The Pramukh or president of an international Hindu socio-spiritual organization, BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj died on 13th August, 2016. He had been suffering from heart problem and chest infection from long time, and he died at BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir, Salangpur, Gujarat. Here is a list of 5 facts about his life:
Facts about Pramukh Swami Maharaj!
1. The fifth spiritual successor of BAPS!
Born on 7th December, 1921, Swami Maharaj is regarded as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan by BAPS. The first four successors were Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. And, he was believed to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan by his followers.
2. Early life!
Just after Shantilal’s aka Swami Maharaj’s birth, Shastriji Maharaj had blessed him and also told his father that ‘This child is ours; when the time is ripe, please give him to us. He will lead thousands to the devotion of God. Through him, thousands will attain liberation!’ He was then inclined towards spirituality from his early age.
On 22nd November, 1939 Shastriji Maharaj gave Shantilal Patel primary initiation, ‘Parshad Diksha’ in Ahmedabad. His name was also renamed as ‘Shanti Bhagat’. Further, on 10th January, 1940 he was given ‘Bhagvati Diksha’ and renamed as Sadhu Narayanswarupdas. Even, Yogiji Maharaj after giving his blessings said, ‘Sadhu Narayanswarupdasji will surely become great!’
4. Pramukh/President of BAPS!
On 21st May, 1950 Shastriji Maharaj appointed Swami Maharaj as the Pramukh or President of BAPS. He then helped Yogiji Maharaj to expand the immense faith in England and East Africa. And, before dying in 1971, Yogiji Maharaj had declared him to be his spiritual successor and also the Guru of BAPS. Yogiji Maharaj said, ‘From now onwards, Pramukh Swami Maharaj will carry on my work…Pramukh Swami is my everything!’
5. The perfect servant of God!
It was believed by the followers of BAPS that Swami Maharaj was a manifestation of ‘Akshar’, the form of eternal abode of the God. And, being Akshar it was also believed that Swami Maharaj was also in constant communion with the God. And that’s the reason, he was considered by devotees to be ‘The perfect servant of God, …totally filled with God and therefore worthy of reverence and worship!’
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was also approached by many followers throughout his life for getting guidance in all aspects of their life.