On August 25, 2023, North American devotees reminisced and celebrated the cherished memories and teachings of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Robbinsville, NJ in a special assembly titled 'Guruji Nahi Bhulu Tamne.' The assembly was part of the Festival of Inspirations, a three-month-long celebration commemorating the inauguration of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Jersey. The program took place in the presence of His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, who personally recalled memorable moments from the life of Guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pramukh Swami Maharaj's divine qualities of humility, selflessness, and unconditional love were illuminated through inspiring recollections that highlighted his virtues centered on a deep connection with God.
Throughout the evening, swamis affectionately reminisced about their personal experiences and memories with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. They shared heartfelt incidents that touched them deeply and transformed their lives. Warmly recalling his calmness, presence of mind, and noble sentiments, the swamis demonstrated how Pramukh Swami Maharaj loved everyone with equal warmth and care, regardless of who they were. Pujya Aksharvatsaldas Swami shared the following metaphor: if one holds a flower and later sets it aside, the fragrance of the flower may still linger on the hand. Similarly, the essence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj's divine qualities spread to anyone who was near him.
Sadguru Ishwarcharandas Swami shared his personal experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Having served and worshipped in close proximity to Pramukh Swami for decades, he emphasized Pramukh Swami Maharaj's nirmaanipanu, or humility. He reflected on a specific incident during a grand festival where Pramukh Swami Maharaj credited all the success to the dedicated volunteers and devotees, even though it was due to his divine grace. Despite his many outstanding accomplishments, Pramukh Swami Maharaj attributed all his achievements entirely to God.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj candidly shared his experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who remained ever humble. He emphasized Pramukh Swami Maharaj's unwavering commitment, in every moment of his life, to the vow of service he took decades earlier. "We are all witnesses to how he lived and what he did for devotees and swamis. He was a true swami, remaining ordinary despite his extraordinary nature. Every action Pramukh Swami Maharaj took benefited future generations. Whether day or night, he overlooked his physical needs and stayed amongst his devotees."
The program welcomed honored guests, who fondly recalled personal incidents from their time with Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the impact he had on their lives. Subhash Sam Patel, CEO of the Natson Hotel Group, spoke of a turning point when he questioned his engineering career path. Pramukh Swami Maharaj guided him to pursue business. "Our success has come from Pramukh Swami Maharaj's advice. I tell my son, if you want to learn discipline, learn it from Pramukh Swami Maharaj's life." Digvijay Gaekwad, founder of Danny Gaekwad Developments and Investments, relayed his experience as part of the American delegation accompanying former President Bill Clinton to Gandhinagar Akshardham to meet Pramukh Swami Maharaj. In a moment where both spoke in their native languages without translators, Mr. Gaekwad was awestruck. "They spoke different languages but still communicated. This can only happen if you are God or divine." Kamlesh Mehta, founder of the South Asian Times, reflected, "I always remember his affectionate touch and eyes filled with love and compassion. I sincerely believe and feel that I am a better person because of such divine impressions instilled in my thinking. Presenting Pramukh Swami Maharaj with a copy of the 2014 issue in which he was honored as the Person of the Year was a lifetime achievement for me. I am blessed that he autographed the newspaper." In a gesture of deep respect, Kamlesh Mehta presented Mahant Swami Maharaj with the newspaper bearing Pramukh Swami Maharaj's signature, along with the pen, to be displayed with other sanctified items at Akshardham.
Also in attendance were esteemed guests Vijay Mani, Founder and CEO of Covey; Jasavant Singh and Deepak Bhardwaj, founders and owners of Apna Bazaar; and Mr. Sasha Ostashko, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Gavshyna, respected tour operators and former Editor in Chief of a Ukrainian news agency.
In the spirit of honoring the work and unique vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj for BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, the program included Mahant Swami Maharaj launching the official website. This will also feature highlights from the Festival of Inspirations. True to their role model and guru, the website usa.akshardham.org was designed and developed entirely through countless hours of service from dedicated volunteers. Additionally, Mahant Swami Maharaj sanctified various miniature models of BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, which will be available at the Aksharpith bookstore. These mementos allow visitors to have keepsakes of memories from their visit.


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