TRIBUTES FROM AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Prime Minister, Uganda
Please convey our deep sympathies and condolences on the demise of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He was a great friend of Uganda. I deeply value the moments that we together spent with him, both in India and in Uganda. We join you and so many other friends in the world in paying our respects and mourning this spiritual giant.
Assistant Undersecretary for Information, HRH The Prime Minister of The Kingdom of Bahrain
I had the honor in talking to him over the phone during my visit to the great Akshardham. He will truly be missed by the countless people and followers around the world that were inspired and touched and I am one of them.
Former Undersecretary, Ministry of Finance, Kingdom of Bahrain
It is with great sorrow and sadness that I have learnt of the passing away of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I remember fondly my meeting with His Holiness, and his advice and guidance I will cherish forever. He has left a legacy of compassionate selfless service to mankind and that will never be forgotten. My deepest condolences to BAPS community on the passing of His Holiness.
Former President, United Republic of Tanzania
It is with great sorrow and sadness that I have learnt of the passing away of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His Holiness has visited Tanzania many times and has inspired thousands of people to lead virtuous lives. I have very fond memories of my various interactions with him over the years, including when he graciously stayed at one of my residences. I feel fortunate to have been blessed by him which I remember vividly.
Former President of Tanzania
With great sadness I mourn the passing away of this Great Holy Man and Servant of Humanity. His life of saintliness and knowledge of worldy values was recognized across continents. His preaching that the diversity of traditional values and culture should not deny our common humanity made him a global religious leader. The world underscored this by giving him the singular honour of addressing the United Nations General Assembly. I have always been inspired by his simple and spiritual personality and have benefited through the guidance I have received during our conversations.
Chairman, BRS Ventures
General Manager, National Oil and Gas Authority
I am very saddened to receive the news of the demise of HDH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. It is with deep sorrow that we learned about the passing away of the founder of Swaminarayan Akshardhams. I am sure his disciples will continue to carry forward the message of peace of a spiritual leader who devoted his entire life spreading ideologies that united different beliefs. His death is a great loss to the world. On behalf of the National Oil and Gas Authority and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the BAPS community and all his devout followers in India and the world over.
The Swayamsevaks and Sevikas of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh are grieved to hear the news that the Revered His Holiness Shree Pramukh Swamiji Maharaj breathed his last on Saturday, 13th August 2016 in Sarangpur. Swamiji had conquered the attraction of senses and vagaries of the mind. He was soft in speech and devoid of any desire for enjoyment. He was Stith Prajna and steadfast, with a clear understanding and firm faith in the noble ideals of BAPS and Hindu Sangathan, serving society through His vast network of BAPS for many decades and guiding Hari Bhakts to become dedicated and efficient workers to do SEVA. We bow down to Him. Though He left his mortal coil, he will still continue to guide us through His many books, pravachans, and learned articles. We still have vivid memories of his visits to Kenya and his blessing at some of our important functions. All the karyakartas here have had the good fortune of getting His guidance and inspiration from time to time.
On behalf of the Trustees, Chairman, Office Bearers and Managing Committee of Shree Visa Oshwal Community Nairobi, I would like to share our deep and profound sadness over Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s demise. He was a spiritual leader and a preacher of the highest human values who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life. His passing away is an irreparable loss to all.
Madhvani Group Limited
We have been fortunate to get the blessings of P.P. Pramukh Swami Maharaj on numerous occasions. His blessings in person and through letters have never failed to strengthen us to sail through difficulties. We cannot express our gratitude in so many words. We are always going to cherish our profound divine memories.
A rare individual who has always lived for others and during 45 years of his leadership has inspired millions of people worldwide. In advocating worldwide peace and harmony, he has helped to inculcate in the minds of so many the spirit of service whilst emphasizing on his guiding philosophy - "In the joy of others, lies our own."
President, International Hospital of Bahrain
There are no words to express my feelings for the loss of HDH our great Pramukh Swami...He left a part of him in our hearts which will always remain there forever. My deepest condolences to you all for his being not present with us; for me, he is and will always be engraved in the depths of my heart and soul. I have not lost him, will never lose him, and I cling with all my might to his wondrous, inspiring, loving spirit which is indestructible and untouchable by what is called death.
Divine Life Society of South Africa
Param Pujya Sri Pramukh Swami’s divine virtues, personality and saintliness have touched the lives of millions in all parts of the world. Swamiji’s divine leadership of BAPS has resulted in many spiritual and humanitarian service activities for the needy, in India and abroad. Through his spiritual leadership, he has transformed the lives of millions and helped them to go towards God and lead God-centred lives.
Chairman, Central Energy Fund - South Africa
South Africa had a special connection with His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who visited the country during every African tour... Like our former President Dr Nelson Mandela, His Divine Holiness was truly a man of peace...On the ill-fated day of September 24th, 2002, terrorists attacked this holy place of pilgrimage that represented the universal message of hope and peace to people all over the world. When this happened His Divine Holiness advocated for love and compassion to prevail, not bigotry or hatred. His Divine Holiness' demise is an irreparable loss... I hope that now, more than ever, we can continue to live by the profound values of selfless service, peace and harmony that he lived all his life.
Secretary of National Planning
We are saddened by the passing away of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. The loss to the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha of his passing is also our loss; because His Holiness has been a central inspirational figure in the bonds of friendship, spiritual unity and broader solidarity between the Hindu in South Africa and other communities. Indeed, His teachings transcend boundaries of space, race and faith. We are truly grateful to have been touched by the powerful influence of His Holiness, through the work of BAPS. We are confident that through this work, the spirit and teachings of His Holiness will live forever, as a positive force across the world.
Religious Department, South African Broadcasting Corp.
On behalf of the SABC Religious department - SA we wish to offer sincere condolences to the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha on the passing of revered leader and global visionary Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj, leader and inspiration to millions. In His lifetime Swamiji was at the forefront of humanitarian activity in India and abroad. Under his guidance thousands of mandirs have been built and over a 1000 young men took the saffron robes. The unparalleled social service of the Sansthan leaves a legacy that deserves to be remembered by millions globally. Moreover, Swamiji was a friend and guru of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and a mentor and guide to India's own PM Narendra Modi. Swamiji visited South Africa on eight occasions. BAPS in SA is one of the most vibrant Indian spiritual organisations and have contributed immensely to the development of the poor and needy in SA. As the public broadcaster it is an honour to have been associated with the work of this seva driven organisation which Swamiji inspired and grew towards excellence. Indeed, the legacy of Swamiji will long live in the annals of history as exemplified in the maxim Service to Humanity is Worship of the Divine.
Prominent Businessman and Community Leader
A great heart has stopped beating, a great soul ascended to heaven. We part with our beloved Bapa. We will never forget you. We will pray for him as he prayed for us. He is forever with God now, as He always was.
I only ever encountered His Divine Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj once – and then not even directly. It was at the launch of a book, Transcendence, co-authored by the late Dr A P J Kalam. I am neither Indian nor Hindu, but I was over-whelmed with the warmth of the welcome I received that evening and inspired by what I heard about His Divine Holiness. If that is the nature of this spirituality, then it is a gift to the world and I am privileged to have witnessed a small part of his remarkable legacy.
In my journalistic career of more than four decades, I have been privileged to meet, photograph and write about many people, ranging from people sleeping on the streets to heads of state. Many of them displayed some form of humility and compassion, but in no one else have I found these two human qualities to override everything else that they do than in Pramukh Swami Maharajji... On every occasion, I was welcomed warmly by devotees who never had any qualms about my being from a different religious group. This was firm evidence of the impact of the humility and caring for fellowmen that followers of Pramukh Swamiji have imbued over three generations in South Africa. The legacy that Pramukh Swamiji leaves in South Africa will be these hundreds of adherents to his principles, which they display in everything they do with such passion; whether a religious celebration or events to better the lives of less privileged members of society, always without any expectation of reward or return. I have witnessed their commitment to Pramukh Swamiji’s principles over and over again.
Managing Director, PH Marketing
We firstly offer our humble obeisances to Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a very pure devotee of the Lord. Although he was present before us, maya could not touch him as he was above the three modes of material nature. His smile was oceanic as it drew all the jivas who were fortunate enough by the will of providence to come into contact with his divine grace. Acharya means one who teaches by example and the personification of this was Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His divine effulgence caused the darkness of ignorance to disappear. We know Maharaj that you are still present through your divine instructions although your body is no longer present. You will live always through your instructions and this is the saving Grace for us fallen souls who are suffering because the supreme lord has withdrawn your association from us. A true spiritual warrior who established dharma all over planet earth.