TRIBUTES FROM USA
President of the United States of America
I join in mourning the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. 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.
Former Secretary of State, Democratic Nominee for President of the United States
Bill and I offer our sincerest condolences to the devotees of his Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha worldwide. 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 worship of karma inspired him to promote peace and justice in India, America, and all around the world. 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. Jai Swaminarayan
United States Ambassador to India
Heartfelt condolences on the passing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj – a global spiritual leader and deeply committed humanitarian @BAPS— Rich Verma (@USAmbIndia) August 15, 2016
Governor, State of New Jersey
Mary Pat and I offer our deepest condolences to all who are mourning the passing of His Holiness Parmukh Swami Maharaj, the creator of Akshardham and spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. New Jersey had a special connection with Parmukh Swamiji, who visited the state during every U.S. tour, spreading a message of unity and uplifting countless lives. He will be remembered by all for his selflessness and service to others.
United States Senator (FL)
Pramukh Swami Maharaj selflessly dedicated his life to serving others and spent decades as the spiritual leader of a worldwide movement of peace. Pramukh Swami's immense compassion for humanity and profound wisdom touched the lives of countless people throughout the world who will forever hold him in their hearts...His humanitarian services have set exceptional examples to society and it is my hope that his legacy will live on for many generations to come.
United States Senator (DE)
Saddened to hear of the passing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj whose service touched the lives of millions around the world— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) August 15, 2016
United States Senator (IL)
My condolences to the @BAPS community on the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj who inspired us with his life of selfless service— Mark Kirk (@SenatorKirk) August 15, 2016
United States Senator (UT)
The world lost a powerful force for good on Saturday. Rest in peace #PramukhSwami. Our thoughts and prayers are with the #BAPS community.— Senator Hatch Office (@SenOrrinHatch) August 17, 2016
United States Senator (NJ)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of the spiritual head of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Pramukh Swami Maharaj. As someone who has come to know the BAPS community very well in New Jersey, 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...Pramukh Swami Maharaj leaves a legacy that we can all aspire to and a thriving BAPS community that will not be the same without him. His selfless services to society, impeccable commitment to the community, and profound devotion to faith earned him the respect and reverence of countless worldwide. My prayers are with the BAPS community, his devotees, and friends during this solemn time of reflection.”
United States Senator (NJ)
It is with deep sadness that I heard of the loss of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, and I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his friends, loved ones, and devotees. Fondly known as Pramukh Swami, he has touched the lives of countless people, and serves as a constant inspiration to his followers. I had the great fortune of meeting Pramukh Swami in 2007 and he will truly be missed. I know we will all remember his tireless humanitarian and spiritual efforts. This was truly a life well-lived over ninety-five tremendous years. May his memory continue to inspire to us all.
United States Representative (MD-5); Democratic Party Whip
I had the honor of meeting his holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj during a visit to New Jersey in 2014. I was struck by his humility, his powerful spiritual presence, and his commitment to all humanity. His passing is not only a tremendous loss for the Swaminarayan community, but also for many lives he touched throughout the world. I join in offering my deepest condolences to his followers.
United States Congressman (CA-39)
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the BAPS community as it mourns the passing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. He touched countless lives, providing hope and guidance during his tireless travel across India and around the world. As a spiritual leader, he will indeed be sorely missed, and my prayers are with the millions around the world who mourn his passing and celebrate his remarkable life. I have had the privilege of visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, CA, and have seen firsthand the charitable work done by BAPS to increase access to critical health care service. The work of BAPS in California and across the country will help carry on the legacy of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who dedicated himself to helping others.
United States Representative (PA-8)
Our thoughts of peace and courage are with the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha as they morning the passing of their spiritual leader. HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a man of character and commitment. He led campaigns against addictions, inspiring many to seek an addiction-free life. His spiritual personality and humanitarian services profoundly touched society.
United States Representative (MD-8)
Pramukh Swami Maharaj spread peace throughout his long and inspiring life. His spiritual followers and all humanity were touched by his dedication to our world’s most vulnerable citizens. My condolences go out to all who were touched by his good works.
United States Representative (HI-2)
I offer my heartfelt condolences to the countless inspirational disciples of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and devotees of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha who I have been blessed to meet during my travels throughout the U.S. as well as in India when I visited Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi in December 2014. In his passing and throughout his life, Pramukh Swami Maharaj reminded us that a life dedicated to service of God and the spiritual upliftment of humanity is a life that can be considered truly successful and forever remembered. My prayers are with all those who have been touched by Pramukh Swami Maharaj and my well wishes for their continued progress on their spiritual journey. Jay Swaminarayan and Jay Shri Krishna.
United States Representative (TX-22)
This past weekend, #India and the world lost a great spiritual leader. RIP HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj
United States Representative (CA-15)
I offer my deepest condolences to those whose lives were touched by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, leader of BAPS, who has left a lasting impact on the Bay Area, California, and the whole nation. The Hindu traditions and values that His Holiness espoused are an integral part of our community's cultural fabric. As a result of their devotion, Pramukh Swami's disciples are some of the most hard working and gracious people in my district. I am confident his legacy will continue to live on in our community for years to come.
United States Representative (DE)
Throughout his life, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was widely admired and revered for his deeply rooted faith and spirituality, as well as, kindness, compassion and humility. These qualities allowed him to inspire people all throughout the world with his teachings, leadership and wisdom...His belief in interfaith cooperation and peace made him a compelling advocate for religious tolerance and respect for people of all faiths.
United States Representative (NJ-6)
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Pramukh Swami Maharaj. I grieve for his followers and so many in New Jersey who were inspired by his life. His humanitarian and charitable acts around the world should serve as an example of how people of all faiths can come together for the common good.
United States Representative (NY-14)
I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the founder of many Hindu temples across our country, including his first U.S. temple in Flushing, Queens. Pramukh Swamiji will forever be remembered for his dedication to service, his compassion, his leadership, and his commitment to building a better world for future generations. He will be greatly missed and I join the community in mourning his passing.
Washington State Senator
Today, I offer heartfelt condolences on the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj to his disciples and devotees around the world, including right here in Redmond, Washington where we are honored to have a BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. Throughout his life, Pramukh Swami Maharaj consistently fostered a greater understanding and appreciation of Hindu traditions in India and across the globe. He also consistently emphasized interfaith harmony and the collective uplifting of the moral and religious life of mankind. His life, devotion and teachings will grace our world for centuries to come.
Vermont State Representative
"I join the many disciples of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj worldwide, as well as Hindu American Foundation and Hindu American leaders, in expressing my deep condolences upon his passing. We can all learn from his example as we strive to serve all of humanity with compassion and equality. As a community leader in Vermont seeking to build our first Hindu temple here, I will use his life and legacy as an example for my work. Jay Swaminarayan and Jay Shri Krishna."
He touched my heart when I touched and held his heart more than a decade and a half, during his bypass surgery in New York and transformed my life to do good to others everyday. I will always have him in my heart .He has blessed all of us in some form or fashion. My deep devotion to him forever.
My condolences go out to the members of the Bucks & Montgomery county BAPS community on the passing of Pramukh…
Priya, my family, and I offer our deepest condolences to the devotees of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and devotees of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. I had the distinct honor and privilege of meeting Pramukh Swami Maharaj in the summer of 2007 when he visited the beautiful Bartlett BAPS mandir in the Chicago area. At that time, I represented then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama in greeting Pramukh Swami Maharaj to Illinois. Pramukh Swami offered his warm blessings in return, and it was an experience I will never forget. He was and remains an inspiration for countless millions of people around the world for his message of living humbly, being faithful, and performing extensive community service for the underserved and underprivileged. We cherish Pramukh Swami Maharaj and his devotees in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope that now, more than ever, we can continue to live by the profound principles of love, faith, and service that he represented. Jai Swaminarayan.
I offer my sincerest condolences to the devotees of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha worldwide, but particularly to the patrons of the BAPS mandirs in Milpitas and San Francisco. In an era of violence, discrimination, and hatred that spanned World War II through the terrorism of modern times, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj guided humanity with a steady voice of tranquility. After terrorists attacked Swaminarayan Akshardham in Gandhinagar, Gujarat - killing numerous visitors and saints in their path - Swamishri advocated for love and compassion to prevail, not bigotry or hatred. His simplistic spiritual life, along with his profound wisdom, inspired millions of people around the world to work for the betterment of humanity and the environment. BAPS devotees, under Swamishri’s guidance, became one of the most dedicated groups of volunteers, providing relief in calamities world wide. I offer my support and prayers to all who were touched by the life of Pramukh Swami Maharaj knowing that they will carry forward his legacy of humility and saintliness.
San Jose City Councilman and Candidate for California State Assembly
Having been personally touched by the work of the BAPS community in San Jose and the greater Bay Area, I can only imagine the magnitude of the community across the United States and the world. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a Hindu guru who inspired ordinary people to serve the whole of humanity through their lives and work. I am confident his memory will live on to inspire countless more, but I offer my condolences today to those who are deeply affected by the loss of Swamishri.
Mayor, New York City
New Yorkers extend our deepest sympathies to followers of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, a legendary builder who worked in stone & lived to serve.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) August 19, 2016
Mayor, San Jose, CA
On behalf of the City of San Jose, please allow me to offer my sincerest condolences for the loss of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. We have benefitted from His Holiness’ leadership of BAPS, and the numerous contributions that the organization made during his stewardship. While he will be missed, his service for others will live on through his inspiration of the BAPS community. May we all keep him in our thoughts and prayers as we work to manifest the betterment of humanity.
Mayor, Robbinsville, NJ
On behalf of Robbinsville Township, allow me to express my deepest condolences and homage to Pramukh Swami Maharaj. His life and his work has inspired millions across the world to dedicate themselves to humanitarian causes, which is so evident in the Robbinsville community where BAPS plays such an enormous role in many of our outreach and charitable efforts. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a true source of inspiration, and his global legacy of selfless service remains a blessing for us all.
Mayor, Voorhees, NJ
The Voorhees Community mourns the passing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj. As the spiritual head of the BAPS, his message was always on of peace and love. I was honored to meet him on several occasions and will cherish the memories of those encounters. The world is a better place because of him.
Mayor, Morrisville, NC
I often wondered what drove this compassionate, dedicated and seemingly tireless charitable group. I got the answer after reading Dr. Abdul Kalam’s “Transcendence”, the great read about India’s “people” president and his many meetings with Pramukh Swami. I got to know Pramukh Swami through the many vignettes and stories of his deep wisdom and always knowing the right thing to say. Transcendence to me means the changing of one’s natural instinct of anger and jealousy to compassion and charity. Transcendence to me means taking the positive out of any bad situation and making the future better. Transcendence to me means looking at the differences of the religions and cultures and embracing the enrichment that they bring. Transcendence to me means sacrificing worldly possessions for the education of our children. Transcendence means an old trucking terminal becomes a beautiful place of worship and world-class family education center. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has now transcended from earth to the heavens, but his legacy lives on forever in his devotees. Morrisville, North Carolina, the United States and the world are a better place because of Swami’s teachings. Thank you Pramukh Swami Maharaj for allowing me to be a part of the BAPS community. It is truly an honor to see your teachings bear such a beautiful harvest.
Award Winning Composer
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.
What an amazing human being. The world is better for him having been a part of it.
Most sincere condolences at this time of the passing of HH Pramuhkh Swami. I have only the fondest memories of the time that I was able to witness his greatness and spirituality.
Genetec CEO / Founder
Please accept my sincere condolences. Having met him, even from afar, this news gives me a feeling of anguish.
World Council of Religious Leaders
It is with profound sorrow that I just received the message of the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj- A giant of a Man who leaves a deep imprint on Earth, our Minds, indeed our Hearts. I have been blessed to personally know him through my Guru Acharya Sushil Kumar ji Maharaj, his spiritual Brother, for most of my adult life and have benefitted in countless ways. Mere words cannot express my sentiments. History shall forever remember him for the numerous Centers, especially the Temples he built around the World, as the Guinness Book recognizes. What he accomplished takes most people lifetimes and yet, he remained humble to the core, always in service to humanity. He truly transformed the very notion of what a Religious/ Spiritual Leader can do.
Born as a simple man, he remained simple all his life. And yet, he scaled the heights of unparallel achievements. Where one has hard time to rule one country he ruled millions of hearts. Where one has hard time to mould one child – he succeeded in moulding the character of millions. Where one has hard time in building one home, he left the legacy of building hundreds of beautiful temples. Where one struggles to get one diploma, this unique and modest saint was honored by kings, prime ministers and presidents. Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shree did bring honor to all Hindus and made them proud of Hinduism. His impact will be felt for hundreds of years. When people who were not privileged to see him from a distance or meet him in person, like many of us, they will wonder whether such a great soul really existed. They will find it difficult to believe that such soul walked on this earth and achieved so much. H H Pramukh Swami Maharaj Shree’s loss is immense. It will not only be felt by followers of BAPS but by all Hindus. Today Hinduism has lost a great champion. We are saying goodbye to him with sadness in our heart knowing that he will no longer be able to guide so many of us and will no longer be able to do greater good and yet we will rejoice the fact that such a soul walked on this earth!
We are so deeply saddened to learn about His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj Ji's earthly departure. His wisdon and his quiet leadership, his vision and creativity, his humility, his devotion and his endless compassion inspired millions of devotees like me around the world. His saintliness and his endless compassion inspired millions like me around the world. His saintliness and nobility was only matched by the simplicity with which he lived and related to the common man, and the number of lives he touched and transformed.
Council Member, Chino Hills, CA
Wishing the BAPS community in Chino Hills comfort after the loss of Pramukh Swami
City Council, NY
I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a true giant of our, or of any other time, His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Respect for this man’s compassion, wisdom and humility was not only recognized and revered by his Hindu devotees, but throughout the world as well. May I offer my heartfelt condolences to the BAPS community and to all who admired him.
Former Illinois State Representative
I offer my sincerest condolences to the devotees of his Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha worldwide and to my family at BAPS Bartlett/Chicago. His faith guided millions and his words "In the joy of others lies our own" touched us all. I was fortunate to have met with his Holiness on three separate occasions and in his eyes I could see the man who had a deep sense of devotion that led him to spend his life revitalizing communities and helping those in need. His example helped many to find harmony with others, with their families and within themselves. I have been blessed by his presence. “Jai Swaminarayan.”
Former Illinois State Senator
Pramukh Swami Maharaj was an awesome human who was devoted not only to his followers, but to all of God’s creations. Each and every day his holiness made a positive difference in the lives of so many people. With each person he met he created an immediate connection and built a bond of rapport, empathy and love. His passion for humanity transcended space and time. He was given to this world for that most noble and glorious purpose of selfless giving and sharing his special knowledge to make this world in which we live, a better place.
Former US Ambassador to Germany
Tammy and I join the voices from across the globe in honoring the life and legacy of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. At a pivotal time in our history, Pramukh Swami's teachings of tolerance and peace are most needed. His work to help those at life's margins, both spiritually and economically, shall be a lasting testament of his dedication to the betterment of humanity and a lesson from which future generations may learn. We especially keep the BAPS community in New Jersey, which his Holiness had visited many times before, in our thoughts at this difficult time. May we all work together to make his Holiness' vision of global justice and peace a reality.
Under Swamiji's margadarshana, BAPS has flourished into a truly global organization, bringing the message of Sanatana Dharma not only to the Hindu diaspora but to all humanity. Swamiji's vision of a traditional Hindu sampradaya for the modern era has become a reality in many different ways, from building mandirs per shastrik architecture in Europe and North America to initiating sannyasis from Hindu families living generations outside Bharat. We know that with Swamiji's blessings our work for our Hindu community and all of humanity will continue to be fruitful.
We are so deeply saddened to learn about His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj Ji’s earthly departure. A stalwart and one of the greatest sons of Ma Bharti, he will dwell in our hearts and minds forever. His wisdom and his quiet leadership, his vision and creativity, his humility, his devotion and his endless compassion inspired millions of devotees like me around the world. His saintliness and nobility was only matched by the simplicity with which he lived and related to the common man, and the number of lives he touched and transformed.
Deputy Director, The Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Pasaic
On behalf of the Freeholders and staff of Pasaic County, New Jersey, let me express deepest condolences to all who are mourning the death of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. BAPS devotees in our area have not only built wonderful communities of faith but also have taken on roles of public responsibility - building bridges between Indian Americans and the people around them...and living out the Dharma taught by scripture and by the example Swamiji set through his life and work.
American Institute for Vedic Studies
We are deeply saddened to note that HH Pramukh Swami, head of the BAPS Swaminarayan order, one of the largest movements in modern Hinduism, took his Mahasamadhi Aug. 13. He was one of the greatest gurus and visionaries of modern India and of the entire world. His Swaminarayan order is famous for devotion to the Divine, service to humanity and building the largest and most beautiful modern Hindu temples from India to Britain, Africa, and North America. His gentle guidance and steady inspiration of the most sublime Bhakti will be missed by devotees from the entire world. We must now seek his grace from within.
Regional Superintendent of Schools, DuPage County, IL
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences on the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. My heart goes out to his many disciples and devotees around the world at this difficult time. He dedicated over seventy years of his life to uplifting others and leaves a lasting legacy which includes the building of numerous charitable colleges and hospitals. Though his passing leaves a deep sadness, we should use the example of his life and work to further his goals of supporting and inspiring those around us.
Pramukh Swami lived during a time of tremendous change, conflict and opportunity. He observed wars, famine, and discrimination, but he never wavered in his message of peace, his faith in God, and in the power of values and community. He lives the utmost spiritual life but was able to guide millions of people in the modern age. His spiritual wisdom, leadership, and vision in guiding BAPS not just as an organization, but as a movement of the most dedicated and compassionate devotees is his greatest gift to humanity. We all seek to imbibe the values he promoted throughout his life.
Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations
Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s passing away has been a deep shock and personal tragedy to his followers across the world. It was to me too. No other spiritual figure has had so pervasive an influence over so many people in modern times. The beauty of the Akshardham temples built in different parts of the world under his guidance and inspiration was surpassed only by the glow of his individual charisma and spiritual personality. For everyone who met him, big or small, he had a personal message of hope and upliftment, of the joy of surrender to faith and the pride of service to humanity. In paying my own humble tribute to the late Pramukh Swami Maharaj, I recall his extraordinary vision, wisdom and organizational capacity in taking the message of BAPS to all corners of the world. But mostly, I recall his extraordinary presence and warm and intense humanity. Please accept my sincere condolences.
New York Assemblywoman
I join families across Queens in sadness to express heartfelt condolences on the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. As someone who has come to know the BAPS community and the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Flushing, I know Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s commitment and dedication to humanity as a global spiritual leader will continue to thrive through the actions, compassion, and spirit of our community. My thoughts and prayers are with the BAPS community, his devotees, and friends during this reflective time.
President, Rosen Hotels & Resorts
On behalf of myself and our entire family of associates at Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando, Florida, I offer sincere condolences on the passing of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Over the years, I have had the distinct pleasure of hosting numerous conventions at my hotels. I remain inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj's teaching and my hope is that his desire for ongoing interfaith harmony and unity in this world will continue to flourish.
Community Leader, DuPage County
To my family and friends who are a part of the BAPS community, my condolences and prayers are with you - His Holiness Pramuka Swami Maharaj contributed greatly to others through his pursuit of helping to build a better future for all.