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Pramukh Swami Maharaj's Centennial Celebrated at the United Nations – BAPS

On December 7, 2022, an event at the United Nations fittingly themed, The World is One Family, honored the legacy of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and celebrated his centennial birthday in the presence of members of the Permanent Mission of India, Excellencies, Ambassadors and Representatives of countries across the world, and BAPS volunteers.
The evening was inaugurated by a celebration of his life work surrounding humanitarian efforts for social and spiritual upliftment. Her Excellency Mrs. Ruchira Kamboj, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, delivered the keynote address expressing the deepest honor for Pramukh Swami Maharaj. “In the truest sense, Swamiji’s life is a message to all humanity, it is a message of oneness, a message of goodness, a message of celebrating peace, harmony, and brotherhood.” Various speakers reflected upon their personal experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s teachings and influence, including first-hand account of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in 2017, and BAPS’ contributions to the COVID-19 relief efforts inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s credo “In the joy of others lies our own.”
The speakers for this program included:
Bawa Jain – Secretary-General for the World Council of Religious Leaders and Founder and President of The Centre for Responsible Leadership
Sejal Saglani – Professor of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Imperial College in London and Honorary Consultant in Pediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital
Aarti Patel – Principal of John D Parker Junior School in Toronto, Canada
Sejal Patel – Associate Director at McKinsey & Company
Ria Soni – Medical Student at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and co-founder of Project Stree
The impact of his tireless championing of education, especially women’s education, was recounted through the personal stories of BAPS volunteers. The celebration concluded with an insight into Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s unwavering faith that enabled him to not only see good in all but to see God in all, and a recital of the Shanti Paath, a Hindu prayer for universal peace.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj did not simply profess his beliefs but personified them in remarkable ways by connecting with all members of society. Recognized and respected as one of India's greatest spiritual teachers, he truly lived and taught the principle that the entire world, regardless of race, religion, or country, is one family. Attendees left in reflection on the profound impact that Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s life and message continue to have even today.