For more than 70 years, he travelled round the globe visiting
17,000 towns and villages to establish 1,100 mandirs and 3,850
Magnificent Swaminarayan temples are in New Delhi,
Ahmedabad, Nairobi, London, Atlanta, New Jersey among other
cities in five continents.
• Prime Minister Narendera Modi flew down to
Gujarat soon after his Independence Day address from Red
Fort New Delhi to pay his tribute to Pramukh Swami.
With tears flowing down his eyes, he was so overcome with
emotion that he could not speak for many moments and all TV
channels showed this footage of an emotional Prime Minister who
later said that more than a guru, Pramukh Swami was like a
father to him.
• Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel;
ordained Shastri Narayanswarupdas; 7 December 1921 – 13
August 2016) was an Indian guru and Pramukh, or president,
of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, an international Hindu
BAPS regards him as the fifth spiritual successor of
Swaminarayan, following Gunatitanand Swami, Bhagatji Maharaj,
Shastriji Maharaj, and Yogiji Maharaj.
He was believed by his followers to be in constant communion
with Swaminarayan, and ontologically, the manifestation of
Akshar, the eternal abode of Swaminarayan.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj received initiation as a Hindu Swami in
1940 from Shastriji Maharaj, the founder of BAPS, who later
appointed him as President of BAPS in 1950.
Yogiji Maharaj declared Pramukh Swami Maharaj to be his
spiritual successor and guru of BAPS, a role he commenced in
As president of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj had overseen the
growth of BAPS from an organization centered in Gujarat, India,
to one spread around the world, maintaining many Hindu Mandirs
and centers outside of India.