation for youth traveling from the US to India. As the children began falling asleep during the presentation, Mahant Swami Maharaj did not utter a word of disappointment or rebuke. Instead, he later apologized to the children, citing his mistakes that he felt caused their disinterest and discomfort. Despite their young age, Mahant Swami Maharaj viewed the children as divine; he is a paradigm of reflection, always keeping the ideal of humility at the forefront of his life.
Pujya Anandswarupdas Swami highlighted Mahant Swami Maharaj's enduring humility and servitude. Citing instances where Mahant Swami Maharaj saw the best in others, he emphasized his role as das na das, serving others despite his divine stature. Although his spiritual magnificence is boundless, he views himself as a servant, spotting virtues where others see flaws. He has uplifted numerous devotees through his letters, instilling humility in them.
To have spent decades alongside brothers, grow into their leader, yet still maintain the utmost respect and quiet service amongst them is the epitome of Mahant Swami Maharaj's humble character. In a touching exchange, on a day he should be celebrated, Mahant Swami Maharaj instead shined a light of inspiration on the senior swamis in attendance, giving credence to why thousands love him. Sharing the exemplary virtues of each individual senior swami, Mahant Swami defined the inspiration he gained from the lives of selfless service from Sadguru Pujya Swayamprakashdas Swami (Doctor Swami), Sadguru Pujya Bhaktipriyadas Swami (Kothari Swami), Sadguru Pujya Tyagvallabhdas Swami and Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami. In turn, they recited their innermost prayers for Mahant Swami Maharaj on his 90th birthday celebration, and each senior swami lovingly presented Mahant Swami Maharaj with individual garlands.
Concluding the celebratory program, Mahant Swami Maharaj's blessings drew upon the wonder and simplicity of what has been accomplished through vision and dedication. "The creation of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville was the divine resolution of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Whoever comes here to Akshardham will experience its splendor, divinity, and peace. By spending fifteen minutes daily reflecting on what we have attained spiritually, everything is captured within this."

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