Head of socio-spiritual organization BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and inspirer of world renowned Akshardham mandir, HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj passed away on 13 August 2016 at 6 pm. The word spread fast and the small town of Sarangpur was soon flooded with devotees and well-wishers eager for darshan.
As soon as news were made public, dignitaries across the country, including Sri Sri Ravishankarji, Shri Morari Bapu, Shri Ramdevji Maharaj, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Shri Amit Shah, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Shri Rahul Gandhi, Shri Arun Jaitley, Smt. Anandiben Patel and others expressed grief, pain and condolences. They paid homage to the exemplary work done by Swamishri.
Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani, reached Sarangpur at 8.00 a.m. and paid his respects by laying a wreath and offering a garland at the holy feet of Swamishri. He addressed the gathering and expressed his pain by saying that he felt Gujarat had lost a great soul. He also said that Pramukh Swami Maharaj, like Swami Vivekanand, had served Hinduism by constructing 1100 temples across the globe and keeping the flag of Indian culture and values flying high.
Deputy Chief Minister Shri Nitin Patel also fondly remembered the selfless services of BAPS under the leadership of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, for spreading and propagating Indian culture and heritage in many countries, inspiring de-addiction campaigns and disaster relief works and other philanthropic works.
Hon. Governor of Gujarat, H.E. O.P. Kohli, expressed his regret for not getting the chance to meet him in person. He said that the book by Dr. Kalam on the life and work of Pramukh Swami Maharaj had inspired him a lot. “It is not that India has lost a great man. It is humanity that has lost a great man. He was not a man of a particular country or a particular nation. He belonged to entire humanity. It is a great loss to humanity.”
During the course of the day, several political and social stalwarts came for paying homage to Swamishri. All of them moaned the great loss to mankind with the passing away of Swamishri.