On 15 August 2016, after presiding over the Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi, Prime Minister of India Hon. Shri Narendra Modi arrived in Sarangpur at 11.55 a.m. to pay homage to HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. With folded hands and a melancholy face, the PM bowed before the mortal body of Pramukh Swami and offered flowers in obeisance. He also met HH Mahant Swami, the new head of BAPS, and other senior sadhus and expressed his condolences.

Shri Modi performed arti and circumambulations in homage to Pramukh Swami.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Modi mourned the demise of Pramukh Swami, stating that ‘many have lost a Guru but I, a father’. Taking pride in his long-standing association with Pramukh Swami, he said that Swamiji has nurtured and nourished him since the time when nobody knew him in public life. As a fatherly figure, Pramukh Swami would often point out to him his mistakes.

The Prime Minister applauded Pramukh Swami’s devotion and his unswerving commitment towards every word that guru Yogiji Maharaj had uttered. He has set before us an example of how a true shishya should be. “Swamiji, he said, “has brought about a reformation not only in the Swaminarayan Sampradaya but among all sadhus. Though he is not physically with us now, but we all feel his presence through his life, teachings and works.”

Shri Modi recalled an incident that occured way back during the Shilanyas Vidhi of Delhi Akshardham. Swamiji insisted that he be present in the holy ritual. Big names in the social and political spheres were in attendance to participate. He was a relatively unknown face at that time. While the puja was in progress, Pramukh Swami called a sadhu and asked him to provide him with some coins saying, “He must not be having any money to offer during the ritual.” Shri Modi marveled at Pramukh Swami’s oneness with him, knowing that his pockets would be empty. “Such was his oneness with me”, continued Shri Modi. The Prime Minister commended Pramukh Swami’s great life, morality and saintliness.

He concluded his hour-long visit after paying his respects to Pramukh Swami Maharaj and seeking blessings from the new head of BAPS, HH Mahant Swami, for the progress and prosperity of the nation.