Part 8 of the detailed biography of Brahmaswarup Pramukh Swami Maharaj covers the years from 1995 to 1998.
Despite his advancing age and increasing physical limitations, Swamishri’s whirlwind vicharan schedule and multifaceted activities continued unabated.
The opening in 1995 of Neasden Mandir was the first of its kind in Europe. It marked the culmination of Swamishri’s patient and persistent efforts to fulfil guru Yogiji Maharaj’s vision for a traditional stone mandir in London.
The momentous story of its creation (now presented as a 14-part video documentary on thefirstofitskind.org) reveals the unprecedented dedication and sacrifice of devotees from all over the UK. More tellingly, it unearths the guiding hand of Swamishri in all aspects of its creation – from inception to completion.
The year ended with the grand month-long Amrut Mahotsav in Mumbai, celebrating Swamishri’s 75th birth anniversary. The celebrations inspired the lakhs of visitors to lead more wholesome and devotional lives.
In 1996, Swamishri again embarked on an overseas satsang tour to the UK, North America and the Asia Pacific region. In addition to inaugurating new mandirs, the highlight was the Silver Jubilee of Satsang in North America, celebrated at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. The year concluded with the murti-pratishthas of the new shikharbaddha mandirs in Surat and Surendranagar.
During 1997, Swamishri visited the Gulf region and the UK. Amid the golden sands of the Sharjah desert, Swamishri prayed for world peace and that a traditional mandir be built in the UAE. In Bahrain, Swamishri was graciously received in the royal palace by the King of Bahrain. Also, in London, Prince Philip honoured Swamishri at Buckingham Palace and Prince Charles (now, King Charles III) received Swamishri at St. James’s Palace.
In 1998, amid his hectic vicharan to metro cities and remote villages in tribal regions, Swamishri added impetus to the Narmada Dam project. In July, the worldwide satsang community was immersed in worry and prayer as Swamishri underwent emergency cardiac bypass surgery in New York, USA. After two months of convalescence, Swamishri resumed his non-stop vicharan and activities. The year culminated with the grand murti-pratishtha of the new mandir in Rajkot.
Even amid all these diverse situations, Swamishri’s saintliness and devotion to God remained invariable and shone to the fore. Achievements, accolades nor ailments could deflect him from his genuine and innate inclination to serve for the good of others.
Also available as an audio book: