Pramukh Swami Maharaj

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Pramukh Swami Maharaj counseling a young devotee in Gujarat, India.

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel; ordained Shastri Narayanswarupdas; 7 December 192113 August 2016) was the guru and Pramukh, or president, of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international Hindu socio-spiritual organization. BAPS regards him as the fifth spiritual successor of Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj, Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj. He was believed by his followers to be in constant communion with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.

Quotes about Pramukh Swami Maharaj[edit]

  • People around the world are starting to realize that power and material objects do not yield peace. They are turning to spirituality and religion to fill a void in their lives. Religion and spirituality is the key. Your sadhus are setting an example of content, co-existence and selfless service. There is an ideal for all of mankind. His name is Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
  • When I look into his eyes, they are filled with integrity. I saw in his eyes that he is a man who has not come ahead by eclipsing others. He has come forward by always placing others before him.
    • Bill Clinton, Former President of USA, Eternal Virtues, pg 229.
  • I feel a very strong and divine aura in his presence. I feel at peace in his presence. I forget about all my worries and difficulties. He truly loves people unconditionally. That is why he is able to counsel and take part in their difficulties and problems. Their problems become his problems. I can see it in him.
  • I had the fortune to meet Pramukh Swami Maharaj ten years ago. I was impressed then and I am impressed now. I experience spirituality like never before. It is unique. Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s spirit of social reform is living through Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
    • Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of UK, Eternal Virtues, pg 231.
  • I consider myself blessed to have closely interacted with Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj for years. He has deeply inspired me.
  • Ancient India was known for its sadhus, sages and sadgurus. Out of all the sadhus in India, Pramukh Swami Maharaj is different. There is no doubt about his work. It rises above the rest. This is not specific to India; it is known all over the world. He is the walking and talking form of India’s spirituality and morality.
    • Lal Krishna Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister of India, Eternal Virtues, pg 231.
  • I have heard and read a great deal about you. Today, I realize that it is all true. You are culturally, morally and socially changing our country. You have inspired some of the nation’s greatest engineers, technologists, scientists and philosophers to give back to the community. Only God can inspire them. He inspires them through you.
    • Giani Zail Singh, Former President of India, Eternal Virtues, pg 231.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s humility and selfless love have touched my heart.
  • Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life is an example of spiritual beauty. That beauty shines throughout India and the world as he continues to guide mankind on the path to spirituality. He loves unconditionally and forgives. Revenge and vengeance are never to be seen in his life. This is illustrated in his credo: “In the joy of others lies our own…”
    • Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Eternal Virtues, pg 229.


  • Blessed with the kind of wisdom and faith that transcended boundaries, Pramukh Swami Maharaj spent his life using the power of his inner goodness to lift others up. He was a trusted ear and revered voice for countless people, and the lessons of his humility stirred not only the hearts of his followers, but also of men and women across the globe who were fortunate enough to have crossed his path. By paying tribute to a man who believed in the worth of all people and dedicated himself to serving those in need, we are reminded of the ways our common humanity will always bind us together – and of the enduring obligation we have to love and care for one another in the world we share. May the memory of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj continue to guide you, and may his legacy give us the courage to be our best selves.[1]
  • Pramukh Swami didn’t just teach virtues – he lived them every day. That’s what made him a Guru to millions of devotees around the world. From the Akshardham Mandir in New Jersey to the countless temples that he blessed in the United States, Pramukh Swami built a global faith and community founded on Vedic values. Bill was fortunate enough to visit with his Holiness, both here in the United States and at the Akshardham Mandir in Gujarat. In meeting many of his followers, I’ve been touched by his wisdom as well. Pramukh Swami’s deep sense of devotion led him to spend his life revitalizing communities in need...His example helped his followers find more harmony – both with others, and within themselves. And we hope that humanity will build upon his legacy for generations to come.[2]
  • I know Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s commitment and dedication to his religion and to humanity. I am guided by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s words that religion does not grow by the quantity of followers, but by the depth of spirituality.[3]
  • I loved him.  He was so very kind to me.  My association with him was far too short but he left an indelible imprint on me and my family. I also received his personal blessing, something that I feel has protected and guided me. He is the kind of leader that is so needed in the world today. Kind-hearted, warm, and approachable. Empowering and validating of others. Never calling attention to himself but to the contributions of others. He was a brilliant thinker (he solved a riddle that had plagued me for 20 years in about 2 minutes) who never flaunted his intellect but instead used it to illuminate, motivate and inspire. I loved his humor. Even as an American with no facility for Hindi or the Gujarati dialect I could observe his impact and watch the smiling faces and hear the laughter of his followers as he told touching and humorous personal stories. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to know him personally. My life is richer because of it and I have been forever changed. My heart is with you all.[4]
    • Sam Cardon, Award winning composer

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