Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Yogiji Maharaj pointed to Pramukh Swami Maharaj as the fifth guru in line after Shreeji Maharaj.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj was born in the village of Chansad, 12 km from Vadodara in Gujarat, India, on 7 December 1921. Motibhai and Diwaliben Patel na med him Shantilal. The quite and calm Shantilal was respected and admired by everyone in his village. He always stood first in everything that he did: studies, swimming, playing cricket, and worshiping God.

Sadhu Narayanswarupdas
Shastriji Maharaj visited Chansad many times. With every visit, Shantilal became closer and more attached to his Guru Shastriji Maharaj. He realized that all he wanted to do in life was to worship God and please his Guru. When 17 year old Shantilal received a letter from Shastriji Maharaj to renounce the world and become a sadhu, he left home with the blessings of his parents. Shastriji Maharaj initiated him as a sadhu in January 1940 in Gondal and named him as Sadhu Narayanswarupdas .

For six years, Sadhu Narayanswarupdas toured with Shastriji Maharaj and studied Sanskrit and the scriptures. In 1946, Shastriji Maharaj gave 25 year old Sadhu Narayanswarupdas the important responsibility of Kothari or head of the Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Mandir in Sarangpur.

"Pramukh Swami"
Despite his young age and inexperience, Sadhu Narayanswarupdas did a very good job in carrying out the duties that Shastriji Maharaj had given him. He gained the total confidence of his guru Shastriji Maharaj by obeying his commands. In 1950, when he was only 28 years old, Shastriji Maharaj made him the president of BAPS. From then on he was known as Pramukh Swami because 'Pramukh' means 'president' in Gujarati. Before Shastriji Maharaj passed away in 1951, he instructed Pramukh Swami to live under Yogiji Maharaj's command. For 20 years, Pramukh Swami served Yogiji Maharaj with the same enthusiasm and obedience as he had Shastriji Maharaj.

Guru Pramukh Swami Maharaj
On January 23, 1971, Yogiji Maharaj passed away. Pramukh Swami, the perfect disciple became the perfect spiritual guru - Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Under his leadership and guidance, Satsang has grown to over 1 million followers spread across 6 continents. Pramukh Swami Maharaj has made BAPS into one of the world's most admired international Hindu organizations. He has built over 500 mandirs around the world. For this the Guinness Book of World Records has given him two awards: one for building the most number of mandirs and one for the largest Hindu Mandir outside of India, the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London. He is the inspirer of the famous Akshardham Cultural Complex in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, which has won many international awards. Hundreds of world-famous people like President Bill Clinton and Prince Charles have been honored to meet him. He has been showered with thousands of awards like keys to cities, Parliament recognitions and humanitarian honors.

How did little Shantilal, from the tiny village of Chansad, achieve so much?

First of all he does not consider these to be his true achievements . And second, he doesn't consider the achievements to be his at all. If you ask him, all that he has accomplished is because of his guru's grace. He does not take credit for anything.

So what are his true achievements? Those who know him well point out that Pramukh Swami Maharaj's true achievements are not what he has done, but the person that he has become. His personal qualities and virtues are unmatched throughout the world. Pramukh Swami Maharaj leads a lifetime of celibacy, without any personal wealth. He represents the Hindu Tradition in all its purity. In his presence, doubts dissolve, confusions clear, hurts heal and the mind finds peace. People find valid answers to life's toughest questions. But most important is his quiet, undisturbed love for God which rises above all borders of nation, race and religion. Even after creating an international spiritual organization of hundreds of mandirs, thousands of centers and over a million followers, you'll always find Swamiji engrossed in prayer to God and service to mankind.

  • Villages Visited: Over 15,000.
  • Countries Visited: Over 45.
  • Homes Sanctified: Over 250,000.
  • Letters Read & Replied: Over 450,000.
  • Personally Counseled & Comforted: Over 610,000 people.
  • Discourses Delivered: Over 20,000.
  • Mandirs Built & Consecrated: Sadhu Disciples: 700.
  • Inspired Akshardham Cultural Complex - Gandhinagar, Gujarat
  • Inspired Shri Swaminarayan Mandir - London
  • Guinness World Book of Records Award: "Master Builder" for most number of mandirs & named one of 20 of the world's Highly Influential People

Birth Date: December 7, 1921

Birthplace: Chansad, Gujarat

As Guru Since: january 23, 1971

  Publications on Pramukh Swami Maharaj

Mahant Swami Maharaj Yogiji Maharaj Shastriji Maharaj Gunatitanand Swami Bhagwan Swaminarayan

© 2004, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith